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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Reekielyn 4.

Click on pictures to en large.

The stretch of river below shows three pools, which almost looks as if they have weirs built across them, these are natural stone, (dolorite I think?) dykes. The bottom of the three has a bottom of solid rock, I tried to wade it but notice that what appeared at a distance to be smooth flat rock, sloping to the top of the pool, was actually full of pot holes, cracks and fissures, some of them quite deep. An easy place to break a leg by suddenly stepping into a hole, but lots of holding place for fish.
I was in such a hurry to get to Reekielyn and the water that I left half my stuff behind, fly vest, wading staff, (walking stick of my grandfathers, with cord attached to loop arround my body), knife, sciscors, and half a dozen other things. Spent the previous week tying brassies, weighted PTN's, GRHE's and other nymphs. The previous Saturday I saw no surface activity so I thought deep nymphing is the way to go.

A long deep run just below the first pool.

Decided to use my three weight again, TFO, Finese Series, with 3 weight floating line, 4 x leader and 5 x tippet. The reel is a South African brand "Xplorer" STX 2/3 weight, wide arbour, nice and light, with a smooth drag.

Part of the run shown in the second photo. Deep undercuts under this rocky ledge, but very swift current.

Miniature waterfall, with rod for scale.

Top end of the run, with water tumbling down a small set of rapids.

I cast a nymph just over the lip of this outflow, a few metres of line, leader and tippet, just to the right of that furtherst clump of grass growing over the water. Managed to get a nice dead drift with the line coming back straight to me. I was actually "high sticking", with only a short piece of the fly line on the water. My second cast was just as good, with a nice dead drift, when suddenly my line started heading upstream at speed. That's when I discovered that I had two left arms, two left feet and ten thumbs. I was concentrating so on my presentation, that I forgot all about the possibility of a fish taking my fly. Needles to say I lost him.

Above, natures own arrangement. A clump of grass growing in some moss which has established itself on this rock. A symbiotic situation if ever there was one. This rock will often be submerged during the summer months, but the moss clings to the rock and the grass has its roots deep in the moss.

Trick photo, guess what? No, actually bird droppings consisting  entirely of crushed crab shell, legs and pincers. Natal rivers swarm with crabs and trout enjoy eating them to.

At this pool above is where I really missed my fly vest. In it were all my fly boxes and dry flies. Trout were milling about in plain sight and making very splashy rises, taking something off the surface. All the flies I had with my were weighted nymphs or brassies.

The main current in this pool runs against the opposite bank. In the photo you can see a shallower stretch about a metre from that bank, the trout were rising in the fast water flowing over this shallow stretch and in the slacker water on this side of the shallows. The stretch between this side bank and the shallows opposite is deep, about 2 metres, with a counter current.

I was within easy casting distance of the rising fish, nice fish, looked about a lb plus. All my cast were right on the fish, but they weren't interested in something that sank like a stone. After casting I retrieved the fly slowly across the pool and several times, as I was lifting the fly slowly from the depths I had several  pulls, one was on long enough to put a happy bend in my 3 weight for a moment or two.

What the trout might have been taking is some thing known as a Mooi moth, although I think a small elk hair caddis might have done the trick. Above is a very old South African fly used to imitate the Mooi moth. Blue dun hackle tail, stripped peacock hearl body, slips from the wing feathers of a mallard duck for the wing, blue dun hackle wound around the hook shank three or four times. Size 14 to 16 or even smaller. So guess what I'll be tying this week? I bought 200 size 16 dry fly hooks last week.


The pool, below the falls, that I mentioned in my last post, and thought might be very fish-able, is unreachable from this side. The opposite bank is very "verboten" to club members, also has large unfriendly signs up, "Private property, trespassers with be prosecuted".  The bit in front here doesn't look bad, but you have a cliff going down right into water that's more than a metre deep, and very fast.

Clarity of the water.
My learning curve for river fly fish is going to be very steep and very long. Just two outings and Iv'e learnt that Iv'e got a lot to learn.

Next week Friday school breaks up for a short 10 day holiday, so you know where I'll be spending most of this time.