FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Trout - Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands

Date of Report: Wednesday, 10th January 2018
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Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262


An Umgeni brown

Trout:  Midlands of KZN.

It’s interesting to see what happens when you are pushed to somewhere outside your comfort zone.  This week the NFFC closed several of its more popular waters due to high water temperatures (22 degrees C plus). This forced a few members to scan through the list of waters that have remained open (just as warm, but are seldom fished, or have a high population of trout). One such member ventured out and fished a water that for some strange reason has had very low rod pressure of late. Very low! And BAM …he gets 10 fish, none of which are under 4 pounds, and 2 of which are over 5.   Don’t you just hate him?

Well, before you gnash your teeth, bear in mind that the water he fished didn’t look great. He said it was low, and weedy and the bankside vegetation was rank. The only place he could fish was in the holes between the weed. Many of us would have gone home. The moral of the story is that the adventurous and persistent flyfishers get the big catches.

Graeme and I fished a similarly low and weedy water just before Christmas, and he made a pig of himself there too. (Pig…see what I just did there?  Well if you were sharp enough to pick up on the hint, tough…its closed now)

So where do you go. The club has closed waters. Highmoor is closed until March . It’s hot.

Before you despair:  There are many club stillwaters still open, AND there are of course the rivers. There is also Wildfly water.  It is interesting that the rivers are so often a degree or two cooler, and coupled with the fact that they are well oxygenated, they remain a viable option even though we are in the throes of our hottest season. I suppose that has to do with them flowing down off high ground, where it is cooler, if not always by day, most certainly at night. On the Umgeni, I measured 19 degrees last week-end, and I saw a similar report from the Bushmans.  And speaking of the Bushmans, it continues to produce hogs, both in the private water at Snowflake, and in the tribal water. I saw photos on Facebook of some New Zealand-like browns, and I was lucky enough to get a 21 incher there myself during the Christmas break. The Mooi is also fishing well, with a great many 17 to 19 inch fish around. Umgeni fish are more sparse, but the rod pressure is a lot lower too, so it is a consideration. PD and I got 3 fish there 2 weeks ago…10, 14 and 16 inches.

Flies?  Well, here is something to ponder:  In his book “Prospecting for Trout”, Tom Rosenbauer reminds us of his theory that any trout…and if I remember correctly, I think he says Brown Trout… over 14 inches is a different beast.  By that he means that it can’t really sustain itself sipping teeny little mayflies and the like. It has to eat frogs, crabs and other big chunky meals. Many writers will tell you that browns are more inclined to eat these big things at night, or in cloudy water.  So back to the Umgeni. What flies?  Big woolly buggers, thrown into water that started out a bit cloudy. Yes, the water did clear. No, we didn’t change to little emergers. Yes, we caught browns.

OK…all those fishing the brown trout rivers of the KZN Midlands after dark with big flies, raise your hands…………….I thought not.

It’s interesting to see what happens when you are pushed to somewhere outside your comfort zone. 

Maybe I will bump into you on a river in the Midlands. Literally.


The Bushmans in tribal land