Your intrepid African fly fisherman braved the dangers and hardships of Africa to bring you one photo of one 6 inch rainbow trout. Even if though I say so myself, a very beautiful little fish and worth all the effort to catch it.
Click to enlarge.
Wild rainbow, this stream was stocked once more than a hundred years ago and never again. Since then these fish have thrived and flourished here in the cool, pure, crystal clear waters.
The best part though is I caught it on a fly I tied myself, a Zack nymph, (a South African fly) and with a 2 weight fly rod I built. This little fish gave a very good account of itself in the fast water, putting a serious bend in the 2 weight.
The setting, Injasuthi Nature Reserve.
The flat rock and it's pool. (See dialog below).
While I was assembling my fly rod next to the road bridge crossing the stream, a car (huge 4 x 4 actually) stopped next to me and a young man stuck his head out, and said, "Walk down stream about 200 meters to a big flat rock and you'll find great fishing in the pool below it. Fish on the bottom with a weighted nymph and add some split shot to keep the fly down, the water is deep, and the fish are holding right on the bottom". Then he drove off with a wave and, "Good fishing".
I first tried my luck about 50 meters upstream, where I have often fished, missed several strikes, then decided to follow the young mans advice and head downstream. Just below the bridge was a nice looking bit of water so I decided to try there first. But I eventually gave up, not because I thought I would not catch anything but because I got tired of waving back and greeting everyone as they drove or walked over the bridge. South Africans are a friendly lot and will greet, and talk to, anyone and everyone. So I headed downstream to the fabled flat rock and it's pool full of fish.
Easier said than done, usually one could walk right next to the stream, but the water was up, bank to bank, so it meant walking through the bush and grass above the stream bank. Now in theory that doesn't sound too bad but the grass is a meter to a meter and a half tall, it's hard and tough, to add to the fun, there are hard tough shrubs, just as tall, (or taller) and thorn bushes. Furthermore you are walking on boulders from the size of your fist to the size of your head. The grass is so thick you can't see the ground so you put your feet down hoping to luck, and this is great snake country. As I pushed and struggled my way through this "jungle" I kept thumping my wading staff on the ground to scare of any snakes.
An open patch on my route downstream.
To cut a long story short it took me almost 40 minutes to cover the 200 meters, only when I got there did I see there was a much easier route directly from the road. Well you live and learn. (I hope).
The pool, there is an eddy just in front of the rock and a deep undercut under the rock and under the grassy bank. I got several takes by letting my fly drift right through to the tail of the pool and swing, but missed them. My problem was that although my nymph had a bead head and a few turns of lead wire it wasn't enough to get really deep enough, and my container of split-shot was lying at home.
A view upstream. Although the water was flowing very fast, there are plenty of nice holding spots. Against the far bank was a deep run with a nice undercut.
Cape Grass bird, (Sphenoeacus afer). I spotted this bird on my way out, habitat; rank grass-land. Well the grass here can be described as very rank.
Just another S#@t day in Africa.