FlyFishing – January 2016

Greetings

This is wishing you and your family a very happy new year.  I just hope that our wrecking ball president now realises that South Africa is part of a bigger world and that what he says and does will have consequences that will impact on us all.  So, here is hoping for the Un-Zumafication of 2016.

Recent events/news:

The Ufudu Shop renovations
The renovations and restocking of the Ufudu Shop were finally completed and the “new look” shop was opened on 16 December 2015. Stocked with reputable brands of fly fishing rods and reels, now ranging from 2 – 12wt weight, our small shop caters for the serious fly angler wanting expert advice or equipment to target trout, yellows, tiger as well as the numerous saltwater species.

As a brand ambassador for Hardy, I invite you to come and cast the new Hardy Zephrus range of rods on our casting lawn and experience the innovation and power of these state-of-the-art fly fishing tools.
We also have the Hardy 12 wt. Praxis Sintrix rods on sale at the special price of R5500, discounted from the 2015 price of R8300.
Shopping hours are very flexible so please call me in advance.

Transkei Fly fishing
Pam and I spent our Xmas holidays at Qora River mouth (near Kob Inn) where we have a family cottage.  Qora has a very special place in my heart as it was here in 1991 that I was first introduced to fly fishing which inspired me to buy my first fly rod in 1992 … and as they say, the rest is history.

Over the years the estuary has been very productive and I have had regular catches of kob, springer, river perch, brassy/, big eye and Ignobilis kingfish, spotted and cock grunter, as well as garrick.  This season I found the estuary to be very quiet with very little indication of fish being chased.  All I caught in three outings was one small river perch.

I consequently decided to fish the surf zone at the Point which is where the estuary enters the sea adjacent to a rocky point.  This is where conventional anglers regularly catch big kob and garrick and so when tidal and wave conditions permitted, it was here that I subsequently fished.  Casting sin clousers into the strong current of the outflowing estuary, I caught a total of six garrick that varied in fork length from 65 – 85 cm which was really good fun on a 9wt in the fast-flowing water.

What this has re-inforced for me is that we really do have good fly fishing on our doorstep and with the R/$ rate being what it is, the lesson is that we do not overlook some of these very good local venues.

Upcoming Trips

The Maldives:
I leave shortly for several trips to the northern atolls of the Maldives in February and March.  These atolls are home to some of the biggest GTs I have ever seen as well as other species such as triggers and bonefish.  I am very optimistic that our guests will experience some of the most exciting sight fishing that this wonderful destination has to offer. Watch this space for the report back on these trips.

Rocktail Bay:  Saltwater fly fishing Workshops
I leave for Rocktail Bay on Saturday for the first of two workshops that will take place during the prime time of our early summer season.
You may recall my April newsletter of 2015 reporting on Andrew Blades who landed a 97cm (fl) GT from the surf at Lala Nek and Dave Scott who landed a 82cm (fl) bluefin kingfish at Rocktail Bay.  In March of that year Marius Rousseau landed 118cm (fl) GT at the mouth of Kosi Bay.
This just emphasises prime examples of local destinations that we should be considering as options in view of the escalating costs of international travel.

Orange River:  Large and Smallmouth Yellow fishing:
We have had a very good response to our new and very special yellowfish destination on the Orange River where anglers have exclusive access to nine kilometres of pristine water teeming with fish.  During our four day exploratory trip there in 2015, eight anglers landed more than 300 small mouth and 16 largemouth yellowfish.
The dedicated fly fishing season is limited to just 30 days during the prime time of October/November.  For more information regarding this destination, please contact me.

Final Word
In the recent past I have been very impressed with the commitment and effort that several of our guests have made in order to improve their casting skills. The realisation that fly fishing is defined by the cast has certainly struck a chord with these anglers and I have no doubt that their catch rates will improve as a result of their efforts.
Put in the time and effort and you will be rewarded!!
Tight loops and have a productive 2016.

Best regards
Ben Pretorius