Monday, October 17, 2011

Karoo Yellowfish Spring 2011

Two months ago a massive flood tore through the Groot River valley.  Taking with it live stock, dam walls, the works.  The river level rose 7 meters in parts.  I feared that all my Yellowfish and the beautiful little runs that make up our river section would be destroyed.  It took with it all three dam walls up river (which I would usually be happy about).  However in this case the dam walls filter out sediment and as a result we end up with perfectly clear water full of life.

The river is still as perfect as I remember it.  Running about a foot a second, crystal clear in parts.  The fish are scarred and a bit scrawny from the Spawn but were hungry.  At one part I climbed a 500ft shale cliff to get to a isolated run.  Half way up I spotted something incredible.  The biggest yellow ive seen with my two eyes.  It was sitting behind a rock and picking something off the rocks.  Possible stonefly nymphs or something. The only option was to strip off line and lay it straight down.  As the nymph hit the water, some 30 meters below me the fish lunged, ate the fly and jumped out the water.  I struck and off it went.  I didnt notice a coil of line stuck in a crack.  I tried to clear it but couldnt in time.  The 10lb flouro leader parted like 2lb.  Ouch.

The next morning I had another shot.  Not as big a fish but in a more impressive setting.  A fast flowing section of gin clear water.  Not more than 6ft wide, not more than a foot deep.  Now I was in an awkward position.  if I moved he'd spot me.  I was to the right of him so I couldnt risk a cast that might spook him.  He was too far to high stick.  The only option was to drop the fly immediately to the right of him.  Close enough to sense the pressure difference.  Far enough not to spook him.

I did just that.  As the olive nymph hit the water he turned to inspect it.  I stripped slightly faster than the current and he followed.  As he got closer he got excited, his fins began to flare and he lit up.  I sped up the strip and watched his mouth and gills open and he sipped up the fly.  At my feet.  While I was stripping leader.  Incredible.

The follow

Into the backing she goes

15 min later

Millions of small fish in these little sections.  Only to happy to take small dry flies all day long.

On top of the shale cliff

The right way to get around.

New species for me.  Not sure what the hell it is.

Little guy.

The problem with self timers

Full of scars

The best part of the river


  1. Yeah Peter! Cool yellows, and the river seems fantastic.
    Wath dry fly used?


  2. It is a Bluegill! Native to the US, but apparently introduced to S. Africa. Ubiquitous around here...


  4. Peter, great post! It is so great to visit that part of the world this time of year when CPT is still cold/cool. Does that stream dry up in Summer?

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