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Thread: Sterkfontein Sight Fishing Challenge

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    South Island


    My attention has been drawn to this particular thread by my brother, who found some of the views here to be disappointing, to say the least.

    Let's get this straight - there is no obligation for anyone to attend the Sterkfontein Challenge or any other event for that matter - so if it is beyond your financial means, or if you think the price is not worth it, then by all means keep hold of your money and go and fish Sterkies some other time. But to publicly suggest that you are affronted by such an event is in my book a cheap shot based on a very narrow frame of mind.

    The Sterkfontein Challenge is not just an opportunity to fish a great venue with everything organised for you, it is an opportunity to meet, mingle with and be guided by some of South Africa's top guides from both Tourette and Fly Castaway - two of the country's leading outfitters. Like it or not, but these guys are at the forefront of fly fishing, not just in South Africa, but internationally - they're all vastly experienced anglers and guides. As much as you may like to think that the life of guiding is all peaches and cream, let me tell you, it is not. I am yet to meet a wealthy fly fishing guide - they don't do it for the money, but for the love of their chosen profession. So if you think they're raking it in, you are very mistaken, and to suggest so much is offensive.

    And while you are sat behind your desk at work or in a class room daydreaming about the weekend, these guys are out there every day of the season, in all conditions - trying their hardest to get their clients the very best fishing possible. "I wouldn't mind fishing every day" I hear you say. Let's get this straight: The one thing that is more painful than not fishing is standing back and watching someone else fishing, especially someone who's not very good at it. And although every fly fisher I know thinks they cast like Lefty Kreh, very, very few do. Those of you who have seen video footage of yourself casting will know that it's a bit like hearing a recording of your voice - not what you expect! And guiding a client who hasn't caught anything (the reasons for which are irrelevant) is a thankless task - in spite of a client who can't cast and the odds stacked against you, you've got to maintain a jovial and positive attitude.

    And when these guys are not guiding? They're tying flies until 2am (because the average punter gets through more flies than you can shake a stick at, particularly when they're not their own), they're writing educational articles, and making educational fishing videos, experimenting with new patterns and methods and doing everything they can to ensure that when their punters turn up, they'll have the time of their life. Anyone in the service industry knows, attention to detail is everything - and getting that right is no easy task.

    And for the record, the Fly Castaway and Tourette guides are some of the most experienced, well-travelled and knowledgeable fly fishermen, not just in SA, but internationally. I am in awe of the amount of experience they have accrued, and you should be too. And they are all exceptional guides who always go the extra mile. I work full-time on fly fishing magazine titles in South Africa, New Zealand and in the UK, and as part of my job, I am exposed to fly fishermen from all walks of life, and I am yet to have someone suggest to me that guides aren't the chaps who really know how to catch fish - not the tackle manufacturers, not the journalists or authors or film makers, but the guides who are on the water every day.

    And, this thread on this forum, is the only place I have experienced such negative sentiment towards a group of people who care more about the world of fly fishing and its long-term future than you have probably bothered to consider. It is their livelihoods, it's what they live for, and as much as we'd all like to go fishing with the the authorities of our sport for the price of a packet of peanuts, life doesn't work that way.

    A round of golf may not cost a fortune, but what would a keen golfer be prepared to pay to play a round if they had Ernie Els as their caddie? So, to the person who suggested that the Sterkfontein challenge is a boat trip with a packed lunch - either you already know all there is to know about both fly fishing and Sterkfontein, or you aren't interested in gleaning anything new from such an invaluable experience.

    Marcus Janssen
    Last edited by Umzimkulu; 13-03-12 at 10:25 PM.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Well said.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Pretoria Gangsters Paradise


    Sounds like the author is affiliated to Flycastaway/Tourette's either by birth or by bank balance
    "Hierdie drol het baie vlieŽ" - Ago 2014.

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