Flyfishing report: Yellowfish - East Free State

Date of Report: Tuesday, 23rd November 2021
Name: David Weaver
Phone: 083 303 4230

The resort is still closed… causing much angst amongst all who used to fish the East banks.  If it is any consolation, the bank from North Pier to South Pier is so eroded with the high water levels that it is all but unfishable from the bank.  High wave action has collapsed those banks and they are now sheer cliffs with no access points down to the water.  So, the dam can only be accessed via Qwantani resort.  They don’t allow day visitors so if you’re not staying over, I’m afraid the waters of Sterkfontein are out of bounds.

The general water temperature is still around 16*C with a few of the sheltered bays going up to 17*C and we found one inlet where the water temp was 18*C. The fish are still swimming deep and are concentrating in the areas of warmer water.

The favoured fly is still the Good Dr’s Purple Beetle, with the odd fish rising to Hoppers and F-Flies. There are good hatches of caddis with many caddis rises (splashy rises) over the weed beds, so emerging caddis patterns so a “Klippies en Gans” should work well.  Early morning micro termite hatches are happening so be sure to have some small brown flying-ant patterns in your box.

There is, as yet no spawning activity so the fish are spread out around the dam and we caught at most places where conditions were right, scum lines, warmer water, weed beds and good drop-offs into deeper water.

The Wilge River is still quite dirty so the flyfishing opportunities are not good. We have been catching a few barbel that respond to splashy casts in shallow water.