Today, we’re talking to Tudor Caradoc-Davis – owner of The Mission Fly Fishing Magazine, president of the Cape Piscatorial Society, and avid fly fisher. Tudor is a well-known name in the fishing industry, travelling across Africa in search of brown trout, smallmouth yellow fish, the elusive Tiger fish, and many others. He has fished the waters of the Chobe many times as a visitor at our Ichingo Chobe River Lodge.
In this Q&A, Tudor brings his considerable insight and experience to the table and shares some of his best fly-fishing tips.
How did you get into fishing?
My dad took me on the Cape streams when I was about 12. Save for the odd tantrum when dealing with knots, I had a ball and have been fly fishing pretty much since then.
What’s your favourite type of fishing and favorite conditions? Conventional/fly/bait etc? On a boat? River/sea?
I’m only really interested in fly fishing, but if it did not exist, I am sure I would try something else. All sorts of waters appeal to me, but if I had to choose one river on foot would be my favourite.
Where are some of the coolest spots you have fishes in the world?
I have fished the Chobe river for hefty Tiger fish at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, I’ve fished on the beaches of Gabon for tarpon, snapper and thread fin, I’ve fished through the Spanish Pyrenees for brown trout, Jurassic Lake in Patagonia for giant rainbow trout, Montana for all sorts of trout and numerous other destinations both near and far.
Have you been to Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, how was your experience?
Brilliant, Cassius my guide was a pro and Kennedy the manager is the consummate host. Having a hippo snooze between the chalets was a nice touch too. I climbed the baobab, drank the mampoer, catch the tiger and got the T-shirt. Its a fantastic lodge with great fishing and I would go back in a heartbeat.
What’s one of your most memorable catches?
The 6kg (13lb) tiger from home pool at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge was very memorable, as was the Guinea snapper in Gabon and a big brown trout in Lesotho on the Bokong river.
Tell us about your first Tiger fish experience?
This was my first fly fishing trip for tigers and it was brilliant. I loved the range of water available round the lodge, from big deep sections to weeded sandbanks and rocky rapids. There was plenty of variety and loads of fish. That specific tiger was such a relief because I had missed a few big ones over the course of the day, getting bitten off each time. To finally get a big one, with the sun rising over the Chobe river and hundreds of birds the air, was pretty special.
Any tips/tricks on how to catch the legendary tiger?
From what I have learnt and seen, its pretty simple. Get a fast-sinking line and heavily weighted tiger clouser (in red and black and purple and black) and get the flies down. Don’t start retrieving until you know they have dropped a fair amount. Then keep a slow and steady constant retrieve and you should be in the money.
What equipment would you suggest catching a Tiger fish?
An 8 to 10-weight fly rod and reel, sinking lines (maybe throw in an intermediate or floater on the off chance there is some surface action), wire trace, tiger clousers or Bully Beef flies, cape and sunglasses and sun cream, plenty of beers and you are good to go.
Can you expand more on why one should try out the Chobe River waters & ravines – what makes them special or different to the Zambezi waters/ or other spots?
I think the variety is the real USP. The Chobe river, the Kasai channel AND the Zambezi right there. You have the Tiger fish, but although I did not catch them it looks like the realm species (three-spot and largemouth) are regularly caught. You also have those nearby rapids which I am convinced will have yellowfish. Last, but not least you have the actual Chobe Park on your doorstep so you can take break from fishing and see some amazing wildlife or if you are overly committed to the fish, at least non-fishing partners have loads of options.
We hope that this insight gives our fellow fly-fishing enthusiasts some fresh inspiration when they’re out on the water. You can read Tudor’s experience fishing at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is Issue 13 of The Mission Fly Fishing Magazine and get his tips on the Bully Beef fly over here.
Click here to check out the latest off of The Mission Fly Fishing Magazine for free. Get in touch with Tudor if you have any more questions you’d like answered or to become a member of the Cape Piscatorial Society.
Don’t forget to take advantage of our current all-inclusive fishing deal at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge to start planning your very own fly fishing adventure!
From rods, flies and reels to lures and lines, and your very own personal guide to show you the way, we provide all the professional equipment necessary to catch your quarry. Don’t let this deal be the one that got away… Book your all-inclusive fly fishing package and find out how much the phases of the moon affect your catch!