Flyfishing report: Trout - Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands

Date of Report: Tuesday, 19th March 2024
Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262

KZN Midlands Trout

  • Its unofficial, but it is now being called a drought. Just as we were looking forward to the coolness of late March, so the high temperatures eased upwards and the rain events slipped away and now we have skinny rivers and dry rocks, and bluebell skies. Apparently, the Bushmans reached 24 degrees a few days back. Farmers are cutting silage that looks a lot more brown than green.  I find myself wondering how it snuck up on us. It’s just so damned unfair!
  • My mate caught close on a dozen fish on the Mooi last weekend. He said the water was at 18 degrees when he took the temp at 10 am,…a degree cooler than when he and I fished the Bushmans the week before.  A local hatchery told me that they now have water temps of 14 degrees, presumably they meant in the mornings, but still, that is a good reading.  The uMngeni has kept its level better than the Mooi for some reason, and so has the Bushmans. The weather forecast suggests we could be in for some good storms on the Bushmans tomorrow, and in fact the next 10 days forecast shows scattered cloud, the odd shower, and air temps topping out at 26 degrees. I am thinking of doing the upper uMngeni in the next few days, because we did well there a few weeks back, although to be fair nothing over 10 inches, if you don’t count that 15 incher that had my friend cursing as it slipped off his fly.

Both of the above statements are true.

Sure, it has been hot. River levels are dropping, and it is as clear and delicate as it gets. You want to avoid the blistering days like today.

But yesterday was around 14 degrees with drizzle, and the weekend before last, my pal got his best river fish ever. The nights are cool, like they usually are in March, and we are coming off strong summer rains.  So, I think we will be okay. We just need to adapt, fish lighter tackle, and sharpen up on our rain dance techniques.

At this time of year, I am usually enticing people to call in sick, waxing lyrical about the weather, and generally brimming with optimism.  This year I am not.


The rainy season is not over, and I will be fishing this weekend.

You could be too.

Tight lines.



A recent photo of the uMngeni.