If you had preordered the weather, it couldn’t have been better.
A bite in the air,
cold enough waters to entice some feisty Trout and the beautiful backdrop of the Giant in the picturesque Kamberg Valley, all without the interference of any wind….what more can a fly fisher ask for?!
A few Trout perhaps? Well seven Hundred and Four of them made it to the net in this year’s TOPS Kamberg Trout Festival, with many more lost and some really big fish poking their heads out the water.
Being the largest fly fishing festival in any one gathering held in Africa,
everyone always arrives expecting to get a little action on the dams. But, the real reason the majority of guys beg a pink ticket for this weekend,
is the time they get to spend on the bank-side with great mates, reliving the good times.
The format of every team fishing together guarantees these social festivities and many teams spend more time off the water than in it, content to embrace their time in the country.
But it takes just a single big fish to motivate some casting and word of a 60cm Trout in the 1st session had us all rummaging in our fly boxes for that killer pattern.
What fly was working was certainly a point of animated debate over lunch. In the highlands of the Kamberg,
the water temperatures measured a frigid eleven degrees, galvanising that spawning urge in the Trout, dictating that colour of fly was a key factor. Yet, in the heart of the valley it was a difference of up to four degrees warmer, with the fish still chasing some Minnows and feasting on a range of natural imitations.
The variety of dams and distance between meant that you got to
experience the full spectrum of water and enjoy some spectacular scenic surrounds, such is the bounty of Trout waters in the Kamberg.
By Friday evening a few more trophy Trout made it to the weigh-in with a monster of 68cm being landed by Michael Kollmorgen.
Despite many flies being thrown at the cause on Saturday and lots of fish eclipsing the half-meter yardstick netted, no-one was able to surpass that impressive benchmark. Louise Steenekamp walked away with the top lady fly fisher with nearly seven and a half meters of fish measured and the best male angler was Jasper Ward with over 8 meters of Trout recorded.
But the talk of the festival was the Tendela development team, who took 3 of the top 7 positions in total Trout caught and managed between them to register nearly 22 meters of fish.
A huge congratulation to Richard Khumalo, Tembi Ngxongo, Mvelo and Nkosinati for their outstanding performance.
A true credit to the local community that they represent.
The wonderful aspect of this fundraiser is that the whole Kamberg
community comes together and their hospitality is second to none. There are too many people involved in Steve Edkins team,
who organise everything, to give everyone the real kudos they deserve, but a huge shout out must go to the Kamberg ladies, who work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep all the anglers very well fed with their hearty country fair.
The generous support of TOPS at Spar, WildFly Outfitters, Hardy, Greys, Airflo and Xplorer had all the prize winners ginning from ear to ear and it is only through the Kamberg Farmers Association, with Garth Ratsey in the chair that this event is possible, giving all the entrants access to the Kamberg waters.
Hat’s off to the Kamberg community for hosting us fly fishing fanatics.