The Real Cock Tease!

Fly fishing is a fickle mistress.

One minute you are enjoying her warm embrace, each cast an artist’s brushstroke, your fly in absolute command of the trout’s attention. Then, moments later, every piece of vegetation assaults your fly line and the scorn on the face of the fish’s becomes apparent as your pattern gets the one finger salute.

Frustrating it can certainly be at times, because the truth is that you can be doing everything right……..from your stealthy approach to your delicate presentation and provocative retrieve, succeeding to entice the trout, who sidles right up to your offering, only to turn his nose up and amble away.

This can quickly turn to exasperation, when your compatriot to the left, using the exact same rig induces the very same fish to make his reel sing, a little insult to compliment the wounded pride.

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So the first lesson I’ve had to digest in my fly fishing pursuits is that you never stop learning.

Even those zealots that have been attending the TOPS at SPAR Corporate Trophy Challenge for the last 12 years have discovered that each outing on the water brings fresh revelations about the fussy feeding habits trout exhibit as Winter beckons.

Of course many will argue that this illustrious event has nothing to do with fishing at all, with more hours being spent at the Legendary Notties pondering the philosophical side of fishing over a deserved beverage than any activity at the waters edge.

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But as the answers to age old debates on fornicating versus feeding fish get more convoluted, there is little doubt that the longer your fly remains in the water the better your chances will be.

Shrugging off the repercussions of grand opening festivities, 180 motivated fly fishermen managed to keep their lines wet over the qualifying legs, with an incredible 1458 trout being caught and released. A feat made more considerable when it became apparent that a quarter of the contestants had never lifted a fly rod before.

As always, any reasonable man’s voice was drowned every evening by the din of tales being recounted about the one that got away. Par for the course on any fishing tour!

Spawning fish, that is to say fish showing signs of spawning behaviour are surely the derivative of the word cock tease. In the gin clear waters, patrolling up and down an inlet or spillway you will witness a hen fish being chased by multiple cock fish and you are quickly convinced that it is you they are teasing.

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Predictably the 3rd Leg of this catch and release tournament didn’t produce as many trout, with only 368 very sought after fish succumbing, but still a respectable average of 7 fish per angler. Top fly Fisher went to Vic Terblanche who led his team to victory this last weekend.

In this tournament, the WildFly waters have yielded an impressive tally of 13 222 feral trout over the last decade with many eclipsing the half metre mark.

Sixteen teams advance to the final, in no order of placing, being-:

Dead donkeys - Fingerlings - Papa Roach and the Streamers - KOI

TW Fergusson - Leads 2 Business - Bophelong Construction – WildGuys

Fly Fishing Consultants – Ibungezi - Insurance Zone - Leads 2 Business

Roadspan Royals –White Wooly Buggers – IQ Business Group - Grinaker

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The most important thing to remember about fly fishing is that you have to believe that every cast can and in all likelihood will produce a fish, and at the Final of the TOPS at SPAR Corporate Trophy Challenge I certainly hope that the trout concur.

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