I don’t take part in any FB fly fishing Forums except for the SA Fly fishing and SA Fly tying Groups for a number of reasons but mainly because I genuinely don’t have a lot of constructive stuff to contribute having not lived over here long enough. I often have a hot head and generally say what I’m thinking which often offends people and gets me into hot water within these community groups “for this exact reason!!”I was shown am image the other day that had been posted on a SA FB group, of a well sized Brown Trout that had been caught on the Mooi River by MJP just below Riverside lodge. His script wrote “This took twenty careful and heart stopping minutes to deal with on a 2wt”
Now don’t get me wrong but why write “careful” in the script then place this fish on the grass. Sure I can understand it must have been a wonderful fight on such light tackle, but the Mooi river isn’t some “Put n take” fucking stocked dam up on the Vaal where you’re obviously used to dragging your quarry onto the side of the bank you ignorant twat. It’s a fragile ecosystem that “US” locals here in Natal work tirelessly to keep as pristine as we possibly can. A fish that size after such a long and exhausting fight would never have survived to fight another day, which in hindsight has such a detrimental knock on effect for future generations of Brown trout on the Mooi as it most definitely was of decent breeding stock…..reading many of the available comments I have to disagree with curtain statements being banded about on the post and hence why I’m venting my anger on here.
The bottom line is after a 20 min fight any fly fisherman worth his salt would know that its survival chances would be slim but would keep the fish in the water especially near faster flowing more oxygenated areas just to give it that fighting chance it so rightly deserved…..not drag it onto some bank just to get a fucking image of it. I lost a decent cock fish of around 50cm this winter (The first Trout since moving back here) and I was gutted. The hook had penetrated under its tongue and it bled out rather quickly. Between myself and a mate we spent a good 25 mins trying to revive it but with so much blood loss, It eventually gave up…..I was truly bleak but I felt we’d done our best to give it a fighting chance. Yes it does happen from time to time but this fish should have been handled correctly. I can honestly say if I’d seen you drag that fish onto the bank I would have come over and kicked you in the river and given you a fucking bollocking of note mate.
This is my river, and when I say that, I don’t mean It’s “My River”, but it holds very special memories for me as it does too many other fly fisherman that cast a line on it. I feel very strongly about its conservation and up keep, and try and practice correct fish handling whenever I catch a fish on it which this moron should have done from the get go.