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Thread: Treefern Trout Lodge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Gauteng
    Posts
    15

    Default Treefern Trout Lodge

    Good Day All

    I have decided that I would start to put my feedback on the venues that I visit this year on the forum, so here is the first (well second cause I already posted the Naverone one) one.

    Treefern Trout Lodge Ė Mpumalanga
    16/03/2018 Ė 19/03/2018
    1: Weather
    The weather for this period was typical around the Dullstroom area, where we literally could have multiple seasons in one day. On arrival in Dullstroom before setting out to Treefern, we stopped to lunch at the Poacher after the customary stops at both the Mavungana as well as Village Angler shops. It was raining quite depressingly at this point, as it looked like the weekend might just be spent in miserable weather. However we arrived at Treefern in no more than a very light drizzle which stopped completely after we unpacked the car and we even had sunshine. However for the rest of the Friday the weather was trying to keep us as confused as possible. We would be out and fishing in sunshine and the next minute the wind would pick up and then all of a sudden the rain would pound down for a bit.
    The Saturday was very similar although less rapid changes in weather. It was mild weather with cloud and wind about, but nothing preventing us from fishing as much as we could. It did get a bit chilly early evening as my fishing partner was trying to revive a trout that was particularly stubborn when it came to being netted. He spent at least 30min trying to revive the fish as the sun was setting and he was half frozen by the time he had to admit defeat in his efforts. This fish was going to be dinner in the near future.
    Sunday ended up being a lovely sunny day that could even be described as hot and this lasted for the entire day.
    Monday when we had to leave was a bit more overcast and was still fine fishing weather as became apparent as my fishing partner managed to catch 3 fish while I was packing the car.

    2: Venue and Accommodation
    This was my third visit to Treefern Trout Lodge. Somewhere around 2009 I was there on a weekend trip hosted by Telkom, and then in 2015 I spent a weekend there again.
    2009 Treefern was still owned by the previous owner, I canít for the life of me recall his name now. The venue offered rustic accommodation but to me at the time looked perfectly serviceable. To be honest we had Malcolm Meintjies on the trip and I was more interested in listening to him talk and pass on advise than I was really interested in the venue. I canít recall that there was anything that stood out as particularly great or particularly bad about the venue at the time.
    In 2015 my son was 6 weeks old when we went, and again the venue offered accommodation that I would call serviceable. Definitely not luxury accommodation, but comfortable enough so that my wife and daughter where happy enough with this, and my 6 week old survived just fine. At the time I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the water and the maintenance around the dams and cottages. This was just a couple of months after Maria and Johnny took over Treefern.
    On this last trip it was just me and my fishing partner Ross that went and we stayed in the same unit that I stayed in during the 2015 visit. The accommodation is still the same, although I think they have re-tiled the bathroom. Everything in the unit works and it has everything you require including an indoor braai (In the entrance/second bedroom). However the big difference although I could not put my finger on it immediately is in the upkeep of the grounds and the dams on the property. Wow, Maria and Johnny have been doing a great job with the fishing in mind. The grass in neat and clean around the units as well as around the dams. There are lights that are on at night on the lawns that is a nice touch and all in all the place just looks amazing. I did not have a look at any of the other units but I donít think the venue will be called luxury 5 star accommodation. It will have what you need and everything will work and be clean. You can take your family and have a great time. There is nothing much for kids to do if they donít fish, but personally I am not against this. There are enough family destinations aimed at families with kids already. This is a fishing destination and needs to remain one.
    The roads to get to Treefern from JHB is tar for 95% and only the last little bit is on dirt roads, and these are in good condition and well maintained. My trip in 2009 I did in my 325Ci BMW with sport suspension (Donít ask) and I had no issues. In this last trip the area had lots of rain and the roads where muddy in place, but nothing that would prevent you from getting there with just about any vehicle. I now drive a Fortuner so much more suited to my fishing lifestyle, so I wonít claim that I drove these roads in a low suspension sports vehicle, but I am pretty sure my judgement in this regards is just fine.

    3 Fishing:
    During my stay in 2009 the water quality was superb, however no one in our party of 8, including Malcolm Meintjies manged to catch any fish. Malcolm at the time said that it was full moon and that might have had an impact as the trout could and would feed at night in the light from the moon. If this was true or not, I am not sure but I have always since then tried to book my trips when it was not full moon. I have actually become quite superstitious about this in my old age J
    During 2015 that water quality was not great, in fact you had almost no visibility into the water during this trip and with my little one and daughter being along I pretty much fished only the water right outside our unit, which is the first real dam after the weirs above it. I did manage to catch a few fish but nothing fantastic and I honestly canít remember the flies I used, although it was during my DDD phase, so probably that. I must also mention that I am primarily a floating line and dry fly fisherman.
    On this last trip things changed rather dramatically in the fishing regard. To begin with the water quality was fantastic. Clear water with lots of visibility, and the fish are nice and big and healthy and fighting strong. Maria told us on day one which waters were stocked recently and also the size of the fish being stocked. The really nice part is that they did not want to keep stocking the waters with the normal pan size fish anymore like most place seem to do. So no 350g or 150mm fish. They are stocking with 1kg and up fish. We only fished 3 of the waters on the property as we were simply having too much fun on each of these to want to move on, and we produced healthy strong and fighting fish out of each of these. Almost all the fish we caught where over 1kg. Now we are by no means fantastic fly fishermen, but between us we caught 24 fish for the weekend, and sadly we had to keep one that could not be revived after a particularly energetic and lengthy fight. The one we kept was around 850g.
    We started fishing on our normal 5X leaders, but after being broken off repeatedly we switched to 4X (Which required a trip to Dullstroom to get). I would suggest that with the size and health of the fish here currently that 4X be used. We had success on primarily dry flies (Black Gnat and Mosquitos) and then some on nymphs (Flash Gun and GRHE) suspended under dry flies. All the flies used where size 16 and size 18.
    Maria and Johnny are trying to ensure that the fishing experience is a good one and they are succeeding in this regard. They have drained some of the dams and reworked them, and added some structure in the water for the trout, and all in all this venue is a truly fantastic one for fishing.
    I would recommend a trip to Treefern to anyone looking for a good fishing trip, and with its proximity to JHB and PTA it is actually a very nice weekend breakaway. Just over 2 hoursí drive and you are there. Your hosts are fantastic as well and will try and assist with anything you require that they are able to.

    Happy Fishing
    Thiaan Van Der Walt

  2. #2

    Default

    Thank you for your posts Thiaan. Very informative and will be of great help to us who want to visit these venues.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Gauteng
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Does anybody have any current report back on this venue as we are booked for the end of August?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Gauteng
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Hi Hatch, we went to Treeferns a couple of weeks ago and had an awesome weekend with lots of fish coming out. The fish were all in great condition, most between 1 and 2kg, and a few over 2kg as well. The water was crystal clear and several times I could see the fish taking the fly some distance out. We caught on a variety of flies, but variations of pancorra style woolly buggers, olive and white fritz's were the most succesfull.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Gauteng
    Posts
    4

    Default some snaps from treeferns


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