Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 2010 Middle Vaal Report

What does this beautiful lady have to do with fishing? Took the photo after sunset, it’s just amazing what can be painted with digital cameras these days.

I have to apologise for the hiatus in reporting but with sub optimal fishing conditions on the Vaal I have just not focussed enough on fishing. I think I may have lost my mojo so I’m off to Dullstroom to get my mojo right. Not my ideal type of fly fishing, rather it is a return to my roots and spend time with my ageing father. I started off fly fishing with my dad in the Machadodorp area about 30 years ago and now it’s the turn of 3 generations to share the pursuit. It also gives my wife the opportunity to practice her casting and out fish me!

Seems the flows are settling on the Vaal, so in the next few weeks we may be in for some typical autumn dry fly action. It is one of my favourite times on the river, before the extreme cold of winter sets in and the fish fattening up on the last of the summer insects.

Catch and Release

Twice in the past week this piece of research was discussed on two different radio stations. The species does not relate to the yellowfish of this report, but I think we can learn a lot from this. In the Vaal the largemouth is one of only 2 apex predators.

Catch and release fishing in the Okavango under the spotlight by Prof Nico Smit

Have you ever wondered why you do not see as many tigerfish in our river systems today as you did in the past and where they have gone?

Have you ever wondered what the possible reasons are for the slow disappearance of tigerfish from our rivers and if we will ever see their numbers restored? Is ‘catch and release’ angling placing undue stress on the tigerfish pollution?

The Centre of Aquatic Research (CAR) of the Department of Zoology at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has researched the decline in numbers of the tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus), which to many anglers is the epitome of Africa’s freshwater game fish species.

“As one of the most important predatory fishes in Africa, tigerfish are found in areas throughout the continent. However, in recent years its numbers have declined in many rivers due to water abstraction, pollution, obstructions such as dams and weirs and fishing pressure,” says Prof Nico Smit, head of the UJ’s CAR. “This has been recognised specifically in South Africa. The tigerfish is now included on the protected species list, together with such marine icons such as the great white shark and the coelacanth, which was once thought to be extinct.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

Carl & Keith