Flyfishing report: Saltwater - Garden Route

Date of Report: Tuesday, 10th January 2023
Name: Brian Sowden
Phone: 076 0525634

Wishing all our readers a prosperous new year for 2023

Flyfishing in the Garden Route has been good over the festive season. Plenty fly fisher folk about wielding the long rod. Most of the estuaries are still closed which doesn't bode well for fly fishing especially those going after grunter. Goukamma however did open about a month ago and is still open which gives the guys going for grunter a better chance with the tidal movement in that system.

Deon Stevens from Tidal Loops had a busy time on the waters of Knysna and Plet and had this to say

"Last Thursday John Barry and I ventured into the land of Grunter Whisperers to try for some Grunter. After a coffee and chat John and I headed out from Thesen Island chasing tails. We saw plenty, and we managed to land 3 Grunter before a cold mist came in from the heads, so we call it day. Great day out. On Friday 8 of us headed into the Karoo to chase down Smallmouth Yellows. Some of us did very well, catching some fish just short of 3 kg's. Sunday morning we all headed our separate ways, and tomorrow Tidal Loops is fully booked before heading to Sterkfontein with 2 groups for two weeks. Then back home again for the holiday season, and hopefully tick off a few more Grunter with clients. How is that for diversification?

Busy Busy, but wouldn't want it any other way.

After spending Christmas with my folks up in Mpumalanga, yesterday Tidal Loops was back on the water, this time in Plett, in some seriously miserable weather.

By all accounts, Gunter have been hard to find, but good friend Francis Cousins finally managed to tempt one out of the depths on a Sparkle Clouser in the morning session. Not a trophy, but still a Grunter on fly. Tx Francis and Richard Staub for joining Tidal Loops for the morning.

For the afternoon session I had ex-professional skateboarder Clayton Pietersen. Sadly, no Grunter or Garrick, but another chance to spend time on the water with a lekker bloke."

The Garden Route Fly Fishers had a Bass Day and GRFF meet at Portland Manor on the 10th of December to go after those lunkers that can be found in that piece of water. Quite a few bass were caught as the dam has a good population of bass.

It is very good to see that the fly-fishing community is alive and well in our area.

It seems like the Knysna Estuary is the place where the most action is at. The Garrick are also plentiful, though the larger specimens have eluded us, but quite a few rats about that are willing to take the fly. Deon Stevens also had a go at Grunter and managed 2 fish of good size here in Knysna of Thesen Islands.

We still have a few summer months available to us and am sure there will be a few catches to come.




Francis Cousins with a grunter from Plett waters.


Deon Stevens with a Grunter from Knysna