FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Trout - Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands

Date of Report: Saturday, 7th July 2018
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Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262

During the month of June the Natal Fly Fishers club saw some 26 rod days fished on their waters, which produced 93 Trout.  It was pleasing to see 9 fish in the 4 to 6 pound bracket, and interestingly, only 7 fish kept.  The guys really seem to be embracing catch and release! 

The Kamberg Trout Festival happened in June too, and 42 teams caught a whopping 933 fish, totaling 3.7kms in length if laid tail to snout.  That works out at about 2.7 fish per day per angler, if my maths is right.  Average length was 39cms, with some dams at 30cms and one water producing a few fish averaging 52cms!

The Boston festival went off well too, with a number of anglers raving about a particular water…a new dam….and as we know, new dams go through a glory period.  If only we knew how to  repeat that glory period….  One idea doing the rounds is to not stock or fish a dam for a few years, then go visit it.  That requires some restraint and patience, and I guess you need somewhere else to go fishing while you wait.   Food for thought.

Teams are also fishing in the “corporate Challenge” in Nottingham Road as I type this. It will be interesting to see how they go.

Many of us were starting to mumble that this winter is turning out a tad warm, but then last week it hit with a sting and the sub zero temperatures set in.  I agree with that old farmers saying that a crisp winter and a wet summer go together and give ideal conditions for things to grow. In our case of course, it is Trout.  I don’t know that the saying suggests that a cold winter WILL follow a wet summer. In other words is it a causal statement? Possibly not, but either way, we had a wet summer and now we are having a cold enough winter. The jury is out until July is done, but either way, I am optimistic about our spring fishing.  I mean, Midmar was overflowing well into June; I saw the Umgeni last week and it was looking mighty fine; and most of the dams I have seen are still overflowing!

 An interesting incident that may be food for thought. Some friends of mine were fishing Highmoor recently, where they encountered another angler. He was fly-fishing, but beyond that, they found they had little in common with the man in terms of ethics. Apparently, he was using a number of “flies”, which turned out to be plastic beads the shape and hue of a trout egg. He holed up in the corner of the dam, and caught stockie after stockie. Many of the fish were held out of the water for unhooking and the like, some for as long as a minute and a half. The guy hogged the corner of the dam and didn’t move from his spot.  Each time he caught a fish he reached into a small cooler box before casting out again.  Who knows what that was about!   We all have a different take on ethics, and all have different levels of knowledge on how to handle fish.   Do you confront someone on the water when you see them doing something that rubs you up the wrong way, or do you let it go?  Where do you draw the line between letting it go, and manning up to go and say something. Knowing you may end up with an ugly confrontation, I think most of us let it go, but grumble to our friends back home.  I don’t have the answer, but I suspect we can never do enough to educate the fishing public about catch and release, and we all need to accept that our measure of what is acceptable in fly-fishing is just that….our own measure, and not the final word. 

I hear that Wildfly are re-launching their website this month, and I look forward to seeing that.  On the cards for Saturday 25th August is the launch of the NFFC’s community project on the Bushmans River. Look out for that. Then there is a month of cold winter fishing ahead of us, followed by the windy dusty month of August that can be rather ugly, but in which the Stillwater fishing can be surprisingly good, and in which snail patterns seem to come into their own.   Lots to look forward to!

 Tight lines



  A winter Rainbow caught in June.


Greame Steart out on his tube.