FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Trout - Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands

Date of Report: Wednesday, 6th June 2018
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Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262

Have you ever been out with a group of guys to fish some hallowed water, famous for its big trout, and you score a blank, while everyone else catches. Or you catch stockies, and they get lunkers?  Or you read some fishing report on a FOSAF website about how many five pounders ae coming out of some or other water, you go there, and all you get are bramble scratches? You probably label the author as a complete “schmuck”,  but continue to wonder if in fact that puddle did in fact produce a big fish.

 I got a sense of this after my last report. If memory serves, I mentioned in this, and other reports, about 3 to 5 pound fish coming out of NFFC dams, and I wrote something about the Umgeni producing numbers of Browns that it didn’t do before it was cleared of wattles. Then I saw blank returns coming in, from both dams and rivers, and I couldn’t help feeling like a bit of a fraud.  But here’s the thing…even if I am a “schmuck”, those 3 to 5 pound fish and the numbers from the Umgeni, are legit! .  May continued like that. But I also went fishing with a bunch of mates last week-end, and got 1 stockie in the entire 2 days fishing, while they seemed to be hauling them in all around me.  So, you are not alone.

 And when you and I blank, are we bad fishermen, or just unlucky?  It is the question that plagues us, isn’t it!

 Well here’s my take on it:  There are a few anglers who regularly fish the NFFC waters (note….regularly) whose catch returns I look out for.  They blank a fair bit. They are by no means super human. But when a return comes in with 5 big fish, it will more than likely be one of them.  One such angler, who ties a particularly good dragon fly, by the way, often fishes a Giants Castle area still-water.  He keeps going back. He has got to know the water, and it shows!

 I reckon he is using that Dragon.  That by the way, is a hot tip and a recommendation.  I generally use a brown (dark brown) one now in the winter, and then in summer, either olive or brown. I fish these things slow….very slow, but not necessarily deep. If the fish are deep, switch to a Kaufmanns floating dragon on a sinking line and a short leader. A lot of guys get that wrong and think that a deer hair dragon is meant for fishing at the surface. It works there of course, just like a DDD works (apparently!) on a sinking line, but Kauffman designed it to lift up off the bottom top avoid snags, not as a veritable dry fly.  And talking of dry flies:  I have had a fair amount of luck on a Parasol Midge of late, and I can really recommend it. Google it!  It’s kind of a strike indicator and a fly built into one. I love them.  

 With the mercury at -1 degree C on the Cedara flats this morning, and frost everywhere, it is very much winter now!

Water temperatures taken this week-end showed 11 degrees, but it will be falling to the normal winter low of around 7 degrees fast.

 Six of the NFFC’s eleven trout- only dams that were fished in the last month, produced Rainbows of 4 to 8 pounds.   On average, fishermen got 1.8 fish per 5hr outing. That’s just in the last 30 days on NFFC waters.

The rivers, which are of course now closed, produced a large number of smaller fish, which is interesting, because they weren’t present earlier in the season. 

 The stillwaters are cold, full and clear. It is a wonderful time to be out in fresh (sometimes VERY fresh) country air.   Keep warm and enjoy!


Paul De Wet with a nice brown