It seems to me that no matter how bad the weather may be during a fishing season, those who stick at it will be rewarded with an exceptionally good, but totally unexpected day. In my case it came after hope had died away. You see, I am writing this on the 11th of November (which is Remembrance Sunday), a long time after the salmon season finished on the last day of October and light years since the brown trout season closed on the last day of September. So, it isn’t surprising that expectations over the past week were at an all season low, to say the least.
Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass - How to tell the difference
All fish species have different external characteristics that make them who and what they are. Many species of fish exibit remarkable variation in physical shape within a single species, like the smallmouth yellowfish, in which mouth shape varies considerably according to the fish`s individual food preferance and habitat. Other families of fish have two or more species that can barely be told apart by external characteristics, for example the dusky cob and its nearly identical cousin, the silver cob.
The old photograph shows a smiling man in his late twenties holding an aluminium fly rod tube in his right hand. In the tube is a Far-and-Fine. He`d bought it a few months earlier, second-hand for R300. A lot of money then, but a good investment (right?). In the man`s left hand, suspended by a length of water-grass through its gills and mouth, is a rainbow trout of around 3lbs. Standing in front of the man is a small boy. He`s also smiling, so that his ears push out even further from the too-large cap on his head. He is 3 years old. Beside them is a sign that says "Horseshoe Dam". The photograph was taken of my son and I at Kamberg Nature Reserve in 1985. If I remember correctly, I`d hooked the fish on a DDD and he`d landed it.
In October last year, just before I was due to leave Cape Town to fly to the Transvaal for the function celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the stocking of trout in the Magoebaskloof area by the Haenertsburg Trout Association, I popped into Sean Mills’ shop (www.flywaters.co.za) and found him and the local agent for Vision products, Leonard Boruchowitz examining a newly arrived fly rod.
It is the magic hour, fish are feeding frantically and hastily you assemble your rod with shaking hands. As you are about to present your fly with the forward cast, the most horrible sound in fly fishing (opposed to a screaming reel) fills the air, kind of a “Crack-Bang”.
Tying your own flies will add a very satisfying dimension to the whole fly fishing experience. Apart from being able to tie proven patterns, the sky is the limit when designing a pattern you think might be the ultimate fish destroyer. Be observant when fishing, make mental notes (or real notes) on how insects and other food forms behave and maybe take a few pictures.
Please note! If you’re a “purest” this article is not for you! Adding a rubber band to your leader setup would definitely not sit well with you then. BUT if you’re a Yellowfish fanatic like me then, then sit back and enjoy the new idea.
As usual the weatherman predicted a cold front arriving Friday the 3rd of November, the day on which we (6 keen fly fishers) were to depart for our trip to the Groot River in the Ceder Berg mountain range, a tributary of the Doring River.
The Western Cape region is well known for producing two main fly fishing species, the elf/shad and the leerfish/garrick. These fish make up the majority of the fly fishery in the area. Off shore, yellowtail and Cape snoek are the two main species targeted. In addition to these game fish, it is also possible to catch mackerel, kob, mullet, spotted grunter, white steenbras; white stumpnose, cape moonies and even tuna if you are adventurous enough.
Following the previous article (Journey to the moon), I would like sharing with you how to get to the magical Richtersveld National Park, what to take with and which flies and fishing techniques worked for me.
Convinced my fly got stuck I shuffled closer, trying to dislodge it from different angles. Suddenly the rock shook its head and moved a few feet downstream, by now my arm started to feel the fatigue after landing numerous smallmouth yellowfish in the previous two hours.
It was on a beautiful late summer day that I arrived at the Molenaars River, parked my car and started to tackle up with my 3 weight rod, put on my neoprene socks and wading boots and headed for the river with the sun just starting to make its presence felt on the water.
This article does not aim to start a debate on the merit of using a chum/bread fly in fly fishing. Although a fly rod is without doubt the best tool for the job to cast and fish the bread fly I hope anglers will be motivated to fish for the humble (and very powerful) striped mullet.