FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Trout - Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands

Date of Report: Monday, 11th March 2019
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Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262

When to use a dry fly, and when , maybe, not:

Because I choose my fishing mates well, I often end up with one those high-brow types that insists on sticking to dry flies all day. These are decent chaps, and they are as unwavering in their dry fly purity as I am in my aversion of the “lob the big bead” thing.  In other words, they often relent. Like me.

I was on the Lotheni the other day with my mate Anton, who would not relent, come hell or high water.  The thing is, the water was high. Flow was strong after all the rain we have had.  I could hardly describe our day with the word “hell”. In fact, it was heavenly. And Anton relented.  He did this after I was getting up his nose, by hooking a few fish, which he, until then, had not done.  But being the high browed fellow that he is, he retained a modicum of purity by tying on a small heavy nymph, and hanging it below a hopper. This way he could claim that he was in fact, still fishing a dry fly.

 We ended the day roughly equal in terms of numbers, but Anton was quick to point out that only two of the fish caught, were caught  “the right way”.

It was a day in which there was a lot of white water, and even the sedate pools were masses of swirling current. After prospecting the  pockets within the white water  without result,  we found ourselves skipping this water and focusing on all the slower water we could find.  I was fishing that water with a beaded GRHE.  Now, I am on record as saying that I never (or was it “seldom”?) use a bead bigger than 2.5 mm on our trout streams here in the midlands. Scout’s honour, that is true.  What I failed to mention, is that I sometimes add some of that deep soft weight. Lead Prestik, I call it.

So last week-end I was lobbing my little beaded GRHE (plus a metric ton of lead Prestik) into that fast water and getting some results.

I mention that, because all our streams are going like a steam train.  We have had brilliant rains. Streams rise and dirty, then clear for a few days, then there is another storm, and so it goes.  On any particular day, you could find the stream either blown out, or fishable by measure of its water clarity, but either way, flowing strongly.

So all those Troglodytes and GUN’s and slim Perdigons that you tied in the hot low conditions of early summer, can now be dusted off and thrown into the swirling white water of a midlands trout stream to good effect!

 But if, later in the day perhaps, the trout get a little eager and hungry, and if you find some marginally slower water, like Anton did, you could come right and catch some fish “the right way”. Walking through the veld this morning, it was a veritable ‘hopper farm’, so that would be a good prospecting fly for when you tire of lobbing lead.

 I have had a look at the Mooi, Umgeni, Little Mooi,  Ncibidwana and Bushmans  over the last week, and they are all flowing strongly.  On Wednesday last week they were all clean and fishable.  Last night we had yet more rain, and this morning the Umgeni….certainly the lower stretches….were blown out.  Who knows what the others look like, but I think the rain was widespread.


If you get chased off a river, there is good news on the Stillwater front:  The NFFC opened its dams again a week or two back, after a heat-closure period of nearly 3 months.   This was done because the dams are all full to the brim.  Isn’t that just brilliant news!

Full dams, strong flowing rivers, and we are on the cusp of the best weather of the year: Autumn.  I am sure you can join the dots…..


Umgeni Trout


A full Umgeni