Fly Fishing the Western Cape
Fly Fishing the Western Cape
The Cape Piscatorial Society
+27 21 424 7725
The CPS manages the fishing on these rivers on behalf of Cape Nature, and membership is open to everybody. However, you do not have to be a member to fish these rivers. But, you do have to book through the CPS. Bookings are granted on a first-come-first-served basis. Bookings can be made by phoning the CPS office between 10h00 and 16h00, Mondays - Thursdays; or 10h00 to 12h00 on Fridays. The early cut-off on Friday is because the fishing lists for the weekend has to be sent to Cape Nature.
Fishing works on a beat system. In other words, you have exclusive access to a stretch of river if you have booked it for the day. Each beat is limited to two rods for the day.
Remember to keep your CPS fishing permit on your person when you go fishing, as well as a freshwater angling permit and a permit from Cape Nature (or an appropriate Wildcard) to enter the relevant reserve.
John Yelland, +27 21 762 8007
Articles & Blogs
Guiding Mishap11:13am 1 Oct
GETTING SHARPER PHOTOGRAPHS
I've slowly been sifting through the near 17 000 fly fishing images I now have with the intention of doing some tidying out. It struck me how many otherwise lovely shots weren't pin sharp because the shutter speed wasn't fast enough. Here is an image to illustrate the point and I’ll describe the circumstance.
We had spotted a feeding fish and I was setting up to do a few action shots of Billy de Jong catching it, with Leonard Flemming ‘assisting.’ The water was glass clear and low so we were all moving carefully and slowly, like we were on eggs...
Flyfishing Outside the Box5:55am 23 Jul
FLY FISHING OUTSIDE THE BOX REVIEW
It’s difficult to find the right adjective to describe Peter Hayes’ new book, Fly Fishing Outside the Box - Emerging Heresies. Many come to mind – intriguing, enlightening, fascinating – but none really do this brilliant work full justice and the title delivers precisely what it promises.
Hayes undertakes a major debunking of many long held rituals, beliefs and philosophies in fly fishing and fly tying and he does it convincingly...
For Feathers!3:30pm 17 Jul
WHAT YOU CAN GET FOR ‘FEATHERS’ THESE DAYS
Traditionally you don’t get much for feathers, or so the saying goes. Well I struck it lucky after sending Herman Botes a bunch of French Partridge feathers I had dyed a deep olive green. I thought Herman might find them useful in tying his popular Papa Roach.
After putting them to use Herman replied, ‘At first I was gonna use them for my BWO’s and stillwater nymphs, but was pleasantly surprised when I found them perfectly suitable for the wing case on...
Dramatic Rescue11:55am 25 Jun
The story and pictures on my website of how three determined fly fishers rescued a tiny antelope from the freezing waters of the Western Cape’s Lakenvlei dam will certainly warm your heart. See
It is a wonderful piece about the selfless commitment of her rescuers.
Image: Stephen Boshoff
Peter Hayes visit to Cape Town4:55am 4 Jun
A VISIT FROM PETER HAYES
Peter Hayes, an Australian and a friend of Nick Taransky, is a former Australian world casting champion and is now a guide and lodge owner in Tasmania where he runs the Australian Fly Fishing Conclave. He is currently on a tour of South Africa mesmerising anglers with his casting and knot tying skills. On Saturday he joined me at my home for the morning where he heaped one fly fishing revelation after another on my head; the Penny knot, two really useful casts for tight places, the frailties of the old ’10 o’clock – 2 o’clock’ teaching method, a patented...
A rainbow or brown? Or something else?5:35pm 21 May
Dave Edgar posed this question to me in an email last week:
I went fishing in the Hex River valley this weekend and caught a rainbow trout with what seemed to be three reddish dots down its side. Is it a different strain? Do you have any pictures of similar trout?
I replied that if he was on the Hex River then I was pretty sure it was a brown trout.
He responded saying it was definitely not a brown, possibly a rainbow with different markings than usual. He also recalled me mentioning a different strain of rainbows in a previous Newsletter and wondered if this was one...
Winelands Fly Fishing12:19pm 10 May
GLIMPSE OF A COUNTRY FLY SHOP
Philip Meyer runs a pretty fly shop on the edge of spreading vineyards and mountain backdrops Somerset West and Stellenbosch in the Western Cape Province. To my mind it could just qualify as the prettiest fly shop on earth, or at the very least, the fly shop in the loveliest setting. He has a wide range of stock, provides guiding and tuition as well as fly fishing tours for yellowfish, tigers and trout.
This year Philip may well be part of the Protea (South African) fly fishing team going off to fish the world...
Sage Circa11:55am 30 Apr
TESTING THE SAGE CIRCA 2 WEIGHT
Last week I fished the Lourens River, a slender stream running through Somerset West. I was with my friend Robin Douglas and pretty keen to test the Sage Circa 7’ 9” 2-weight his son, Ian, had made for him. I did that and by happy chance, managed to catch a couple of decent trout as well.
How would I describe the action of the Sage Circa? I guess it’s on the slow side, but not too slow, and there is a sweet feel in the middle of the rod with no tendency to fall away on powered casts. To me it is very reminiscent of the SPL, a model Sage brought...
The mind of a trout8:15am 22 Apr
STEVE DUGMORE COMMENTS ON THE CAPACITY OF THE TROUT BRAIN
Further to the debate in the last two Newsletters sparked by Bob Wyatt’s latest book, What Trout Want, in which he questions ‘educatedness’ in trout, Steve Dugmore, a local master bamboo rod maker and professional architect, adds this splash of fuel to the fire...
I had an extraordinary experience a while back which I thought I should share with you. It is almost unbelievable and, without the witness that I fortunately had, I would be opening myself up to the...
Pascal Cognard Lectures Western Cape Fly Fishers (2)3:38pm 6 Mar
Here are a few ideas on equipment from Pascal:
We don’t use long enough leaders on clear rivers and streams. Four metres plus is where we need to be, all the leader sections pre-boiled except for the tippet.
Never join fluorocarbon and nylon. The fluoro will cut into your nylon.
Take the greatest care to create an ultra-smooth leader to fly line connection. Pascal uses a glued needle knot that is beautifully tapered, layered with wraps of 8/0 red fly tying thread and coated as smooth and neat as the wraps on a fine bamboo fly rod....
Pascal Cognard Lectures Western Cape Fly Fishers (1)3:35pm 6 Mar
Representing the French fly fishing team, Pascal Cognard is a three times individual world fly fishing champion. He was partnered this weekend by Said Yahiaoui, a member of the French team from 1991 to 1993 and its current manager, in a three-day seminar that included on-stream demonstrations on the Smalblaar River. Local fly fisher, Korrie Broos, arranged their visit to various centres in South Africa.
Here are a few things you might find interesting:
We don’t wade carefully enough. To watch Pascal wade is to watch a heron stalk. I...
Evolution of the modern nymph6:00am 7 Feb
MC Coetzer, one of South Africa’s most respected fly fishers, has taken part in international competitions for many years. In this article he traces the changes he has noticed in the development of successful nymph patterns used at international competitions over the years. What intrigued me about their apparent evolution, especially of the European nymph patterns, is how...
Transforming a parachute11:30am 20 Jan
Again I’m indebted to Ed Herbst for pointing me in the direction of yet another interesting website and another intriguing fly pattern. In one simple step the tyer converts a standard deer hair post on a dry fly into a deer hair parachute Klinkhåmer-type pattern! It’s a brilliant, why-didn’t-I- think-of-that-before pattern from a wonderful website!
- Tom Sutcliffe
Book Review - The Trout Diaries7:00am 10 Jan
The Trout Diaries
The Trout Diaries by Derek Grzelewski is right up there with the best reads available in fly fishing. This South Island New Zealand based photo journalist has done a marvelous job of drawing you into the fishing life in this part of the world with text and illustrations.
His website is also worth a visit http://www.derekgrzelewski.com/
Guest Blog by Tom Sutcliffe
The Purple Parachute Adams11:00am 28 Dec
The colour purple in dry flies is not something new or unique. One of the best examples is Charles Meck’s Patriot, a variation of the Royal Wulff, with a segmented purple body. And I have seen a Purple Para Wulff and a Purple Renegade – though less commonly – and Oliver Kite’s timeless pattern, Kite’s Imperial, is tied with purple silk.
But I had never heard of a Purple Para-Adams until I read the Spatsizi Wilderness Reserve’s 2012 Newsletter, where they record it as this year’s most successful dry fly on their many rivers and streams! It’s a pattern better known as Carlson’s Purple...
Masters of their craft7:00am 28 Dec
Says Steve Boshoff: It has become tradition for me to spend the first week of the December break exploring new ideas as opposed to fulfilling orders. Driving this work remains a search for the “Africa rod” devoid of imported components, refinement of the centre axis rod and reel, the all wood outfit, and excluding unnecessary rod and reel fittings. I have also become interested in the work of bladesmiths and their influences are appearing in my rods and nets.
The wooden rod grip has a long history in rod making. However, weight is a challenge. For lightness, the late Vince...
Guest Blog - Tom Sutcliffe2:52am 28 Dec
We are pleased to have received a few guest blog pieces from Tom Sutcliffe; the South African flyfishing legend, author and artist.
A GUIDE TO ANGLING PHOTOGRAPHY:
Matt Hayes is an accomplished photojournalist with over 20 years experience and a very keen angler, so his book, FISHEYE – A Guide to Angling Photography, promises to deliver the real deal on this subject. In fact it covers everything...