A Low Bushman’s River

A Low Bushman’s River

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
Amazingly it's been quite some time since I've had the pleasure of fishing the upper Bushman's River. It's always been one of my favourite stretches of river despite the fact that it generally produces smaller fish. I guess this is because for me it's not about the size when it comes to wild brown trout, but rather about the beauty of the surroundings. To be fishing under the Giant, with the Drakensberg looming above you, while ankle deep in cold, crystal clear water is hard to be beat. I'd wondered the whole drive about the water level after a season of low rainfall. When I got to the water's edge it was immediately obvious just how low the river was. My mind rushed back to a session on the Umzimkulu earlier…
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The Valentine’s Day Curse (Umzimkulu River Lodge Trip Report)

The Valentine’s Day Curse (Umzimkulu River Lodge Trip Report)

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
Being Valentine's weekend granny was kind enough to offer to look after Emma so that Sharon and I could get away for a weekend of solitude. Since this opportunity presents itself so rarely we decided to kill several birds with one stone by organising a relaxing, hiking, romantic, fishing weekend away. As nonsensical as that sounds we found the perfect venue in the Umzimkulu River Lodge, located 22kms outside of Underberg. We had a little hiccup getting there as we made use of Google Maps rather than following the sign I'd seen on so many occasions. This saw us taking the second Coleford road rather than the first and then left us guessing when we crossed the Umzimkulu with no lodge in sight. After driving backwards and forwards for ten minutes…
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A Low Inanda Dam In My Xplorer Journey Deluxe

A Low Inanda Dam In My Xplorer Journey Deluxe

Bass, Fresh Water
For many years my wife's watched my vibrant blue Fishcat Deluxe fade into something she deemed unworthy of floating on a dam. To right this wrong she gifted me with a brand new Xplorer Journey Deluxe for my birthday and Christmas presents. At first I was torn, not wanting to discard my still buoyant Fishcat, however curiosity soon got the better of me and I decided to give it a try at my local bass dam, Inanda. After convincing my wife that Emma would love a morning of sun, water and open spaces we climbed into the car and headed for the dam. So far all was on track. There was a short queue at the gate but it didn't take long and soon I'd setup a small picnic spot for…
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The New Location X

The New Location X

Fresh Water, Trout
During a recent trip to the Bend my mate Dave and I decided to head out to try a new water. Admittedly I was initially a little upset that we weren't fishing the Mooi River, seeing as the season had just opened, but looking back this was the best decision we could have made. The river was still very thin after all, while the brown trout we discovered were fat and happy. After loading up the Ark we took a short drive to our new location X and launched the boat. Dave handed me a paddle and proceeded to tell me tales of woe about a biking accident, a plate in his shoulder, and his new inability to paddle. In his defence he did take 3 strokes before lowering his paddling and letting me do…
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Back To Underberg

Back To Underberg

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
Craving some trout fishing, Neill was kind enough to put together another boys weekend to trout mecca known as Underberg. I put in for a full day's leave on Friday (rather than the usual half day) in the hope of getting in a full day's fishing. Sadly this was not to be as Neill got stuck with customers which temporarily delayed our departure. Add to this that my car's fuel warning light had come on, and that Neill's car had battled to start the previous morning, and it was clear we weren't off to a great start. As it turned out Andrew and Richard weren't doing too much better, and we all arrived at Turner's Cottage at around 11am. Being close to midday I wasn't expecting much from the fishing, but it was great to…
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A Tough Weekend At Kamberg

A Tough Weekend At Kamberg

Fresh Water, Trout
[caption id="attachment_2466" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Fishing Erskine Dam, Kamberg[/caption] I recently spent a long weekend at the Kamberg Nature Reserve with my family. It's a beautiful venue and was once one of the most highly regarded fly fishing venue in Kzn. Sadly, since the hatchery closed, I've found the dam fishing to have declined, although they do claim to still stock them regularly. That said, it's still a great venue for beginners thanks primarily to the mowed banks making it an easy venue to fish compared to our many farm waters. And if you exclude the dams it still has a beautiful stretch of the Mooi river, which I was sadly unable to fish due to it being the closed season. Over the course of the weekend I only managed two short afternoon sessions of around…
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Trout In The Sleet

Trout In The Sleet

Fresh Water, Trout
I recently decided to take the family on a mini adventure to a very cold Underberg. Snow was predicted and it's not often that it falls over the weekend in accessible locations. I was therefore going to make sure that my little girl got to build her very own version of Olaf (as a parent I now get to reference Frozen). Our snow hunting on the first day proved unsuccessful and at 2:30pm it was clear that we would have to wait for nightfall for snow. I therefore decided to shoot off to one of the UHTFC's dams for a quick fish. I dropped Sharon and Emma off at the hotel and promptly headed for Lake Isabella, at Alan's recommendation. Amazingly as I passed through Underberg the sunny skies darkened and the rain…
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The Boston Fly Fishing Festival 2015

The Boston Fly Fishing Festival 2015

Event, Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
I can safely say that the Boston Fly Fishing Festival is by far my favourite festival. Yes, I will admit it's the only festival I fish regularly, but I'm utterly convinced this is irrelevant - it's just that good - and this year was no exception. Will I be back next year? Definitely, but I'll be packing a set of bolt cutters. Anyway, I'm getting ahead of myself, so let's start from the beginning. With Nick, a key Baha Boy and team member, having left SA for Australia I was forced to relook at Team Baha for the 2015 event. Neill and Bruce had both secured their places after dominating the 2014 festival, which meant there was just 1 space left to full. Coxy's mom might have prevented him from coming and Alan…
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Castleburn And The Umzimkulu River

Castleburn And The Umzimkulu River

Fresh Water, Trout
[caption id="attachment_2484" align="alignnone" width="1200"] The view from Lake Madingofani[/caption] I was lucky enough to win a weekend away at Castleburn at last year's Boston Fly Fishing Festival (courtesy of the UHTFC). We finally decided to make use of it when my dad and Cassia flew up to Durban to visit Emma and us. The weekend was fantastic while the fishing was a bit of a mixed bag as my dad and I only made it onto the water twice over the course of the week. Our first attempt saw us heading down to Lake Madingofani (Castleburn Lake) for a late afternoon session. On the walk down we fished a few of the smaller dams, more out of curiosity than due to their potential. I assume these dams are targeted at beginners as we were easily…
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Fishing The UHTFC

Fishing The UHTFC

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Trout
Having been voted onto the UHTFC committee at the AGM, Neill and I decided that it was time for a club visit and informal committee meeting. In other words, it had been far too long since we'd targeted trout on fly and were itching to get back in the water. We phoned a few friends and had soon organised a group of 4 fishermen, and had booked accommodation at Twin Springs. I took the Friday off with the plan of heading to the Berg after my wife had left for the office. It was a good plan on paper, but fell apart when I tried to get my fly rods out of the garage after my wife had left for work. I soon discovered that she'd taken both garage door…
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