Fly Fishing Clinics

Catching a Tiger fish on fly is widely considered to be the pinnacle of freshwater fly fishing and the opportunity to do so on the Zambezi should not be missed. The clinics will contain information gathered by the Baines’ guides over the years on how to find and catch Africa’s most powerful freshwater game fish on the Zambezi. With a ratio of two anglers per boat, you’ll be assured of maximum attention from your guide, translating into more hook-ups. You can find dates and rates here.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Zimbabwe born and raised Ben McCarthy has been an avid angler from a young age and fly fishing is his absolute passion. After a stint in the cooler climates of Britain, the chance to live and work on the banks of the Zambezi was an offer he could not refuse. In his spare time, if he is not on the river, you will find him tying flies. As part of the Baines management team since 2012, Ben has successfully trained our top angling guides up to a professional fly-guiding level, focusing on the positioning of the boat, reading the water, the weather conditions, tackle and techniques. Understanding the conditions whilst on the water is paramount to a successful expedition, but for Ben the excitement starts with preparing the flies and tackle before you set off for any fishing destination. With much experience gained over the past, Ben will guide you on what to bring and what to leave behind. His enthusiasm is contagious and you have to prepare yourself for long days out on the water.

THE DEAL

A clinic covers 4 nights' accommodation on a fully inclusive basis at Baines' River Camp, flights between Lusaka and Baines' River Camp, all entry and angling fees for the Lower Zambezi National Park, dedicated boats for up to 2 anglers with guide, 30 flies in a waterproof fly box tied specifically for the Lower Zambezi, community and conservation levies. Clinics are available throughout the Tiger season (Sep-Nov) and are ideal for groups between 2 and 6 participants. With additional professional guides from Tourette Fishing in South Africa, we can extend the clinics up to 10 rods.

THE ITINERARY

You will depart Lusaka International Airport with the other participants around 13h00 for a 30 minute flight to the Royal Airfield. From there we collect you by open game viewing vehicle for a short game drive to the camp to get you on the river for your first cast.

The following 3 days will include early morning rises and full days out on the river. Lunches and snacks are catered for on the Zambezi or on the bank of the river under a shady tree. In the evenings, the Selous Bar will most likely be the venue for the fishermen stories and the Boardroom is at your disposal for fly tying.

On your last morning, you have the choice to go on a last early morning safari outing or to stay in camp and relax. We depart from the camp around 10h00 for your flight to Lusaka International.

Local flight times are chosen to suit the most popular SAA flights between Johannesburg and Lusaka:

SA062   arriving in Lusaka around 12h30

SA063   departing Lusaka around 13h15

Alternative local flight times can be arranged to suit other international connections to Emirates, Ethiopian Airways, Kenya Airways etc..

THE ESSENTIALS

For a fly fishing clinic, we recommend that you pack at least the following:

  • Rods: 2 fast action 8 or 9 weight rods
  • Reels: large arbour direct drive reels with a good drag
  • Backing line: at least 150 meters of 30lb backing line per reel
  • Default fly line: integrated intermediate running line with fast sinking head for 9 weight rods.
  • Leading material: Maxima ultra-green and fluorocarbon leading material, both in 20 and 30lb.
  • Wire: 30lb knot-able tiger wire
  • Flies of your choice (we provide you with a pack of 30 flies, specific for the Lower Zambezi Valley).
  • General travel essentials such as sunglasses, sun block, wide brimmed hat, comfortable long sleeved fishing shirts, a buff, binoculars and a camera.

Now for the fishing! As the pictures will attest to, the fishery was fantastic. The fish were everywhere, aggressive and eager to take flies and bait. Ben provided excellent advice, is an outstanding fly caster and fishing buddy.

Will Stephens, Manalapan, New Jersey, USA, September 2015