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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Sterkfontein New Years

Sterkfontein New Years

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Yellowfish
Sterkfontein remains one the premier fly fishing locations in South Africa, growing in popularity annually with no end in sight. Not only does it provide some of the best sight fishing in the world, but it also offers fishing for a purely South African species in a venue of unmatched beauty. But it's not all sunshine and roses. Sterkfontein is also known for it's tough conditions and unpredictable weather. Sunshine can turn to lightning (and pouring rain) in an instant, turning a once tranquil dam into a fierce, ocean rival, sinking boats caught unexpectedly in the storm. This is where we chose to camp for a week... [caption id="attachment_2926" align="alignnone" width="1600"] Sunset over Sterkfontein Dam[/caption] Sharon, Emma and I arrived at Sterkfontein on Monday morning where we met up with Nick, Tarryn…
Read More

A Tough Sterkfontein Trip

Fresh Water, Trip Report, Yellowfish
After Nick's successful new year's Sterkfontein trip it was quickly decided that the Baha Boys needed to get up to Africa's premier sight fishing venue before the season ended. So after a quick look at our calendars we booked a long weekend in March and did the necessary planning - calculating how much booze to pack. I got to Nick's house at around 4am and we promptly hitched up the boat. He was packed and ready so it should've been an easy departure. That was until his dogs escaped which cost us half an hour. None the less we were on the road by 5am, grabbed a coffee and pie for breakfast, and made haste for Harrismith. After stopping in Harrismith for some firewood we took on the dreaded R74.…
Read More

Sterkfontein 2013/2014

Fresh Water, Yellowfish
[caption id="attachment_1750" align="alignleft" width="200"] View at Sterkfontein[/caption] On the 30th of December I packed up the family, camping gear, and boat for a 5 day getaway to one of the Free State's best kept secrets – Sterkfontein Dam. It was an early 4am start to get to the dam and set up camp before searching for some gold. Thankfully the drive  was uneventful and, after stopping for the mandatory cup of coffee, we shot through to Harrismith via the N3 as reports were coming in that the R74 was impassable. After topping up the tank of the Terios (to avoid being raped a further 50c/litre due to a petrol price increase the following day) we headed for the dreaded R74. The road now has an unmanned stop/go and is basically a…
Read More
A Sad Day Of Exploration

A Sad Day Of Exploration

Bass, Fresh Water, Yellowfish
[caption id="attachment_1371" align="alignleft" width="300"] Testing out my new Fortuner in the Umgeni Valley[/caption] A year has passed since our last Heritage Day but the memories of a day spent fly fishing under snow capped mountains (and the adventure that followed) is still fresh in my mind. It therefore seemed only fitting to spend this Heritage Day in search of yet another adventure and fishing for a purely indigenous fish, the Natal Scaly. Having just picked up my "new" vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner, we decided to head for the Umgeni Nature Reserve knowing they had a 4x4 route down into the valley. I'd last fished the venue with my dad in around 2007 and fondly remember the fun we had with the scalies. As such is seemed like the perfect choice. I…
Read More
A Wintery Nyala Pans

A Wintery Nyala Pans

Fresh Water, Yellowfish
With the (trout) streams having been closed for almost two months now I was starting to get some serious withdrawal symptoms. I needed to get into a river, and I needed to do it now. So I picked up the phone, gave Nick a call, and we put together a trip to Nyala Pans to fish for the Natal yellowfish (or scaly as it's perhaps better known). Knowing that the fish are a little lethargic in winter I got off to a leisurely start and climbed out of bed at 6am. By 6:30 I was on the road and by 7:30 I was at the water, cup of coffee in hand, and kitted up. The drive had gone by quickly and the condition of the dirt road had been fantastic.…
Read More
Nyala Pans Exploration

Nyala Pans Exploration

Fresh Water, Yellowfish
[caption id="attachment_535" align="alignright" width="300"] Natal Yellowfish (Scaly)[/caption]With the streams opening on the 1st September Nick and I planned the mandatory, season opening, trip to the Berg. But then something strange happened, a friend invited Nick and I to fish a stretch of the Umkomaas with him. After much deliberation we decided that the trout could wait another week or two and readily took our friend up on the offer. And then the second strange thing happened, our friend cancelled. None the less, with plans in place, we climbed into the car on Saturday morning and headed for waters unknown in search of Natal yellowfish (or the scaly as they call them here). Our arrival was hindered somewhat by a mountain bike race taking place at the same venue. Thankfully we…
Read More