I’ve been meaning to fish with my good mate Richard Khumalo for some time now, so when he invited me up to fish the Mooi river with him I jumped at the chance. I booked myself into Riverside fishing lodge on the Mollers farm for the weekend (R350 per night which for all you overseas readers costs in $26 or €24 or £21) Anyway, due to the inevitable work constraints in “DIRTBIN”, uuugh!! I only managed to arrive late Friday afternoon instead of midday. On arrival Brett was there to meet ‘n greet and I settled in for the night with a rather nice Merlot and tied some shrimp patterns
Now I’m not as proficient at river fishing as I would like, but I’m no mug either. I’d probably catch more fish during a day if I used traditional trout fishing techniques but I’m a streamer fisherman, always have been, always will. Rich did roll his eyes back when he saw my choice of flies that I brought along for the weekend. Mallard Minnows, Super-sized 70mm speed cops, Chartreuse and Brown chenille buggers, a Fly I call the Skoteen (Because it looks like a rubbish) Olive rabbit zonker tail with an olive dubbin micro flash head, wobbler flies and some of my “Big Easy’s” in different sizes. As fly fisherman we all have positive feelings regarding the flies we tie and how we expect to fish them, in the hope that they actually will fish well, but in all honesty, I hadn’t a feckin clue how they would fare in the river.
We arrived at the first beat early Saturday morning and it wasn’t long before the both of us had landed fish. Water conditions were perfect but the clear blue skies and the rapidly rising temperature made the fishing for me rather slow, and I only ended up with that one fish for the morning session.
A stunning stretch of water
Rich with a nice Rainbow
After mullering down a beast of a breakfast back at the cottage, we drove to some still water to chuck a line but it was blowing a Gail and we were forced to fish the sheltered bank where we proceeded to thrash the water for a good hour without bugger all to show for our efforts. It was only once we moved closer to the cars parked on the dam wall that Rich bagged himself a stonker of a Rainbow around 48cm with a small “Big Easy”. I’d already resigned myself to the fact that it was a lost cause and was half way back to the car when I heard cries of “fuck Si, fuck Si I need the net” which turned into a comedy of errors for me as I missed judged the low hanging dilapidated barbed wire fence I hurdled over in haste to get to Rich, and landed smack bang in the middle of a big pile of Cow shit! Ja I know, you don’t have to tell me!!!............Text book error!
To be perfectly honest though I hadn’t driven all this way from Dirtbin to spend my time chucking fluff on some still water (which I’ve done hundreds of times before) and so we decided to head back up to Thendela and finish the afternoon off on the Mooi.
Water conditions in the lower section of the river were a bit chocolatey to say the least due to the construction work going on in the area. I must say one of the highlights of the day though, especially after my cow shit debacle, was bumping into long time mate Graeme Pitt fishing one of the beats which he was struggling a bit with due to the water conditions.
Something so small brought such joy into my life!
I eventually ended the day off with 3 fish all around 25cm – 30cm in length all caught with a different fly. A Mallard minnow, a Steroid speed cop and one of my Skoteens. Rich fared better with a total of 6 fish all around the same length.
Greedy bugger with a flashy thing in its gob!
Sunday morning brought cooler overcast conditions with rain expected around noon. I started off with a mallard minnow and within minutes I was on. I bagged another four with this fly during the morning until it snagged on a submerged something….bollocks!! I only brought one of that pattern along……textbook error Si!! So I slipped a 60mm brown tailed chartreuse chenille bugger on, and bang! I fooled the mug with a beast of a fly. Who says small fish don’t eat biggish flies on our small rivers!!
I ended the session with seven Browns all around the 30cm mark with one around 38cm – 40cm Result! As I say I probably could have caught more using traditional trout methods but I’m more than stocked with the ten I released for the weekend and with new flies I’d tied up specifically for the trip. The most successful being the Mallard minnow…..and that was tied primarily for saltwater condition…go figure!
Shot Rich for a top weekend brotha! Good luck with the SA Nationals in a couple of weeks