FOSAF FLYFISHING REPORTS - Yellowfish - East Free State

Date of Report: Monday, 27th March 2017
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Name: David Weaver
Email: eff@ohs.dorea.co.za
Phone: 083 303 4230

Another season on Sterkies winds down as the Cosmos flowers and the Amur Falcons return north.  This last weekend the fishing was very tough.  Yesterday I was on the water for six hours and did not see a single Yellowfish, besides the one we managed to catch. 

The water temperature is still quite high at 20* but one can feel that the season is all but over.  We might still have one or two more days of good catching but generally there is not much happening.

Time has come for us to dust of the trout boxes and head down into Natal to look for some speckled beauties. As we do so we look back at a spectacular season on Sterkfontein as always.  As the years pass I realise why I fish Sterkies and why my clients come back year after year.  It’s not because the catching is easy, it’s because it remains one of the most spectacular freshwater places to cast a fly.  It is still one of the toughest fisheries I know and yet there are days when everything aligns and the fishing is off the charts.

A few truths that have again emerged; 

  1. as the fishing pressure, has increased, so the catching rate has fallen.
  2. Even though the Good Drs Foam Beetle remains the number one catcher of fish, the fish do become “beetled-out” as the season progresses.
  3. Etiquette among a few flyfisherman on the dam is falling by the wayside.  I had several incidents this season where other flyfisherman show scant regard for the unwritten rules of the game.  Two of these led to very nasty verbal altercations that were unnecessary.
  4. People are still walking, fishing and showing disregard for the spawning areas.

I have now completed my twentieth year as a guide on this stunning piece of water and I still feel that I have so much to learn.  Please don’t let anyone convince you that catching fish on Sterkies is a given.  I am still humbled by this water but forever drawn back to the challenges that she offers.

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Photo by Carl Nicholson

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