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Thread: Sabie report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Benoni, Gauteng
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    Default Sabie report

    Hey all,

    The Mrs and I popped down to Sabie on thursday to try get her to land her first spottie (She's had a good few hookups in the past but never managed to bring one to hand.)
    First off the weather was fantastic with the water levels up a little but still running clear. After hastily setting up camp as the sun set, I popped to the river to try catch the evening rise and found the fish going off nicely.



    I worked my way to a fair sized fish eagerly sipping just off a nice seam and sent a #14 klinkie in his path, as I thought the fly should hit the water my line went taught and started moving about in the air. My immediate thought was that I'd hooked an overhead branch, but this misgiving was short-lived when I realised my line was now circling my head. After a quick fight I brought a nice little insect bat to hand and released him none the worse for it. The poor bugger was exhausted though and took about 5 min of laying on the ground before it upped and flew off. Not too keen on repeating the bat release I called it a night and elected to get a fresh start in the morning without the interference of bats. Friday was a gem of a day and within my first drift I got stuck into a fit little 12” hen, followed by a few more 10” – 12” fish in the following runs.


    It was at this point I decided to focus my efforts on the Mrs and getting her a trout. We made a beeline straight towards a little honey hole that always yields a few fish for me and on her first cast she was in. Her elation was short-lived when she turned to me and said “But it looks more like a yellowfish than a trout”. As luck would have it she was stuck into her first Nkomati Chiselmouth, a feisty bugger of around 6”.
    I then took the reins at that spot while she went upstream and found her own little honey hole.
    Within the next hour, she managed to land her first two trout, loose another one and and another chiselmouth while I was elated with taking my first chiselmouth followed by another 5 with the biggest being just over 1lb and giving me a strong dogged fight.
    From that point onwards it was only the trout who seemed obliging and I finally managed to catch a snap of the Mrs releasing her 3rd rainbow! A few 100m upsteam though I managed to hit the tip of my #0 with a 3mm tungsten bead,, and promptly snapped it a few min later when the tippet got stuck in a bramble on my back cast. A hasty repair job was made using a paperclip, some silk tying thread and some gorilla glue and after some drying time it was back to work for the #0. After mostly finding fish in the deep runs, as the sun began to set the surface action started up again, I managed a little 10” and a fat 14” off the top before the bats began to descend again. We waited until the bats moved off then hit the water with headlamps and fished a while longer, calling it a night about 90min and a few fish later.


    Deciding to mix things up the following day and went to Pilgrims Rest and fished the Sabie Trout association’s stretch of the Blyde. It was breath-taking to say the least and in my opinion possibly the nicest vista of any of the Mapumalanga streams. The chiselmouth were there feeding with reckless abandon, but try as I might I just couldn’t hook-up. My reactions were just too slow.


    Eventually the only way I got stuck into fish was anticipating when the fly would be near them and striking. It got me all of 2 fish but both square in the mouth! This occurred after switching to 8x and managing to lasso a tastebud on my tounge while seating a knot. A few tense moments later and I was able to remove the tippet imbedded in my tounge without ripping it out. So after a day of really working hard for fish on the blyde we hit the sabie for the evening rise and In 3 drifts I took 3 decent fish with the biggest being a stunning 18” cockfish who honestly jumped over 1m out of the water during his tail walking antics.
    Sunday was just a fun little session on my now favourite stretch of water, just hitting the prime lies and trying to sight fish as much as possible. That to me was just sheer delight. Being able to spot and intercept cruisers, while seeing every speck of the action clearly is just heaven.


    I eventually turned back after fiery 13” fish took me at the head of some fast riffles and just ran 60m downstream with me haring after it. Although the Mrs was delighted at the sport I tripped up quite solidly culminating in a Jonty Rhodes’esque dive while maintaining tension on the line. My knees are stuffed, my shins bruised, and my hip aching but I landed that fish and If it was 6” or 26” I would have been pleased as punch with myself for staying connected.


    While making my way back to the vehicle I pcked up a few more fish by just selectively hitting the prime lies, and after hooking into a solid fish that just didn’t care for 7x and gingerly popped me off I called it a day.
    What was heart-breaking though, at a stretch of water just below the sabie trout association waters I witnessed a father and his young daughter fishing. He foul hooked a small chiselmouth then promptly grabbed the fish, killed and with the fish still attached gave the rod to his daughter who proceeded to thrash the ground with the dead fish for about 30min and still had it on when we saw them again an hour later. WHY is all I ask?? What on earth does such barbarism accomplish or teach a child?
    So aside from some unpleasantness at the end it was spectacular fun and I am overjoyed that we finally broke the Mrs’ trout curse and in a lovely part of the country at that.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by markdej; 11-10-11 at 11:48 AM.
    "All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure." - Mark Twain

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    KZN North Coast
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    Default

    Awesome report, Mark. We usually do an annual trip up there too because my wife loves to fish that river section above Merry Pebbles. The chiselmouth provide great sport. Very challenging, but huge fun.

    Did you fish Lake Olaf at all? Some lovely top-water action to be had on there in the evenings.
    You are a perishable item. Live accordingly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Johannesburg
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    Thanks for sharing, lovely looking water, and decent sized stream trout!

    Must add to my list of places to visit!
    ---------------------------------------------
    http://wildjohannesburg.blogspot.com

  4. Default

    Stunning Mark - thanks for sharing!
    Mario Geldenhuys
    Smallstream fanatic, plus I do some other things that I can't tell you about

    "All the tips or magical insights in the world can't replace devotion, dedication, commitment, and gumption - and there is not secret in that" - Glenn Brackett

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    some great photos of the scenery and trout, Looks awesome. i will have to plan a trip there soon
    Frederick

    "If women are so bloody perfect at multitasking, how come they can't have a headache and sex at the same time?" - Billy Connolly

    "The harder you try, the luckier you get" - Gary Player.

    "If your mind can conceive it; and your heart can believe it - then you can achieve it." - Muhammad Ali

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Benoni, Gauteng
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamS View Post
    Awesome report, Mark. We usually do an annual trip up there too because my wife loves to fish that river section above Merry Pebbles. The chiselmouth provide great sport. Very challenging, but huge fun.

    Did you fish Lake Olaf at all? Some lovely top-water action to be had on there in the evenings.
    Graham Ive never fished lake Olaf before!
    The Mrs and I have gone past it quite a bit when fishing around beat 4 but I tend to like beat 12 and up more, so we hang around the lower parts too.

    The water above merry pebbles is lovely, but the problem is that its a free for all on occasion untill you hit the bridge below the sawmill pool. (Thats where we saw the father and daughter thrashing about the little chiselmouth.)

    If Im honest though I see myself spending FAR FAR more time fishing the blyde rather


    I'll pop up some chiselmouth pics and some bat pics with a few odds and ends later too.
    "All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure." - Mark Twain

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Gauteng
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    Kewl stuff! Lovely river that.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Nelspruit
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    Hi Mark,

    Nice report, I fished the Blyde about a month ago and it was pretty tough, water levels were very low and absolutely crystal clear. There are a few sizable fish up to about a pound, all wild fish and extremely skittish. The more I fish that stream the more I become addicted to it, mostly small fish but the wild surrounds make it much more satisfying than the Sabie. Hopefully I'll be fishing it in 2 weeks time, will report back.

    To give you an idea how wild that area still is, last Tuesday a forestry worker was attacked by a leopard about 2 kms from that stretch of Blyde, all his mates ran off except one who managed to kill the animal by beating it to death with a tree stump! True story, hard to believe but was on the front page of last weeks local paper. Apparently the leopard was injured from a snare.
    Strange things happen in this part of the world....
    "Only when the last tree has died,and the last river has been poisoned,and the last fish has been caught,will we realize that we cannot eat money" - 19th Century Indian Creed

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Benoni, Gauteng
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    Quote Originally Posted by sybie99 View Post
    Hi Mark,

    Nice report, I fished the Blyde about a month ago and it was pretty tough, water levels were very low and absolutely crystal clear. There are a few sizable fish up to about a pound, all wild fish and extremely skittish. The more I fish that stream the more I become addicted to it, mostly small fish but the wild surrounds make it much more satisfying than the Sabie. Hopefully I'll be fishing it in 2 weeks time, will report back.

    To give you an idea how wild that area still is, last Tuesday a forestry worker was attacked by a leopard about 2 kms from that stretch of Blyde, all his mates ran off except one who managed to kill the animal by beating it to death with a tree stump! True story, hard to believe but was on the front page of last weeks local paper. Apparently the leopard was injured from a snare.
    Strange things happen in this part of the world....
    There are some serious fish in there!!
    A bit up from the parking at bridge 2 there is a big pool where I was toying with the Chiselmouth. While doing so a rainbow of atleast 22" swam out of nowhere right below me then gently skulked off to the shadows. So there are some properly big fish in there too!

    The wilderness aspect is what makes it soo special for me too.
    You really feel like youre just away from everything and the lack of a large pupulous right nearbye keeps it what way. 'im already itching to go back
    "All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure." - Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    KZN North Coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by markdej View Post
    There are some serious fish in there!!
    A bit up from the parking at bridge 2 there is a big pool where I was toying with the Chiselmouth. While doing so a rainbow of atleast 22" swam out of nowhere right below me then gently skulked off to the shadows. So there are some properly big fish in there too!
    Hmmm, I'm up in Kruger at the end of the month. I think our route home has just been determined
    You are a perishable item. Live accordingly.

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