Tuesday, November 7, 2017

|By Simon Graham

Unless you have a boat or a kayak to fish from, your options for Fly fishing in Durban harbour are extremely limited. The rising crime rate around the whole area has put paid to everywhere that that was once accessible by car years ago, and have all but been closed to the general public. This leaves a small area around the Bat centre, the concrete groin area from the back of the N.S.R.I along the back end of the Yacht club and the Northern sandbank flats that stretch to just past the “Wilsons Warf” waterfront area. 

Coupled with that, one must contend with not only seasonal changes (Water temperature fluctuations ) but also monthly tidal cycles as well, so accessibility to this sand bank becomes limited to the two weeks around spring lows, and if all bodes well for you and you can get time off around this period or it falls over a weekend, you also need the weather to be favourable, and if that wasn’t enough to think about, we all know that most fish go off the feed during the low tide...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

|By Simon Graham

I’ve tied a number of different variations of what I call the Black Cracker shrimp/Mud prawn over the last week or so and have eventually ended up with this version courteous of some well-directed help from Leroy Botha. Out of the two different types found along our shore line I’d go with the Black Cracker every time if I was bait fishing as the Grunter love this critter over the lighter version. Anyway I made an SBS for this pattern which am sure many of you can play around with and improve on.

Step 1: Take a #4 or # 6 Mustad streamer hook and make a slight bend from just in front of the hook point. Place in vice and add two small strips of 1,5mm lead wire to just behind the hook eye.

Step 2: Take a small sprig of 10 to 15 deerhair tips and tie on top of the hook shank near the hook bend.

Step 3: Cut two small strips of 2.5 mm brown foam 10 mm x 3 mm and a piece similar to the shape I’ve cut here for the carapace.

Step 4: Take the two strips of foam and place one on either side of the hoo...

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

|By Simon Graham

Cracker shrimp or Ghost shrimp are a staple diet to a lot of species around the globe. Spotted Grunter especially love these critters, so I tied up a pair a few months back. I've fished one of them a couple of times since, but with no success to be honest. this isn't to say they wouldn't fool a fish, but I honestly haven't seen many tailing Grunter in the bay for a while now and blind casting along the sandbanks drop off in the bay in the off chance that a passing fish will see it is isn't fun to be honest. Yes I've caught several Bartailed gurnards with these Cracker shrimp patterns but that's not the intended quarry I'm targeting

I have to say they do look awesome under the water though. I added a double strip of lead wire to the underneath of a size 2 streamer hook just to give it a little weight so they don't just roll around on the sand.  

Not the easiest fly to tie and am sure I can make a lot of improvements to this pattern as I go along but for a first attempt I'm rathe...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Spotted Grunter aren’t the easiest fish to target on the fly at the best of times especially off the sandbanks in Durban harbour. Not only do you get an extremely short window of opportunity either side of Low tide to chuck something at this fish but they are very skittish and practically impossible to distinguish between other species in the shallows even with a top of the range pair of Polaroid sunnies. I’ve had so many frustrated nothing to show for my efforts sessions, that I’ve honestly questioned my ability sometimes. It hasn’t dampened my spirits, just forced me to take a step back and rethink things through….One does this as a fly fisherman once you become obsessed by something.

So back to the drawing boards it’s been for me. Countless hours scouring the Interweb for fly patterns, read as many articles as I could find written by people in the know, and then I came across the G-Route Spotted Grunter shrimp tying tutorial on YouTube tied by Kyle Reed from Vagabond Fly and thought...

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The one great thing about fly fishing is that after a while nothing exists of the world but thoughts about fly fishing

- Norman Maclean -

     The charm of fly fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions and hope                                                - John Buchan -

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