Tuesday, August 30, 2011

July 2011 Middle Vaal Report

The few fishing reports I’m seeing on fishing along the middle Vaal, or should I say lack thereof does not make for great reading. Blanking is the common thread and an absolute lack of any surface activity is another. I visited friends at their house next to the Vaal near Bothaville. It is a great spot for largies, big deep pool, a tributary and some large rocky outcrops. Unfortunately I lost inspiration due to the very low visibility. It seems from the Barrage downstream the visibility is around 40cm, good for summer but nothing compared to winters past.

Well with all the doom and gloom I still believe the fish are there and we can catch them. The Vaal experienced severe flooding during the first few months of 2011. I think it will require a “normal” rainfall season to settle things in the river. Some good news is the sun has reached its apex in the northern hemisphere the subtle changes of the season is happening and it may just bring on something on the river. When you do venture out it is vitally important to first find the fish before wasting time flogging a dead beat. I’ve found on multiple trips down the Vaal even in winter the fish do move around the pools. Fishing last Saturday’s productive throat of the pool produced nothing, until I float downstream. Finding a flat rocky section with very little flow in the bend of the river, it seems the water might be a tad warmer here. Standing on the Arc I could just make out the subsurface shapes of fish, moving and feeding. A few minutes later the first yellow was in the net.
When the fish are not on the surface experiment with a team of nymphs fished progressively deeper. Or use longer droppers with your dries, if you battle to cast the set-up just reduce the leader.

I’m off to try the Palala river this weekend, hope I can find a fish or two willing to take a well presented fly.

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