Since its inception in 1986, FOSAF has led and continues to lead a series of initiatives of benefit to fly fishing in particular and to the aquatic environment as a whole. Including:


  • Negotiations and discussions with Government and Provincial Authorities on the situation in the Cape where angling for trout was deregulated. As a result, suitable arrangements have been worked out between the Cape Department of Nature Conservation and the Cape Piscatorial Society who now control these waters.


  • Publishing an official journal which has grown into the popular bi-monthly magazine SA Flyfishing which is now online. A magazine that, although we no longer have a financial interest in, continues to play a role in disseminating FOSAF communications to our members and the fly-fishing public in general.


  • Holding discussions with timber companies to promote flyfishing as a sport and to obtain concessions for fly fishers on their land or waters.


  • Liaising with Provincial trout hatcheries and authorities regarding the breeding and stocking of trout.
  • Organising a tour of prominent international Flyfishers to South Africa to promote the sport of flyfishing and local flyfishing opportunities as a tourist attraction.
  • Rendering advice and guidance to authorities and anglers concerning the ethics and discipline of trout fishing. ONGOING


  • Supporting the efforts of the Eastern Cape Chapter which has facilitated cost effective methods for rearing trout as well as researching and recommending the merits and value of stocking remote areas with trout fry.


  • Assisting in funding and obtaining displays for the flyfishing section of the Knysna Angling Museum.
  • Making important submissions to government (Provincial and National) on white papers (policy) and legislation on Forestry, Water Affairs, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs. ONGOING


  • Hosting a watershed workshop entitled "TROUT '94" where 33 presenters from government departments, researchers and other interested parties produced papers from which 61 issues emerged which were handled at a further workshop in August '95 and resulted in the formulation of FOSAF Policy Guidelines in 1996.


  • Negotiating with the Mpumalanga Parks Board to prevent the de-regulation of the protection of trout waters which now have protection as flyfishing waters as well as assisting with the drafting of the applicable legislation. Providing advice and guidance on the debate which resulted in permission being granted for the stocking of trout in Wakkerstroom.
  • Producing and publishing the first comprehensive guide on flyfishing venues in Southern Africa, The Nedbank Guide to Flyfishing Venues in Southern Africa in 1996 with four subsequent editions published with sponsorship from Nedbank. This was a milestone in the promotion of and association with fly fishing by major sponsors.
  • Providing funding to the Wild Trout Association and Rhodes University for their Geographical Information System project to help to manage fly fishing waters and provide useful information to anglers.


  • Obtaining a sponsored vehicle from Samcor for the Dept. of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, for work on behalf of the Eastern Cape Chapter of FOSAF.
  • Holding Trout '97 Workshop and developing proceedings on small scale breeding of trout, weed control, stocking strategies, managing high and low intensity fisheries and improving the productivity of man-made impoundments in Mpumalanga.
  • Commissioning a study on the economic benefits on flyfishing in South Africa by a researcher at Stellenbosch University, and a major market research project by Markinor in 2001.
  • Founding the Yellowfish Working Group (YWG) to uplift the status of this magnificent indigenous freshwater game fish as an angling species and to promote its conservation, protection and re habilitation. The first National YWG Conference was held in 1997 and subsequently conferences are held on an annual basis.


  • Instituting FOSAF Exemplary Service Awards. These have been awarded to Prof Kadar Asmal for his Working for Water Project, to Dr Louis Wolhuter and Garth Brook for their contribution in the production of the Nedbank Guide to Flyfishing Venues in Southern Africa, to Dr Douglas Hey of CapeNature for his massive contribution to conservation and to Andy Lawlor for pioneering work on introducing paraplegics to fly fishing. Other notable recipients are Fred Croney, Ed Herbst, Bill Barnes, Pierre de Villiers, Dave Rorke, Brian von Holdt, Bill Bainbridge, Dean Impson, Harvey Venter, Jake Alletson, Theo van Niekerk, Mark Yelland, Thomas du Toit, Trevor and Sue Babich and Andre and Moira van van Winkel and Bob Crass. Ronnie Pitt, Koos Pretorius and Mariette Lieffrink.
  • Assisting a faculty member of Stellenbosch University to attend a conference in Australia to present a paper on small development programmes for aquaculture in South Africa.


  • Co-operating with the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Highland Crane Group by funding and advising on workshops on the situating of eco-friendly dams and assisting with the pioneering Mpumalanga Highlands Wetland Study with a project cost of R100 000.
  • Providing funding to the KwaZulu-Natal Chapter of FOSAF and the School of Environment and Development to assess and develop the potential of fly fishing in the Underberg district with community-based resource management strategies.


  • Providing guidance and encouragement for the development of flyfishing facilities in all provinces of which the very successful Wild Trout Association of the Eastern Cape is a good example.
  • Making financial contributions to conservation departments such as the CapeNature to help fund the attendance of scientific officers at international conferences important to Flyfishers.
  • Sponsoring renowned international anglers and authors Darrel Martin (USA) and Taff Price (UK) to fish for our indigenous yellowfish and saltwater species and promote South African flyfishing in the international press.


  • Developed a FOSAF Website that provides up-to-date reports on angling conditions and other vital environmental and fly-fishing news throughout the country.
  • Initiating in 2001, through the Yellowfish Working Group, a major study on the population genetics of the two Orange-Vaal yellowfish species. This study was undertaken mainly with funding by AngloGold-Ashanti and Lesotho Highlands Authority while much of the initial sampling was undertaken by YWG volunteers. The study was finalized in 2007 and these findings have led to other organizations carrying out similar studies on other yellowfish species.


  • Publishing a popular series of books titled Favoured Flies & Select Techniques of the Experts, Volumes 1 to 5.


  • Helping job creation by supporting the Highlands Academy, set up to train previously disadvantaged youngsters as fly-fishing guides.
  • Publishing various papers and bulletins including The Yellowfish Working Group Newsletter and The Tippet (a general newsletter to FOSAF members) as well as various pamphlets of interest to fly fishermen in general. ONGOING


  • Producing the highly acclaimed report State of the Yellowfish in South Africa - 2007 with sponsorship from the Water Research Commission, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the River Health Programme. This was followed by the Technical Report of 2008.


  • The FOSAF Guide to Flyfishing Destinations replaces the very successful Nedbank Guide series.


  • Helped form the Steenkampsberg Environmental Initiative, a coalition together with environmental organisations such as EWT, WESSA, Birdlife SA and also with the MTPA to protect the Dullstroom plateau from the threat of mining.


  • Commissioned the University of Johannesburg to undertake a study of the tourist industry in Dullstroom and surrounding region. Results available on this website at
  • For the last 10 years have been negotiating with the authorities with regard to the provisions of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEM:BA) with particular reference to those fishes classified as invasives and in particular trout. ONGOING


  • Assisted with the reorganisation of the Mpumalanga Trout Association later to become the Northern Trout Association.


  • Assisted in the formation of Trout South Africa, a commodity group encompassing the entire trout value chain.


  • Continued to oppose applications to prospect and mine in the Mpumalanga Trout Triangle together with major environmental NGO’s and the Greater Lakenvlei Protected Environment Landowners Association.


  • Launched our court application against the DEA (now DEFF) regarding the failure to provide sufficient information during the consultation around the proposed listing of trout as invasive.


  • In the first half of 2020 our court application against the DEA (now DEFF) reached its final stages with heads of argument being filed.
  • Successfully settled an urgent interdict to stop the AIS regulations and listing of trout as invasive as gazetted in September by DFFE.
  • Represented in the task team appointed by the Minister after representations through Aquaculture SA to find a solution to the "regulation of trout".


  • Won its court case against the DFFE in the judgement handed down in September and was awarded costs. Decided to oppose the decision of the DFFE Minister to appeal the judgement handed down in the court case.
  • Continued participation in the task team on the "regulation of trout".
  • Assisted with the funding of the ‘Save the Sandfish’ project in the Cederberg area of the Western Cape.


  • In March the DFFE appealed the judgement of 10/09/2021 in which FOSAF won its court case with costs against the department. FOSAF opposed this appeal and judgement is expected later in the year.
  • In September the court refused the DFFE's appeal with costs.
  • Commenced discussions with the DFFE regarding the Draft Aquaculture Development Bill.
  • Assisted with the funding of the ‘Save the Sandfish’ project in the Cederberg area of the Western Cape.


  • Having had their appeal refused with costs in September 2022 the DFFE then petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal. FOSAF again opposed this application, and the application was dismissed with costs by the SCA February 2023.
  • Having lost twice with costs the DFFE then approached the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the 2021 judgement. FOSAF’s lawyers in March then had to submit their opposing affidavit opposing DFFE’s application for leave to appeal.
  • In June the Constitutional Court refused the Minister of Environmental Affairs’ application for leave to appeal the 2021 judgement obtained by FOSAF in the case about the Minister’s duty to provide sufficient information to allow for informed consultation in the trout case. This means that the Task team appointed by the Minister in 2021 and which includes representatives from FOSAF, the Northern Trout Association and other stakeholders will have to negotiate a solution to the matter.
  • As a member of the SAVE the Vaal Environment committee FOSAF supported this NGO with its court action against both a municipality and government on grounds of the latter’s dereliction of duty by non-performance, misappropriation of funds and by their allowing wastewater treatment works and sewage pump stations to degrade into a state of breakdown and disrepair.
  • Together with the Northern Trout Association attended the public participation meetings required for the very controversial draft Aquaculture Development Bill (ADB). This was followed by a meeting in November in Cape Town with the DFFE as part of the Task Team to try and resolve the trout case and during the afternoon session to discuss the ADB. It was agreed there would be follow-up meetings for both issues in late January 2024.


  • In January together with TroutSA and AquaSA met with the DFFE in Cape Town again. On the first day to discuss the listing of Trout as Invasive and on the second day to discuss the controversial draft Aquaculture Development Bill. As is now normal FOSAF and its allies had to pay their own travel and accommodation costs.