Flyfishing report: Yellowfish - East Free State

Date of Report: Saturday, 19th March 2022
Name: David Weaver
Phone: 083 303 4230

You know it’s a tough day on the dam, when you see boats criss-crossing the dam like there’s some organised treasure hunt on the go.  Well, the last two weekends have been like that.  I was on the dam for three consecutive days and my client landed 3 fish, tough fishing on all fronts.  We saw fish but they were not eating.

The spawning season is over, so the fish have spread-out all over the dam.  Usually at this time of the year the termite alates are prodigious and good fishing is had every afternoon.  This year we have had, to date, two alates.  Even the Amur Falcons have left.  They normally stick around to carbo-load on termites before their long non-stop flight back to the Indian Sub-continent.  They are nowhere to be seen.  The Cosmos is also in full flower, which traditionally, also marks the end of the season.

We found fish in the bays, individual, cruising fish, but they were just not feeding.  I believe this could also be because of the extreme fishing pressure that is now apparent on the dam.  From late January, through February, there are plenty boats/flyfishermen on the water.  We use the term “beetled out” and that could be the reason we’re not getting interest in our flies, they’ve seen it all and are wary.  As the virgin once said…”once poked, twice shy”

So, if you are planning a trip to Sterkies, be prepared for long hours of casting for scant returns, and if you see boats driving here-and-there, at least you know that yours is not the only boat that’s not catching or seeing fish.

Time to dry your fly boxes, clean your lines, oil your reels, loosen your drags and dream of next summer.