|Date of Report: Monday, 27th February 2017|
|Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262
My good friend Anton, said to me this afternoon “nothing like a cool February”. He is quite right of course, and at the time he uttered these words we were both in the mist at eleven degrees C minus a few for windchill, and had just caught two trout each.
But he was of course forgetting that 10 days ago we were sweltering in perfectly normal, awful February heat. We were also facing a less favourable conclusion to summer than that which we are now experiencing. I suspect he was also forgetting that at least one of my fish was much bigger than his.
But like me, He is less enamoured with matters competitive, and more absorbed with good climatic news. And this February rainfall is indeed good climatic news. The deluge (100mm or more in a week) has been widespread, and widely celebrated. The dams are gushing over, and the rivers are in spate. I was in the Kamberg doing some modelling work yesterday (Yes…modelling work. No…I wouldn’t wear the make-up) , and all the dams we saw were full, even those that had been perilously low. There were a few of those too…waters that despite a fairly normal summer had simply not been adequately slaked to have shed the vestiges of the drought. But thankfully it is now all behind us.
Anton, as well as my friend Brian Smith, both expressed that in their respective lifetimes, some of the most magical Trout fishing came after severe droughts, like that of 1983 and 1992. The way the stock fish (ones put into dams in October last year) are fattening up, I think we may just be in for a great time ahead. Those fish were stocked at sizes varying from 2 to 6 inches, and are now being reported at sizes from 8 to 15 inches. That is good growth!
A look into a dam like the NFFC’s “Bomi” dam gives you an idea of why the growth has been so good. It is a veritable soup of Trout food. In particular the stick caddis are thick! I saw white “wurmpies” sticking out, but Wayne Stegen reports seeing yellow ones on a Wildfly water recently. Either way, the place is thick with these soft centred “Trout sweeties” .
Andrew Beach missed a really big Trout on the Bushmans a week or two back. He reported the river really full, and a bit slate-coloured, but fishable. Fish were few and far between, as has been reported by others this season, and the one heart stopper he got merely threw the barbless hook. The Mooi has been producing more fish than the Bushmans, but by all accounts has been more flooded and more dirty of late. The Umgeni is barreling along, and is off colour but not totally unfishable.
The two Trout I got this afternoon fell to a baitfish pattern, which they sipped gently. You figure that one out, because I sure as hell can’t!
Topsy turvey times you might say, but they are times of plenty, and I for one am not complaining. The heat is perhaps largely behind us, and night time temperatures below 10 degrees have commenced. “Nothing like a cool wet March”. Let’s see how it turns out.