Flyfishing report: Trout - Winterberg & Stormberg

Date of Report: Thursday, 28th July 2022
Name: Martin Davies
Email: flyfishdavies@gmail.com
Phone: 082 398 1088 or 046 622 4423

Winterberg

Thrift is still overflowing and fish are being caught in the river below the dam. As is normal at this time of year much depends on the weather conditions and the regular cold fronts which sweep through the Winterberg can make fishing very unpleasant. However, once it warms up a bit one can look forward to a very good Aug/Sept as the fish are growing out very fast in the dam which is now full for the first time in many years.

On the other side of the Winterberg at Redcliffe the Ventnor Dam is fishing exceptionally well with catches up to 30 per day averaging about 750g to 1kg. At the other dam, Delton the population is much lower but the average size of fish far larger.

Martin’s netting parties at Thrift have been only partially succesful as the fish appear to be maturing late this year, possibly because of the rapid filling of the dam. That being the case the netting party will go to Ventnor in about a week’s time where there is a large population of his MTD strain rainbows. Ova harvested from this netting, up to 100 000, are required for both the Grahamstown and Ventnor hatcheries and the resultant fingerlings will be used for stocking many of the trophy East Cape stillwaters mainly in 2023. In addition to this stock Martin has purchased 20 000 brown trout eyed ova for his hatcheries.

Stormberg (Queenstown area)

Reg Morgan, chair of the Queenstown Fly Fishing Club (www.qffclub.com.) has supplied the following report:

“16 people from Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban North ,Mclear, and locally had some excellent fishing over the two days. All had a chance to fish both Birds River dams and Pine Grove or Snowdon. The biggest fish was 66 cm. Two of this size were caught. The dams were all in wonderful winter colors and the early morning start was white, even iced at Pine Grove on Saturday.

The fish measured 60 metres when all the catch returns were audited.

As always the fish were in prime condition and all were returned to the water.

Our grateful thanks to each of our Landowners who provide pristine waters where in Martin Davies view the young fish grow faster than anywhere else in south Africa. With the wet season all dams were full and there was water in the overflow. That is so encouraging.

The winner of the Gary Godley Trophy for the biggest fish was won by Martin Dos Santos who was attending for the first time.

We are seriously looking at creating a team event for next year which should boost our numbers considerably. There is already enough interest to make this a success.”

Photos taken at the Gathering are shown below.

Also in the Stormberg area, Vicky Bell at Highland Lodge reports that their dams are also brim full which means that the total area under water is as much as 50 hectares this winter. This of course has given an extra boost to the fast growth of fish in these fertile waters and the spring fishing promises to be excellent. Highland Lodge has its own hatchery and fingerlings for stocking the dams are also supplemented with fish from Wolf Avni, the Hogsback hatchery and Martin Davies’ hatchery.

Somerset East

Alan Hobson of the Angler& Antelope reports that they are having great winter’s fishing at Mountain Dam and the browns which were stocked some time ago are starting to appear. As the drought has been broken and they have also had winter rain Alan has been able to restock the Little Fish for the first time since 2014. In addition, restocking has included the Buffelshoek dams and the Kareebosch Dam which have not been stocked for about 4 years. The only water that have not been restocked is the Paul’s River. Provided there are normal summer rains later on the outlook in the coming 12 months is excellent.

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Reg Morgan (left) hands over a prize to Stephan Cloete, vice chair of QFFC.

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Well- conditioned cock fish taken at the Gathering.

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And another.