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Thread: Elandskloof Trout Farm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Default Elandskloof Trout Farm

    Elandskloof Trout Farm – Mpumalanga
    20/07/2018 – 23/07/2018

    1: Weather
    The Friday when we arrived was flippen cold, no other way to politely put it. There was a slight breeze and this combined with the temperature ensured that we only tried to fish for a very short period of time. The Saturday was still cold and windy, the Sunday however turned out to be a beautiful day. Still a bit windy but otherwise very pleasant to be out and about in *** beautiful creation admiring the scenery and trying to catch some elusive winter trout.

    2: Venue and Accommodation
    As a fishing venue I think Elandskloof is fantastic. It offer plenty of fishing options and magnificent scenery. This time of the year on a working farm however is difficult to sell to non-fishing people. It is brown and looks a bit dead, and farms need to burn areas in order to protect fields etc. So this all results in what comes across as barren and dead, however there is no denying that Elandskloof is a stunning piece of the world and spring, summer and autumn must be truly spectacular. It is also clearly a very popular venue, as it was fairly fully booked and many of the guests where return guests. 4 New units are being built as well, which I believe will be done at the end of August and ready for bookings.
    The venue offer various different accommodation options, so you should be able to find something to fit your budget, and the rate we paid for the chalet we were in was some of the cheapest we have found to date. Our unit was a 6 sleeper. Two bedrooms, one with a double bed, the other with 2 single beds and then with 2 bunk beds in the open plan living area. It can’t be called luxury at all, but it had everything we needed for a fishing weekend. However I would look at some of the other accommodation should I be taking my kids and family with me. The unit did not have a fireplace and it lacked comfortable seating for after dinner conversation. The beds in the two rooms are concrete and brick beds with some very firm mattresses on them. And there is only 1 bathroom with a toilet, basin and shower. The braai facilities for our unit was also a loose braai that can be moved around, but unless you put it on the little covered area by the entrance where there is also a fireplace, it is a little exposed to the elements. The kitchen had everything required, and the only other thing to take note of is that the unit is cleaned daily, but this does not include dishes to be washed. No cleaning equipment is provided for you to wash your own dishes either, so it is something you need to take along.
    So for us as a group of fisherman this accommodation was perfectly fine, but I would look at the other options for future trips with the family.

    3 Fishing:
    The fishing on this trip was though. The cold weather and the wind added to this. The surface water temperature was around 10 degrees and as such there was practically no morning or evening rises at all. Being the middle of winter also meant very little insect life to bring the fish to the surface. I know the morning and evening rises are not an indication as to the amount of fish in a dam, but when you see these it settles us amateur’s fears that there might be no fish at all. (I still like the venues that have stocking registers and are happy to share these)
    If I know there are fish because I have seen them rise, then even if I do not catch anything I am ok with that. It would just mean I did not have the required skill to catch them.
    So no fish were caught on the Friday. On the Saturday afternoon I manage to hook a lovely and strong rainbow trout on a Black GRHE underneath a big DDD. The take was so gentle that if I was not watching my dry fly disappear under the water I would have missed it completely. Unfortunately after playing the fish for less than one minute it broke of my leader. For this I have no one to blame but myself. That very morning I was chatting to Ross, telling him that I just carried on fishing with the leader I had on from my previous trip instead of replacing it. My statement was “it will be ok, I am brave like that” said in jest after he told me not to be stupid. So I deserved to lose that fish after not properly checking the leader or replacing it.
    Out of the 3 of us, that was the only hook-up for the day, and we called it quits around 16:30 to start the braai, in anticipation of another very cold evening. Sitting by the fire, we did at least see some surface activity in the dam right in front of our unit.
    Sunday morning was a few degrees warmer and ended up being a lovely day, and Ross managed to catch 2 nice rainbows on Sunday. He had so many flies on his setup he was bound to catch something (That is my theory and I am sticking to it). Both were caught on a black and red nymph which I could not put a name to. The first one around the 1,5kg mark and the second around the 500-750g mark. The wind was still being fairly troublesome so we had an easy afternoon lazing around. I even managed to spend some time just practising my casting in wind without worrying about trying to catch anything and just admiring the surroundings.
    The water temp was up to about 12 degrees and we anticipated some late afternoon/early evening activity and we were not disappointed. We previously joked amongst ourselves that each dam only had one fish in it, but as the warmer day came to an end, the dam in front of our unit turned into a feast of activity. What followed for me was probably the most frustrating 45min of fishing before the sun went down. It was one of those times where everything seemed to be just 1 degree off from what it should be. I missed a few takes on my emergers, then caused wind nots in my line, was then broken off by a fish and managed to tangle my line, catch a tree behind me (3 times), broke off in the tree and do everything else but cast properly and actually catch a fish. By the time it was dark I was glowing with frustration. But it did point out to me that there is still lots left for me to learn and improve on.
    No one else managed to catch anything either, and I was not sure if this made me feel better or worse J
    We did all our fishing from the sides, however wading and float tubes are allowed, and I would recommend a float tube, as the waters are fairly large and I think you can have a fantastic time fishing on a tube here. That being said, every one of the waters also offer ample place to fish from the banks.
    There are also plenty of dams to fish (10 if memory serves) so it should never become too crowded.
    I will go back to this venue for sure, with my boat and more patience. And I am very keen to go stay in one of the new units cause the view they offer is spectacular and they are also right on one of the dams.
    Happy fishing.
    Last edited by Thiaan; 03-08-18 at 02:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    Hi all.
    I'm using this thread because I had an unusual fishing experience at Elandskloof Trout Farm last week. I'm not new to the venue (have been there about 5 times since 2010)

    I went fishing for 4 days and couldn't land a single trout. The first few days I didn't see any trout except for a few jumping early morning and late afternoon, but no serious activity as is usual during that time of day. The staff at Mavungana told me that fishing have been difficult over the weekend at other venues as well. They also suggested a few other flies and tips I haven't tried during the first 2 days, but to no avail.

    During the last 2 days activity picked up a bit and I had one proper bite at 09:00 on the 4th day, but lost the fish after about 2 seconds. During those two days I saw a group of 5 to 6 fish swimming in a tight circle from sunrise to sunset for the remainder of my time spent there. They ignored everything I tried on them.

    Can anyone shed some light on this?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Goose View Post
    Can anyone shed some light on this?
    Striking against black outs ......ooooppppps......... load shedding??
    If it's fair game.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011


    I was in the Dullstroom area around the same time (not the same venue) and also battled. I did catch some trout but not many and I also tried various techniques. Some observations were: water temperatures were generally rather high; there was a full moon around that time (debatable effect); barometric pressure varied quite a bit. Not sure if any of this put the fish off but I certainly had my poor fishing excuses ready for anyone who cared to ask.

    It certainly isn't spawning time yet for trout so the fish swimming around in groups is a mystery. I also saw jumping fish and I think this might have been due to distress from the warm water (no feeding rises).


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