Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 2010 Middle Vaal Report

I got an email from my good mate Dave Weaver - there on the banks of the Wilge river. It was a few photo’s and a brief report back on a fishing trip to Tanzania. I managed to track down the author via the email addresses. It was none other than Ed Truter one of the regular FOSAF Favourite Flies contributors and a well respected fisherman. I particularly liked the photos – clearly an artist at work – and this image of a yellow made my heart jump.

Photo: Leonard Fleming (Tourette Fishing)

Ed shares some more info on it:“The fish, as far as we can ascertain is Labeobarbus mariae, the "Rhino fish", said to grow to at least 58lbs in Kenya with mentions of fish up to 100lb! I have been looking into the yellowfish I caught in the Mnyera Rapids above the 'falls'. As I said, there is a description of a "rhino fish" (Barbus mariae) in an old book, The Game Fishes of Africa, that I have, which matches the fish we caught. Most interesting is that the biggest fish on record at the time of writing was 58 1/2 lb from the Athi River in Kenya on rod and line, and a fish of 100 lb caught on a night line in the Tana River in Kenya!”
I’m off to the river on Saturday for some much needed fishing. Herman’s report looks bullish enough for me to cancel a few appointments and meet up with Zoran.

Photo: Leonard Fleming (Tourette Fishing)

The Actual Vaal Report by Herman Botes
The fronts do cause a hit or miss situation but I’m trying to stay on top of the weather to avoid those “dead” days. The fishing is slow and deliberate, to quote Keith “Tough but rewarding”.
The bigger of the 2 BWO species are now hatching between 2- 3 pm and again at dusk. Nymphs can be imitated up to #14.I like to refer to the adults as PMD’s as they are similar in appearance. The fish love this hatch and you can bet a few would move into the pool heads to feed. If you’re in luck and there’s no wind (hardly ever on the Vaal) they will be feeding on top. Otherwise it’s dry & dropper.
At dusk the wind drops and the low light draws a lot of fish to the surface. There are a lot of cruisers in the slack water sipping cripples & casualties from the day’s hatches and spinner falls or feeding on the sub-surface midge. You can push yourself to the max and fish #20 midge emergers on 7X in very bad light .Pick a particular fish and dual it out until it eventually eats(very rewarding / very stressful) or opt for a dry ( spent/cripple adult) with # 18/20 midge 5 cm below it . This setup can turn an evening rise into a fun affair.
Saw the first early bird caddis fluttering at dusk. Still too few around to capture the fish’s attention. Caught my first bat on fly ---- luckily the little oke didn’t get hooked but ended up in the water. Did you know that bats can swim very well?
Carl and Keith.


  1. Great report guys! I've been in Boston all week on business. Landed on Sunday and was in my waders in the bay an hour later, straight from the airport, hunting striper. I got a few. Taken tomorow off to spend the weekend on cape Cod looking for striper, albies and blues with some friends. Can't wait! I'll post some pics.

  2. Anonymous12:04 PM

    Those yellows up north look serious!!!!
    Have a trip soonish to the Vaal and am going to be doing some artlure for them, what spinning tackle would you recommend I take with me? As well as lures? I know the usual suspect like the Salmo hornets and mepps but are there any other lure patterns I should look at???

  3. Hi Paul, sorry mate I'm fly only so cannot help on the other tackle. Just make sure you go barbless and cut down on the trebles.