Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42

Thread: Bass on the Vaal River... in winter?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sasolburg
    Posts
    44

    Default Bass on the Vaal River... in winter?

    Would like get some input from the more experienced guys please.

    I have been invited to a winter friendly bass competition on the Vaal River (above the barrage and below the dam) with another guy who has all the usual bass gear and setups. I would like to try my hand with the fly rod. The competition is marked for middle of June... so it is going to be very cold to say the least.

    Would like to hear what types of sinking line would you recommend? As far as I could figure out these guys catch bass rather in deep waters during winter and for now I only have floating line setups. Should I go for a very fast sinking line, or slower sinking line.

    And then what flies, and what retrieve techniques? I have read up quite a bit, but most of the information for fly fishing for bass during winter is for the USA... some good tips I guess, but nothing as yet on closer to home... or even on the Vaal when going for bass. Yes, with normal bass gear there is quite a bit of information, but would really appreciate your input on this.

    The guys from the bass club are typical in saying that I will not catch bass with fly gear, but would really really like to prove them wrong...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Western Cape
    Posts
    7,613

    Default

    A book could be written on the questions that you ask, however, let it be said, that there are precious few fly fishers who target bass on the Vaal specifically. For fly fishermen, the Vaal is a yellowfish target fishery, so good luck in getting your questions answered.
    Them saying that you wont catch bass on fly in the Vaal in Winter, is probably more closer to the truth than you would like to think, although its not impossible.
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gauteng
    Posts
    40

    Default

    I'd just do whatever you'd do to catch largies (yellows, that is). So focus on deeper structure and go VERY VERY SLOW. And fish deep into structure.

    I would go intermediate line, fished with quite big flies. Flukes are around 10-12cm long, so anything from 8-12cm should work.

    Btw, I think with last years comps around that time it was something like -7 degrees at launch time. Guys had to dip rods in the water after every cast or 2 to get the ice out of the guides.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Western Cape
    Posts
    89

    Default

    I suggest you first establish what pattern your co angler is going to fish and then try to copy the same pattern fly fishing. One thing that you must do and that is fish very slowly and if you think you are fishing slowly, slow your retrieve even more.

    Being a jig fisherman, I would fish a Bunny Clouser with a sizeable dumbell and weedguard and let it fall in structure and once on the bottom, retireve very slowly - colours to use are black, dark olive, brown and purple. Also crab imitations. You will be nailed on the drop so stay in contact with your fly.

    Robin

  5. #5

    Default

    I would go with a floating line with a long leader. I would also go with small flies.
    Small as in size 10 nymphs, dragons and damsels. Look at Flymphs, Soft Hackles, GRHE, etc.
    When it's cold they just lie around, but when you do pull a small pattern like this it will not be ignored as they do take insects and naturals. The Vaal is full of Damsels and Dragons and these could be invaluable to you.

    Go for a figure of 8 retrieve and if you think you are going too slow, then slow it down some more.
    You would be pleasantly surprised to see how they hit the fly. Usually what happens is that the takes aren't hard, you just feel a weight at the end of the line and if you lift the rod it will go bezerk almost like a E.F.F. supporter being chased off with rubber bullets after an illegal land invasion.

    You could even fish a small strike indicator. Another option would be to use a mega float(large rugby ball shaped float with the toothpick) and fish something like a bucktail jig underneath it. Twitch the float and the jig will start moving under it. Watch that float at all times. I would even tie a smaller fly below the jig as in NZ/Truck and Trailer Style.

    If you are fishing towards the bank then I would go for something like a crayfish imitation. Drop it, let it sink. Twitch it, leave it, twitch it again, leave it and twitch again. They usually hit it when you pause.


    Here is one that fell to a Flymph at Renosterkop...


    This day out at Rust De Winter was freezing cold, but the same fly produced....


    All the usual suspects did not produce. I was fishing from the bank and I would cast and let the flies go down. Then I would start retrieving and as soon as the flies came close to the weedbeds there would be a weight at the end of the line. I had fish break me clean off, others would jump and toss the fly. I fished a long leader, probably 20-30ft as that was all I could do seeing that I only had a floater on me. All you need is a heavy nymph or jig and a smaller/ Unweighted fly as your point. Take a 5wt and have some fun.

    My tip for cold and over fished water would be go slow and small.

    Now go and fish and come and tell us how you made the Bass guys eat some humble pie.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Parys, Free State
    Posts
    10,023

    Default

    Vaaloewer is the place to be Bass of up to 4kgs are caught regularly.
    Gerrit Viljoen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Western Cape
    Posts
    7,613

    Default

    Yuk...and you touch that thing????
    Quote Originally Posted by E.T. View Post
    I would go with a floating line with a long leader. I would also go with small flies.
    Small as in size 10 nymphs, dragons and damsels. Look at Flymphs, Soft Hackles, GRHE, etc.
    When it's cold they just lie around, but when you do pull a small pattern like this it will not be ignored as they do take insects and naturals. The Vaal is full of Damsels and Dragons and these could be invaluable to you.

    Go for a figure of 8 retrieve and if you think you are going too slow, then slow it down some more.
    You would be pleasantly surprised to see how they hit the fly. Usually what happens is that the takes aren't hard, you just feel a weight at the end of the line and if you lift the rod it will go bezerk almost like a E.F.F. supporter being chased off with rubber bullets after an illegal land invasion.

    You could even fish a small strike indicator. Another option would be to use a mega float(large rugby ball shaped float with the toothpick) and fish something like a bucktail jig underneath it. Twitch the float and the jig will start moving under it. Watch that float at all times. I would even tie a smaller fly below the jig as in NZ/Truck and Trailer Style.

    If you are fishing towards the bank then I would go for something like a crayfish imitation. Drop it, let it sink. Twitch it, leave it, twitch it again, leave it and twitch again. They usually hit it when you pause.


    Here is one that fell to a Flymph at Renosterkop...


    This day out at Rust De Winter was freezing cold, but the same fly produced....


    All the usual suspects did not produce. I was fishing from the bank and I would cast and let the flies go down. Then I would start retrieving and as soon as the flies came close to the weedbeds there would be a weight at the end of the line. I had fish break me clean off, others would jump and toss the fly. I fished a long leader, probably 20-30ft as that was all I could do seeing that I only had a floater on me. All you need is a heavy nymph or jig and a smaller/ Unweighted fly as your point. Take a 5wt and have some fun.

    My tip for cold and over fished water would be go slow and small.

    Now go and fish and come and tell us how you made the Bass guys eat some humble pie.
    Disclaimer.... none of my posts are intended to be "expert advice"..just opinions from someone who is willing to help where he can.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    9,042

    Default

    an strike indicator or greased up tippet is very helpful, as Koos mentioned, the takes can be extremely subtle, in the cold months
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Sasolburg
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies and helpful tips. I am surely going to make use of them and hopefully get some fish... and even a few decent ones to silence the guys.

    It is quite interesting to note that during last night's meeting the guys were also mentioning the whole large vs. small debate for lures during winter, and I see the same thing here. Some say a bass will more likely expend energy to catch a bigger meal than a smaller one. Then one of the guys mentioned the water temperature and the whole slower metabolism thing. It might be true that a bass will go for bigger pray when hungry, but if they have already eaten something big in the last 2 to 3 days (during the very cold days) that they will be more likely to only "snack" on smaller pray that move very slowly that going for something big again when they are still pretty "full".

    And thanks also for the inputs on the type of fly line to use. I wondering if a sinking line would be best, but from what you have shared is that a floating line or even intermediate should be more than sufficient to do the job. Was considering getting a sinking line, but clearly that is not a necessity. Hope to get some time on the water before the competition to adapt my skills and try out the techniques.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by white death View Post
    I suggest you first establish what pattern your co angler is going to fish and then try to copy the same pattern fly fishing. One thing that you must do and that is fish very slowly and if you think you are fishing slowly, slow your retrieve even more.

    Being a jig fisherman, I would fish a Bunny Clouser with a sizeable dumbell and weedguard and let it fall in structure and once on the bottom, retireve very slowly - colours to use are black, dark olive, brown and purple. Also crab imitations. You will be nailed on the drop so stay in contact with your fly.

    Robin
    Hi Gavin,

    As mentioned in all the posts, I would suggest you fish dead slow with a fly that "pulses". A slow figure of eight retrieve to keep in constant contact with the fly, often it would feel like you are hooking weed, the line just goes "heavy" and that is often a bass inhaling the fly. Bear in mind that you need to set the hook hard on a bass, use your stripping hand (quick/fast pull). If it is not a fish at least you might have got rid of the snag/grass. If the fly still retrieves "heavy" after this then there are some weed on the hook and just retrieve it quickly and remove the weed.

    The fish should be tight in the structure/drop offs/rock piles, often you have to just close your eyes and cast it in there. If you loose some flies in the process, then you are fishing in the right places.


    Tel +27 21 855 2646 Web - www.winelandsflyfishing.co.za
    E-mail info@winelandsflyfishing.co.za

    Shop - Trips - Tuition - Custom Flies

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •