Remembered my fly rod this time and all the other bits and pieces one has to take along to catch a fish. One thing has me beat though, and that is how do you carry your landing net? I've tried to attach it to the ring at the back of my fishing vest, stick the handle down between my day pack and my back, (not very comfortable) attach it the front of my fishing vest, to my belt, carry it in my hand, nothing works. The fine mesh hooks onto every, branch, twig, thorn bush and even blades of coarse grass.
Click on photos to enlarge.
Looking up the Injasuthi valley.
Tried this pool first, but had no luck. The water was crystal clear and my 4x tippet looked like a ships anchor cable in the clear water.
Drove down the road about 4km's and parked on the side. Made my way down to the river over some very rough terrain. The river is only about 50 meters to the right but one has to work your way a considerable distance upstream before it is possible to get through the thick bush along the banks and into the water.
All along the way there are these small streams of water that join the main river.
Another little stream.
After I got to the river I worked my way upstream until I got to this long deep pool. Although the water was just as clear here I was standing below the bank and not so visible against the sky line. After 10 minutes of fishing I shortened my leader and reduced my tippet to a 5x. Almost immediately I got fish attacking my size 14 stimulator. It was as if they were trying to drown it before taking it. I changed to a size 14 DDD, a spun deer hair dry fly which floated better in the rough water. Again lots of splashy rises, one fish even jumped right out of the water and onto the fly in an attempt to drown it.
Looked through my dry fly box and found a size 16 Humpy. This fly I had tied with CDC feathers instead of deer hair and a bright green body of floss. A few strands of antron for the tail under CDC, and a CDC wing. This fly immediately got serious attention, but my strikes were either to quick or too slow. (There's a thin line between too quick and too slow with dry flies).
But then a gentle sip, so slight I almost missed the take. This time I got the timing right and a feisty rainbow trout was giving me a run for my money, making full use of the strong current in it's efforts to get free. After a bit more than a minute I was able to land the exhausted fish. I held it in the water for about a minute so it could get it's "breath back", before posing it for a quick photo.
The fish had swallowed the fly quite deep but I had no problem removing the de-barbed hook with my forceps. Then I noticed that it was bleeding badly so I decided not to release it to die anyway, but killed it quickly. Now residing in my fridge and will make a nice breakfast.
Don't ask me how I got the fly line so tangled around the handle.
When I gutted the fish I saw that it was gravid with roe, the next generation of trout. More's the pity at having to kill it. Trout will start spawning in our rivers by May as winter sets in and water temperatures drop. Stream and river fishing for trout are closed from the 1st of May until the 1st of September. So I've got a bit more than a month's stream fishing left, then it's still water fishing for trout through the winter.
The weather had turned hot and sultry with huge banks of clouds massing over the Drakensberg. When I heard the first rumbling of thunder I decided to pack up. It does not pay to wave a long piece of carbon fibre around when there's thunder and lightning about.