FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Trout - Southern Drakensberg

Date of Report: Monday, 7th May 2018
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Name: Wolf Avni
Email: troutcup@giantscup.co.za
Phone: 033 701 1511

With all the late rain the ground is saturated.  We expected an early start to winter and have not been disappointed. Jack got the trap into the river early and by the mddle the fish were beginning to run up the river for spawning.  Some nice fish too. The first half dozen fish into the trap were all fat hens, 60cm or more and laden with eggs.  Further downstream on the Umzimkulu anglers were reporting large fish. It is exactly as we expected after the long drought, that the few survivors would take up the biomass of the numbers removed by the long drought . It is the pattern after a few difficult years, where numbers are seriously reduced, but that the remaining fish get bigger faster. The more protection afforded those few survivors, the quicker the river fishing bounces back.

With the spawn now in full swing, anglers are showing some frustration. Those in the know, who, fishing still waters, go looking for frustrated spawners up in the shallows where the inflow would be (if only it were flowing). And on shallow rocky ledges. Best time is usually under low light, but as the spawning frustration builds, the fish, driven by instinct will go swirling and chasing each other even in the middle of the day. They spook easily. A bit of human activity sends them off into the deep, returning as soon as things go quiet. Fishing for them in dams is great, but the wild fish in the river should be left to  deal with all the challenges that come with spawning, without the added pressure of slavish recreational pressure on top of that.

It’s that time of year when the fish really like some orange through yellow in the fly.

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Rob nets a fat hen from the trap - Photo © wolf avni  (2018)

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Wild rainbow netted from the Umzimkulwana trap - Photo © wolf avni  (2018)