It was a frosty start to the TOPS at SPAR Corporate Trophy Challenge, with a cold front sweeping across the Natal Midlands, dusting the mountains with a white coat last weekend.
Cold water temperature is what every fly fisher hopes for at the start of the still water trout season, but a howling South West wind tested the metal of every angler on the opening day. Only a rabid fisherman would unpack his rod in such conditions, yet the full assembly of entrants took to the water as the sun rose, which was extremely surprising when you factored in the opening party.
There is no sugar coating the conditions, they were horrendous, those mad fly fishers who endured the first 5 hour session took a severe beating from Mother nature. Needless to say the fireplace of Notties pub was a battle ground and over a hearty lunch the festivities commenced once again.
The stories of trout were thin, although one or two seasoned flies harassed the rainbows. The 2nd session had everyone ducking for cover, as the wind speed reached a level that had all birdlife grounded. Incredibly the first day still managed to yield 171 fish, with a spectacular brown of 59cm, estimated at 8 pounds.
The Friday night was cause for many a team not greeting Jack Frost the following morning….Minus 5 degrees justified staying under the covers. But again the zealots who braved the biting early morning breeze reaped the rewards. The wind had died appreciably and the larger fish came out to play….a 56, 57, 58 and 59 cm were all recorded that morning…each comfortably eclipsing the 3 kilogram mark, but it was Rob Scorgie who took home the prize for the largest Rainbow trout and is current contender for the Quintrex boat at 60cm from Epsom dam. A total of 316 fish was brought to net.
The WildFly choice awards kept everyone entertained and the ensuing party will go down as a legendary might at Notties!
The top 5 teams qualifying for the TOPS at SPAR final were-:
5th - Dead Donkeys – 19 points
4th -Piscators – 19 points
3rd -Hogs Hunt Estate – 17 points
2nd -Afriguide Logistics – 12 points
1st – TW Fergusson – 6 points
Here’s to TOPS at SPAR for quenching the thirst of all anglers!