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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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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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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A Winter’s Day At Hella Hella

A Winter’s Day At Hella Hella

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Yellowfish
At 4am I was awoken by the sound of pouring rain which left me wondering if our trip to the Umkomaas was still on the cards. Thankfully as I lay there the downpour slowly abated and by the time I climbed out of bed there was just the slightest drizzle. I made a few rolls, packed the car, and then waited for Keegan and Nick to arrive so that we could head for Richmond. After a quick coffee stop we were soon descending into the Umkomaas valley. It was a chilly 10 degrees when my car started pulling to the left and I was forced to pull over. As I feared my front left tyre was flat and so began my first ever tyre change in the Fortuner. Apparently you're…
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The Boston Fly Fishing Festival 2016

The Boston Fly Fishing Festival 2016

Event, Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
"I can safely say that the Boston Fly Fishing Festival is by far my favourite festival." Yes, it's a line that I often start my annual Boston post with, but it remains true. And this year was no exception, despite what were very tough fishing conditions. We got off to a great start by entering two teams instead of our usual one. The more the merrier proved to be true, although sadly we were unable to find a farmer who was able to accommodate all eight of us at a single venue. Neill, Bruce, Keegan and I therefore stayed with Helen, who had put up Team Baha for several years, while Andrew, Richard, Dan and Dave stayed in what became known as cat cottage. Now I'm not 100% sure what that…
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Natal Scalies On The Umkomaas

Natal Scalies On The Umkomaas

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Yellowfish
With Leo heading for the UK we decided to do one last outing with the fly sticks prior to his departure. Our chosen quarry was the Natal Yellowfish, aka the scaly, on the Umkomaas River just outside of Richmond. We had a great turnout with 6 of us making our way to Hella Hella via the mandatory coffee stop. Although I'd fished the Umkomaas on multiple occasions it was the first time I'd been to this particular stretch, and I was suitably impressed. Hella Hella boasts a beautiful section of river, nestled under looming cliffs and running through thick indigenous forest (complete with far too many thorns). The conditions were good, although not perfect. It was perhaps a little chilly with the air temperature measuring 12 degrees on arrival. I unfortunately didn't measure the water temperature but it…
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