FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Yellowfish - East Free State

Date of Report: Monday, 15th January 2018
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Name: David Weaver
Email: eff@ohs.dorea.co.za
Phone: 083 303 4230

How things have changed, the heat is up and Sterkies is fishing well.  With water temperatures in the high teens and in some bays even going up to the lower twenties, the fish are in the shallows and properly on the move.

There is also a lot of spawning activity in the northern parts of the dam so please stay away from these areas.  Do not walk the banks where fish are spawning, do not wade through spawning areas and do not cast a fly at spawning fish...all for good reason, I might add. 

  1. When they are spawning they are not eating so you won’t catch anything.
  2. They need to breed to ensure our fishery is healthy for years to come.
  3. If a female is disturbed once she is ready to spawn she will drop her eggs in deep water.
  4. If the fish are disturbed while spawning the eggs won’t get covered by the males and thus won’t be fertile.
  5. Only idiots, morons and complete savages fish at spawning fish.

The first spawn of the season and there were 13 flyfisherman walking all over the beds last weekend.  We went past en-route to NON-SPAWNING margins and I was horrified to see, so-called environmentally-friendly-Flyfisherman, walking all over the beds. Not cool.  Besides this you have also managed to attract the attention of the locals, who are now slaughtering fish by the hundreds, just a matter of time before the Chinese arrive with gill-nets.

Rant over, lets talk fishing.  Still not a given that you will catch fish, Sterkies is not for the feint-hearted, you can still blank as many times as you catch and there are no secret recipes to catching fish.  You must read the conditions, know the spots and be prepared to change flies and tactics often.  On a day, like yesterday, the beetle wasn’t working so we resorted to unweighted nymphs, crickets and small hopper-patterns.  Orange Hotspot Nymphs suspended below “whopper” Hoppers also elicited the odd take.

The northern parts of the dam showed plenty of smaller males, attending to the spawning females, and most of the larger fish were down the southern parts of the dam.

Enjoy this paradise while it lasts, pay your fishing licence and stay off the spawning beds.

Fish responsibly for our children’s sake.

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Yellows on the spawning beds