|Date of Report: Thursday, 27th June 2019|
|Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262
You hear a lot of talk of global warming and winter coming late, and all that jazz, but I can report that winter is here. I was out on a Stillwater last Sunday when the sun dropped below the horizon, and believe me….winter is here. The fish I caught there in the hour before that sunset were as strong as you get. There is something magical about a five pound Rainbow that pulls like an eighteen wheeler dragging the tow-truck over the bridge into the river. What do they say….”The tug is the drug”…..Indeed.
Someone else who experienced that tug was Scott Morris when he pulled in a 4kg Rainbow from a club water in the Kamberg last week. And I can tell you that a great many fly fishers are great detectives because there was a flurry of club members booking that water within 24 hours, even though its name was never mentioned. A couple of poplar trees gave it away. Baaaa.
The Fly-fishing festival and competition season gets underway in winter in a big way. People have been fishing various legs of the Wildfly Corporate Challenge, and there was the Kamberg Festival and “the Boston”. With all these things, there seem to be one or two teams who shoot the lights out, followed by a lot of beer drinkers. Hats off to both categories, because I don’t feature in either. (A bow of awe and respect to those who do both!)
The ladies have been doing well at these things….I saw a picture of Roxanne Stegen with a 62 cm Rainbow from the Boston Festival……well done Rox! And her and her team mates more than held their own at the Corporate Challenge.
Speaking of ladies, congratulations to Bridgitte Stegen who became the first lady elected to the NFFC committee late last month. Bridgitte stepped up to the plate without hesitation and welcomed anglers at the monthly pub evening at Crossways in Hilton on the last Monday of June, where Tim Martin gave us a rundown on his recent trip to the Lamay River in South America. These evenings are very convivial, and with down to earth fellows like Tim sharing their experiences, whether it be from the stage or over a pint, I can strongly recommend that even if you aren’t in that beer drinking category, you make it to Crossways on the last Monday of the month.
I chatted to the owner of a small dam in the Dargle the other day, and he mentioned that visiting anglers had been battling to catch any Trout. Now I know the dam in question, and I know how startlingly clean the water is. I also know how small the dam is, and how short the trimmed bankside vegetation is. It also leaked out that several of these anglers were float tubing. Now to put it in perspective, if you stood one side of the dam, and gave your best double haul, and I stood the other side and did the same, I reckon we could hook our flies together. Catching trout on small clear dams in winter is like hunting elephants on a salt pan….if you drive your big red 4 X 4 out into the middle and look around, you can rest assured the ellies will not be there. It puzzles me why anglers think that fly fishing for trout should somehow be different……..
So what do you do when you are on that salt pan, wearing white and leopard crawling, and the ellies [Trout] are still being unreasonable? Here’s a hot tip. At this time of the year, water is only oozing into most dams, but if the overflow is concentrated into one of those monk’s weirs, or a piece of pipe, and that weir or pipe is gurgling, the trout will be drawn there by their nuptial urges. So if you sneak up there in your cammo, and put a fly in there that is big enough to pose a threat; and you can drop it there with the delicacy of thistledown landing on a pillow…..you might just earn yourself all the beers your mates can buy you in congratulation.