Flyfishing report: Trout - North Eastern Cape Highlands

(image courtesy of Peter Brigg)
Date of Report: Thursday, 7th December 2023
Name: Dave Walker
Phone: 082 475 5775


The Wild Trout Association rivers were running high a month ago and the Kraai was quite discoloured. Then they dropped substantially during a hot dry period but good rains over the last couple of days (and possibly more to come) have cooled conditions down, refreshed the streams which are running well again and most stretches including the upper Kraai are looking good. There are plenty of trout around and of course the yellows have moved in for the spawning season in rivers like the Sterkspruit and Bok. Regarding stillwaters Loch Ness Lake at Tiffendell has fished very well as there has been good breeding in the feeder streams during the last couple of winters.

The bookings have been excellent for the 2024 Dirt Road Trader Festival and people have already been put on the waiting list.

For more information on the fishing conditions and accommodation you can contact Margie Murray at 045-9719003 or

Maclear & Ugie.

There is now a brand-new committee at the local club with Jeanette Harvey in the chair. They have ambitious plans to boost the local flyfishing, one being the return of the once popular Rapture of the River competition to draw in more visitors to the area and boost the funds. Colin Moolman reports that they have had lots of rain so currently only the upper reaches are fishable. Regarding the dams 5 of these were restocked recently with rainbows from the Hogsback hatchery but they were disappointed to see that bass were in the Aucamp Dam as a result of illegal stocking by locals.

Barkly East

The Hunter Fisher River Festival that was held on 9 to 11 November was very successful despite the hot weather. Some 29 anglers entered the compo which included 9 ladies and 4 juniors. There was a good flow in the streams and participants fished the Langkloof system on the first day and the Diepspruit/Three Drifts streams on the second. As expected, large numbers of trout were taken, and Andrew reported that a huge trout broke an experienced angler’s 3X leader on the Three Drifts when she tried to halt its run towards some underwater snags. A couple of months ago a similar sized rainbow was taken from the nearby Wildebees, also little stream and of course both the lower Langkloof and the Kraai are renowned for trophy fish. In late November there was a hot dry period but good showers which fell recently have improved angling conditions.

The club also has access to 5 dams which are mainly fished during winter, some with browns. Due to the good inflows, there has been some spawning taking place which should boost future recruitment.

Tickets for club waters at R150,00 are available from Andrew Clark at 084 5166471 or

Lady Grey

The Karringmelk at Lupela Lodge is flowing well and is holding a very good population of rainbows, some up to 30cm in size. Bookings at this popular lodge are good for the festive season


The Langkloof, Barkly East district.