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Tourette Fishing (www.tourettefishing.com) offers an unusual a multiday hiking / camping excursion into a remote part of the Kingdom of Lesotho in pursuit of trout or yellowfish. Want to get really out there on a fishing trip? I mean sleep in a tent, hike, work up a sweat, and sit around a campfire at night? All this in a country you probably never heard of? This might be the trip for you. Some details follow, but first a few words about South Africa-based Tourette Fishing.
We’ve mentioned this company previously in these pages in connection with tigerfishing trips in Tanzania and elsewhere in Africa. The company is also making waves with its ongoing exploratory trips to the Red Sea off the coast of Sudan. Angling Report subscriber Gary Anderson is scheduled to take part in one of those exploratory trips in April, and he has promised us a report. You can see for yourself how varied and unusual Tourette’s full menu of offerings is by going to the company’s Web site.
What excites us here at The Angling Report about the company is its youthful energy and drive. Tourette clearly recognizes the almost untapped fishing potential that can be realized across Africa by joint venturing with hunting companies that have created infrastructure in very remote parts of the continent and gained government permission to exploit the local wildlife on a sustainable-use basis. That’s the way the company’s Tanzanian tigerfish trip was created. You can bet some additional fishing trips are going to be emerging soon in places like Uganda, Cameroon, maybe even Ethiopia and other parts of Sudan.
So, what about the company’s name – Tourette Fishing? In the United States, the company’s name suggests physical tics and compulsive cursing and yelling. Several subscribers have remarked unfavorably about the name, calling it off-putting. Not to worry: the owners are not suffering from the disease as Americans think of it. They are young men who are simply passionate about fishing. According to Tourette’s Rob Scott, he and Keith Clover coined the name in college, where they dreamed up the idea for a fishing company. “With regard to how the name Tourette Fishing came into being, we took it from the formal definition of Tourette’s Syndrome, not from the definition most people know,” Scott says. “Tourette’s Syndrome is classified as a compulsion to the nth degree – thus, any compulsion that cannot be controlled. When Keith and I were at university, we used to joke that we had Tourette’s Syndrome for fishing. We just had to go fishing; it was a compulsion we couldn’t control. Hence, when we started the business, it was a name that stuck.”
Back to the company’s trip to Lesotho. . . . Here are some high lights, directly from Keith Clover, starting with background information about the country: “Lesotho, or officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country completely surrounded by its only neighboring country, South Africa. It is just over 11,583 square miles in size and has a population of just over two million people. It has an average altitude of more than 2,000 meters above sea level (about 6,500 feet) and is fondly referred to as the ‘mountain kingdom.’ Due to its high average altitude and myriad pristine mountain streams and rivers that crisscross it, Lesotho offers habitat perfectly suited to trout.
“Trout were first introduced here in the late 1900s, and as in many other countries in the Southern Hemisphere, trout have flourished in Lesotho. Wild populations are now part of the country’s fauna. There are populations of both rainbow and brown trout in the various systems, while indigenous yellowfish thrive in the lower reaches of many streams. Yellowfish are among the finest freshwater fly-fishing targets available. Often referred to as freshwater bonefish due to their general shape, speed, and power, these feisty fish feed on invertebrates (like trout), and they are mainly targeted with standard trout flies, both wet and dry. Fishing large terrestrials to these river speedsters is among the most exciting freshwater angling there is in Southern Africa. Lesotho is a three-hour drive from Johannesburg or Durban in South Africa, or you can fly direct from Johannesburg to the capital, Maseru.”
If you are interested in a Lesotho trip focused on trout or yellowfish, you can get the cost and logistical details on the Tourette Fishing Web site. Suffice it to say, this is a camping trip that involves a lot of walking. You fish your way from camp to camp and sleep in a tent at night. Lots of stars at night and good fish tales. The price is right, and you can drive it down even further by bringing and preparing your own food. Obviously, this is not for the physically challenged. Enjoy!