As fly fishing guides go, Karim Boutellaka’s (of morocco-unexplored.com) world is a little different to most. He guides people in the region of Azrou in the Middle Atlas mountain range of Morocco for endemic trout and barbell species, while trying to promote and grow conservation initiatives.
Morocco fly fishing
5 best things about where you guide?
1. A catch-and-release lake for rainbow trout near Azrou, my hometown, open almost all year around, great fishing guaranteed.
2. The Oum Er-Rbia River has the fastest and clearest water in my country.
3. Draa River springs the longest river that crosses the desert and holds the most endangered trout. Scientists think that these could be the oldest trout in the world at over 2 million years old.
4. Ouandrass in the High Atlas, the Amazigh people, the canyon, the waterfalls, and the abundance of endemic trout.
5. Lake Isli where I am still failing at catching one fish! The behaviour of its green trout is still a mystery!
5 fishing-connected items you don’t leave home without before making a mission?
1. Smith polarized sunglasses that were a gift from The Ambleve Bedrock Foundation.
2. Marc Petitjean Amadou which was a gift from a very good friend from Kyiv.
3. Fishpond rubber landing net to deal with our delicate fish.
4. My Nikon Camera D7100, it’s old and heavy but a must to capture those beautiful creations.
5. A tagine pot to make a delicious dinner when spending the night somewhere.
5 people you would like to guide or fish with?
1. Crown Prince of Morocco Moulay Hassan. Fishing with him will definitely bring huge attention toward the conservation of Morocco’s native Saharan trout.
2. Nour-Eddine Fatehi, a Moroccan fishing guide in Iceland.
3. I’d love to fish with Peter Fong in Mongolia’s rivers.
4. Niklaus Bauer from Flydressing.se for fly fishing for pike.
5. My best friend Jamjoum. I would love to fish with him in another country.
5 of the most underrated species in your book?
1. Varicorhinus maroccanus
4. Common rudd for the younger generation
5 things (outside of the fishing) that make where you fish so special?
1. The hospitality and kindness of the local Amzigh people in the high mountains.
2. The diverse nature and scenery of Morocco.
3. The culture on display if you visit imperial cities like Marrakech and Fez.
4. The food.
5. The good weather – we get a lot of sun – and our proximity to Europe.
Read the rest of Karim’s High Fives in issue 41. It’s free my dude!