Largemouth Yellowfish on fly (cont.)

Next morning after a light breakfast at 4 a.m. We piled into the 4X4 for the trip down to the river. We parked next to the river and the guides helped us to set up our tackle and we started walking and to me being of geriatric age it seemed like an eternity before we reached some magic pools. With heart pumping and out of breath I did my usual and that was to find a convenient rock and sit down to regain my composure. Tim was off like a shot with Arno and they spotted some cruising "largies" from their viewpoint on the high rocks. The idea is to cast a woolly bugger about 60cms in front of the fish and see if it is taken. Once the fly is out of sight a quick short strip stop retrieve is made. Very important do not try and strike the fish with the rod, use a fast strip. Sink rate of the fly is important and this can only be ascertained by trial and error relative to wind and water speed. When the clarity of the water does not allow you to see the fish casting to structure and retrieving is the chosen method.

Tim was soon into the fish and having a ball. He got a "take" and the fish took off "like a bat out of hell" After a nerve racking fight he landed a beautiful 12 pounder in superb condition. Tim has caught a lot of fish in
salt and freshwater but he was shaking at the knees. He lost another "bus" which ran into the riverbed, turned upstream and smoked him on the rocks on the edge of the ledge. Tim was using a backing with some type of coating and the fish literally smoked the coating off the backing. At this stage realising that there was no ways I could keep up with the youngsters on the return trip with the temperature pushing 35 degrees I wandered back. The others packed up at eleven and caught me up halfway on the return journey.

Despite not catching a fish Tim had lost count of the number he had caught. Back to base for lunch and a kip.

At about 3pm it was down to different section of the river for some dry fly fishing for "smallies" We all had good sport and only left the water at 8pm. Tired and wary after an excellent meal it was a case of hit the sack. The guys were too bushed to even indulge in the favourite piscatorial pastime of "chewing the fat". Next day was similar except yours truly decided to do some "dredging" with flies right where the vehicle stopped next to the river. Many call me the old goat but I am definitely not of the mountain goat variety.

Tim hooked into a, what turned out to be a 6lb yellow and while playing it, it became very heavy. When he got it to the side he was amazed to see 3 catfish had clamped onto the fish. The fish was unhooked and released to go back as food for the catfish. The yellow wandered onto a ledge to be pulled further into the water by a small catfish. A "mama' catfish of over 20kgs deprived the minnow of his prey and swallowed the yellow in one gulp.

While this was going on I was doing my bit and managed some small "smallies" And “largies”, a vlei kurper and a fish that made my weekend - a mudfish of 6lbs, a fish of this size I had not seen since the mudfish heydays of Boskop dam near Potchefstroom.

The afternoon dryfly session again proved exciting.

Early to bed and back to "gangsters paradise' the next day.

The outing was worth every cent we spent on it.

Contact: Castaway Flyfishing 082 334 3448