FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Yellowfish - East Free State

Date of Report: Wednesday, 3rd February 2021
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Name: David Weaver
Phone: 083 303 4230

Cyril says the beaches and dams are to be opened.  Sterkfontein resort remains closed. So, unless you have a booking at Qwantani, there is no access to the dam.

I have been lucky enough to have guided a few times out of Qwantani so have spent a fair amount of time on the water.  It has not been easy with the inclement weather and the lack of sunshine.  It has rained here for the last two weeks solidly with only two days where we did not have rain.  The fish are deep with very few insects on the water, so little surface activity.  The termites have, as yet not emerged and the rest of the terrestrial insects are so saturated that they can’t fly. The Hoppers can’t even hop with the muddy conditions, let alone fly…

Caddis, the main food for Sterkies Yellows, only emerge to perform their mating dance, when there is a positive pressure, meaning clear skies.  They cannot fly in the rain as they have ‘hair wings’.  No caddis emerging, no fish feeding.  Many folks believe that negative pressure affects the fish, I believe that it influences the insect’s life cycle and thus determines the food availability.  Positive pressures = clear skies = still windless evenings = mayfly hatches and fish feeding in profusion.

Finding fish is a challenge on the dam currently, and blind casting is not what Sterkies is all about.  I have even had some clients suggesting that we go “to the Dark Side” and use nymphs, heaven forbid that we could resort to such desperate measures. 

So what to do…  enjoy the magnificent surrounds and take delight in casting perfect loops within such pristine surroundings.

The increase in wattle trees around the dam is of great concern, please pull out any small wattles that you see along the banks.  If you own a chain saw, bring it with and chop a few trees down, especially those that are encroaching into the stunning indigenous forest along the banks opposite Qwantani.  ‘Klap a wattle’ and smile.