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Analysis: With water temperatures sitting at between 20°C and 22°C, Albert Falls is ‘cooking’ with bass

By Jan Korrubel

Midmar is reportedly also fishing very well, with carp and barbel on the spawn.

News from Jan Korrubel at The Kingfisher in Pietermaritzburg:
“Last weekend’s extended frontal system that rushed up the country put paid to many anglers getting out and wetting a line. There are only a few reports to go on from the diehards making it out.

Having a few days off, I had planned a day on the river, so I had to juggle the forecast to make the best of the situation.

“Having not been on a trout stream yet — this was meant to be my ‘season opener’ — so I headed up to Giant’s Castle and my favourite place on the upper Bushman’s with a mate.

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“With all the rains, I was expecting some good water, if even a tad high, and was mightily surprised to find that the river was much lower than expected.

“The inclement weather didn’t help matters — it was overcast and cold with air and water temperatures of 9° C, and it even snowed twice over the course of the day, so it was a very slow day.

“Stubbornly fishing dry fly, we managed to raise a number of fish, sadly none of which I could get to stick and bring to hand, while George managed four browns just shy of the 25 cm mark.

Being his first time on the Bushman’s, I did give him first crack at the best lies, so that’s my excuse, and I am sticking to it! Nonetheless, great to be out on the river again; next time will be better for sure.

“Back to rainfall: with the figures received from the Midlands area, and while some are reporting the wettest October since 1991, it would appear that the bulk of the rainfall has been more east, with the ridge that separates Giant’s Castle excluding the rain getting over and into its catchment. The forecast has more on the way for this weekend, so fingers crossed that my favourite valley gets a fair share.

“Only a single report from the central Mooi River from the Natal Fly Fishers Club (NFFC) river anglers, with a couple of sub-25 cm browns to show for it. Three returns from the NFFC still-water anglers, all prior to the weekend’s weather antics.

“Water temperatures were reported to be between 14° C and 18° C. There were just a few fish in the smaller 18 cm to 23 cm range, with the bulk of the fish reported coming to hand sitting in the 33 cm to 38 cm bracket. A further two fish were reported in the 48 cm to 53 cm class, and another pulling the tape to between 58 cm to 63 cm. These are the fish that keep coming back.

“Word on the bass front is that with water temperatures now sitting at between 20° C and 22° C, Albert Falls is ‘cooking’ with lots of two-kilogram fish about.

Early morning and late afternoon call for top water and frogs for the surface bite, and Texas Rig for the rest of the day. Popular colours are the usual suspects of green pumpkin and watermelon.

Midmar is reportedly also fishing very well, with carp and barbel on the spawn.

“No further news on the Albert Falls hippo, although I did see a disturbing news headline: “Permit issued to kill hippo”.

While visitor safety is paramount, Albert Falls is listed as a nature and game reserve, so there has been a backlash and calls to at least dart and relocate the hippo. As we await further confirmed news, anglers are requested to be aware and not approach.

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“There’s no fresh news from yellowfish anglers, both scaly and Sterkie.”

Please remember to leave the areas that you fish in a better condition than when you got there. Take a few moments to pick up some litter and take it to the nearest bin.

Please send any info about fishing or fish caught in your area to

Tight lines and screaming reels!