Broadly, the upper Zambezi comprises the stretch of the Zambezi River above Victoria Falls. Our focus in the area however is on two distinct regions of the upper Zambezi – these being the Caprivi and Barotse Flood Plains and their surrounds. The Upper Zambezi is a winter (May – August) fishery which allows for pleasant day time temperatures and superb game viewing in the surrounding National Parks. Species targeted during winter on the upper Zambezi are tigerfish and large mouth bream species such as nembwe. Other species on offer include catfish, pike and various bream species. For the species aficionado, the Zambezi yellowfish is also a possible target.
The Upper Zambezi system as fished by Tourette Fishing guests can be split into three different fishing habitats, all productive under certain conditions. Your professional guides will make sure you are fishing the most productive waters over your stay.
Flood Plains (Caprivi and Barotse):
From May through to August each year the Caprivi and Barotse flood plains begin to spill their waters back into the main Zambezi Channel. These waters bring with them vast amounts of recently spawned bait fish, which in turn trigger a tigerfish feeding frenzy. Looking for birds and working these productive waters is stuff fly fishing dreams are made of. Small flies, (clousers and rabbit Zonker bait fish patterns) tied in natural colours are most productive over these times.
From roughly the beginning of August each year, when the final water is draining off the flood plains, the action moves to the Kasai Channel. For the month of August the Kasai channel is home to a mini catfish run. As the waters on the surrounding flood plains drop, the bait fish are forced to the river margins triggering catfish feeding frenzies. tigerfish follow this commotion, feeding on bait fish flushed from the papyrus and unsuspecting catfish. Fly fishing for tigerfish around this activity is productive and exciting.
In 2004 Tourette Fishing pioneered fishing the Upper Zambezi rapids from canoe. Ever since then tiger fishing in the Mambova, Ilombe and Impalila Rapids (Caprivi Section) and Lukulu Rapids (above the Barotse Flood Plains) has been a highlight for many anglers to the area. We use ark inflatable canoes to reach these productive waters. Fishing the rapids can be a full or half day affair. Either way, the experience is truly unique and the opportunity of latching onto a trophy fish in these fast waters is a real possibility. The game viewing and bird watching can also be superb when drifting quietly through the many channels.
Flyfishing is, by far, the best method of targeting the Upper Zambezi tigerfish in the early season (June to August). Conventional fishing is more productive late season (September to November).