This last weekend proved that festivities and fly fishing go hand in hand. The passing cold front had all the entrants to the 2nd leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge reluctant to leave the warm embrace of the Notties Hotel.
But once they got onto the water, the Trout sure joined the party. 499 fish were caught and released with another 100 or so gate crashing, resulting in many long line releases. WildFly's handicap system of only allowing a set number of fish to count in each fishing session, prevented stocky bashing from ruling the performance. In fact the overcast conditions saw a number of big fish making an appearance, with a dozen Trout in excess of 7 pounds being recorded including a rare Brown Trout of 54cm from Deon Nel, who also took top honors as the best fly fisher of the weekend. The largest fish of 63cm in the leg was released by George Hattingh and as always there were no shortage of stories about the one that got away. Special mention needs to be made of Trevor Massey Hicks who caught 44 fish in the first 3 sessions, but the fishing gods frowned on him in that last vital forth session, where a single fish scuppered his title chase.
Fly boxes were kept close to the chest, but after a little 'Partycipation' at the legendary Notties pub, it became apparent that the Trout had eventually tuned into their spawning mode, chasing an array of brightly colored patterns, with Orange Zonkers, Hot Beaded Buggers and Multi colored Minky's rolling off many an anglers tongue.
915 Trout have so far been measured at the halfway stage of SA's premier fly fishing festival, with the Jeep Cherokee and Yamaha Ski Boat up for grabs in the final.