1. Artisanal Gold Mining
2. Contaminated Surface Water
3. Indoor Air Pollution
4. Industrial Mining Activities
5. Groundwater Contamination
6. Metals Smelting and Processing
7. Radioactive Waste and Uranium Mining
8. Untreated Sewage
9. Urban Air Quality
10. Used Lead Acid Battery Recycling
Sewerage is front of mind in summer, it’s the peak of the fishing season and reading about spills leaves one with trepidation every time you plan a trip to the Vaal, in winter we forget it exist. What can one do about it? We cannot get involved in cleaning up, no seriously you don’t want to get involved it is specialised business. It’s not like the Cubs outing picking up paper and plastic around the local park. But as with most things in life we can actually do our bit.
• Report sightings of spillages. FOSAF produced a brochure, which is posted to our Blog with contact details for reporting pollution. Reporting to the press helps in creating awareness but does not solve the problem.
• Join an action group like SAVE.
• Don’t dump non-biodegradable waste down the sewer system. Report companies who do.
• Reduce you consumption of water and production of waste water.
• Take appropriate measures when you answer the call of nature! During our rafting trip through the Richtersveld, I was shocked by the visible signs of human excreta and toilet paper at the popular camping sites. The visitors are mostly affluent people who can afford a 4x4 and fuel to get there- boggles the mind. But I suppose the “Not In My BackYard” principle apply.
o Dig a deep hole 60cm plus.
o Burn the toilet paper.
o Cover up the hole.
Enough of this and back to the fishing.
December was incredibly hot north of the Magalies, no complaints the rain is here and we are glad for the life giving blessing. It does interfere with the fishing though but you just have to learn to live with it and plan around it. Option one is to fish on Wednesdays, the flows seem to remain constant until then. By Thursday the thunderstorms move in and the heavens dump cubic tons of water onto the paved and tarred wetlands, sending most of it down to the Vaal. Weekend is stuffed!
But there are opportunities when flows remain at fishable levels and the reports I’m seeing are very good. Keep an eye on the weather reports and check the flows! Best to keep all equipment ready and packed for a quick getaway at short notice (make sure you have blanket amnesty with the significant other)!
Weather wise you’ll have regular afternoon thunderstorms to contend with, sometimes worth sitting out as the period afterwards can bring on some of the best fishing of the day.
It is mostly still caddis patterns bringing home the bacon, with hotspot and flashback nymphs the other favourites. I’m a big advocate for alternative methods, which may not produce the large numbers of fish, but add a new dimension to your fishing. OK you get tough days when the only dimension you want to add is a curved arch into a rod with screeming reel - clearly not conducive to testing new flies or fancy techniques. But one of the followers of the blog Barend sent in this photo of a fish caught in January on a dry. What more do you want????
There is nothing new I can add, I have described every technique I know in the previous reports. I have to confess that I haven’t been to the Vaal in weeks!!! If only I fished more often maybe then I can finally piece together the puzzle of catching 50 5kg smallmouth in a day.
I mentioned earlier about being packed and ready to go fish. Get into the habit of sorting through all the stuff after every trip. Clean the tackle bag, remember to trash the salami sandwich you did not eat, dispose of tippet and recycle all the rubbish you took in. Why leave it there to create a headache for the resort owner! Clean and dry wading boots somewhere out of the sun. Put all the things together and check and check again. On a recent Sterkfontein trip I left my favourite rod and brought an empty rod tube. Fix broken equipment – which reminds me I have to attach a heel on one of my wading boots.
Fish are being caught in good size and quantities, downstream from Orkney area towards Christiana.
The FOSAF sustainable yellowfish pamphlets should be out there at shops and regular venues. If you don’t see it there get into contact with FOSAF or me to request some.
Our family started recycling most of our household waste. We are going through a learning curve, and there is extra effort involved but at least we are doing something for the planet which our kids will inherit. Are you doing it?
Carl & Keith