THE TIPPET

FOSAF'S OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER - NUMBER 32 - May 2011

ON THE LINE” - EDITORIAL FROM THE FOSAF CHAIR – ILAN LAX.Some of us here in the capital of what many used to call the last outpost have been worrying about the lack of decent rains in the hinterland.  This worry appears to be unfounded given that I’m told the rain has fallen in abundance up in the mountains.  From a recent chat to one of our doyens of fish farming, it emerges that our summer rainfall figures are not that far off from the average of the last seventy years.  The problem though is that much of this rain has fallen in less than five big storms.  This is precisely what the fundis say is symptomatic of the climate change scenario: extremes of floods or droughts.  Here’s hoping that the weather evens out a little. I have lately had the pleasure of doing some web browsing of a flyfishing nature and came across Tom Sutcliffe’s wonderful new website.  It is a veritable treasure trove with many gems of information and images related to flyfishing.  It also has some interesting links to other flyfishing related websites.  Tom puts out a great weekly newsletter. Log onto his website and subscribe to this free service.     Speaking of websites, have you visited the FOSAF website?  Check it out at http://www.fosaf.co.za/ for some useful updates, fishing reports and for some membership specials on our publications as well as great discounts from our Affiliates.  I need to make a special mention of Peter Arderne who does such great work for FOSAF.  He has the difficult task of chasing up the reports that you will find there and of updating the FOSAF website from time to time.  If you have any information that you think may we worthy of mention please contact him at: mwardern@mweb.co.za. Turning the vexed issue of membership, it has been heartening to see that some of the clubs have had renewed interest shown with an improvement in their fortunes.  I’d like to challenge our members to go out and recruit people to join FOSAF.  If each one of you could get one additional person to join we could double our membership in a short time.  I believe that it is important for us as members of FOSAF to spread the word in a positive way and promote what FOSAF has done and achieved to other flyanglers.  This is frankly the most effective way in which to get the message across to those who either haven’t heard about our work or who perceive it to be of little value. Having just experienced the fish cold front coming through it is clear the seasons are changing again. Given the good rains we have had recently, I am told that many of our rivers and streams are flowing excellently and that this augers well for an autumn to remember.  Please take care when fishing the rivers.  Not only should you ensure you let someone know where you are going and when to expect you back, but it is always wise to fish with a companion.  That way, if something does go wrong, (accidents happen in an instant!) someone will be close by to get help or raise the alarm. Enjoy the Autumn fishing!     

 COMMUNICATION WITH FOSAF MEMBERS 

FOSAF wishes to improve communications with our members. We would like to do so by using e-mail where possible and applying it to identify when new items of interest to members are added to the FOSAF Website.

To do so it is necessary to obtain all the members current e-mail addresses (many of our e-mail addresses on record have failed when we attempt to use them) and where members do not have e-mail that we note this in our records.

Could all members e-mail their name, and membership number to fosaf@icon.co.za and we will capture the data in our records.

Please indicate whether you would prefer to receive your copies of our newsletter "The Tippett" in the post as at present or whether you would prefer to receive it by e-mail.

 
  EXEMPLARY SERVICE AWARDSThe following Exemplary Service Awards were approved at the Executive Committee Meeting on 12th March 2011 Andre and Moira van WinkelThey have added a new dimension to photographic representation of imitative flies which is as good as or better than anything that has been published in the International Press. Andre and Moira have handled the design and production of six Flyfishing Guides and five “Favoured Flies”  publications over a period of 16 years on behalf of FOSAF which has proved to be a great service to the sport and pastime of fly-fishing in Southern Africa.  (Bill Mincher)Malcolm MeintjesMalcolm has played a leadership role in fly-fishing over many years. He is a thinking angler and has developed a number of fly patterns and techniques the most notable being fishing for tigerfish with mono  filament. Malcolm has written a number of books and had numerous articles published on fly-fishing. He edited the important FOSAF Favoured Flies series of publications which tracks the development of flies and techniques for all species in recent times. One of his major contributions was the development of the training programme for previously disadvantaged anglers. (Bill Mincher)Bob Crass Due to limitations on space the citation for the late Bob Crass will be included in the August newsletter  

MEMBERS DRAWThe winner of the April/May 2011 members draw is David Gates of Hillcrest whose prize is flyfishing equipment from Jandi Trading in Durban.                             


Competitive fly fishing – a non competitor’s assessment - By Ed HerbstIn August 2000, I attended the AGM of the FOSAF executive meeting in Johannesburg as a representative of the Western Cape when two committee members were unable to attendIn an article in the October 2000 issue of Flyfishing magazine, “The FOSAF Executive Committee AGM – An Outsider’s View”, I wrote: “One of the most contentious issues on the local scene is the question of competitive flyfishing and, at each year’s executive committee meeting, an inordinate amount of debate, time and emotion is devoted to what should not be a sticking point. Simply put, the majority of FOSAF members and chapters favour non-competitive angling.”The Executive Committee decided that it did not oppose any individual or group wishing to participate in international competitions organised under the aegis of the international controlling body, FIPS-Mouche, provided they did so in a manner that was a credit to their country.A year later, in their very first appearance at a World Championship event, in Swedish Lapland, the Proteas came tenth and Mark Yelland came second in the individual category, beating triple world champion, Pascal Cognard. Since then, Chase Nicholson has come second in the World Youth Championships in 2009 and the Proteas came a sensational fifth in the 2010 World Championships in Poland with a young team that included two 18-year-olds.I have never had the slightest interest in competitive fishing and confine myself to fishing small streams with ultra-light tackle. Despite this, my fly fishing and fly tying horizons have been broadened by competitive fly fishers, both local and foreign.In 2006, while staying on the farm Dwarsberg, on the banks of the Holsloot stream near Rawsonville  I was phoned by Tom Sutcliffe who asked if he could bring three competition fly fishers out for a day. There was rumour going round that the trials for the nationals might be held on Cape streams and André Steenkamp, Sudesh Pursad and Johan Ferreira wanted to see what tactics and techniques we used.Sudesh and André went to beat one with Tom and I took Johan to beat two which began with a deep pool, upstream of which was a short, steep staircase section, basically a small rapid, and then a productive flat stretch.I explained to Johan that we used dry flies or small bead head nymphs or soft hackles fished upstream and dead drift along the bubble line, with a yarn strike indicator about the size of a match head and that 6 – 7x tippets were the norm.He attached a garish flashabou and marabou streamer, called a “Sweetie” to a stout tippet but drew a blank in the pool. I explained that we normally walked past the short rapid to get to the next, flat section but, to my amazement, he elected to fish the sides of this rapid, sticking his rod tip under the streamside vegetation and manipulating his streamer with the rod tip. To my even greater amazement, he hauled out a very respectable 14” trout.I said that I would get out of the stream at that point and walk upstream for a while so that I could get some photographs as he fished towards me. He did not have any success on this stretch and joined me where I was standing on a rock. He was standing about a metre from the bank where a small bush grew. He had a lit cigarette in his left hand and with his right he casually flipped the Sweetie downstream and drew it upstream and under bush. To my amazement he pulled out another respectable 14 incher which must have been lying less than a metre from the rock upon he was standing on!He then proceeded to pull out fish after fish, sometimes fishing upstream with a conventional dead drift but, more often than not, sticking his rod tip under the bankside bushes and manipulating it to give pulsating life to the streamer. He explained that while our method of fishing the bubble line had merit, there were just as many, if not more, fish hiding under the bank, in the shade and sheltered from predators and that a stripped fly was most likely to lure them into a strike.When we met up with Tom, Sudesh and André, we found that they had risen a few fish but not landed any while fishing the conventional upstream and dead drift method with dry fly and nymphs.Competition fly fishing encourages innovative thinking and this was a valuable lesson and an example of how people like me can get locked into a pleasant ritual to the exclusion of all other ideas and methods.By far the greatest benefit of South Africa’s participation in international FIPS-Mouche competitions for men, women and youths however, was what we gleaned from the top internationals brought to this country by Korrie Broos.The first was Italian team captain, Edoardo Ferrero who, in 2003, awed the participants in the national championships in Maclear with his fishing and tying skills. I think it fair to say that he started the move in the Western Cape to soft hackles and also to CDC patterns with his three-to-four-minute pattern, the Arpo, an adult caddis imitation.In 2006 Korrie then brought out the “River God”, Jiri Klima and a leading official in the Czech national team, Karel Krivanec, author of the authoritative book, Czech Nymph and other Related Fly Fishing Methods. Courses were held at several venues throughout the country and Korrie, who visited Italy and the Czech Republic to fish with and learn from leading internationals in these countries, now holds two-day clinics to impart the knowledge he acquired in these reciprocal visits. At the end of April  last year, I spent a day on the lower Molenaars  stream in the Du Toits Kloof near Worcester with Korrie and I learnt more in those few hours than I had in the equivalent number of previous years.Before we even got to the water, Korrie had shown me how to don my waders so as to reduce water pressure and lower fatigue, a better way to sling my wading staff and how to avoid getting your rod tangled when making your way through streamside bushes and trees. All this was gold dust, little things that I wish I had known decades ago.I was under the impression that the coiled mono indicator, currently favoured in international competition, was fished lying horizontally on the water surface like a yarn indicator. I was wrong. Korrie fishes it hanging vertically, with just the bottom of the coil touching the water, if at all. In my nymph fishing, I fish up the bubble line with an occasional cast to the bank if the presence of palmiet water reeds indicates a bit of depth or the possibility of an undercut. Korrie, in contrast, divides the stream into a grid and guides his team of nymphs round every underwater rock of size, his 10 foot rod enabling him to drift the ‘slinky’, which signals even the most subtle of takes, at the water surface and in tune with the current.Some of the techniques he has learned from his international friends were a revelation to me, such as downstream surface nymphing with weighted flies and down and across searching with traditional winged wet flies like the March Brown.It is not necessarily the way I want to fish and holding his 10 foot Stealth Infinity at arm's length, which Czech nymphing requires, was tiring. I do, however, want to learn more and I will be attending one of the clinics that Korrie will be holding in the coming yearBy bringing world-class anglers like Edoardo Ferrero and Jiri Klima to this country at his own – and not insignificant – cost, Korrie Broos has made a significant contribution to the evolution of fly fishing in this country and, for this, he deserves the highest praise.  Their visits show that the camaraderie developed in international competition benefits the recreational angler like myself as well as those who compete.

 DISCOUNTS FROM FOSAF AFFILIATES AND MEMBER CLUBS

Discounts are available to FOSAF members from the following Affiliate Resorts:

Southern Drakensburg/KZN: Giants Cup Wilderness Reserve, Lake Naverone, Riverlea, Wild Dog Estate, Sani Valley Flyfishing and Game Lodge and Wildfly.

Gauteng and Mpumulanga: Kloofzicht, Misty Valley Lodge, Elgro Lodge, Stonecutters Lodge, Vaal Streams, Witkop Feather and Hound Estate and Treeferns Trout Lodge.

Discounts are available to FOSAF members from the following Affiliates: Angling Africa, and Frontier Flyfishing, and from the following Member Clubs: Underberg/Himeville, Belfast, Clarens, Dullstroom and Waterval Boven.

Contact details and information are available from Liz 011 467 5992 and on the FOSAF website.

AFFILIATE SPONSORS

Finsbury Estate, Anford Country House, Highland Run, Katrinasrust, Komati Gorge Lodge, Lunsklip Fisheries, Millstream, Oxbow Country Estate, Stealth Rod and Reel, Transvaal Fly Fishers Club, Tudor Estates, Verlorenkloof, Whiskey Creek,  Mavungana and Nooitegedacht Trout Reserve.

Details are on the FOSAF website – www.fosaf.co.za

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