A lot of Trout clearly didn’t get the message from Uncle Cyril this last weekend as they kept their distance from the very social advances of the fly fishers.
The TOPS Corporate Challenge has built its reputation on the camaraderie and festivities surrounding the fishing, which was embraced by the entrants yet again, with commiserations about the lack of landed Trout soon replaced by the celebratory toasts to the time being spent together in WildFly country.
Some quality Trout still made an appearance, with Wim Slabber and Dave Launder battling it out for biggest Rainbow, both measuring 60cm, the latter taking the closely contested honours.
We all know the multitude of reasons why the fish can give us the middle fin, but what was clearly a major factor was the swirling wind, changing from South to East and back again, almost hourly, driven by pressure changes and hence uncooperative fish.
That the water temperatures have plummeted to as low as 10 degrees Celsius kept the Trout chasing tail, firmly in full spawning mode, ignoring the variety of fly patterns thrown at the problem.
Those fish that did test the anglers, seems to be mouthing the fly, their tentative takes often not even felt by the fly fisher.
Testament to this was the successful hookups from those fishing with a strike indicator from the bank.
Doing less definitely resulted in more takes and anyone who stayed out of their V-boats reaped the rewards. T he clarity of the water ensured that the slightest disturbance had the Trout running for cover…..you can imagine what we look like to an unsuspecting fish kicking around in our QE2’s. And fly patterns were as contradictory as the stories filtering through about where the fish were being spotted.
The fairly infallible egg and nymph combination on a floating line, fished static in the spillways showed some promise, but so did dragon imitations stripped over weed beds, not to mention the go to Buggers with a hot orange bead. No absolute or definitive recipe this weekend!
Compared to the 1st leg where 320 Trout were caught and released, the inclement conditions reduced this number to a well-earned 155.
A large contingent of new entrants led the charge off the field, as the legendary Notties lived up to its’ reputation as party central, keeping the ethos of this event, ‘having little to do with fly fishing’, at the forefront.
And one of these brand new teams, conversely called ’The Bottom Feeders’ ran away with the title for the 2nd leg of the TCC with Mark Venter earning the accolade as top fly fisher.
Ten teams have already made it through to the illustrious final, with the last five place being contested in the 3rd leg between the 7th and 9th July….here’s hoping that the weather behaves and the fish decide that it’s time to feed again!