Castleburn

Castleburn

Fresh Water, Review, Trip Report, Trout
I was lucky enough to win a 5 day stay at Castleburn in last years Xplorer UHTFC Festival. After (accidentally) letting it expire I managed to get it extended by a month and took the family up for a much needed break.  Having spent the weekend fishing the Boston Fly Fishing Festival this was intended to be a family trip. I did however manage to pack the  fly rod and to sneak away for the odd hour here and there. And I'm certainly glad I did - the fishing was great.  For the full (family) trip report please head over to my personal website. This blog post is going to be more focused on Castleburn's fly fishing, as well as any activities related to fishing. The Venue [caption id="attachment_2907" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Sunrise…
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The Boston Fly Fishing Festival 2017

The Boston Fly Fishing Festival 2017

Event, Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
Arrival and Registration The 7th annual Boston Fly Fishing Festival was once again held on the weekend of the 16th June. And for the 5th year in a row this meant missing my wedding anniversary in favour of the event. Thankfully I have a forgiving wife, and had booked a week-long family holiday at Castleburn, and was therefore given the much needed pink slip. Baha Fly Fishing entered the same 2 teams of four as the previous year. The South coast team was once again made up of Dave, Dan, Andrew and Richard, while the Durban team consisted of Neill, Bruce, Keegan and myself. Now while I named the team's Baha North and Baha South, the South Coast boys had other plans. They arrived at the festival early and used…
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Durban Showing Off

Durban Showing Off

Salt Water
[caption id="attachment_2860" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Neill fishing the Durban beachfront[/caption] On Friday morning Neill and I took to the Durban beachfront for a pre-work fish. Despite being winter the water was warm and conditions looked promising for a few wavies. Consistent offshore winds in the preceding days had flattened the swell, other than a rather large shore-break which did hinder fishing slightly. Durban itself put on a great show with a beautiful orange sunrise illuminating the glass-like surface on the ocean. We fished for between an hour and an hour and a half, with not so much as a bump from the smallest wave garrick. This was irrelevant though, as it was great to just be out there with the sand between our toes before a tough day's graft. Fishing was followed by a…
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Snow Hunting and a Tough Hour at Lake Ringstead

Snow Hunting and a Tough Hour at Lake Ringstead

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
I recently took the family to the Drakensberg in search of snow. Sadly our adventure was less successful than planned. Although there was an abundance of snow, all of it fell high in the mountains meaning we needed to make our way up Sani Pass to get it. So far so good. The problem however arose as we began to make our way up the bottom reaches of the pass and quickly discovered just how dangerous the pass had become. Our first clue should have been the various news reports we heard on the radio clearly stating that the top of the pass was closed. However we chose to ignore these in the hope that we could drive up the pass just far enough to get to the bottom of the…
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Granchester – The 5 Year Return

Granchester – The 5 Year Return

Fresh Water, Trout
This morning I returned to Granchester, one of the Natal Fly Fishing Club's most popular dams, after a 5 year break from the venue. A quick review of the blog reminded me that it had been a tough outing with Nick picking up the only fish (you can read the story here). I was hoping for better luck. The drive up proved to be spectacular with mist filling the valleys, while the golden sunrise highlighted the autumn hues of the surrounding trees. In fact the view was so spectacular that I even put my fishing on hold to stop and take a few photos. [caption id="attachment_2842" align="alignnone" width="1600"] A golden sunrise in the Natal Midlands[/caption] I arrived at the waters edge just after 7am. It was 4 degrees (Celcius) with…
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Wavies and Cappuccinos

Wavies and Cappuccinos

Salt Water
Back before I had 2 children, in the days when my job was less time consuming, I used to often fish before (and after) work along the beaches of KwaZulu-Natal or in the Durban harbour. Those days now seem like a distant memory, although in truth it wasn't all that long ago. This morning I got to relive those days and realised that perhaps they're not out of my grasp, and reminded me that I'm getting a little lazy and that I can still wake up at 4:30am on a work day to get to the water. The fishing itself was very much a non event in terms of size and numbers. We fished a pushing, neap tide for an hour and got maybe five fish between the three of us. They…
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Fun on Fly at Umngazi River Bungalows

Fun on Fly at Umngazi River Bungalows

Salt Water, Trip Report
[caption id="attachment_2780" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Sunset at Umngazi River Bungalows[/caption] We recently headed to Umngazi River Bungalows for a week long family holiday. The weather was sadly not ideal (for a family holiday) with most days being overcast and drizzly, with the added benefit of a few spectacular evening storms. On the up side it generally only rained in the afternoons and, despite the clouds, it was still warm enough to enjoy the beach and the pool. Conditions were also good enough to grab the fly rod and head for a quick fish (but then when are conditions not right for fishing?). The water was dirty from recent rains and chats with other anglers weren’t promising as nobody had caught a fish. But you can’t catch without a fly in the water…
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The Xplorer UHTFC Festival 2016

The Xplorer UHTFC Festival 2016

Event, Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
This year the UHTFC decided to host it’s inaugural UHTFC Xplorer Fly Fishing Festival. Apparently the club has hosted festivals in the past, but these were well before my time and have long since been forgotten by club members and the committee alike. Bruce Taylor put his hand up and did the majority of the planning and leg work, while I organised the advertising and online registration (and presence) for the event. In the end we opened it to 25 teams of 2, as well as 2 Xplorer teams, meaning we had 54 anglers. Alan did a great job organising the waters and we were privileged to include venues like Sani Valley Lodge (Lifton Lake), Giant’s Cup, Lake Naverone, and Castleburn in amongst the lineup of club dams. The committee made the…
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