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:
- Negotiating with Government and Provincial Authorities on the situation in the Cape where angling for trout was deregulated. As a result of these negotiations and discussions, 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 Flyfishing. Although we no longer have a financial interest in the magazine, it continues to play a role in supporting FOSAF by disseminating communications to our members and the fly fishing public in general.
- Making donations to various organisations for research projects to benefit flyfishing. These include: cost effective breeding of trout, genetic selection and breeding of tigerfish and research on the population genetics of yellowfish.
- Holding discussions with timber companies to promote flyfishing as a sport and to obtain access for flyfishers to their land or waters.
- Organising flyfishing expositions which have been held in Grahamstown, Barkly East, Stutterheim, King William's Town and Somerset East.
- 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.
- Providing advice and guidance to authorities and anglers concerning the ethics, best practice and discipline of trout fishing.
- Supporting the efforts of the Eastern Cape Chapter to facilitate 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 on white papers, legislation and regulations on Forestry, Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs.
- 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. These policies and principles which guide FOSAF's actions were updated in 2003 and are again under revision.
- Negotiating with the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency to prevent the de-regulation of the protection of trout waters which now have protection as flyfishing waters. Providing advice and guidance to them in the drafting of their new legislation and 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 and thereafter on our own.
- 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, also in 1997, 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. Having this study updated in 2014.
- 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 the re-habilitation of its habitat. The first National YWG Conference was held in 1997 and subsequently conferences were held on an annual basis up to 2015. Proceedings of these conferences are published on this website together with other important scientific and related papers.
- 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.
- Providing guidance, encouragement and support 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 Cape Nature Conservation to help fund the attendance of scientific officers at international conferences important to flyfishers.
- Liaising and co-operating with other NGO's with similar interests such as the Endangered Wild Life Trust, BirdLife SA, Federation for a Sustainable Environment, Eco Care Trust and Save the Vaal Environment, WESSA, DUCT, WAG, MCSA, as well as various official agencies.
- 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 Cape Nature Conservation 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, Koss Pretorius, Mariette Lieffrink and Trevor Babich.
- 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.
- Assisting the Free State Chapter with the stocking of the Swartwater impoundment that produced the incredible 18lb. 2oz. Rainbow trout caught by Mike Posthumous.
- 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.
- 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.
- Providing funding through KwaZulu-Natal Chapter of FOSAF and the School of Environment and Development to the Mabandla Community for a study to assess the socio-economic attitudes of local communities and the potential for developing a fly fishing eco-tourism project in the district with community-based fishery resource management strategies.
- 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.
- Developing and managing a FOSAF Website that provides up-to-date reports on angling conditions throughout the country together with other fly fishing related information.
- 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.
- Promoting job creation by supporting the establishment of the Highlands Academy and developing suitable training materials to train previous disadvantaged youngsters as fly fishing guides. Several of these guides were subsequently employed by fly fishing lodges.
- Publishing various papers and bulletins including the monthly 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.
- Launched the FOSAF Guide to Southern Africa which replaces the old Nedbank Guide thus continuing to provide the fly-fishing industry with an invaluable resource service.
- In May 2011 formed a coalition named the 'Steenkampsberg Environmental Initiative' (SEI) together with the Mpumalanga Tourism & Parks Authority and a number of environmental NGO's such as EWT, Birdlife SA, FSE and WESSA. The objective is to protect from mining and other inappropriate developments, the unique and endangered biodiversity and extensive wetlands of the Dullstroom plateau. This area also includes much of the famous Trout Triangle.
- FOSAF together with its SEI coalition partners were successful in having the Greater Lakenvlei Protected Environment declared in April 2017 and aim to have further Protected Environments declared in the Mpumalanga Trout Triangle.
- For the last 11 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 listed as alien/invasive including trout.
- Commissioned the University of Johannesburg to undertake a study of the tourist industry in Dullstroom and surrounding region. Results were published in 2013 and are also included on this website. This research led to further studies of the tourist industry in the area and the potential impact of mining on tourism and the environment.
- Assisted in the reorganization of the Mpumalanga Trout Association.
- Assisted in the formation of Trout South Africa a commodity group encompassing the entire trout value chain.
- Assisted with the transformation of the Mpumalanga Trout Association into the larger Northern Trout Association by incorporating the provinces of KZN, Gauteng, Free State and Limpopo.
- Together with the major environmental NGO’s and the Greater Lakenvlei Protected Environment Association continued to oppose applications to prospect and mine in the Mpumalanga Trout Triangle.
- In the first half of 2020 our court application against the DEA (now DEFF) regarding the listing of trout as invasive reached its final stages with heads of argument being filed. Expect the matter to be set down for a hearing now.