Destinations: Tengo and Samaki Camps – Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers, Tanzania
Season: July – end November 2020
Duration: 7 nights – 6 ½ Days fishing.
Accommodation: Safari Tented Camp and Fly Camp
Background and Introduction
Over the past 11 years the fisheries of the Mnyera and Ruhudji River in South Western Tanzania have fast built a reputation as one of the finest fresh water fisheries available to the discerning travelling angler. The trophy tiger fish that call these rivers home provide unparalleled tiger fishing opportunities. The Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers are widely regarded as THE destination to target tiger fish in the 10 – 25lb range.
The continued success of the fisheries can be attributed to the cutting edge concession and fishery management, and strict guiding protocols implemented by Kilombero North Safaris. Since 2008 when the international guests were first introduced to the fishery, growth and development has been in a controlled and scientifically based manner. Comprehensive data collection, recording each and every fish caught and released, combined with leading academic research and advice, has allowed us to manage the fishery and grow the product in a sustainable and responsible manner. This combined with the intense anti poaching measures implemented over the past 5 years has ensured the fishery is as productive as ever.
The team of international guides make sure all guests visiting Tengo Camp experience world class guiding by true international experts. Their commitment to sustainable and responsible fishery management is respected worldwide and ensures all guests experience the best that the fisheries of the Mnyera and Rhudji Rivers have to offer.
Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers, Tanzania
In the past, trophy tiger fish have been classified as fish above 10 lbs. This benchmark has been shattered with the average fish in this system coming home at just under 8lbs. Here fishermen have a real opportunity of landing tiger fish of over 20lb, with shots at multiple trophy fish on a daily basis. In fresh water this is almost unheard of. Now combine this fact with the speed, strength, aerial antics and aggressive nature of the tiger fish, and dump it all in two rivers flowing through one of the worlds last true wilderness areas, home to big game, and then you may begin to get an idea of just how unique the twin fisheries of the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers really are.
Guests have access to 40km of fishable waters on the Mnyera River. The Mnyera River changes character quickly over its fishable length. From rapids and pools in heavily wooded riverine forests on the upper reaches, the structure rich mid sections, courtesy of centuries of erosion and fallen trees, to the deep “outside bends” and clay banks of the lower reaches. The Mnyera, with its incredibly diverse river structure is a veritable tigerfish haven and one that all guests visiting this amazing river will appreciate. Tengo Camp is your base when fishing the Mnyera River.
Situated in the neighbouring catchment (one valley south of the Mnyera) is this remote river with a charm and attraction that is hard to explain. Guests fishing the Ruhudji River have access to 80km of fishable water. The river is quite different from the Mnyera. It is a shallower river, with long sections of sand banks followed by deep outside bends and pools in the lower reaches. The river changes in its upper reaches to a narrow deep river bordered by steep banks and heavily wooded forests as it enters the “gorge area”. Samaki Camp is your base when fishing the Ruhudji River
Angling (species): Tiger fish (Hydrocynus tanzaniae) ranging in size from 1 to 28lbs are the main quarry. Yellowfish species, Catfish, Bream and Gundu are also available for the species aficionados. The guides in conjunction with leading ichthyologists since 2008 identified over 30 different species of fish. Catfish are generally caught as by-catch when targeting tiger fish. Yellowfish and the impressive Gundu can be targeted specifically. The guiding team are pioneers in targeting tiger fish on fly, and are widely regarded as industry leaders. Over the past 6 years guiding and managing this fishery they have developed an in depth understanding of the fishery, the tiger fish, their habits, as well as tackle and tactics to successfully target these amazing fish.
Note: All catching is strictly “catch and release” with single debarbed hooks. No beat is fished twice in a week; areas where fish are spawning are strictly no go areas, and there is no re-drifting of beats allowed. This ensures you arrive at a fishery that is well rested and productive. Your understanding of these rules is appreciated, as I am sure you will appreciate this from the groups that precede your stay.
Yellow Fish: Over the course of the 2010 season Leonard Flemming, Guide and Fishery research expert, found and deciphered the feeding habits of 3 species of yellow fish – the largest weighing in at 8lbs. Targeting yellowfish feeding on sand banks and in the rapids offers some truly unique fly-fishing. Up stream nymphing is the preferred method, with short and delicate casts. All guides are experts in the field, and will put you onto the fish when conditions dictate. The Fishing Safari Experience Tengo Camp (on the Mnyera River) and Samaki Camp (on the Ruhudji River) offer the adventurous fly fisherman the ultimate African fly-fishing safari. Tented bush camps erected on each river ensure that the African safari experience is as much a part of this trip as the trophy tigers you can expect to encounter. The Fishing Methods: The majority of the fishing is done off the drift. Here our attentions are focused on the river structure, which comprises fallen timber, long sand banks, steep drop-offs and rocky outcrops. When conditions dictate we also make use of sand anchors and tying up to structure mid stream to focus our attention on a specific stretch of water. All fishing is done off 18ft aluminium boats. This river has received very little fishing pressure over the centuries, and with the controlled fly-fishing venture will continue to do so. The system is also extremely rich in baitfish (predominantly red finned barbs). The combination of these factors has resulted in this population of tiger fish obtaining otherwise unheard of sizes. Trophy fish in this system are measured above 15lbs. So be prepared to have you tiger fishing paradigms shifted! Camp Details: Tengo Camp (Mnyera River): This thatched room camp is the base for your stay on the Mnyera River. The camp consists of 4 rooms with twin or double configurations. All rooms have a view overlooking the river. Rooms are tastefully decorated with locally made furniture and soft furnishing. All accommodations are en-suite. Fall asleep to the sound of a rasping leopard, and wake up with the rising sun and splashes of feeding tiger fish, all in the privacy of your shared safari room. Sleeping under canvas has never been this wonderful. This camp was upgraded to thatched cabins for the season. Meals are enjoyed in the main central camp area under thatched roof over looking the river. A covered lounge, dining room and living area completes the main camp. This area contains a small library, lounges, and electric points for charging cameras and laptops, and a comprehensive fly tying station.