FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Yellowfish - East Free State

Date of Report: Thursday, 7th November 2019
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Name: David Weaver
Phone: 083 303 4230

I just heard today that Donald Trump is withdrawing the USA from the Paris environmental accord.  “for the sake of the people of America, the businesses, the Taxpayers and the future of this country”

The mind boggles that he does not see that Global warming is accelerating at an alarming rate. If he had any idea about a future for anybody on this planet, he would forget about the 2020 elections and do the right thing. 

Our weather has gone all wacky and as a result nature is totally out of balance.  So far this season we have only managed to catch a few Yellows in what was always the ‘secret season’.  When we as locals went fishing on Sterkies without being over-run by visitors.  Where we could cruise into a bay of our choice and the only other living soul that we saw were the herds of eland, grazing what fresh grass they could find.   Well the eland have moved down into Natal to find food, the hoppers have yet to hatch as they wait for the first rains, so if you aint got plenty Caddis patterns in your box of tricks you aint going to catch no yellows.

The water temp is hovering around the 16° C mark and so to find fish you must go looking for warmer water.  Van der Kloof’s water temp is at 21° C so it’s probably a better bet to head SW then it is to head to Sterkies.  It looks like we might get some rain this weekend, so maybe a few terrestrials will start to appear, but until then, aquatic insect imitations would be my choice.

The Wilge river is so low that farmers are netting the fish and relocating them to farm dams.  Around Harrismith the Wilge is suffering a much worse fate.  Our local municipality does not exist….and all the other woes that face small rural towns across the country…. Our sewerage is free flowing into the Wilge.  3 years ago, I was site-casting to schools of yellows in the local park, below the one-way bridge. Today, your line would melt on contact with the water, in what I can only describe as a toxic blend of faeces and industrial chemicals.  The community has rallied around, we have kept our water flowing and local businesses are removing the refuse.  The roads are so potholed that you must choose your route through town carefully, and we struggle to keep our electricity connected.  Our sewerage infrastructure is next on the list of things that we are going to have to fix ourselves, but until that happens, fish upstream of Harrismith.

So if you are wanting to fish Sterkies now in the early season, you’re going to have to go to the ‘Dark-side’ and fish nymphs, unless, off course if you see cruising fish on the surface, then pop out a hopper or two.


Sterkfontein yellow