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Thread: Your Memorable Fish

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Your Memorable Fish

    I think we all have a few fish we really remember for some of the strangest reasons. Lets see some of yours, I’ll start.

    About 10 years back Kietzman and myself fished the Ngogo river in Natal, it was just after a drought and the fish had been thinned out by Otters and White Breasted Cormorants, so the fishing was tough, let alone unproductive.

    If you know the river, at the lodge, there is a section of bed rock cut by the river into an “S” shape. It didn’t look like anything was or could be holding in there, so we walked past it 4 or 5 times and I don’t know what made me do it, probably instinct, but I decided to flick a fly, much to Tony’s amusement. I stood well back from the bend of the S, as there is no cover and presented the fly 4 or 5 foot before the bend with the line lying on the rock, I couldn’t see the water, nor the fly, but I knew that something had changed and slipped the fly into the scissors of a beautiful 14 inch fish.

    The next day, I came face to face with a 3m Green Mamba, great little trip, but that fish stands out.

    I have plenty more, but lets hear about yours. If there is interest I shall relay the story of the 5Kg SM Yellow, or the little carp that could.
    Mike McKeown

    You're either fishing or waiting...

  2. Default

    Mike

    My most memorable fish is ... wait for it ... from Balloch! It was about 7 years ago, and me & Landé decided on a whim to pack the car and have a nice relaxing day on the river. So we called up Margie and booked the beat. There was a sudden thunderstorm on the way there, but this passed quickly. For those that know Balloch, it takes much more than a thunderstorm to turn the water murky, so a good day's fishing was still pretty much on!

    As soon as we arrived the sun appeared again, and in full force too. It turned hot and humid as we rigged our rods.

    We started fishing just above the little stone bridge, and fished up slowly - not in a hurry, and trying to enjoy the river, which was in prime condition! Landé picked up a nice brown (11") at the little weir - her 1st brown! I was chuffed, so was she, and the day was already made for us both.

    Then in the pool directly above the little weir, I cast a #16 ZAK under a Mchichi bush. The fly had hardly touched the water when my line went taught, and the rod bent deeply. There was no need to strike, as the fish tore upstream, and set the hook himself.

    The ZAK was attached to 6X tippet, and I knew that I had to be carefull on my #3 Scott - a fast actioned rod. I had no idea if it as a brown or rainbow at that stage, but my heart raced at the prospects of it being a really good brownie. I played it carefully - too carefully, and almost lost it twice as it dove for the roots of some submerged mchichi bushes. After about 4 minutes (felt like 20) I finally slipped my hande under the 56cm/22" brown cockfish!

    The fish was in it's prime, and had strong/broad shoulders, and all the fins were in fantastic condition - full and broad. and the most amazing translucent golden brown. What stood out the most though was the bright red spots on the back and sides! I have never seen any brown that had red spots as that fish!

    Unfortunately we did not have a camera there, but it did not matter. The beauty of that fish has stayed with both of us up till this day, and not a time goes by that we fish Balloch that we are not reminded of that fish.

    It was revived and released, and swam away strongly to go and sulk under the undercut at the opposite bank. We never saw it again, nor heard of anyone catching that size fish again for 4 years ... and then one of my clients landed this ...



    Not the same fish, but close ...
    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

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thank Bud, no one else is coming along for the ride, so here’s another one, it’s a bit long, but tell me what you think??

    I had had a really bad week in the office, and had been working almost all weekend. Sunday about 11:30 I decide, enough, grabbed my kit and headed off on the hour and half drive to my favorite spot. By 1:30 I was on the river stinging out long lines and getting great drifts, I was in the zone almost immediately. Work was gone, troubles history and life was what it should be.

    I moved towards the willows on the opposite bank, and picked up my first fish mid stream. It took off and I knew it was a good fish, a couple of minutes later I was reviving a 3kg SM Yellow. At this point I should have realized that this was going to be a superb afternoon.

    I moved into my favorite casting spot, and started nailing the casts. It’s a though cast and to make it repeatedly, is even worse. There is a little gap in the branches of the willows, going to a really shallow run, you can get about 4 or 5 seconds of drag free drift and then you really work hard to keep it going. However, it produces for me on a regular basis.

    So I hit into a beautiful female of just short of 3.5k’s and now I’m pumped, but it still hasn’t clicked, that there is something special about to happen. I’m fishing a 4lbs fluro to a 12# ZAK dropper, and then 3lbs fluro to a 16# Seals Fur Emerge (my own design) on a my 5W Scott SAS, a nice soft stick.

    And as I watch the water on the bank, I see the flash of good fish, I then see a small bow wave, and then I see it moving towards where I normally land my casts, and I see tail flick, wait, wait, wait, fire…I have no idea how I did it, but it was perfect, the loop, the presentation, the line control, ZONED I tell you, ZONED.

    The dropper made its customary splash and the point flipped into position, broke the surface and dropped into the zone. Now the good doctor said in his master piece, Hunting Trout, sometimes you strike on instinct, you don’t know why, but you do. Whether it is because you see some small trigger or a slight change in attitude, well I just lifted into her. And she let me know she didn’t like this.

    It’s not often I see backing, I like to fight my fish hard, get them in and released, but as I hit into her, my mind did the tackle check, I don’t know how many other guys do this. Get it onto the reel quickly and softly, where’s the indicator, how will the knots hold, which fly is it on, what strength tippet am I on, OHH CR@P 3lbs on the point…

    So I softly muscle her out from under the willows, then she took line, and headed off for the Atlantic, so I knew I had no chance of landing her in the fast current, so I crossed to the little island and started winning back line. She put up a good fight, but about 10 or 12 minutes latter I had a SM Yellow of just short of 5k’s in the landing net.

    She was gorgeous, just beautiful, I slipped he fly out and, as I was by myself, and not prepared to put her on the bank for a picture, I turned her upstream and slowly let her slip back to her home.

    I went on to land another 3 fish, with none of them less than 3k’s, a stella day, just when I needed it.
    Mike McKeown

    You're either fishing or waiting...

  4. #4
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    Default

    Being a relative newbie to flyfishing and seeing that this is Flytalk I'll keep to fly caught fish My most memorable fish to date has to be my first yellow on a fly stick which happened on my first excursion to the Vaal.
    After reading all I could find, pestering anyone who had done it before with endless questions I armed myself with a Stealth Start 5/6 setup and set out ( without a wading staff ) to Siverstome.
    After stumbling, falling and some swimming I got to get behind the rock that I was sure was the hiding place of the daddy of all yellows.
    Five windknots, 2 balls of knitting, and 2 leaders later I got a fairly decent drift. The s/i moved, I lifted the rod and my knuckles got skinned by the spinning reel handle. A sickle shaped rod,screaming reel and thudding heart combined together for about 5 minutes to result in a 1.6kg smallmouth yellow in the landing net.
    The bug had bitten. HARD.
    It's not in the catching, it's in the learning something new.
    view albums at. http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=659

  5. #5
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    Default

    It is not so much the fish that I remember but more the circumstances surrounding the taking of the fish that become the memorable occasions to me. I have had too many of these, but one worth relating is a little fish of no more than 6 inches in length that I tried to coax for half an hour one day, and everytime it alluded me. This fish was lying in a little shoe box sized eddy with a fast current flowing past him. The window of oppotunity was small, the fly wouldn't linger, the fish would not move an inch either way. Numerous fly changes later and the fish was still in it's original feeding posture, so I knew I had not spooked it. This kept me trying. I took him eventually by working out that if I could get my fly to hug the edge of the rock that was causing the eddy, it may just linger long enough for the fish to come up and take the fly without expending too much energy. I achieved this by getting my fly to land ontop of the rock and gently pulled it off. This fish came up immediately and took the fly.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  6. Default

    Another fish which stands out for me was not in fact mine, but that of a client.

    It was in 2003, and right in the middle of the 1st of the 2-year drought we had in Rhodes. Fishing spots were far-and-few, and I was forced to look for water on the other side of Naude's Nek the day before he arrived (22 Decs2003). Me & the missus spent the night down in the Luzi Valley on on of our farms on that side. That Luzi still flowed, but nothing spectacular. That morning we hiked back out of the valley, and no sooner did we get back to the shed, when ominous clouds gathered overhead. 10 minutes later the mother of all storms broke out, and hail came pelting down. This lasted about 30 minutes, and the Luzi turned chocolate within 20 minutes after that. No fishing there then!

    We met Chris Nezar in Rhodes on our way back to, and shared the good and bad news with him. Rain at least meant flowing rivers, but nothing for the next 2 days at least. So, we headed of to a stillwater in Barkly East the next day, hoping for a good start to his trip. Arriving at the stillwater just outside Barkly, that was in a terrible state - overgrown with weed (but not according to the farmer before we set out ). Trying to salvage the day, I phoned a farmer close to town who has some some water on the Langkloof - a river renowned for large rainbows. The Langkloof was by no means running, but still clear (no storms in Barkly).

    We rigged up ( I suggested going light - #3 for the clear and calm water conditions), and set off. At the 1st pool we stalked, I saw the white flash of a trout's mouth opening as it fed on nymphs. I only saw that head, and the rest of the fish was hidden on the shadow of an everhanging crack-willow. "Good fish" I whispered to Chris, estimating it in the region of 19". We devised a method of attack - since there was virtually no fly, fishing upstream would no doubt line & spook the fish in the flat water conditions - so, downstream it was.

    I suggested to #16 ZAK, on 6X (totally acceptable for a 19" rainbow). Chris eased into the water upstream of where the rainbow still fed lazily. He had to make a roll-cast, as the crack-willows behind him made back-casting impossible. A tough cast in anyone's book. After 5 or 6 attempts to get the fly close enough to the fish to make a fairly natural downstream drift, the trout cruised forward to inspect the fly. From my spotting position for Chris high on the opposite bank I nearly sh#t myself as the fish came out of the shadow - it never seemed to end!! Bigger than 19" I thought, but never mentioned it to Chris. The big rainbow looked at the fly, but turned away at the last second and slid back into the shadows - no wonder it grew that big - clever bugger!!

    Chris made another couple of attempts to get the fly into the right area, but could not - tough cast as mentioned.

    We decided to rest the fish in case we spooked it, and headed upstream in search of some other pools to fish. Chris caught a nice 16" 'bow in the pool just above, but his thoughts were still on the bigger fish down below. We had some lunch on the banks, and talked about tactics on how to entice the bigger fish. We looked through our fly boxes, and Chris took out the most unlikely fly - a Pancorra Woolly Bugger. And a big one too. Well, if he had confidence in the fly, then why not I thought!!

    So, back down to the big 'bow. Roll-casting that big fly on 6X and a #3 rod was a mission, but once again, after a couple of casts Chris got the fly in the zone. The fish once again slid out of the shadows, and I whispered to Chris (me sitting on the same raised bank) to give it 2 small strips, just to get the fish to react. And what a reaction!!!

    The fish shot forward and grabbed the fly. Chris struck, and "Het hom, het hom!!!!" broke the tense silence.

    Chris fought the fish extremely well, given that he only had 6X on! When he finally slid the net under the fish and raised it out of the water, neither of us could believe the size of the 'bow! It was much bigger than I guessed, and Chris was shocked, since he still thought it was 19" the whole time. They say a picture tells a 1000 words, so here's a couple of words to take the story further ...

    Last edited by smallstreams.co.za; 04-11-06 at 09:22 AM.
    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

  7. #7
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    I've said it before, Man Thats an Awsome Fish...

    Great story...
    Mike McKeown

    You're either fishing or waiting...

  8. #8
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    Agreed, awesome fish and great story!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyGuide.co.za View Post
    Another fish which stands out for me was not in fact mine, but that of a client.

    It was in 2003, and right in the middle of the 1st of the 2-year drought we had in Rhodes. Fishing spots were far-and-few, and I was forced to look for water on the other side of Naude's Nek the day before he arrived (22 Decs2003). Me & the missus spent the night down in the Luzi Valley on on of our farms on that side. That Luzi still flowed, but nothing spectacular. That morning we hiked back out of the valley, and no sooner did we get back to the shed, when ominous clouds gathered overhead. 10 minutes later the mother of all storms broke out, and hail came pelting down. This lasted about 30 minutes, and the Luzi turned chocolate within 20 minutes after that. No fishing there then!

    We met Chris Nezar in Rhodes on our way back to, and shared the good and bad news with him. Rain at least meant flowing rivers, but nothing for the next 2 days at least. So, we headed of to a stillwater in Barkly East the next day, hoping for a good start to his trip. Arriving at the stillwater just outside Barkly, that was in a terrible state - overgrown with weed (but not according to the farmer before we set out ). Trying to salvage the day, I phoned a farmer close to town who has some some water on the Langkloof - a river renowned for large rainbows. The Langkloof was by no means running, but still clear (no storms in Barkly).

    We rigged up ( I suggested going light - #3 for the clear and calm water conditions), and set off. At the 1st pool we stalked, I saw the white flash of a trout's mouth opening as it fed on nymphs. I only saw that head, and the rest of the fish was hidden on the shadow of an everhanging crack-willow. "Good fish" I whispered to Chris, estimating it in the region of 19". We devised a method of attack - since there was virtually no fly, fishing upstream would no doubt line & spook the fish in the flat water conditions - so, downstream it was.

    I suggested to #16 ZAK, on 6X (totally acceptable for a 19" rainbow). Chris eased into the water upstream of where the rainbow still fed lazily. He had to make a roll-cast, as the crack-willows behind him made back-casting impossible. A tough cast in anyone's book. After 5 or 6 attempts to get the fly close enough to the fish to make a fairly natural downstream drift, the trout cruised forward to inspect the fly. From my spotting position for Chris high on the opposite bank I nearly sh#t myself as the fish came out of the shadow - it never seemed to end!! Bigger than 19" I thought, but never mentioned it to Chris. The big rainbow looked at the fly, but turned away at the last second and slid back into the shadows - no wonder it grew that big - clever bugger!!

    Chris made another couple of attempts to get the fly into the right area, but could not - tough cast as mentioned.

    We decided to rest the fish in case we spooked it, and headed upstream in search of some other pools to fish. Chris caught a nice 16" 'bow in the pool just above, but his thoughts were still on the bigger fish down below. We had some lunch on the banks, and talked about tactics on how to entice the bigger fish. We looked through our fly boxes, and Chris took out the most unlikely fly - a Pancorra Woolly Bugger. And a big one too. Well, if he had confidence in the fly, then why not I thought!!

    So, back down to the big 'bow. Roll-casting that big fly on 6X and a #3 rod was a mission, but once again, after a couple of casts Chris got the fly in the zone. The fish once again slid out of the shadows, and I whispered to Chris (me sitting on the same raised bank) to give it 2 small strips, just to get the fish to react. And what a reaction!!!

    The fish shot forward and grabbed the fly. Chris struck, and "Het hom, het hom!!!!" broke the tense silence.

    Chris fought the fish extremely well, given that he only had 6X on! When he finally slid the net under the fish and raised it out of the water, neither of us could believe the size of the 'bow! It was much bigger than I guessed, and Chris was shocked, since he still thought it was 19" the whole time. They say a picture tells a 1000 words, so here's a couple of words to take the story further ...

    Lovely story Mario! Well done to Chris too. That sure will take a hell of a lot of beating. Awesome stuff!
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=FlyGuide.co.za;4100]Oh my gosh. I just realised the if we where trout, then we would never grow beyond 6"!!!

    We come up for every little fly that is drifted over us, no matter what it is!
    QUOTE]

    hehe.....that's very true Mario
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

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