I was wondering about this weekend, should we really go out and take another fishless beating after last weekend’s fiasco? Not a single Largemouth seen or caught in a whole day of ceaseless flogging? The question begged whether our beloved Vaal and its denizens have finally given up and succumbed to the merciless pollution and disregard. Were there still sufficient numbers of these majestic fish alive to warrant all the time, effort and expense to pursue them?
But……being a sucker for punishment and Largemouth junkie I decided to give it another go with my friend IW. It was his second attempt at Largie fishing and the first one was a total blank. I think he seriously doubted all the stories I was telling him.
It was the Windknot’s year start gathering at the ELGRO river lodge and I decided to do a drift below the Lodge .The prognosis weather-wise was rain, rain and some more rain thrown in for good measure. When we hit the water Saturday morning there was that ominous pressing silence before a storm, but I was very excited as I could see a lot of fish movement on the underwater ledges.
It soon became evident that there were a few decent Largemouths around, they were porpoising and showing off their fins in classic Largie fashion, they had me trembling and shaking in my boots as we started prospecting the structures with weighted Black WoolyBuggers,my favourite Largie fly when fishing in fast current ,casting upstream ,up and across current and even downstream at underwater rocks and rocky ledges.
Well, what followed was one of the most exhilarating and goose-bump crazy days of Largie fishing I have ever experienced. We ended up with seven big Largies and about 6 big Smallmouths on the Saturday and 8 Largies and a lot of Smallmouths on the Sunday, we were smashed up by huge fish three times, twice as a result of fish making a headlong unstoppable rush into submerged trees and once when a big fish cut my leader on some sharp rocks. Awesome fishing and a weekend we will never forget! We also caught two small Largies which gives us hope for future fishing and we saw enough fish to indicate that a healthy population of Largemouths still exists. Here are some of the better Largies we caught
Good day fly fisherman and woman
I would like to start of this post by saying thank you to all who joined us at the year start function. It was good to see every one again and to see the new faces in the club , thank you for the guys who drove all the way from Pretoria and Jhb and for every one new in the club.
The weekends weather was not the best but some of the guys caught some nice fish in the conditions.
Lastly I would like to thank Kobus , Gusti and Piet for taking the time to organise the weekend fishing and accommodation.
See everyone at the next club day!
Just a reminder regarding the “Year-start function”, 19 January 2013.
If you are going to attend, please let Piet Van Der Merwe, Kobus Fourie or Agostino Giuseppe Gaglio know so we can plan accordingly.
I hope all of you had a awesome holiday with friends and family!
I was lucky enough to fish the garden route while I was on my holiday and had a great time fishing the salt. The weather was incredible and the fish where willing to take the fly!
My target species for the week or so was the Garrick. Now these fish are super fast and aggressive predators. The estuaries in the Southern Cape are packed with them and if you put in the hard work you will be rewarded!
Most of my fishing was done early in the morning and late afternoons and the fish were more active on a dropping tide the reason for this was most of the bait fish were concentrated on the sand banks on the high tide and with the dropping tide it forced them of the sand bank into the channels where the garrick were waiting for them.
I was joined by Erich for a few fishing sessions and I just want to say thank you for the company we had a absolute ball one afternoon taking a number of fish!
The garden route is a special place and I highly recommend taking the family for a holiday!
I have a few tips for you if you consider fishing the area.
1. Gear- fish a 7wt and 10wt/9wt floating line or intermediate
2. Learn to cast a full fly line before you go on holiday most of the fish were taken between 15 and 25m out.
3. A stripping basket is a must and a double handed strip will give you the speed on the fly.
4. Flies top water flies like flipper, crease flies and standard poppers work really well and clousers in chartreuse.