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Thread: Are there trout in this stream?

  1. #1

    Default Are there trout in this stream?

    Bergs RNP.jpg

    Hi i camped at the Royal Natal in the Drakensberg this past weekend. I tried fishin this stream (not sure on the name maybe Vemvaan or Tugela) which really looked perfect trout stream, but there were no fish in sight. The water was clear and with plenty insect life. I really though it would be teeming with some bows and browns. I spoke to a few locals afterwards and they mentioned that the river has no fish due to it has not beeing stocked in years, this is related with new laws regarding trout in rivers. Surely if trout were stocked in the past the fish would breed naturally like in the Cape streams? Any of you fished the river before?

  2. #2


    Papa I have not fished that section, but I know of someone who has fished it not so long ago.
    That river has fish in it. Just think you had the wrong fly at the end of the line. Sorry for the straight answer, but this I saw at Lotheni two years in a row. The one year I would raise fish to the surface with anything from a Foam Hopper to a CDC and Elk and the next year same time of the year as the previous, I didn't even raise a quarter of the fish I did the previous year.

    Nowhere did I see fish, but Daryl managed to out fish me on the nymph that weekend.
    However the fish that did came to hand were on average bigger than what we caught the previous year. If you don't see them, it doesn't mean they are not there.

    On the Bushmans 2 weekends ago, I would put the fly down and only when the fly were in the zone, the fish would reveal themselves. So if I did not connect the first time round I would make a cast to the same area and then I would be rewarded for showing some patience.

    Watch the water like a hawk. Look for spooked fish. Try different tactics. Do what you usually dont do and you will be rewarded.

    I always fish a dry in the Berg, but I changed tactics when I put the Elk Hair Caddis down and saw a Brown come up and refuse it as close as 2cm away from it. Now if I didn't see that, I would probably have tried another dry, etc. But I went with a Hopper Dropper Combo and the first cast resulted in a lovely Brown. Browns and Bows came to the nymph and eager Bows would hit the size 8 Hopper every now and then.

    So if there is one thing I can honestly suggest by having fished a few Berg rivers, I would say carry a foam hopper on you mate, that thing has the ability to raise fish from the bottom and if you see them refuse it at the last minute, suspend a nymph below it. You will thank your lucky stars afterwards.

    Let me know when you are out that way again, I will make a plan and join you as I am very keen on fishing the Upper Tugela. Who knows? Two heads might just be better than one

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Sunningdale, CT, WC


    I know there used to be. Haven't fished it in years though. I know you can still get the odd trout in the dams on the way.
    Would also like to know.
    So tell me.... How Big's yours?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    that stream definitely still has trout in it, you must just have been also has natal scaly
    bushveld scalies - worth the blood, sweat and tears

  5. #5


    Hi guys thanks for the feedback and tips Koos will definately get some hoppers. The guy from the Tower of Pizza restaurant did mention that Scallies can be caught but in the river outside the reserve near the Hlalanthi resort.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Cape Town


    A very good way to explore streams for trout is to swing 2 wet flies down stream.
    You cover a lot of water, and most trout cannot leave a swinging wet fly.
    You might not always hook the trout, but you will be able to see where the trout hold etc.
    which will help if want to fish dry or nymph
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006


    Both the Thugela and the Mahai in Royal Natal have rainbows ... the water looks high though, which can make fishing challenging (basically need to high stick to avoid drag). I usually stick to a dry, but nymph is maybe more effective.


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