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Saturday, 30 April 2011

Boomy dam

Decided this morning to take a trip to Boomy Dam in the Kamberg Valley. Boomy Dam is one of the Natal Fly Fishers Club waters, stocked with rainbow trout. The NFFC stocks the dams with very small trout, from 2 to 4 inches, up to 1500  at a time, the attrition rate is high, only the fittest survive. So though they are not wild bred, they soon become feral, definitely not stockies. These dams are extremely fertile and trout grow big.

From my cottage to the dam +- 62km, half of this on 4 lane highway. Packed lunch, some biltong (jerky), crisps, energy bars and juice.

The Kamberg valley has intensive farming, dairy, beef, maize and fodder crops for cattle. Over the years farmers have built thousands of dams, most of these dams are stocked with trout. The NFFC has access to about 30 of these dams plus rivers and streams in the valley. The most famous of these streams is the Mooi and the Little Mooi, home to brown trout. Mooi means pretty, and they are pretty.

Entrance to Boomy Dam, all NFFC waters are on private property so all gates must be closed. Farm gates have a mind of their own, a sadistic mind.

A grove of pin oaks on the edge of Boomy dam, the leaves are starting to get their autumn tint.

If you enlarge this photo you will see between the dead tree on the left and the pin oaks on the right the Kamberg, kam, Afrikaans for comb. The mountain is long, narrow and steep sided with a slightly serrated edge and side on it looks a bit like a comb, thus Kamberg, or comb mountain.

Opposite side of the road an avenue of pin oaks and behind them Goose dam, also NFFC waters, different land owner. In this area of about 4 square kilometres there are six NFFC dams.

Partial view of goose dam. There is a steep drop-off on the far side into deep water, caught some big rainbows there in the past. There were two fly-fishers on float tubes on this water hidden behind the branches on the left.

Glimpse of Boomy dam.

Rod set up, fly-vest hanging from the back door and breakfast on the roof.

Breakfast and fly box, rod on the right.

About 300 + metres to the other side. All this water to myself. The day was slightly overcast to start with.

View from the opposite bank. Car parked under those trees across the dam. In South Africa the term dam does not only apply to the wall off the dam but the water behind it. This dam/pond is several acres in size and has provided some trophy sized rainbows. I have never been very lucky here but I love fishing here because of it's beautiful setting. Next time I come I'll bring my float tube, love fishing from a float tube, like sitting in a armchair.

Today was no different and I caught nothing, even used a big olive and brown woolly bugger. The water was very murky and visibility was a few inches, but I enjoyed myself anyway. Today would have been a good day for a bunch of worms on a hook, but totally "verboten" on these waters. In South Africa you may not use bait to catch trout, only flies.

If you click on this photo to enlarge you might just see the Cape vultures circling over the trees trying to find a thermal. The young farmer on the farm behind the trees has a vulture restaurant, and farmers bring dead livestock and leave it on the hill. Without vulture restaurants vultures would starve, farmers don't like leaving dead animals lying round.

In spite of plastering myself with SPF 60 sun block the sun cooked me to a frazzle after fiver hours, so I went home, a day well spent.


Kay L. Davies said...

Fascinating, Phillip, especially finding out "dam" includes the water behind the dam
However, this post made me somewhat misty-eyed, because it reminds me so much of the stories my dad used to write. "Big rainbows" and "woolly buggers" might not make everyone cry, but they do me.
However, "vulture restaurant" made me smile.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

John said...

Regardless of the catch or lack of, Phillip, it looks like a perfect place for some relaxed casting. Nice post.

Gorges Smythe said...

As they say, "Even a bad day outdoors beats a good day at the office."

Desiree said...

What a wonderful day you've shared with us, Phillip! The scenery is absolutely breathtaking.
Just you and nature...peace...quiet...perfect! I'm envious :)

Shoreman said...

Hey Phillip. Next time your picking up flies, get a couple of Jay Fairs Wiggle Tail in black, size 10 & 12. I've gotten fish on these when Wooly Buggers strike out. I'd be glad to send you a couple of each if you send your address to me at