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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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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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Back To The Harbour

Back To The Harbour

Salt Water
[caption id="attachment_2543" align="alignright" width="225"] Leo with a nice gurnard[/caption] It's been a while since I've fly fished the harbour. In fact, according to this blog, the last time was back in January 2013 when we got some nice pompano and kingies. News was that it was fishing well so Keegan, Leo, Amy and I headed down for a quick flick. Spring lows were at around midday so we arrived at the harbour at 10:30am. The not uncommon first challenge was that Leo forgot his basket. This was (relatively) easily solved by lurking behind the restaurants and hunting down an old beer crate. This combined with a piece of soggy harbour rope made a great stripping basket and we were back in action. We started fishing near the concrete block and I quickly…
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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 Quick Casino Outing

A Quick Casino Outing

Salt Water
At one stage Casino beach was probably my most fished venue, being en route to work and close to home. However for some reason this seems to have come to an end and I've barely fished this stretch over the last couple of years. It's never produced large fish, but I've picked up a variety of species here from wavies to African pompano, and shad to thornfish. Even the odd garrick has been known to come out. And since it's sometimes just about getting out there Neill and I decided to have a quick pre-work flick in the waves. Fishing was tough as it was spring highs and the water was dirty from recent rains. Despite this we put in an hour or two and were rewarded with a few small…
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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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Another Bait Outing – Grunter Bashing

Another Bait Outing – Grunter Bashing

Bait
Since this is primarily a fly fishing blog, I'm not going to spend too much time describing (or justifying) my bait fishing outing. Suffice to say it was a great day on the water despite tough conditions, mostly due to strong winds. Fishing was tough with only a handful of grunter coming to hand, of which only 1 was of size. This poor fellow was unfortunate enough to make it home to my pan and went down well with chips and a side salad. You really can't beat fresh (mercury filled) fish. [caption id="attachment_2477" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Warren with a spotted grunter caught on bait[/caption]
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