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Gassa Camp Fishing Report 14th February 2024

The 2024 Nile Perch Fishing season at Gassa Camp has commenced, and we’ve hit the ground running. After two weeks of hot and sweaty camp construction, what initially stood as the remnants of last season’s camp on the banks of the Faro River has undergone a remarkable transformation. The guides, alongside our Cameroonian companions, have turned this overgrown riverside bush into a beautiful “home” for the next few months. Despite the countless challenges one faces when building such a camp so far from any civilization, this Gassa Camp stands as a testament to the statement “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The most significant issue we faced, in my opinion, was the ferocious assault the tsetse flies launched against us (that battle is ongoing, and we’re undoubtedly losing).

However, amidst all this, we were thoroughly prepared to welcome our first group of guests for the season. The guides spent several nights during our camp construction testing the waters and locating some of the beautiful and elusive Nile Perch. These brief forays into the darkness left us eager to get clients on the water as we managed to conquer a few Perch measuring about 80-85cm in length, along with a new personal best for Head Guide Blaede, a fish measuring 104cm. This was enough to ignite excitement for the season.

After a few days of arduous travel, our guests finally arrived at Gassa Camp, brimming with anticipation. It didn’t take long at all to crack open some of the coldest beers in Cameroon. Straight into a briefing for the week and a discussion about tackle and techniques to catch these monsters, clients and guides alike set off for the first Perch session of the season.

We were approaching the perfect moon phase, water levels were optimal, and spirits were high. However, destination fishing is never straightforward, and the initial few nights of angling became a true test of character as the fish weren’t exactly “jumping into the boat.” We managed to land a couple of Perch this week, three measuring between 60 and 70cm and two significantly larger fish at 92cm and 93cm respectively. It was an incredibly slow week on the Faro by typical Perch standards. However, this never once deterred our anglers as they embraced the challenge each night, singing our battle song of “I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes” before casting their lines. After long stretches of silence in the dark, one could either hear Tim’s voice humming a tune or, more likely, see his disco lights flashing from red to green to blue as he wrestled with his head torch for the hundredth time. Chuckles echoed down the river as someone would mutter, “send it, Tim.”

Fortunately, after long nights wielding 12 weights, when the sun rose each morning, we knew the Tigerfish would be hungry, and indeed, they were. It took a mere 10 minutes on the first morning to convince our guests to use a popper and target these fish on the surface, and that marked the beginning of absolute carnage. All three species of Tigerfish in this magnificent river happen to go berserk when something makes noise above them. Throughout the week, all our anglers in camp enjoyed more than their fair share of surface and subsurface action. There were some spectacular Tigerfish landed this week, and as every fisherman knows, you’ll remember the ones that got away more than the ones you landed. I’m sure that’s the case for some of our guests this week when trophy Tigers were hooked and, through their dark magic, somehow managed to shake off the hooks. You knew it was a big fish when you saw a guide with his hands over his eyes as he dropped to his knees (accompanied by some colourful language).

Another notable mention is that all four clients managed to tick off a new species this week, the Niger Barb. However, they found more joy in being stripped senseless by Tigerfish rather than delicately catching Barbs on nymphs. Having said that, Preston Chase from the US managed to catch a Tiger by Euro-nymphing a Clouser in front of it, much to the delight of David (ex-comp angler turned guide) and the annoyance of Riley (an anti-Euro-nymph activist). It also took quite some time to rid everyone of what Benjamin Riebe claims is the “Montana trout set”; this became a quick response guides gave bewildered-looking guests when they missed their fifth Tiger in a row, “Montana trout set”!

Gassa Camp and the fishery offer an incredibly unique experience, challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Fly fishing at Gassa Camp was perfectly encapsulated by Preston as we set up rods on the riverbank, observing the hippos while the sky turned red with the sunset, “this is the f**king Mad Max of fly fishing,” a fitting description of this place. However, I never saw anyone in Mad Max enjoy Gin and Tonics paired with a cheese platter and beef sticks before their missions.

Overall, it was an epic first week at Gassa Camp, with an amazing group of anglers to kick off the season. There were plenty of laughs and beers around campfires and on the riverbanks, and stories we’ll cherish for years to come. A few broken rods too, but is it really a fishing trip if you haven’t broken a rod or two, Ben? In summary, it was a week of great company, good food, cold beers, strong coffee, hot showers, and most importantly, tight lines.

AW Guides, Riley Meyer, Blaede Russell, and David Taylor


If you fancy doing battle with the hard fighting Nile Perch of Cameroon then the Gassa Camp is a destination for you. If you’d also like any further information, you can contact our fly fishing specialist Peter Collingsworth on 01603 407596 or email at

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