|Date of Report: Wednesday, 29th March 2017|
|Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262
In my February piece I wrote of recent widespread rainfall. That event certainly gave the summer a fantastic boost in these parts and even our big supply dams went from the 50% levels to 70% and more. But several of the important ones are not overflowing, and with the commencement of cooler weather and a few dry spells, it is unlikely that they will fill this year.
The Kobus Botha weather data (google that…its good!) shows us at 125% of our summer rainfall to date in half our area, and 100% in the balance, with the wetter areas being up in the mountains. That is not half bad. What it doesn’t show is the rain shadow around Greytown where the NFFC has a few good dams. Those are still perilously low and closed to fishermen. The rest of the NFFC dams are producing stockies hand over fist on many days, but still fewer big fish. Except for one dam , which has produced fantastic fish of 22 to 24 inches. No: I won’t tell you which one.
Some of us ushered in the seasonal opening of Highmoor at the beginning of the month. One of our number, who shall remain nameless, made a pig of himself, but don’t worry…he was made to down tequila at Notties afterwards. The fish there were stockies too, but there were some carry-over fish amongst them too…nice fish! Red bloodworms seemed to be what did the trick.
I fished the Umgeni the other day, and it was as clear as gin, which was pleasing, but we struggled. I did spot and photograph one 12 inch fish, but didn’t manage to land it.
The Mooi has been fishing as well, if not better than I can recall in the last 20 years. That is a big statement to make, and a few buddies probably want to bop me over the head, because I told them that, and they went there and blanked. But I am still saying it. Fish over 17 inches (45cms) have not been at all uncommon. Trevor Sithole got several of those, and I was fortunate to land one too, as was Tim Martin.
Nineteen incher from the Mooi
Across at the Bushmans a fish just shy of 20 inches was caught! That is a half metre Trout! From a stream! I tell you, I am leaving on a 7hr drive on Saturday to go and fish elsewhere, but I keep asking myself why I would want to do such a silly thing when we have this going on right here.
During March we have been fishing full, but falling rivers. Both Trevor and I caught our fish on heavy nymphs, sunk deep. As the flows drop however, you will need less lead, and if you don’t adapt, you will hang up on the bottom an awful lot. So my advice would be to tie your PTN , GRHE etc in models with double tungsten beads (in case we get Easter rains, which is not uncommon), single tungsten beads, brass beads, and no beads. That way you will have it all covered.
And on the day…try this too. Tie in a tippet piece of about 1 to 2 foot with a barrel knot (blood knot) at each end, and a hopper threaded onto the tippet between. Then down on the point, hang your heavy nymph. Now your nymph can choose its own level within that range of 1 to 2 foot by pulling tippet through the eye of the hopper as it sinks…stay on the bottom, and transmit takes to the hopper up on the surface. Being autumn, and therefore hopper season, the hopper may just bag a few fish too.
Paul De Wet with a 13 incher from the Mooi