News from our Jan, The Kingfisher in Pietermaritzburg.
PMB / Hilton and all the way up the N3 to Van Reenen’s Pass saw a proper summer thunderstorm last weekend — full-on thunder and lightning show to boot! — that dropped some 25mm down here and all along up the N3 as far as Van Reenen’s Pass, but nothing towards the mountains which only received a couple mm over the weekend.
Overall however, the Umgeni system is still sitting at over 98% capacity with Spring Grove Dam still at 100% FSL, and Mearns, Midmar and Albert Falls Dams all sitting at over 90% FSL.
Wagondrift Dam on the Bushman’s River is also just below 100%. Great place to be this late in winter.
While we cannot complain about receiving rain this late in winter (or is it early in spring?), I am kinda thankful that the Midlands escaped pretty much unscathed as this weekend sees The Finals of the TOPS Corporate Challenge taking place on the waters around Nottingham Road.
Festivities started yesterday evening with the dam draw, and fishing takes place today and tomorrow.
Tight Lines to all the anglers taking part (me especially!) and I look forward to reporting on the event next week!
On the trout front, the anglers of the Natal Fly Fishers Club have taken advantage of the decent weather of late, and some great fish continue to be reported from the NFFC waters.
Almost all fish over the 12 inch / 30 cm mark (just a couple of dinks here and there), with most fish in the 15-19 inch / 38-48 cm bracket, and the largest fish reported this week pulling the tape into the 19-21 inch / 48-53 cm bracket.
Whispers from the water has it that mainly small flies are on the menu at present: nymphs and bloodworms getting the predominant mention. I guess we will just have to stock up and see what happens this weekend.
Of note, is that the NFFC will be hosting a Stillwater Clinic at the end of the month — bookings are open, so pop into the KF-PMB and chat to Jan if you need contact details to book your place.
The countdown has officially begun to the start of the trout river season which opens on September 1.
I know of a number of anglers that are dusting off their river tackle and stocking fly boxes … that will also be me after this weekend’s last foray into the Stillwater events calendar.
If you are wanting to get onto the river this season, come pop into the KK-PMB and chat to Jan and see what’s required.
From the bass boys: early August is still considered to be late winter, and the fish should be transitioning into pre-spawn mode, if they haven’t already. While the fishing has been slow, I am sure many anglers will be keeping a beady eye on the water as the ever-popular Albert Falls Classic takes place on August 25-27, with prizes being awarded for heaviest fish, as well as heaviest bag.
As we head into the season, and in the interests of catch and release, it’s worth mentioning the handling of your fish as there are many pictures of bass being gripped by the jaw sitting at uncomfortable angles.
Hold your fish with two hands if possible, or if holding from the jaw, let the fish hang vertically, as opposed to horizontally, which is injurious to the fish.
With the warmer weather, reports coming in from Albert Falls noted carp on the surface that were willing to take flies … proper rod benders those chaps, and still on my to-get list.
The Scaly (Natal Yellowfish) anglers are also getting antsy and there have been some more recent reports of fish. As mentioned last week, further north seems to be where it’s at, while we wait for the local waters to warm up some more. While a Scaly on dry fly is on everyone’s list, the most popular method is wet flies using weighted nymphs and jig buggers.
With Women’s Day on the calendar next Tuesday, this weekend is pretty much a long weekend guys, so treat your fishing lady to a weekend on the water, or if she doesn’t fish, show her how!
So Tight Lines to all our lady anglers out there.
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