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Thread: First Trip to the Orange

  1. #1
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    Default First Trip to the Orange

    Hi Guys,

    I'm on the verge of doing a trip I've been thinking about for 20 yrs. Since schools day I've wanted to fish the Orange river for Yellows and the monster barbel I've read so much about.

    First priority will be yellows, I've tried fishing for them once before at the Barrage with little success so I'm starting from scratch. What I would like to know is-where would be a good area along the Orange river to fish for yellows? Which flies should I take along?

    I have a Stealth 4-5wt rod with floating and sinking lines, would this be adequate for these fish or should I look at something slightly heavier?

    My plan is to camp at different spots along the river as I plan to fish for 1-2 months. Budget isn't a problem but I've added another one of my passions to the trip-i'll be cycling up north from the western cape as there are many places I would like to visit on my way up. I'm not planning to stay at any hotels/lodges while I'm there so accomodation will be anywhere I decide to stop. One area I will be visiting will be the Richtersveld National Park. Can anyone tell me if camping along the river is allowed?

    Please help with any advice, anything will be appreciated as I haven't been in that part of the country.

    Thanx Nick
    Last edited by Nick DDD; 17-01-14 at 01:28 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hi Nick
    what an epic trip.
    I would suggest you spend a day with an experienced angler to show you the ropes on how and where to catch Yellows.
    Once you have the basics, you will be able to catch the fish.
    In the Richtersveld, there are basically 2 or 3 spots that you can camp along the river. Potjiespram and De Hoop.
    In the Richtersveld, the road does not run along the river. You might want to cross the border into Namibia, as the road runs "more" along the river.
    If you pitch a small tent, no-one will probably worry on either side of the river. Cross over at Sendelingsdrift and cycle towards Vioolsdrift.
    as for the SM Yellows and the average size barbel your rod should be fine.
    But take a spare rod, a bugger if you break it and you are stuck in the middle of nowhere without a rod

    PS: should you need some help with the flies etc, let me know
    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

  3. #3
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    Hi Nick
    Sounds like you are going to have an amazing time.
    One thing I can recommend, is that you get hold of Amanzi river camp. They are on the Nam side, about 10km downstream from Vioolsdfift, and camp there for a while. They have boats, and everything you will need, plus they know all the good fishing spots.
    Word of advice, if you are going into the Ais Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier National park, don't bush camp. use the 3 river camps on the SA side (there are none on the Nam side. If you go loose camping in the park, you will be arrested if caught. Its just not allowed. The section of river outside of the park, is fine to bush camp, and there are some great fishing spots.
    Also, depending on what time of the year you are planning on going, as to how the fishing will be.
    Last edited by Andre; 17-01-14 at 10:18 AM.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  4. #4
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    Thanx a ton guys, some valuable info especially about camping in the Park. Would I need a passport to camp on the Namib side?

    I'm planning to leave around March-May, I would ideally prefer to do it asap so that I can get some rock and surf fishing done aswell-trying to avoid the winter swells. I will be travelling as close to the coast as possible. But on the other hand I guess winter would be ideal for the river as it will run lower and clearer.

    Korrie, thanx. I'll pm you as soon as I can. I do have a spare rod in the same weight which I'll take along. In hoping to avoid taking a wader as it'll take up a lot of space.
    More questions to follow. Thanx again.

  5. #5
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    If you cross the border, you need a passport. If you do camp on the Nam side without a passport, just make sure its nowhere near the road, but at a section where the road runs away from the river. (you didnt hear this from me...as technically its illegal, but lots of people do it.) The problem comes in, if there is an incident, and you have to explain to police, insurance company etc...why you were illegally in another country.
    Its best to do everything downstream from the Vioolsdrift border post, in Namibia, so my suggestion, is go through the border, and have fun. As Korrie says, do the section from Vioolsdrift to Sendelingsdrift on the Nam side, then come back into SA at Sendelingsdrift, across the pont.
    March to May is a risky time of year in the lower Orange, due to the possibility of high flows. The water levels down there anr influenced almost entirely by outflows from the Van Der Kloof dam, and to a lesser extent, the Bloemhof. March May is at the end of summer, so the summer rainfall upstream of the dams, has in all likelihood, filled them up, and them water is released for irrigation, and to keep the dams at a reasonable percentage full, to augment the Eskom grid, and to provide irrigation downstream. The best time of year, is from August, when it is the end of Winter, and the dams are falling low due to low winter rainfall, and water is being conserved.
    Last edited by Andre; 17-01-14 at 11:14 AM.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    If you cross the border, you need a passport. If you do camp on the Nam side without a passport, just make sure its nowhere near the road, but at a section where the road runs away from the river. (you didnt hear this from me...as technically its illegal, but lots of people do it.) The problem comes in, if there is an incident, and you have to explain to police, insurance company etc...why you were illegally in another country.
    Its best to do everything downstream from the Vioolsdrift border post, in Namibia, so my suggestion, is go through the border, and have fun. As Korrie says, do the section from Vioolsdrift to Sendelingsdrift on the Nam side, then come back into SA at Sendelingsdrift, across the pont.
    March to May is a risky time of year in the lower Orange, due to the possibility of high flows. The water levels down there anr influenced almost entirely by outflows from the Van Der Kloof dam, and to a lesser extent, the Bloemhof. March May is at the end of summer, so the summer rainfall upstream of the dams, has in all likelihood, filled them up, and them water is released for irrigation, and to keep the dams at a reasonable percentage full, to augment the Eskom grid, and to provide irrigation downstream. The best time of year, is from August, when it is the end of Winter, and the dams are falling low due to low winter rainfall, and water is being conserved.
    Thanx Andre, going through all the trouble of planning and getting there during the 'wrong' time of year is pointless so I'll work on doing it from mid to the end of winter. That gives me enough time to thoroughly plan everything.

  7. #7
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    It might not be the wrong time of year, there are always fish to catch, but it is a more risky time in terms of flows. That part of the Orange isn't really worth it when flows get above 40 or 50 cumecs. Ideally you want flows to be lower than 30 cumecs, and history tells me that this is most likely at the end of winter, going into summer...In March the fish are still active because the water is warm, but it definatly starts cooling down fast from mid April, and the small mouth yellows begin to retreat to the deeper water, and become more difficult to catch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick DDD View Post
    Thanx Andre, going through all the trouble of planning and getting there during the 'wrong' time of year is pointless so I'll work on doing it from mid to the end of winter. That gives me enough time to thoroughly plan everything.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  8. #8
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    To add to Andre's post.
    I dont think you have to really worry about the high flows to much.
    UNLESS, serious rains happens.
    It takes a month or more for water to reach the lower sections, if there are serious rains, enough time to postpone the trip.
    Most areas in the lower catchment sections (west of Gauteng, Aliwal north etc) are extremely dry. so if there are rains, it will end up in the ground supplementing the ground water. see the levels of the dams http://www.dwaf.gov.za/hydrology/Wee...aspx?region=FS
    or in the dams.
    From late May onwards, the water might be to cool for decent SM Yellow fishing.
    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

  9. #9
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    To add to Andre's post.
    I dont think you have to really worry about the high flows to much.
    UNLESS, serious rains happens.
    It takes a month or more for water to reach the lower sections, if there are serious rains, enough time to postpone the trip.
    Most areas in the lower catchment sections (west of Gauteng, Aliwal north etc) are extremely dry. so if there are rains, it will end up in the ground supplementing the ground water. see the levels of the dams http://www.dwaf.gov.za/hydrology/Wee...aspx?region=FS
    or in the dams.
    From late May onwards, the water might be to cool for decent SM Yellow fishing.
    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

  10. #10
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    Its only partly about series rains Korrie. If the dams are full after the Summer rainfall season, they will let out water regardless of the rain factor, due to the inflows from the catchment after the rainy season, being a constant feed into the dam. If there has been high average summer rain, the Orange river flowing into the Vander Kloof, will replenish the dam for months, and water has to be continually released, even when there is no rain. There needs to be a long period of low out flow for the lower Orange to get to ideal fishing flows, and after the Summer, it generally takes a few months for the outflows from the dam to be limited..Rain or no rain. The flooding of a few years ago, which could have been avoided by better dam management, and almost all of the rainfall that influenced those floods, fell in the catchment of the Vanderkloof and Bloemhof, QUOTE=Korrie;241987]To add to Andre's post.
    I dont think you have to really worry about the high flows to much.
    UNLESS, serious rains happens.
    It takes a month or more for water to reach the lower sections, if there are serious rains, enough time to postpone the trip.
    Most areas in the lower catchment sections (west of Gauteng, Aliwal north etc) are extremely dry. so if there are rains, it will end up in the ground supplementing the ground water. see the levels of the dams http://www.dwaf.gov.za/hydrology/Wee...aspx?region=FS
    or in the dams.
    From late May onwards, the water might be to cool for decent SM Yellow fishing.[/QUOTE]
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

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