Botswana's Bodacious Behemoths

Fishing for Giraffefish in the Okavango Swamp

Each time I reared back on my rod to try to jerk my fly free of the giraffe's twitching ear, the stubborn animal would whip its neck back and nearly tear my rod out of my hands. If it wasn't for the great drag of my Ross Canyon reel, I am sure the unruly beast's actions would have popped the leader. To make matters even more annoying, I was now being chastised by my fishing guide, Don Price, who only moments before had instructed me to watch my back cast so that I didn't get hung up in some papyrus or something. I wish he had been more forthcoming regarding that "something."

"Bloody hell, Bob, I told you to watch out behind you. Now you must go over there, climb the bloody giraffe, and free your fly."

"How about if I just shoot the giraffe and get my fly back when it falls down?" I queried.

"Oh, no, mustn't do that. The giraffe won't fit in the boat. We would have to leave it here. Can't do that. That's wasting an animal. Unethical, you see. Besides, you don't have a permit to shoot the giraffe," he replied matter-of-factly.

Then it got ugly: The giraffe decided to leave. Instantly realizing that even a Ross Canyon couldn't stop a determined giraffe, I cranked down on the drag as far as it would go, pointed the rod at the rude animal, and popped the leader. To the best of my knowledge, the giraffe is still wearing my 2/0 Lefty's Deceiver.

Fortunately, I bought it at L.L.Bean and, because they guarantee everything, I am expecting a free replacement very soon.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 4 Dec 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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