Monday, September 07, 2009

September 2009 Middle Vaal Report

Christoff Badenhorst with one solid beauty
Looking back on August and looking forward to spring the conditions for fishing is not perfect but the fish don’t mind – they have to continue eating. The Vaal did not clear up this winter as expected – there are multiple causes and we have experienced this in the past. Very frustrating considering this is the only time the Vaal offers the opportunity to sight fish. But don’t despair, the season is changing and soon we will be in full summer mode.
The first part of the season will bring its own challenges, most notably the curse of the Vaal (spirogyra). The long strands of algae that chokes up the rapids and prevents the nymph fisherman from effectively fishing the shallow areas. It is a growing (excuse the pun) problem exacerbated by the pollution. I have touched on some solutions of how to fish in this water, in previous reports. Best is to approach this with a dry dropper set-up and forget about nymphing until the river gets a good flush to clear the algae.

Although the temperatures are rising don’t neglect the deeper waters below the rapids. At times the bigger fish congregate here (especially during a hatch) and this will give you a shot with dries. Even in low visibility the fish can be sighted if they are holding close to the surface.

On the largemouth front the low visibility did not prevent the guys from having a bumper season. The reports are all from the Middle Vaal and there are plenty of double figure fish in them. It just illustrates that if you spend enough time in the right water with the right techniques you will catch fish – even if conditions are not ideal. If you did put in some face time on the water and remain unsuccessful consider going out with one of the expert guides or sign up for one of the clinics. It can be a bit crowded but you will have the opportunity to mix with some of the notable experts.

Barend Esterhuizen put to work the knowledge gained from fishing with a guide.

Good luck with the spring season.