FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Trout - Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands

Date of Report: Thursday, 16th August 2018
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Name: Andrew Fowler
Phone: 082 574 4262

It is in-between time here in the Midlands….in between winter and spring. Normally in August is gets rather hot, and windy. This year so far we have had a few warm days, but then we got rain (15 to 25mm everywhere) and snow. So, it is as cold as winter, and as moist as spring.

Then on the stillwaters, we have had some pretty slow fishing…well at least I have…and water temperatures I measured last week were still 7 degrees C.

Looking at club returns, things look rather typical of mid winter… a number of blank days, a number where 1 or 2 good fish were caught (19 to 21 inches for example), and then very few where a string of smaller fish are caught.  If my fishing news is a bit thin and scratchy, its because I have been busy on other things.  They have however been things piscatorial.

In the lead up to the river season opening, the Natal Fly Fishers Club has been busy on the following:

  • Clearing of wattle on the Furth Stream…a tributary of the Umgeni, which is going strong after a lull for the last few months while our contractor was busy burning firebreaks.   In addition, I had a meeting with the funders of this project while I was in Cape Town at the expo, to see if we can arrange another year’s funding. I really am holding thumbs for that!
  • We are busy right now clearing wattle on the Mooi River at Reekie Lyn. I went down there last week to check on the contractor, and I am still grinning….Jow Gwamanda is doing a SUPERB job, and I cant wait to go and fish the cleared up sections.  By the way I saw 2 trout rising while I was there.
  • Then we have booked our contractor to come and do the very last clearing of steep difficult patches on the Umgeni itself (#BRU2 project), in the first 2 weeks of September.
  • And we are negotiating with another contractor to come and do subsidized annual follow-up spraying on 13 kms of the Umgeni in order to protect our wins of the last 4 years.
  • Coupled with this we are emptying a dam to rid it of bass, including putting in a bypass pipeline so that it doesn’t fill as fast as we empty it, and some cattle don’t go thirsty.
  • And lastly, there is our Bushman’s River community project.

Now forgive me for punting this one, but I am going to abuse the privilege of having audience here in this column to advertise the thing:   This project is a PC, feel good, right-thing-to-do endeavor of the highest order.   The NFFC has helped this rural community, who happen to have a damned fine Trout stream flowing past their houses, to set up a little business selling day tickets to fly-fishermen.  Then the club has paid them for a notional half of the tickets in order to ensure the project is a success.

So, if it sounds like commercialization…..well, yes, it is. BUT.  You now have 5 well marked beats, limited to 2 rods each on any one day. Poachers get arrested . Catch and release is enforced. Cars are guarded. Anyone can buy a ticket (the club hasn’t grabbed them all), Litter gets picked up, and some poor people get some money.   Does that sound good?

If you think so, show everyone…..come and join the celebration on the 25th   of August.  Come and show the amaHlube people some goodwill by attending the launch day. Buy some food from their stalls. Listen to their Zulu speeches. Listen to their music (performed by SAMA nominees Qadasi (David Jenkins) and Maqhinga), help their kids pick up litter, learn some names and make some friends, help the NFFC put up signs, have some sarmies on the side of a club dam, win a lucky draw, and fish for free on the club’s waters for the afternoon.   These guys are so excited about this project. Come and share their excitement and build some goodwill.   The details are at :

 And when you attend on the 25th, come and find me, and I will tell you all the hot fishing tips and news that I have excluded from this up-date. 

 Fair deal?


August Brownie


Happy Bushmans River kids


Joe Gwamanda


Bushmans River fly fishing