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Thread: SA's five greatest trout streams

  1. #1
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    Default SA's five greatest trout streams

    For interest sake, and to make a point if fishing these waters, for those that have fished extensively all over the country, which 5 streams would you rank as the greatest trout streams we have in South Africa? Maybe include Lesotho?

    My limited experience having only fished a number of them:

    ELANDSPAD
    LITTLE MOOI
    BELL
    BUSHMANS
    UMZIMKULU

    Choice would be in terms of total experience
    "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

  2. #2
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    I think it basically depends on the criteria with which you use to measure a great stream. As far as I am concerned, they are all in the Rhodes area, the bokspruit, Sterkspruit, Riflespruit, Kloppers and Upper Bell. While the Cape rivers are good, my feeling is that the overall experience of going to a distant location, adds to the experience. The Cape rivers are also not typical trout streams in the way that the trout and the food source behaves ( probably get shot down in flames for this) and my opinion is that South African conditions do not support a traditional "trout stream environment" Our rivers are merely rivers with trout in them, and not pure trout streams as the purist would qualify it. We don't have alkaline water here, and this effects the insect life and the way that we would fish it... so we have to make do, and kid ourselves that our rivers are "trout streams", when they are actually only really streams with trout in them. Having said that, we have some pretty darn good rivers that hold trout, in most provinces.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  3. #3
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    My R0.02 in no particular order:

    Upper Riflespruit - Rhodes. Steep, narrow, hard hike, many small naive trout.
    Maletsunyane - Lesotho. Getting below the falls is an experience in itself, and the fishing can be epic.
    Kraai river - Barkly. Amazing gorges and rock formations in places, environment feels very wild. Bigger river = bigger fish. Only properly fishable for few months a year.
    Joggemspruit - Rhodes. Because I love fishing in steep gorges with huge rocks.
    Karnemelkspruit - Lady Grey.

    Those who know these rivers will understand that this list does not conform to Andre's views above, but these are the places I would recommend to those who want to chase (and actually catch) trout in clear water, with impressive scenery around and have a sense of isolation. Most are only worth fishing for a couple of months a year, so plan with care. Apart from the Riflespruit you are always in with a chance of good-size fish, and just maybe a yellowfish too.

    A final thought: If you spend the time and money with experts who know Lesotho, you'll find a couple more.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circus View Post
    My R0.02 in no particular order:

    Upper Riflespruit - Rhodes. Steep, narrow, hard hike, many small naive trout.
    Maletsunyane - Lesotho. Getting below the falls is an experience in itself, and the fishing can be epic.
    Kraai river - Barkly. Amazing gorges and rock formations in places, environment feels very wild. Bigger river = bigger fish. Only properly fishable for few months a year.
    Joggemspruit - Rhodes. Because I love fishing in steep gorges with huge rocks.
    Karnemelkspruit - Lady Grey.

    Those who know these rivers will understand that this list does not conform to Andre's views above, but these are the places I would recommend to those who want to chase (and actually catch) trout in clear water, with impressive scenery around and have a sense of isolation. Most are only worth fishing for a couple of months a year, so plan with care. Apart from the Riflespruit you are always in with a chance of good-size fish, and just maybe a yellowfish too.

    A final thought: If you spend the time and money with experts who know Lesotho, you'll find a couple more.
    Interesting that you wouldn't place any berg or western cape streams in top 5.

    Well, I will have to try and organize a trip there at some point, SOON!

    I wonder how the Gairezi and Pungwe in Zim would stack up against our streams
    "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

  5. #5
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    If you like to catch in areas with steep gorges, the Diepspruit in Barkley area is STUNNING.
    I rate it as one of my best streams in SA.
    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

  6. #6
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    Yes, It is interesting, and I agree with these choice completely. The main reason, is that there is very little outside of the Eastern Cape Highlands, that can compare. The Berg and WC have some magnificent waters, but unfortunately...none in the top 5. The JDT and the Witte come close, as does the upper bushmans, but top 5... they fall just short.
    Quote Originally Posted by sybie99 View Post
    Interesting that you wouldn't place any berg or western cape streams in top 5.

    Well, I will have to try and organize a trip there at some point, SOON!

    I wonder how the Gairezi and Pungwe in Zim would stack up against our streams
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  7. Default

    Top 5 streams ... very hard to say unless you have fished them all.

    My opinion (in no particular order)

    I'd go for the top of the Bokspruit for pure scenery, the Vlooikraal/Willow for scenery AND brown trout, the Molenaars beat (although I only fished it a few times, it has always stood out in my mind), the Lotheni is also quite special, and the top of the Bell - magical.

    There are a LOT of streams that are not as well known that would make my list (Hawerspruit, Bradgate stream etc), but they are not always "publicly accessible".
    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

  8. #8
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    I like the Moolenaars, but what kill sit for me, is the highway, and the traffic noise, which all takes it out of the top 5, in fact the whole of the smalblaar doesn't feature for this very same reason. I don't know the Vlooikraal, but I have fished pretty much everywhere else in SA and have a pretty good idea of where I like to fish.
    Quote Originally Posted by smallstreams.co.za View Post
    Top 5 streams ... very hard to say unless you have fished them all.

    My opinion (in no particular order)

    I'd go for the top of the Bokspruit for pure scenery, the Vlooikraal/Willow for scenery AND brown trout, the Molenaars beat (although I only fished it a few times, it has always stood out in my mind), the Lotheni is also quite special, and the top of the Bell - magical.

    There are a LOT of streams that are not as well known that would make my list (Hawerspruit, Bradgate stream etc), but they are not always "publicly accessible".
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    I like the Moolenaars, but what kill sit for me, is the highway, and the traffic noise, which all takes it out of the top 5, in fact the whole of the smalblaar doesn't feature for this very same reason. I don't know the Vlooikraal, but I have fished pretty much everywhere else in SA and have a pretty good idea of where I like to fish.
    The odd times that I have fished the "public" water in the Cape has been great. I was so enthralled by the river that I did not notice the highway and traffic (I assume there were cars scooting past) except on the way in, and out.

    A top stream is also very subjective. For me, a stream is just that - a stream, not a river. Therefore the Kraai, Maletsunyane etc does not qualify - imho they are rivers. Then again, that is also subjective.
    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

  10. #10
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    Upper Elandspad, upper Witte, upper Oliphants, upper Bushmans, upper Bell

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