The Mother Country

Exploring Ethiopia’s Untouched Water

Our goal was to find new, unexplored fishing—not just places no one had ever been, but places no one had ever dreamed about. We had to get off the beaten track. My friend Sven and I grew up in Kenya and have explored most of the fishing Uganda, Tanzania and East Africa have to offer. That’s wild and off the beaten track as far as flyfishing goes, but we wanted to go further.

Across the world from one another, Sven and I sat on Skype brainstorming. We knew the destination had to be in Africa—but where? I had a flash of memory—a couple of dusty colonial flyfishermen. It was in Kenya around a bush campfire. They whispered of Ethiopia and its rivers. I haven’t got the best memory, but when someone mentions fishing, that information is banked.

Water and flyfishing don’t jump to the front of mind when the topic is Ethiopia, but with a few clicks on Google Earth, mountains, lush forests, lakes and rivers come into view. Were there fish? It almost didn’t matter. Our mission was set—flyfish Ethiopia. We booked flights, packed gear and off we went into an unknown country—unknown to us, unknown to almost everyone, really…

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