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Thread: Predominant baitfish in lower Zambezi valley

  1. #1
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    Default Predominant baitfish in lower Zambezi valley

    Hi All

    What are the predominant baitfish that one would try to imitate below Vic Falls in the river. I guess in Kariba there will be plenty of kapenta, but do they hold in the river?

    Other species to tie / other factors to consider when designing a fly?

    Thanks

    Jean

  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Yes, the river is full of Kapenta, all the way down the Zambezi, into the Chobe...simply everywhere. There are several other species as well, probably somewhere between 150 and 200 species of baitfish in the Zambezi basin. You are welcome to try imitate them if you want to, but generic baitfish patterns are fine.

    http://fish.mongabay.com/data/ecosystems/Zambezi.htm
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jean.struweg@gmail.com View Post
    Hi All

    What are the predominant baitfish that one would try to imitate below Vic Falls in the river. I guess in Kariba there will be plenty of kapenta, but do they hold in the river?

    Other species to tie / other factors to consider when designing a fly?

    Thanks

    Jean
    - Flies must be about 8cm to 15cm long
    - Push lots of water
    - Dark colours like black are best
    - Incorporate red (like red marabou, bleeding gills, etc etc)
    - Add some flash, like gold crinkle flash, gold wing-n-flash, etc.
    - Tie it with hook point facing down (better hook-ups, more fish hooked in the scissors)
    - Use strong hooks (very NB)
    - Weight the flies to get them down, also use dumbell eyes
    - Tie any baitfish patterns, keeping the above in mind.

  4. #4
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    I also kind of like the hook down approach, but on my last trippie, we had both, with hook up and down, and were getting decent hookups with both, so it's difficult to say what is actually best. Speak to the Fly Castaways guys, and they insist that hook up is better, but speak to Jonathan Boulton, and he says that hook down is better, so who really knows.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Parys, Free State
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    Speak to the Fly Castaways guys.
    Or speak to this company
    Gerrit Viljoen

  6. #6
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    Oct 2006
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    It's very much dependant on the specific area. I'm not entirely convinced that there are that many kapenta in the river system below Kariba. Yes they should exist there if they some how make it through the turbines at Kariba, but in almost 15 years of fishing there I've never once seen the subsistence guys netting them or netted them myself. From Kariba to Kenyemba island the predominant bait fish would be imberi, small bream about the size of your hand(particularly niloticus due to all of the defunct fish farms) and other tigers.

    Michael's comments regarding fly attributes are bang on and the hook point orientation seems to be very much a 50/50 split. A few guys use circles too so you could also consider them.

    All I can add to Mike's comments re flies would be:
    1. Try and emphasize the eye of the fly, holo-eyes and 3D eyes being the best.
    2. Lateral lines are a must!
    3. Try and incorporate the lighter belly/darker dorsal area concept in your flies.
    4. If your flies are going to be fished in areas of current dont worry about them pushing water, focus on them getting down into the feeding zone i.e. slim profiles and tungsten eyes.
    5. Synthetics are more durable than naturals but the naturals have a better taper and movement. A combo of the two seems best.

    Here's a pic of some of the clousers I've tied for my next trip to give you an idea of the colour combo's. The top left fly is probably too light - instead of white and light blue I'll use grey and dark blue. I also need to run my flies under some hot water just to emphasize the taper.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Check your knots!

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