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Fly Punk - Issue 4

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Fly Punk - No tweed, wicker baskets or trousers tucked into socks. Just a free digital magazine aimed at the fly fishing punk ... Read on and join the party ...

this Tanzanian Tiger

this Tanzanian Tiger doesn't fight as aggressively as it's cousin of the African Tiger fish (Vittatus), but Jeremy's shredded hands will attest to what a 20lb Tiger can do. Realizing we had left our boga grip with the guys on the bank and only had a badly repaired net half the size of the fish, panic ensued. Eventually on the 2nd attempt we landed the behemoth to the howling celebrations of Rochester. Deciding at a moment’s notice where to throw your fly and being able to put it on the spot every time is the hallmark of man whose stock and trade is defined by the feathers and for good reason. Not enough is known about these frightening predators, but when you look at their arsenal so to speak, you really do start to feel sorry for the other resident fish. - They’re so camouflaged that even in the clear water from above they blend with every shadow. - Their profile, huge tail fin and prominent pectorals tells you that they are built for powerful, lightening quick lunges. - It’s slash and grab, so the interlocking razor sharp teeth, equipped with an anticoagulant ensures that every bite can be fatal - And if that wasn’t enough, their bottom jaw is hinged horizontally, allowing them to double the gape of their bite. - Oh, and did I mention that their lateral line is acutely in tune with a middle ear that can pick up the slightest vibration in the water, incase their keen eyesight is clouded by murky water. If you ever had to come back as a fresh water fish, then a Blue Tiger gives you the keys to your kingdom. And what rounded off the trip was hearing that Tommo had also inducted himself into the hallowed 20lb Tiger club, thanks to Des, the camp manager stepping up to the guiding plate. Every game fish deserves an anglers respect, but this is one that absolutely demands it. The Blue Tiger Fish, (dubbed for it’s blue adipose fin) has been recorded up to 28lbs on rod and reel and if there’s one guaranteed motivator to get your casting arm in action, it’s seeing this ferocious carnivore willing to maul your lure or fly. Aside from popping, in terms of fly fishing techniques you practice predominantly two -: a. The river is littered with structure, the annual floods depositing cover all around the banks, creating the ideal habitat for this killer to ambush. When casting at this structure, the emphasis is on Accuracy and you only have a few seconds with each drift to get your fly into the strike zone, so assessing flow rate / depth and retrieval pace is critical…….thank goodness for great guides. b. Channels change each season, as the river erodes and deposits sediment. When fishing these deeper sections, casting upstream, you will mend your line to get into the seam and sink your fly down to where the big fish are, in all likelihood holding. Be aware, fish will take you on the drop and always use your double hand retrieve to keep in contact with your line at all times You are using heavily weighted size 2/0 to 4/0 Flies, the patterns that perform being a point of animated debate every evening. 35lb leaders and 40lb Rio knotable trace wire is the minimum gauge if you intend contending for any title. Anchoring and fishing the deep channels and banks means that you also need the right line, being a Rio 250-300 grain, with a 24 foot sinking tip…..bring a spare! Popping hooks with their hard bone palate happens, especially fishing barbless, so don’t sweat those that throw your fly, it’s all part of the tiger scuffle. But this is a fish that you need to stick like the proverbial pig, a hard line strike and constant pressure is your only option, so you had better bring your no nonsense game, because this is a fish that you can give no quarter to. The Kilombero North Safari concession is truly one of the great wilderness areas on our planet. It’s unique habitat and incredible array of fauna and flora is worth the visit alone. Couple this with the fact that you have the opportunity to take on a legendary beast that surpasses your every game fishing expectation and I personally can’t wait to get back on the water. As a definitive point of note, in what was admittedly very trying climatic conditions, each angler got his personal best on this trip! Fishtube: www.fishtube.tv 44 | 45 www.fly-punk.com

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