What weight rod is typically needed to catch tigerfish?
We were fishing 9 Weight outfits with fast sinking lines. You do not have to cast that far for the tigerfish, but definitely, have to make sure you get your fly down to their level quick. For the more close quarters fishing, we add some extra weight to our flies, fishing just under the Papyrus. The currents are also quite strong, allowing you to swing your fly in the right position.
Can you fish for tigerfish year round?
Yes you can, though you will rely mostly on blind casting. North of the delta panhandle the river flows big and finding them can be a bit more challenging. But, you’ll be surrounded by African wildlife including crocodiles, elephants, hippos and many different species of birds.
What prompted you to come to Botswana to make a film?
We have been talking about making fishy films for quite some time and were fortunate enough for Tourette Fishing to share the same vision. We decided on the Okavango Delta, as at the time, there were no real stories coming from the delta, let alone about tigerfish. We planned it around the Catfish run, as that in and of itself, is truly a sight to behold.
What is the biggest tigerfish that you have seen caught on the fly?
My personal best was 8lbs, but I won’t tell you about the one that got away. The biggest one we landed while filming was 12 pounds. The delta tigers are not as big as their cousins found further north in Africa. But that does not mean they won’t give you a true fight. No fish I’ve ever felt hits as hard as a tigerfish.
What other fish species besides tigerfish and catfish live within the delta?
Other species to target on the Okavango are, Nembwe, thin-faced largemouth, three spot bream and sharp tooth catfish. There are also other bream like the pink happy and green faced bream, but they caught by mistake most of the time.
How long did it take to complete the film, from idea to finished product?
On and off about a year. Work gets in the way sometimes as budgets don’t really exist and we were funding the trip ourselves.
It looks like you have made a wide variety of films. What made you want to focus on fly fishing for this one?
I love filming and I love fly fishing. We have tried multiple times to make a film with our friends and we usually end up just fishing. So it was great teaming up with Tourette Fishing and making time to enjoy both.
What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring fly fishing filmmaker?
Get a camera and go. Visually the adventure is all there and ready to be captured. There are so many great films at the moment, each with their own unique style. I’m excited for the future of fishing and adventure films. So many great stories around the world are ready to be told so, go on adventures and immortalize them on film.
What does the future look like for Happy Handgrenade? Are there any more fly fishing films in the future?
We really loved making Dogs of War so much that we teamed up with Tourette Fishing once again for something special starting January 2018. The place and fish species we will be targeting has never before been documented, and the place itself is as wild as it gets.
Happy Handgrenade has started a division dedicated to outdoor films, called Flybox Films. You’ll be able to follow our journey on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/flyboxfilms.
It’s all very new and very exciting and moving really really fast.
Johann Vorster is a South African adventurer and angler. For more epic content,
Check him out on Instagram @vossiegrenade!
Questions by Team Flylords member Conner Grimes @southeastflyfishing on Instagram!