Getting to the final in any event can be a little nerve wracking, especially when qualifying for the first time. Fishing isn’t seen as a competitive sport by some, lending itself more to recreation and relaxation as an activity, but try telling that to the intrepid bunch of fly fishers who have been dreaming of catching a trophy Trout during lockdown. “Have a glass of not so seriou”s is the sage advice dispensed at the TOPS Corporate Challenge and for good reason…
It’s one thing to be competing with another person but quite another to be pitting your wits against the finicky feeding habits of fish.
Hence if you make the mistake of taking this pastime too seriously and start fixating on The Trout, you spend too much time casting, changing flies and chasing fish, forgetting why you’re on the water in the first place. This all translates into catching less fish.
A few fell into that pressure trap this last weekend on the WildFly waters, but those that slowed it all down and let the fish find their fly scarcely had time to focus on anything else but the bend in their rod!
An Astounding 197 Trout were caught in the first morning of fishing, which was more Trout landed in one session than in the entire Third leg of the qualifying rounds. Even a Bok defeat couldn’t have wiped the smile off every anglers face on Friday lunch. The 100mm of rain over the last week had certainly helped, cooling the dams and injecting some fresh nutrients, but take nothing away from the efforts of the entrants who were filling scorecards.
Chasing the current 2020 record of 66cm, caught by Gavin Cowell that weighed 9lbs saw Hendrik Fourie land a beautiful Rainbow Hen of 61cm from InverMooi Estate, which earned him biggest fish in the final, also walking away with a hamper of fly tackle compliments of Greys.