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Thread: Millstream

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Default Millstream

    Millstream – Mpumalanga
    04/05/2018 – 08/05/2018

    1: Weather
    This was a rather unplanned trip and something that came up on number 99. In fact on the morning of the 4th only. The weather was actually fantastic during this trip, the day’s mild to warm and sunny. The evenings with a little chill in the air but nothing hectic. The wind was a bit more of an issue than the predictions mentioned and for the bank anglers caused some issues. I spent most of my time on my float tube, so apart from tired legs the wind did not affect me that much. The morning temps were around 10 degrees with the days reaching the low 20’s.

    2: Venue and Accommodation
    Millstream offers rather nice accommodation. I have been there a couple of times and all my previous visits I was in units 18 or 19 which are smaller units. Very functional with some nice added touches from the norm. For example dishwashers and washing machines in the units. There are some basic design flaws with the accommodation resulting in some areas upstairs where the bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be with low ceilings. But that is really nit picking and trying to find an issue. Besides I am 6 foot 4 so I have issues with ceilings in lots of places and if I wear my wading boots I have issues with most standard door frames. The one standing “concern” I have with most venues I visit is the lighting. There is almost never an area with really good light where you could tie flies (I don’t yet) but also setting up rods and flies at night we older people don’t all have 20/20 vision anymore.
    This time round I stayed in one of the larger units on the other side of Lake Millstream, Number 12 which is a 10 sleeper and the same low ceiling issue exists, however there they at least have some spotlights in the unit so light is better. The same washing machine and dishwasher is in place so nice additions. I do recall that on previous visits that although the dishwasher is there I do not believe that the dishwashing liquid or blocks or detergent or whatever you call it available in the unit, hence I have some in my fishing odds and end crate. The units are serviced daily regardless, so you probably don’t need to use the dishwasher as the cleaning ladies will bring with them when they come and clean.
    So the accommodation is actually very nice and unless you specifically try and find fault you probably will be more than happy. I have always maintained that you can find fault with any accommodation and frequently we find ourselves doing exactly that, but considering that you are there for a very limited period of time and not looking to settle permanently why look for fault, just enjoy what you have.
    The views are stunning and the area is peaceful and there are buck and zebras and birds everywhere.
    The rest of the venue is very well maintained, the roads are in good condition and the grounds are kept well. It is a very nice venue even if you do not fly fish. The staff are once again friendly and professional and although I can’t recall that I ever needed anything out of the ordinary during my stay here, the feel you get is that they will do whatever they can to assist.
    There are plenty of activities for the kids to do and an entertainment centre as well, so you really can take the entire family. Being close to Dullstroom (Less than 2km I think) means anything you need can be gotten easily and activities and attractions are everywhere.
    The road from JHB is fine to travel. I only left JHB at 16:30 on the 4th and I was at the entrance at 19:00. The only area to be cautious about is between Belfast and Dullstroom, there are some potholes to watch out for.

    3 Fishing:
    On most of my previous trips I will admit that I focused mostly on the weirs and not really the ponds or dams. This was due to my skill level as well as proximity to the weirs and because I had real beginners with me and the weirs are just an easier option. I have always caught fish although nothing fantastic and the water quality in the weirs were not always great. This time round I spent most of my time float tubing on Lake Crystabel and the dams above reception and one of the ponds.
    So to begin with the water quality was fantastic, clear cold water like I have not seen at Millstream before and as a result the fishing was great. I introduced my father to float tubing on this trip, so I spent most of Saturday fishing from the side on Lake Crystabel while he was on the tube, and although I caught nothing I could clearly see some good size fish swimming around. The evening rise was also spectacular from around 16:30, although the sneaky fish kept rising about 40 – 50metres from the sides which is outside my casting abilities. On Sunday I spent some time on the tube and I was broken off on my 5X leader 5 times in the space of 1 hour in the late morning around 11:00. This was on my floating line which I default to 5 or 6X out of habit. After lunch I changed to 4X and my intermediate line and I managed to land a 2,1kg as well as a 1.8kg rainbow in fantastic condition. I was still broken off 3 times even on the 4X and the report stated that someone caught a 3,2kg Brown in the dam and I can believe that based on the takes I had that broke off. Monday morning I also spent on Lake Crystabel on my float tube and managed to land anther 1,75kg and 2kg rainbow. I lost a couple as well and one fish managed to completely straighten my hook. So I believe there are some really great specimen in this lake. I caught all of these on my intermediate line as well at around 2-3metres deep and on a steady figure of 8 retrieve. All of them without exception was caught on size 16 and 18 Black GRHE’s.
    Monday afternoon I spent with my father fishing from the side on Tintern which is closest to reception and I managed to land 2 fish around the 1kg mark which was actually kept for the pot for our hosts. Interesting was that the fish were rising like crazy between 14:00 and 15:00 on Tintern and then went quiet and started again around 16:30. The one I caught early was again on a Black GRHE and my intermediate line and the 2nd one was finally on my floating line with 5X leader and caught on a Black Gnat size 18. There were 2 gents on float tubes from around 16:00 on the dam and they hooked fish practically every 5minutes although they did not manage to land all of them.
    Tuesday morning I spent with my father again on one of the ponds, Whirligig I think and I managed to catch a few more fish on this pond using my floating line and some emerger patterns size 18 again. Interesting in this small pond they had 3 Otters as well, but this did not seem to bother the fish at all, and in fact the Millstream information book states that Otters here do not have a big impact on the fishing and they rather keep the crab population under control.
    To sum up the fishing I would say that the water quality and fish health is fantastic currently and possibly the best I have seen to date. The fish are strong and they fight really hard and when you land them they are fat and heavy. The 2,1kg fish was just over 18 inches in length but nice and round.
    I would recommend Millstream as a fishing destination as well as one to take the entire family to, and I doubt you will be disappointed. With the weirs, ponds and dams they have fishing for every skill level and the water and the area around the waters are kept in such a manner that even if the wind is bad you can adjust your location to still be able to fish somewhere.
    Some more technical feedback regarding my fishing below, as I am trying to get a bit more data for myself for my fishing records.
    Sunday 6 May: Morning Session on Lake Crystabel on Float Tube.
    Floating line, 5X leader, Black Gnat size 18. Broken off multiple times. Fishing between 09:30 and 11:30. Still conditions, light breeze, sunny. Surface water temp 16 degrees
    Sunday 6 May: Afternoon Session on Lake Crystabel on Float Tube.
    Intermediate line, 4X leader, Black GRHE size 18. Broken off couple of times. Landed 1,85kg, 2,1kg and 800g rainbows. Fishing between 15:00 – 17:30. Slightly windy, sunny, slightly choppy water. Between 2-3metres deep, slow steady retrieve. Surface water temp 18 degrees.
    Monday 7 May: Morning session on Lake Crystabel on Float Tube.
    Intermediate line, 4X leader, Black GRHE size 18. Landed 2kg and 1,7kg rainbows. Fishing between 09:00 and 10:30. Very windy with waves on the water. Between 2-3metres deep, slow and steady retrieve. Surface water temp around 17 degrees.

  2. #2


    Thank You for the report Thiaan.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Cape Town


    Quality report, good job

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Western Cape


    Lekker report.

    Interesting to see how the Millstream fish respond to different patterns. My go-to fly there has always been a pancora wooly bugger on a sinking line for fish op to 1.5kg and a filoplume dragon on an intermediate for larger fish.

    Thiaan, in future, take the time to use your float tube on lake Millstream, its well worth it. Especially in the area around the inlet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2018


    Thanks for all the feedback guys.
    I will certainly try Lake Millstream next time I go then, as it really does not seem to have heavy fishing pressure on it either.


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