The Trout of Mt Kenya and the Aberdares

I have spent a lot of time in Kenya over the years. My father was born there and so I still have some family over there. However my main connections to Kenya were through school friends. Many of my best mates at school  were from Kenya, and all of them were mad keen fly fisherman. I worked in Kenya on my gap-year before and after university, in 2001 and in 2006. In those two visits and on two others, I have had the privilege of fishing some of the lakes up on Mt Kenya and a few streams in the Aberdare Mountains to the south west of Mt Kenya. 

The lakes of Mt Kenya have to be some of the most beautiful still water fisheries around, with fantastic quality fishing. Lake Alice and Lake Michaelson in particular, are some of the few still water fisheries that I would get excited about fishing. They are difficult to access, especially on foot as I have done, but the reward is so much more when you actually hike in to these remote places. They are stocked with Rainbow trout by helicopter. Other than a helicopter they require a good walk to reach, especially lake Michaelson and Lake Ellis. Lake Alice is only an hours walk from where you can drive or fly to. These lakes are cold, clear and at a very high altitude of between 3500 m and about 4000 m. 

The Aberdares are a mountain range clad in forest and shrouded in mist. They are a lot lower than near by Mt Kenya but the highest peaks are still over 4000m. The Aberdares have a huge number of streams brimming with trout that flow out of its thick forest and high altitude moorlands. I have only fished two rivers, the Chania and the Honi. I understand that the best streams are very difficult to get to, and very seldom, if ever fished  other than by a handful of hardcore enthusiasts (friends of mine). There are also numerous fantastic streams that flow off Mt Kenya through its thick and impenetrable forests. According to my mates, many streams still need to be fully explored. That makes it a trout fishing paradise in my books. Throw in the odd elephant and buffalo, maybe even a hungry lion and there you have the ingredients for the ultimate trout fishing adventure!

Walking up to Lake Michaelson nestled beneath the jagged peaks of Mt Kenya.
Lake Michaelson: After many hours of driving along a shocking road, followed by a long hike up the mountain, we finally could see our destination. It was a good two days of traveling to get there. Could you get a more stunning backdrop for a trout lake?
Looking into the crater lake known as Lake Alice. This is the most popular of the lakes and is fairly regularly fished. There is another smaller lake, Lake Rotundu, below lake Alice with a log cabin to stay in.
Lake Alice
Scolla and I camped illegally for 3 nights on the lakes edge. What an epic time we had.
Dinner. The typical size fish you catch up there
Scolla on Lake Alice
An unusually shaped fish from Lake Alice
The moorlands on top of the Aberdare mountains. The Chania River flows through this plateau before plunging over a high waterfall into the forest below.
The Aberdare forests
Henry Henley plucked fish after fish from this pool on the Chania
A typical catch from the Chania River
The lower Honi River near Nyeri. Just below this pool on Henry and Jessica Henleys place, I bumped into a bull elephant quietly minding it’s own business. Thankfully he shat himself as much as I did and took of crashing into the bushes. Certainly makes for interesting fishing. Keep you eyes on the river and keep your eyes on the bush! 
I pulled a 3 an a half pounder out of this pool on the Honi River
This is the fish from the above pool
This is as far as Henry Henley knows the biggest fish caught in recent times in the Honi River. The fish above was the second biggest. Henry said the previous biggest fish was around 2lbs. It was just my lucky day to catch two huge fish in one day. They were caught on a Basuthu Basher.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s