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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Brown trout.

How do fish suddenly materialise, seemingly out of nowhere, and then just as suddenly "de-materialise" again and disappear.

While I was fishing one of the pools on the Mooi River at Reekie Lyn last Saturday, I cast my dry fly upstream, a #14 stimulator, and let it drift down past me through a short stretch of rough water, then retrieved it and cast upstream again. After about the third cast the fly became waterlogged and submerged in the short rough stretch. I let it drift until it started to drift upwards. I was just in the process of lifting the fly when a large trout materialised below and slightly behind the fly. Well I obviously did something to spook the fish, maybe the sudden hesitation of the fly as I started to lift the fly, something did not look quite right to it. As quickly as it appeared it disappeared again. Although I tried several times to entice it with different flies it just was not interested. A spooked brown trout stays spooked for a long time.

The first attempts to import trout into Southern Africa took place in 1875, but was unsuccessful. In 1890 ova imported from Loch Levins in Scotland were successfully hatched in Natal and released into the Mooi River, ththe Umgeni River, and the Bushmans River. As far as I know the Umgeni River does not have any trout left.

For many years  the brown trout in South Africa were thought to be a sub species called Levensis, but it is actually the same species as brown trout all over Europe, namely Salmo trutta. Brown trout occur naturally in the Atlas mountains of North Africa.

Falls/rapids on the Mooi River at Reekie Lyn. The pool below the falls looks very fish-able, I will try it this Saturday.

In this small horseshoe lake I spotted a Nile Monitor on Saturday, it obviously had taken to the water on spotting  me and then started to panic. It was trying  to climb out of the water on the opposite bank under the small tree growing right on the opposite side, but due to its panic kept falling back. Eventually it swam a bit further and made good it's escape. By the time I got my camera ready it was gone in the long grass.

Monitors usually wait until you almost step on them before they lunge away under your feet, not good for a bad heart. Monitors have often given me a bad fright while I've been fishing, it's not something you get used to having it suddenly erupt under your feet and launch into the water

Nile Monitors, (Veranus niloticus) grow up to 2.7 metres, that is about 9 feet. The one I saw, was not that big, but it was no baby either. Monitors, also known as Leguaan, in South Africa, from the Dutch for Iguana, like to live near water, rivers, streams, and lakes. Their diet includes fish, crabs, birds, and crocodile eggs.

The picture above is of a Monitor in a lake in Tanzania, note the different colouring of the two to suite their environment.  


Kay L. Davies said...

Well, I'm glad monitor lizards don't dine on fishermen, but seeing one would be plenty scary for me, even though my heart is still healthy.
I do love to read your blog, Phillip. Brown trout rising to a fly, etc. Lots of memories.
Tight lines!
— K

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

Shoreman said...

That would certainly scare the crap out of me if I came across a
9 foot lizard walking along the side of a creek.


e.m.b. said...

Wow...bad fright indeed...I would faint. Best of luck this Saturday with that lovely little pool. And I hope the Monitors stay away!

Sanders said...

It seems the trout of Colorado have "dematerialized" for the moment...well at least for me anyway. Better days ahead!

...those monitors add a whole new dimension to a fishing trip. wouldn't want to run into one of those bad boys...

hope the Saturday trip went well...cheers!