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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Injasuthi River nightmare!

Spent Saturday evening making sure that my fly fishing tackle was in order for a trip to the Injasuthi river. Took out my two weight rod and reel, cleaned the reel and lubricated it, cleaned the fly line and checked the leader and tippet, replaced tippet. Emptied all the pockets on my fly fishing vest and made sure that only the necessary items were replaced, including the two fly boxes of flies that I have been tying these past few weeks. Spare reels of 4, 5 & 6X tipped material checked.  

Everything laid out neatly for an early start, rod, reel, fly vest, wading boots, net, etc. Spent the rest of the evening tying some more soft hackle flies to add to my fly boxes. 

Click on photos to enlarge.

Got up at 5 this morning, had a cup of coffee and packed everything in the car. Fed the dogs, the cat and the birds. Had some muesli and just after 6 I was on the road heading west. Theoretically the trip should not take more than a hour, most of the road is a lovely tarred road, but for more than 30km it goes through Zulu tribal area, so you slow down to avoid cattle, goats, sheep, chickens, people and the stray pig. Not to mention that I stopped every couple of minutes to take photos. Above is my first clear view of the Drakensberg just catching the early morning sun. Still about 30km to go.

Just 13km from where I took this photo to the Injasuthi camp grounds, but the road from here is just a pot holed track. I think that it's a policy of the conservation authorities to keep this piece of road as bad as possible, so that only those dedicated wilderness enthusiasts  bother to make the trip. This bit of road takes almost 30 minutes as you are reduced to driving at a snails pace, you could almost walk faster. Then suddenly about 3km from the camp you have a perfect tarred road to complete the journey.

Starting to get real close now and I can almost taste the fishing. Note the waterfall, just off centre to the left, plunging down several hundred metres of vertical mountain face.

The zoom lens makes these peaks look close, but from the camp they are several hours of hard hiking away, just to get to the bottom. For the climbing enthusiast there are more than enough challenges, for the hiker and camper, contour paths go all the way to the top. Just make sure you are fit and well equipped before you start.

Injasuthi peaks.

Got to the office at about 07:45 to pay my entry fee and buy an angling permit for the day. While waiting for the office to open at 8 I spotted this baboon sitting casually on the lawn. What it was actually doing, was watching people who were having breakfast on the veranda of their chalet, just waiting for the moment they might leave it unattended. 

After paying I drove down to the river and parked the car, put on my wading boots, fishing vest, cap and hung my camera around my neck. Grabbed my day pack and reached for the rod tube, .... not on the back seat, scratched around behind the front seats, not there, even felt under the seats, (as small as it is it wouldn't fit there). Then the reality dawned on me, I've forgotten my fly rod at home!  

What to do now? No way I can go back totally defeated by my own forget fullness! 

So I decided to do some exploring of the river. I tend to fall into a rut, find a good place to fish and keep going there, trip, after trip. Got back in my car and drove a kilometre or two back the way I came, following the river down stream. Found a parking spot next to the road and headed for the river, down a faint track, through dense scrub and long grass. As we say here in South Africa, "I had good luck with the bad luck". I found two stretches of beautiful trout water after about 3 hours of exploring. Next week end I'll be back, I might just camp there from Friday afternoon after school.

As I drove out of the reserve I saw this stream tumbling down the mountain. I was far away so I only zoomed in on the top half of it.

Next two post will be about my exploration and the fishing spots I found.


Casey said...

Absolutely beautiful area! Too bad you forgot your flyrod, though. I've actually done that on a hunting trip...

Looking forward to the next installment!

Kay L. Davies said...

Bit of a giggle coming at you from this side of the world, Phillip, but not at all a nasty giggle. Just that I have known an absentminded angler or two in my time. You certainly made the most of the trip by getting that last beautiful photo. I love it.

Shoreman said...

Do I know how you feel, you bet. Bet it will be a long time before you forget your rod again.


Joyful said...

Gorgeous scenery. I can see a "head" in shadows cast by the sun on the cliffs in that third photo from the top. I love the SA saying "I had good luck with the bad luck". I think it's a good way to look at life.