Off to a Flying Start...
Only once in a Blue Moon does a weekend's angling outstrip expectations.
And this is made all the more difficult when it's the benchmark of a TOPS Corporate Challenge. To state categorically that it was the Party of The Year would be like calling the All Black rugby team reasonably good......it was Epic!
Dave Kidd with a fine winter 'bow.
The four man teams always arrive in fine spirits on the Thursday evening, but this atmosphere seemed to compound every day until the hilarious prize giving on Saturday night. Incredibly the legendary festivities at the Legendary Notties Hotel did not detract from the fishing. Well, that is to say, those fly fishers who made it to the water certainly got the desired result.
420 Trout was the final tally, averaging 9 fish per angler, proving that the WildFly waters have no shortage of stocks to test your flies on.
The patterns that performed really did vary though, depending on the water. The first two sessions saw a lot of streamers, mainly tied on natural materials, like marabou and zonker strips doing the damage, with Olive as a colour reigning supreme.
But it was the cold front that moved up from the Cape that changed the playing field. Bitterly cold and blustering winds kept many contenders around the warm hearth of Notties; those that braved the conditions, incredibly still recorded fish, albeit by resorting to very slow, deep fishing tactics.
In the colder waters, the trigger of white and orange attracted the fish already displaying spawning behaviour. In most cases, a little nymph trailing the larger fly proved irresistible to the Rainbows chasing the larger attractor patterns.
The statistics were as follows:
- Session 1 : 149 fish
- Session 2 : 136 fish
- Session 3 : 70 fish
- Session 4 : 65 fish
The Biggest Fish was 55cm, caught by Brad Stephens on Oakbrook Dam. Top Angler was Dean Lailvaux from the Afriguide Logistics team, who averaged 40cm in his tally of 17 Trout, catching in every single session.
Scenic waters and fat winter trout - what more could you ask for...?
The 5 teams that qualified for the grand final in July were -:
5th Place - Sasfin Securities
4th Place - The Finance Team
3rd Place - Team WildFlies
2nd Place - Afriguide Logistics
1st Place - Stealth Fly fishing
Teams (L-R) : Sasfin Securities / The Finance Team / Afriguide Logistics / Stealth Fly Fishing
As usual the official placings were overshadowed by the rewards for the antics off the field with #partycomrade awards. Needless to say, the TOPS Corporate Challenge continues it's tradition as South Africa's #1 fishing event.
And if you really needed a reason to join in the fun : The Top 5 Reasons to Enter the TOPS Corporate Challenge... Say no more! <nudge><nudge><wink><wink>