Quick report 22/03/2013

Wednesday day night I get a message from Marius ‘Are you keen to fish pick you up @ 5am’ now while I was reading the message I was already parked in front of the vice tying a few crafty bunny’s ala Marius and thinking of big large mouth yellows eating my offerings with recless  abandonment  so a few seconds later I send a message back  ‘see you tomorrow’.

This was the start of my largy mission 3.0 and oh was it a interesting experience!

We were on the water by 6am and I must be honest dam it was hard waking up at 4:30am but I managed to drag myself out of bed.

 The water was looking good and we saw a few smallies rising in the early morning light.

The vaal river is stunning in the morning and everything looked good for a productive day out fishing. Man o man we weren’t disappointed! After we launched the boat and fished a section of rocky outcrops not to far of Marius was into his first fish an absolute beaut gold yellow large mouth. If you start the day of with a largy within the first 30min of fishing the fishing can only get better. Soon after Marius landed his fish a absolute bus largy boiled behind Marius’s fly just after he lifted it out of the water! Epic fishing if you ask me and it certainly got the hart pumping!

We moved of to a section with some nice structure in the middle of the river but for some reason the fish weren’t on these rocky outcrops. Now this shows you that these fish are consistently one the move from one piece of structure to the next.

After seeing no fish movement, we moved to points with a lot more current and BAM! First point fish number 3 explodes  out the water and no joy,  marius  sigh’s ‘this can not be happening ‘.

 Off to point number 2 Marius sits down to retie his tippet and I quickly change to a crufty bunny and shoot of my fist cast, the fly lands with a plop and to strips later I get a hard bump and I see the fish boiling but no take. My second cast fly’s out and the the fly land just left of rock sticking out of the water 5 strips or so  Mr largy inhales the fly like it is its last meal and does one of those I’m gonna swim straight to the boat down stream runs and you Mr fisherman will not be able to strip the line quick enough!! Yep that is exactly what he did! I just managed to get things under control and all the the fly line was out and  the fish was on the reel and that was when my next worst nightmare happened, in my haste to get everything sorted I disengaged the spool from the reel! Epic fail!! now it was me and the fish fly line in hand and  a spool drifting down stream what a balls up!I few tens minutes later Marius grabbed my largy and what a sigh of relief.

This was one of the most intense fishing experiences I had. After a few quick pics we safely released my fish and jeepers was I lucky. I can not get over the fact of how  super fast these fish are!! Largy’s are super  predators and I understand why guys get addicted to largy fishing.

Our day progressed slowly and Marius managed to land a few barbel, one or two nice small mouth yellows and few smaller large mouths.

We drifted back down stream where we launched the boat for one last shot at that big nunu from the morning and it was not long before it showed its fins! The same thing happened  again to Marius  just after Marius lifted his fly out of the water Mr largy boiled behind the fly, awesome stuff and one eager largy!, few shots later with no joy Marius picked up a bulletjie baber. That was how we ended our day out fishing.

Big thank you to Marius for inviting me along

tight loops

Wentzel

 

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WEEKEND UPDATE -16/17 March 2013:

My son and I visited the river on Saturday after a night of howling wind anda loud and non stop electric storm.

It was a beautiful morning and when we assembled the inflatable we saw quite a lot of fish movement ,the water and air temperature had dropped a little but we were fairly optimistic .

We made our way upriver and when we approached one of my favourite underwater ledges we noticed some fish moving and small fish jumping. We decided on the Crafty Bunny as it was such a successful new addition to the Largiearsenal.What followed was quite a hectic hour of fishing ,we landed 5 Large mouths between 6 and 9 pounds and two big smallmouths.

It seems the fishing on the Vaal is definitely improving in the Potchefstroom/Stilfontein area and we have high hopes for a great winter season although the rest of April and May is normally also excellent Largemouth months !

Meanwhile we are planning a trip to the Orange river over Easter weekend, this has been on my bucket list for a few years and we hope the trip will be worthwhile.

Tight lines

Marius

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Largemouth update

Some of the readers might have wondered if the Largemouth bonanza was but a fleeting affair,well, luckily it wasn’t .IW and I have been catching Largemouths on a fairly regular basis but they have proven to be as elusive and as temperamental as always .Fish of over 8 pounds have been few and far between. Wentzel also boated his first Largie of about 3kg’ and he was over the moon. The fish of a thousand or is it a million casts !

But, when you spend enough time on the water and you have a good idea where they will turn up eventually ,and you happen to be on the water at that specific time and place –Halleluja!

Such a day was Friday 08 March, the wind was howling but we managed to get off early and we headed off to the river with a lot of enthusiasm and a freight load of flies. I had foul hooked a huge Largemouth who must have just missed the fly the previous weekend and managed to boat a single scale which would in my opinion have been fitting armour for a monster fish well over 10kg’,and I also landed 4 smaller fish in the same area. This was the reason for our frenzied haste. I had this nagging feeling that they were going to be active that afternoon.

We hit the river at about 14h00 and we fished our way up to the promising area with no fish and a heck of a tail wind. When we drew close we saw two big fish porpoising in the big waves created by the wind. We could however not elicit any strikes, we saw some small baitfish jumping in the same area and we were still positive as we slowly made our way upstream.

Suddenly a fish showed itself only a leader length away from the boat and IW indicated where it was as he had a long line out and was unable to cover it.I flicked the Crafty Bunny out and it turned and grabbed the fly on the second attempt .I asked IW to drop the anchor while I played the silver specimen of approximately three kilo’s. As soon as I released it I made a long cast across and upstream and just started a jerky retrieve when a big Smallmouth hit the fly ,when it came close I noticed a huge yellow following it and I knew this was a big Largemouth attracted to the commotion. The Smallie came off and IW and I both launched a cast in the same vicinity, a big fish nailed IW’s fly and he was extatic when he could finally bring it to hand, we took a few photos of this beautie of approximately 15 pounds and I was next with a fish of about 12 pounds, then we landed fish of about 8 pounds and a fish of close on 10 pounds. We ended the day with 7 Largies and a Smallmouth.

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This was different to our first encounter in January where the fish were holding tight to structure and accurate casts were important to ensure success. These fish were hunting and feeding in open water with a rocky bottom and scattered submerged reefs and pinnacles. All the fish were taken on a Crafty Bunny fly.crafty bunny

I could not fish over the weekend but they were conspicuous in their absence as the same area produced only two baby Largemouths for a number of Anglers. Such is the nature of the beast!

 

Tight lines ,

Marius

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Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE)

SBS for a GRHE
by Herman Loubser

The Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear (GRHE) is a very old pattern and is without doubt one of the best flies ever! As far as I am concerned, it is also one of the best for nymphing the Vaal. During the summer months Smallmouth Yellows will seldom refuse a GRHE provided it is well presented.

Materials:
1. Hook: Kamasan B175 #12.
2. Brass bead 3 mm. I like to use a bead when nymphing the Vaal. A tungsten bead can be used if more weight is desired.
3. Thread: Tan, 140 denier or 6/0. Use thread that splits easily such as Ultra Thread from UTC.
4. Lead wire 0.025” (optional).
5. Rib: Ultra Wire size brassie.
6. Tail: Guard hairs from a hare’s mask.
7. Abdomen and thorax: Dubbing taken from hare’s mask.
8. Wing case: Three to four strands of peacock herl.

 

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1. Slip on the bead. Wrap lead wire to cover the thorax area. Wrap thread over the lead and rest of the hook shank.

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2. Cut a small bunch from a hare’s mask and remove as much of the underfur as possible.

 

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3. Tie in the guard hairs to form the tail.

 

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4. Tie in the ribbing material.

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5. Split the thread and add some dubbing obtained from a hare’s mask to one or both strands. Spin to form a tight rope (see no. 10).

 

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6. Wrap the dubbing rope towards the hook eye to form the abdomen.

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7. Counter wrap the rib and tie off.

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8. Tie in the material for the wing case on top of the hook shank.

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9. Split the thread again and add dubbing. Make sure to include plenty guard hairs.

 

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10. Spin the thread to form a tight rope and then wrap forward to form the thorax.

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11. Fold forward the peacock herl to form the wing case and tie off.

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12. Add head cement to prevent the thread from unravelling.

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13. Admire your work of art and don’t forget to try it out!