Friday, March 30, 2012

March 2012 Middle Vaal Report


During the last few weeks the Vaal has been in the news for all the wrong reasons again. The culprit is nothing new but due to lower rainfall, warmer water, higher levels of organic matter the algae bloom is out of control. The Barrage is now starting to resemble Harties (a fishing paradise when I was a kid) and judging from reports is fast becoming irreversibly damaged. And it is not so much about the fishing but more about the quality of strategic water supply and the future use of it – think food for a growing population.
The state of the river has left most fishermen depressed and avoiding the river. I do not foresee an improvement in the quality of Barrage water in the next few weeks so the outlook is bleak. Talks of flushing the Barrage system is short term and will not improve the quality of water in the open system downstream – in fact the opposite will happen. Continued pressure is the only way we will get the required changes. Instead of launching a lone crusade a good idea would be to join up with the guys from SAVE
If you need to get the fix my suggestion is to travel or explore the lesser know rivers and tributary streams of the Vaal. I can see and feel the onset of winter, the changes are very subtle but enough for you to have to start making changes to your approach. The fish will be out of the shallow riffles and rapids, only venturing there late afternoon if the food is there. Start a bit later in the morning and search the deeper water below the rapids. It will require better line or fly control to connect to the fish.

Update! Since my post to FOSAF I've received some very positive reports on the river. Photo evidence suggest visibility is cracking - around 1 meter maybe more. That means one thing, get out and onto the river in the following few weeks. Don't forget to pack the dry flies, conditions will be perfect for sight fishing.

Over the years I've been trying to improve the quality of the photos on the Blog, and I think I'm getting there. But Chris and his mates have upped the bar with this video of a day out on the Vaal. Awesome work guys, like the editing

Carl & Keith


  1. Do you ever fish above the Barrage?

  2. Hi Pieter,
    Since moving to North West I have focussed on the sections around Potch and Klerksdorp.I've fished the Villiers area once in winter.