Every man has a dream and Flydotfish is Henkie Altena’s. The mission of Flydotfish is to provide a premium guided fly fishing experience backed up by a team of passionate and experienced guides. Henkie and his team don’t try to overcomplicate things; they’re just a group of friends offering an array of fantastic fly fishing experiences in remote and unique fisheries, at very reasonable prices.
So where does Flydotfish operate? Currently, the flagship trip is the Okavango Barbel run. This trip caters for groups of 6-10 anglers on 3-4 boats from a private area in Sepupa, Botswana. The location of the camp in Sepupa was strategically chosen as the Barbel run is not one single event but thousands of individual feeding frenzies of marauding Barbel (Sharptooth Catfish) that flush baitfish out of the Papyrus when the river reaches a certain level. The location of the camp is thus important as the Barbel runs move up and down the length of the Okavango panhandle.
The implication of this is that if you are situated in the middle of the area, regardless of where the activity is, you do not have to travel for hours to reach the action. Less travel time means only one thing… more time for fly fishing! Following the flocks of birds and positioning the boat near the water, boiling with fish activity. Fly anglers can then cast some of Henkie’s custom tied Tigerfish flies, and strip their lines in anticipation of a striped water dog to attack their offering. The key is not to throw into the schools of feeding Barbel but on the outskirts where the tigers are darting around and chasing down baitfish.
When everything falls into place, it is not uncommon for all anglers on board to hook up at the same time, which is something that really gets the guides excited. The trip consists of 5 days fishing and they have had clients bagging over 100 fish during a trip on fly! From a size perspective, the fish tend to be smaller than on the Zambezi, with 10-12lbs being a trophy fish. To witness a natural phenomenon like the Barbel run is something that should be on every angler’s bucket list.
The Flydotfish camp is rustic but comfortable and the food and ambience is second to none. This make guests feel like they are on a fishing trip with friends rather than being just another client at a fishing lodge. Sepupa can be reached by vehicle (about 1500km from Johannesburg) and you can reach the camp in a sedan as the roads are all tar roads and in a good condition. The Okavango Barbel run is definitely a trip to consider, especially if you have never caught Tigerfish on fly or if you haven’t experienced the epic madness of a Barbel run before.
In addition to the Okavango trip, Henkie has also built up a reputation as being able to stalk, target and land the elusive Grunter on fly with his killer Sandprawn imitation. These fish have been called the poor man’s Permit as their notoriously stubborn nature can sometimes have them inspect and reject flies time and again. Pursuing Grunter on fly is a challenge and it requires the help of a great guide who knows an area well. Henkie has settled on the Sedgefield, Gouritz and Knysna estuary systems of the Garden Route to host his day trips and 2-3 night group trips, targeting not only the elusive Grunter but also the popper loving Garrick. These fish are a highlight in our estuarine systems as they eagerly follow and chase down well-presented baitfish imitations or foam poppers which can make for some explosive action on fly.
In other developments, Flydotfish will soon announce the details and prices for a Knysna houseboat fly fishing experience. The package will consist of 2-3 nights fully catered (with lunches at Featherbed) including a guide for 2 people at a time, on a unique houseboat with an accompanying tender boat. This option will prove very popular for fly anglers keen to target Grunters and Garrick in the Knysna lagoon.
The final feather in the Flydotfish cap is the Vaalhoek Smallmouth Yellowfish experience on the Gouritz River. This remote and breathtakingly beautiful region sees very little people and even less fly fishermen. Healthy populations of Smallmouth Yellowfish are targeted on fly in the Gouritz River with traditional Yellowfish tactics.
The remoteness and the peace and quiet makes this a great weekend getaway for a group of fly fishing friends. Swap stories of the day’s fishing beneath the Klein Karoo stars while Henkie and his team prepares the evening’s grub and ties up flies for the next day’s adventure.
Flydotfish works in conjunction with Wildman Safaris who handles the reservations and marketing for the trips. This allows Henkie and his team to do what they do best; to guide keen fly fishermen in remote and special fisheries while they get to live out their dreams.
To enquire about or to book a fly fishing safari with Flydotfish, please click on the link below:
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