There were Colobus on the bumpy track down to Southern camp on the day after our centenary dinner. How appropriate. They must have greeted the camp’s clients all those years ago too.
It was a great dinner and to be the first visitors in our 100th year seemed a privilege.
We were four – Peter Francombe, the king of the valleys, and Shelley had arrived earlier to oversee the stocking of the Northern. Vanessa Strong and I followed later. It had been long in the planning. I helped Vanessa – Ness as she is known to all – develop her fly fishing on the same waters about 20 years ago.
Living in Dubai these past eight years, it was a pleasant shock to see the garden furniture, plants and bird feeders I had bequeathed the camp years ago still in good shape and still in use.
But we came to fish. We split up on beat four before heavy rain drove us back onto the patio to watch the birds feast on the termites. Franks (Francombe) caught 10. Ness two. I got nothing.
Thunderous rain drummed on the roof as the fire crackled and we wondered if there would be fishing the next day.
The river was high and coloured but fishable by early afternoon infact, and a joy to fish.
Appropriate too that the Dudu Mia, tied especially for the centenary, should account for many of those fish caught. I was luckier the next day after Franks and Shelley left and got 10 fish, of which the biggest was about the same as Frank’s, 12 ounces. Ness got four more so the total score was 10-6-10.
Twenty six fish on the first day of our hundredth year. I wonder if the pith helmeted gentlemen and ladies ever imagined that their club would last so long, be so strong and bring so much happiness to those who use the camps. Please use them.