Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 2012 Middle Vaal Report

Blanking is not a concept I’m used to in fishing. Certainly not when the other members of the party are successful – my son, my wife and my complete novice mate Hennie weighing in with a 1.8kg trout. 

Driving to Dullies I was reminiscing about my introductory days to fly fishing. I was the same age as my son - 10 with tons of enthusiasm and a real love for the veldt I got from my dad. Boy how much has changed since then and how much have I learnt over the years. 

I very rarely blanked in the early days because I was relentlessly pursuing the trout knowing that they have to eat at some stage. I think I was better prepared and focused in those days - I only had to pack MY gear, now it's food, wine kids stuff, photographic equipment etc.

No subdued colours
yet the fish take the fly?
In mitigation I did not use a sinking line and the successful members of the family held onto the only intermediate. These days I very rarely fish for trout so the usefulness of a sinker in my tackle bag literally disintegrated and I never replaced it. If I blanked with free rising trout all around me I would consider it a failure in my fishing ability :-).

The conditions dictated that I relent and get down where the fish are. Warm water due to a few weeks of hot weather and less rain than normal, meant the surface was void of feeding fish. I just hate those days when the visual aspect of fly fishing is taken out of the equation so I improvised and spent some of my fishing time taking photos. Reading Peter’s report on Dullstroom this week I’m not feeling so bad.

It is a good thing the Vaal is in great condition compared to the corresponding months the last few years. Flow rates are within the fishable levels and the spawn is over in most areas. 

Fishing reports are sketchy and some guys are battling to get the fish on the hook and in the net. I think it is a temporary thing as traditionally this is the best time of the season, leading into the early autumn when the smallies start moving out of the rapids.

If you are blanking, take a step back and just re-evaluate your tactics. Or take up another hobby until you get your mojo back and the fish start jumping into your landing net.

Sunset in Dullstroom

Carl & Keith

No comments:

Post a Comment