Swedish version

by Dan Fallon

Cindy Garrison with Tiger fish


Imagine a fiery African Sun rise spreading over wild Botswana waters. While you carefully throw your Black Woolly Bugger Streamer into the same current hippos and crocodiles lay waiting for breakfast treats! Sounds alittle dangerous and far fetched my conservative fly fisher brothers and sisters? Cindy Garrison with the assist of famed fly fisher extraordinair Ed Rice has created a fly fishing venue in Botswana Africa unique and action packed. The dark continent and its many exciting adventure opportunities are still absolute mecca for hard-core sportsmen of all persuasions. How exactly did a California born and raised fly fisher end up running a world class fly fishing venue in Africa? Cindy earned her guide license wrestling King Salmon during six years navigating Alaskan waterways. This time spent learning the Alaskan methodology for landing serious fish, was highlighted with an introduction tailor made for would be woman guides.

I remember one of my first guiding trips in Alaska was almost my last trip! It seems the boys decided to test my survival skills by cutting the gas lines on my boat. The boat was carried away by strong tides clients and all into the open sea. I was very lucky to be rescued by a passing small plane that called in a boat to pick us up - guess the boys wanted to make a point of some kind? After that I began to get the drift in the land of the Midnight Sun. During the Alaskan period Cindy quickly found out exactly what clients and fly fishing venue owners were looking for in woman guides. In those early Alaskan days I was approached by an owner I worked for and pretty much ordered to become the camp housekeeper making beds and cleaning toilets when necessary- funny thing is none of the men were asked to do the same kind of chores? I have no sour grapes though, I loved my time in Alaska and learned a great deal about how to handle clients and Alaskan men! Cindy makes no excuses for her love of the outdoors and her absolute need to be on the water as much as possible. My whole life has been geared to the outdoors. My Dad and I have hunted and fished all over North America and Africa, its been an amazing life style and I have no regrets.

Cindy Garrison


Cindy never really fit in with her well heeled Marin County California female peers. My Dad had a ranch out of state for many years and always said he had to go to Africa by age fifty. He did and he took all of us -his four daughters with him. The short story is I fell in love with the land and the people and decided with the help of Ed Rice to try fly fishing in places never fly fished before. It has been an absolute life altering experience and I feel so fortunate it has happened to me. The fish we go after are very hard fighting and the sights and sounds awaiting serious fly fishers are not to be believed! Ed Rice known all over the world as an accomplished fly fisher angler worked with Cindy to establish this very unusual fly fishing destination. It has become an accepted fact, before Cindy and Ed came to Botswana their was no fly fishing for the species they pursue.


The waters of the famed Okavango Delta's Panhandle feature over eighty varieties of fish including: eleven species of Bream, and the world renown hard fighting Tiger Fish. These fish ain't at all like the sports fish most hard-core sportsmen have encountered. When I tell new clients to be VERY careful once landing any of the Tiger Fish, that's exactly what I mean! We have had more then one close call taking these spiked toothed devils for granted... Its not just the fly fishing one must be cautious of, the waters are home to crocodiles and many big game animals bath and come and go. My clients are cautioned from the get go about falling in the waters and not paying attention 360 degree's. Those Lions roaring all around you are real as are all the other jungle sounds common near the waters edge. The reason all this appears Jurassic Park like, is because it is just that way here. Africa never goes completely asleep and quiet, not out in the bush. Tiny bird sounds mixed with roaring lions and bright sun create luxurious sensory overloads that never cease repeating over and over. This extreme density of wildlife and all the sights and sounds that accompany the abundance is astounding and unforgettable.

The Tiger Fish is well known for its ferociousness and serious fighting instincts. Cindy speaks respectfully about her resident fighting game fish. They hit hard, pull, jump and are very difficult to hook due to their razor sharp teeth and bony mouths. The setup for these fish include 7/10 weight Fly Rods with 200 feet plus strong backing and atleast 12/20 pound test leaders with wire tippets. Wire tippets or shock tippets strong enough in case the knife like teeth slice through almost anything. The more sporty fly purists who like to throw expensive Bamboo and light tippets can quickly find all the challenge they might ever want. The flies can be streamers or any of the egg Sucking Leech patterns or the Flowing Marabou Streamers or any of the standard fresh water patterns. Fly rods and reels are provided, but clients are encouraged to bring their own gear. Fly fishing for these exotic species ensconced in such rich audio visually acute atmosphere must be experienced to be understood. These sights and sounds are so uncommon to westerners, it becomes mesmerizing quickly.

These fish have all the qualities you look for in world class fighting fish. With over 1000 km of river water to explore, anglers will never get bored. Whether your fishing the fast flowing waters of the Zambezi River, the white water rapids of the Chobe River, or the Papyrus fringed backwaters of the Okavango Delta. The Tiger will test your abilities as it savagely hits everything in your box, from streamers to poppers, it makes your reel scream every time. We never know for sure which species will hit, unless we are into a good Barbel run. There are three lodges to visit, all situated in superb unspoiled natural surroundings in some of the most scenic country in the world.


Three luxury appointed lodges await guests in superb unspoiled natural surroundings. Each lodge will accommodate only limited parties of twelve. True luxury tents or custom thatched chalets complete with showers and all the extras make the fly fishing purists feel right at home. The lodges each retain gourmet chefs and maintain the finest wine and spirits to satisfy the most discriminating sportsman, traveler. The world famous Rapids Lodge set on the banks of the raging confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. Known world wide as the most authentic African big game fishing lodge surrounded by endless wild game and fish. Bordered by Chobe National Park, be prepared to find yourself among herds of elephant, buffalo, hippo, plains game of all kinds and a vast array of bird life. This is the absolute ultimate setting for anglers desiring two great river systems to choose from at any given moment in season. Opportunities include wading vast expanses of shallow rapids, floating through rivers in a drift boat, jet boating to faster deeper waters. The fly fishing can range from wrestling Tigers from five to twenty pounds, we also encounter new species or fish in sizes which surprise us, we are still learning new aspects of this rich fishery all the time. This is a wonderful lodge in a special place. But, of course its the wild Barbel runs which are the absolute no holds barred throw anything get a fish situation. When we come on these fish in schools of many thousands scrambling in an almost continuos feeding frenzy, it gets wild and the action is non stop. Until you have to stop or get too tired to fight anymore. The Barbel go anywhere from 5 lb.. to 50 and during a three month period they chase smaller fish in huge gangs up and down the waters surrounding Nxamseri Fly fishing lodge.

The setups for Barbel (kind of catfish) are 7/10 weight rods and reels with very good drag systems mandatory. We hate to see novice fly fishers come over with everything in the world except an expensive fly reel that will stop a little nuclear powered submarine of a fish quickly. These fish all eighty species of them fight like wild stock, because they are wild. That is a major aspect of the magic of fly fishing these ancient rivers, especially in the Okavango Delta. These fish are all untouched by man as when they were first created millions of years ago. In North America for instance, trout have been transplanted to higher elevation lakes and streams by hand in buckets during the last two hundred years. The fish in these African waters have been genetically programmed to exist here since before Christ was born. Would you imagine they might fight with abit more seriousness then that overfed six pound hatchery raised Rainbow that you have stuffed over your worn out couch, sports - fan?

This fly fishing lodge is located on an isolated wooded island in the North West Okavango Delta's Panhandle. These waters are home to atleast eighty species of fish including eleven species of Bream and fighting Tiger Fish. Fly fisherman who have come over from North America are amazed at the extreme diversity of fish and the importance of having the right gear. We have hooked afew crocodiles and strongly suggest clients allow the Right Of Way to all creatures here larger then themselve's.This place demands you pay attention, and enjoy all the sights and sounds of over 350 different bird species that fill the air with song. Located deep in the heart of the Okavango Delta is Kiri Lodge nestled in paradise surrounded by wild game.



This place is certainly among the most desolate, wild place's left on Earth. Fly fishers must share this space with prides of roaming lion and many herds of elephant. Fishing is done on the banks of the Boro River which is thirty minutes from camp. Walking and sight fishing is a dream come true here, with so many species of Bream (Talapia), 2 species of Barbel and the much heralded African Pike. These Pike can get quite large and like to fight with their saw like teeth. We recommend wire tippet leader sets in most all situations here. You never know what might hit your fly, knowing your rod and reel and line are tough enough to handle whatever hits is crucial for novice or expert. It helps to build confidence, if you see someone actually wrestle one of these large Pike into a small boat, carefully! We use alot of sunscreen and drink alot of water out in this sun all day. If your ready for serious once in a lifetime fly fishing opportunities where you and your equipment will be taxed to the limit.? Kiri lodge may be perfect for fulfilling primordial fly fishing urges. These waters and wild species can wreak havoc on the gear. We have snapped afew very well made rods and bought afew reels along the way.

Cindy Garrison


The fact these fish are all wild and come and go in schools has its advantages. when we find them and it never take very long. Its time to get ready for steady action and serious battles. Clients can't believe how much fight even the smaller fish exhibit. Its not out of the ordinary to loose many mid size fish because they are underestimated. Those fly fishers again with size 8 or above rods and reels stand the best chance of landing these fish. we are not advertising for novice fly fishers. One can come over here and get just as much out of the scenery and all the birds and animals without touching a fly rod. But, if you come to catch and release many, many different and hard fighting wild fish, you won't be disappointed. As far as exact lenghs of leader and tippit are concerned. Leaders are 8/12 pound atleast and nine feet long, tippits are attached to thin steel wire of atleast 6/8 inches depending on size of fish and speed of current, we attach each section with a very small swival and then the streamer or fly. This setup give or take afew weight changes or wire circumference adjustments is about it. We usually stick with the wire schocK section and try and land these fish as quickly as possible. If they are given the chance like any wild game fish to recuperate and ge into a passing gear, forget it. We tell clients keep the rod tip aimed right at the beast and not to give up on fish you don't think you can possible land. Try moving him under or around your boat, it keeps him off balance. It so much fun when you think your calling the shots, yet your being led around by 15 pounds of hungry Barbel. In six hard minutes many of these fish are played out. Many of the smaller fish burn the candle at both ends and fight just as fiercely as their older brother's and sister's.

Presentation is much the same as on any fast often color textured river. We look for bait fish sign, birds or alot of surface activity. If we get into say a good Barble run. It fun to throw poppers or surface bugs in the same sizes one might throw back home for bass or trout. The flies used here are alittle different in color then back in the states. Many of the flies or white and blue streamers effects like you find used on ocean fish. The Leech patterns work here as well as crickits and locust style terrestrials, ants and so forth. We are not really restricted, when a serious run is on, almost anything will hook a fish in a feeding frenzi!

Ones state of mind maintaining unrelenting awareness for possible hookups with toothy powerful fish, of almost any of the 80 species one may encounter is absolute. It isn't necessarily how pretty your presentation is in this water borne eco system. It's how completely aware of your surroundings you become. You will find the intensity of this fly fishing experience begins to build and set a new standard for fly fishing purists and everyday sportsmen. Those fly fishers who come to Africa armed with well honed skills catching & releasing salmon, trout, or any of the fighting salt water species will not be disapointed. These fresh water fish are anything but lethargic! be prepared for a fly fishing adventure of a lifetime and remember do not try and land anything bigger then you are!


Written by Dan Fallon, 2001 ©

This article are published by permission by the "The Edge Big Game Journal", where it was first published (Nov/Dec issue 2001)


Trips ar available starting at 9 days/10 nights cosisting of three days at each lodge Chobe, nxamaseri and Kiri. Trips can be arranged for 14 days or 20 days depending on size of group,

Contact Cindy Garrison at Safari Anglers Maun office Tel +267-661821 or Fax: 660379, e-mail Safarianglers@yahoo.com or e-mail rannsafaris@yahoo.com. If these numbers are difficult to reach contact Dan Fallon at (415) 332-3803 or fax (415) 332-3807 Sausalito California.

Read Dan Fallons biography and contact info



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