It’s time to sort out your fly box and check that your Trout gear hasn’t gone walkabout.
As Summer finally gives way to Autumn it heralds the start of the still water season and the WildFly team have been scouting the Drakensberg dams and testing out a few flies seeing what elicits the right reaction.
Fortunately, at this time of year, the waters host a wide range of food from the Summer bounty, with Minnows, Platanna and large invertebrates still very active, making our fly selection very simple. Big is better and with the general drop in water temperatures to around 18 degrees, the Trout are feeding aggressively.
Clarity varies from dam to dam, but 1.5m is common and with the prolific rains we’ve had this year, almost every still water is brimming.
Whilst bank fishing can always yield good Trout, we’ve elected to explore eight dams from the comfort of our V-Boat, allowing us to access areas that you can’t from the edge.
The inlets have been resoundingly the most productive, with any large weed beds also delivering more than their fair share of fish.
April – by the numbers:
# of Anglers – 18 Fly Fishers
Total Catches: 64 Rainbow Trout
Average trout size: 48cm
Fish over 50cm : 37
We’ve been fishing larger sticks and heavy rigs, with a 6/7 wt rod allowing a lot of backbone to subdue the Trout quickly. Naturally a minimum of 10lb leader / tippet to pressure the fish, ensures you don’t tire and possibly kill the Trout and guarantees you can keep it from ploughing you into the weed or structure.
Tactics have varied, depending on the pattern and patience of the fly fisher.
In the case of minnow patterns, whilst we’ve had a few fish on the drop, most have been on an intermittent quick retrieve, once we’ve got the fly into the zone, to do which, a sinking line is a must!
At this time of year blustery winds can interfere with your casting (again hence the bigger sticks to throw bigger flies easily) and why, in the absence of an anchor, you need a sinking line to get your fly down quickly…..always bearing in mind that the wind / drift on a float tube will pull your fly up.
When fishing a more imitative Dragon or Platanna the opposite applies. Get to your target area, i.e. the inlet and put yourself in the weed bed, so you can’t drift. Using the same setup, get your fly into the channel and let it sit! If you don’t get picked up on the drop or on this almost static placement, then use a slow retrieve, with a substantial pause in-between.
The flies that have been doing the damage:
There’s no tomorrow, get your Trout season planned today!
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