Monday, November 06, 2006


I’m a little late with my monthly report…sorry… I’ve been away on business in the UK and Zimbabwe: I got some nice grayling and browns in the UK, no fishing in Zimbabwe.


Seems some yellows have already started their 2nd spawn for the summer in the Vredefort dome area, boy this season is getting weirder and weirder! So once again, please try and avoid these fish and abide by a few basic principles of respect as outlined here:


I’ve not been on the river much this past month. It seems the flows have been a little up and down but largely fishable. This time of the year the Vaal dam and Barrage will both increase flows to coincide with canoe races, be aware of these releases in advance to avoid disappointment on arrival to find your favourite piece of water flooding.

Visibility is averaging around 25cms at the moment, better in some areas, worse in others dependant on local rains and discharges (sewage, industrial effluent, fertilizers etc) which often add silt or create algal blooms.

Flows will probably go up over the next few months given the long range forecast suggests above average rains: also the Vaal Dam is sitting at virtually full so there is no buffer to absorb run off from rains.

Make hay while the sun shines and monitor flows over summer to take advantage of low flows as they occur.

Of course the increased rains will result in raw sewage discharges as most of the sewage works around the Middle Vaal (and the rest of the country for that matter) are already at or above capacity and moves to fix the problem are in the “tool little too late category” on the whole… is this sewage contaminated water harmful? You buys your day ticket, you takes your chances.


Hot weather has brought on dense mayfly (mainly clingers with a few swimmers) and caddis hatches (the little tan ones and big cream ones): hotter weather, later hatches and vice versa… don’t leave the water before the fat lady has sung [in the dark].

Small caddis pupae are thick in the water column this time of year… capitalise on this.


The fishing is typically so easy this time of year and the fish so forgiving you can pretty much apply the technique that appeals to you on the day. Last few weeks I have heard from guys who are upset because their fishing “buddy” against which they were competing on the water got 56 fish and they only got 49! This would be impressive in mid winter, this time of year it is gluttony, proving nothing but a desire to swell the ego with little regard for the fish or a real desire to grow as fly fishermen. When the fishing is that easy try changing techniques, see if you can get them onto dries, go super small, experiment with swinging flies, try anything to increase the degree of the challenge! Hey, stop and have a cold beer.

There are 2 types of fishing condition that are best suited to thinking out of the box: when the fishing is really difficult and when the fishing is really easy… enjoy the latter because before you know it you will be faced with the former

Thanks to all the guys that kept me up to speed on my favourite river while abroad,