Flyfishing report: Saltwater - Upper South Coast

Date of Report: Friday, 2nd February 2024
Name: Martin Smuts
Phone: 078 9620111

I would say that we on the upper South Coast have experienced less rainfall this past month, than the month before. Yet our rivers are still running high and dirty, most likely due to rainfall farther inland. The estuaries have remained unfishable and the surf zone around the river mouths has also been adversely affected by the dirty water. Depending current direction, tides etc. the effects of the dirty water may be seen for kilometers along the beach. We are currently at the peak of our summer season, a time that is believed by many fishermen to be the prime time for targeting predatory species. Thankfully there has been a body of water that has been less affected by summer rains.

The water clarity in Durban harbour has been very good at times recently. Low tide appeared to have the cleanest water, with the upper reaches still the murkiest. The fishing has been very good in the harbour, although nothing big was landed on fly, the variety of species are still there, Kingfish, Springer, pick handle Barracuda and River Perch have been caught on fly. More and more Spotted Grunter are falling for the fly, particularly the smaller specimens, while the larger fish have shown themselves in the shallows, they have remained reluctant to take the fly. Though smaller fish don’t get all the hype, they do make for exciting fishing and regardless of their size it is still hugely satisfying to present your fly at visibly feeding fish and get a pull on the drop or within a strip or two. It happens quite often that while targeting tailing Grunter, that you hook into a much smaller fish than the one you saw tailing, sometimes even a different species of fish. I figured the smaller fish follow the bigger stronger fish around, and when they, the larger fish dig into the sand in search of food the smaller one’s dart in and out of the dust snatching little edibles morsels.

The dropshot guys have been having a blast at the harbour entrance, north and south pier. A couple of very nice size Cob have been caught and several big Kingfish were lost, while the mention of the one that was landed measured 50cm it can only be assumed that the ones that got away were bigger than that. Surely these fish swim all the way into the harbour and one of these fine days one of these big fish will eat our flies. Until then tight lines.


One of the smaller grunter caught on fly.