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Polela River Fly Fishing
21 Dec 2015

The Polela River is situated a short distance from the village of Himeville in the southern Drakensberg region. The Polela once held the record for the largest river Brown trout in South Africa. Caught on bait, it was all of 9lbs big. However, it is no longer a Brown trout stream and now holds a good head of small rainbows, mainly in the range of 8 to 10 inches. Anyone wanting to try this stream should concentrate their efforts along that section that runs through the conservation area, upstream of the Cobham Nature Reserve campsite and as far into the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Park as one chooses...

(GPS coordinates: -29.704884, 29.419767)


Bell River, Lower Beats
18 Dec 2015

This hallowed stream rises on the escarpment near Tenahead Lodge. Further downstream, where the gradient flattens out, the river widens its meanders and flattens, now with sand and gravel bottoms. The banks used to be shaded by crack willow trees (Salix fragilis), but a government sponsored “Working for Water” program has eradicated most these...

(GPS coordinates: -30.706964, 28.137225)


The Aquarium on Leliekloof Farm
15 Dec 2015

If you had to design the perfect stillwater, you would probably not go wrong if you modelled your answer on the Aquarium at Leliekloof. In summer, it has a thick seam of weed beds that runs around most of the stillwater and harbours a prolific body of insect life, including dragonfly nymphs as long as your thumb. The trout glut on this abundance and are fat and healthy. In winter, when food becomes scarce, the strikes are often aggressive and the runs hard and intense...

(GPS coordinates: -31.152304, 26.718031)


The Smalblaar and Molenaars Rivers
12 Dec 2015

The Smalblaar (or Smallies) is probably the most popular river in the Western Cape because of its easy access and good fishing. It flows alongside the Du Toit’s Kloof pass section of the N1 yet once you are on the river you can neither hear nor see the traffic. The Smalblaar holds a good head of fair-sized rainbow trout. Trophy fish of 3 pounds or even heavier are still caught every year. At the end of spring, the Smalblaar attains a certain charisma that distinguishes it from most other trout rivers in the Cape...

(GPS coordinates: -33.713647, 19.196456)


Bell River, Middle Section
10 Dec 2015

This hallowed stream rises on the escarpment near Tenahead Lodge. Closer to its source, the Bell River flows through a valley with a relatively small, one-sided flood plain with a few contributing wetlands. The river then flows into a gorge and through a schism in the landscape, losing altitude rapidly over a relatively short distance. The Bell picks up a few tributaries on the way downstream, namely the Kloppershoek, Carlisleshoek and Maartenshoek streams...

(GPS coordinates: -30.793244, 27.961927)


Bell River, Upper Beats
7 Dec 2015

This hallowed stream rises on the escarpment near Tenahead Lodge. The high-altitude portion of the river is characterised by shallow, fast-flowing water over bedrock streambeds. Occasional boulders, that had their origins on the surrounding peaks, lie in the streambed and influence the flow. Although most people fish the Bell for trout, yellowfish is occasionally encountered, as they move up towards the source to spawn during the warmer months. Beware of the sun and elements when visiting the higher beats; in the mountains, prevailing conditions can change rapidly...

(GPS coordinates: -30.721676, 28.004574)


2 Dec 2015

This stream has its source on the slopes of Vaalkop near Barkly Pass on the escarpment where the southern Drakensberg begins. This river has less of a gradient and a wider, cultivated flood plain over its course than other rivers in the area. As you move downstream, its main tributaries, the Coldbrook, Koffiehoekspruit, the Bokspruit and, finally, the Bell River, join the Sterkspruit. After this last confluence, the river is known as the Kraai. The Sterkspruit has a mixture of sandstone, cobbles, gravel and sand substrate over its course. At times the earthen banks have been eroded to a depth of up to four metres...

(GPS coordinates: -31.052364, 27.833798)


Umzimkulu River Fly Fishing
29 Nov 2015

The mighty Umzimkulu is KwaZulu-Natal’s largest and probably longest river with a habitat suitable for its rainbow trout population. It winds its way through the picturesque pastoral setting of the southern Drakensberg area, flowing past the village of Underberg. The headwaters rise in the mountains above the Drakensberg Gardens Resort. Here, it is a slip of a stream that has never been particularly productive for fly-fishing. The higher sections are also very susceptible to low water levels during the drier periods. Lower down, once it has passes Lake Navarone, light-line fishing can be rewarding, but the trout are mainly small...

(GPS coordinates: -29.754654, 29.240311)


The Witels River
26 Nov 2015

The Witels is a mysterious river that runs through the southwestern side of the Hex River Mountains and joins the Dwars River that comes in from Ceres side to form the Breede River in Mitchell’s Pass. It is not a CPS river but the entire upper section is controlled by the University of Cape Town (UCT) Mountain & Ski Club and no fishing is allowed. The lower reaches flow through Ceres Municipal property and a state permit and Western Cape fishing license are required to fish this area...

(GPS coordinates: -33.416946, 19.290757)


4 Day Xstream Fishing Safari
25 Nov 2015

This trip covers a 35-kilometre stretch of the Orange River. Your fishing trip begins at Tutwa Manor House on the Southern Cross Game Reserve, just downstream of the Augrabies Falls National Park. You are accommodated in comfortable twin en-suite rooms on the reserve for your first night. The guides will do an informal briefing, followed by dinner in the boma around a campfire. The next three nights are spent camping along the banks of the river, moving daily to new waters. Boasting both smallmouth and largemouth yellowfish, along with catfish, carp, silvers, muddies, moggels and tilapia, this trip will get you hooked. On the final day, you will be collected from the take-out point in mid-morning and be transferred back to the reserve for hot showers and a farewell lunch...

(GPS coordinates: -28.696385, 19.511497)


Bushmans River Fly Fishing
23 Nov 2015

The Bushmans River, set in a spectacular mountain environment and part of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Park, rises high in the central region below the prominent buttress known as the “Sleeping Giant”. It is a perfect habitat for the self-sustaining brown trout population, descendants of the first seeding of the Loch Levern variety from Scotland that were introduced into this waterway in the 1890s. They are wild, small and seldom exceed 25 centimetres - as pretty as you will find anywhere...

(GPS coordinates: -29.218572, 29.556956)


Bokspruit, Upper Beats
20 Nov 2015

The Bokspruit rises on the summit of the southern Drakensberg at 2800 m above sea level in open grassland country where it flows a twisting, low gradient course for upwards of 14 kilometres before tumbling down a series of waterfalls to eventually reach the more pastoral, slower flowing stretches most typical of this prime river. At the source the river is crystalline with a resinous, agate-like look to the riverbed and its brightly coloured rainbow trout are plentiful and will rise to flies opportunistically all day. This is perfect dry fly water for fish up to 12 to 14 inches...

(GPS coordinates: -30.972081, 28.001608)


Mooi River Fly Fishing
18 Nov 2015

Historically, the Mooi River is more synonymous with trout and their acclimatisation in South Africa than any other river in the country. It was in these waters that John Parker first introduced brown trout from ova shipped from the Solway Hatchery in Scotland to South Africa. In KwaZulu-Natal, it is also the river that has possibly the longest length of suitable habitat trout, where the trout have been self-sustaining since 1893...

(GPS coordinates: -29.378305, 29.672774)


The Little Pot River
14 Nov 2015

This delightful stream is a classical freestone river in its upper reaches. Once it reaches the farmlands lower down, it changes character and curves through the landscape in big serpentine bends. Fishing here can be good, especially if it is large fish that you are after. However, there is a lot of battling through uncooperative riverine vegetation, and the fish are mostly few and far between. The more rewarding stretch to fish is the freestone section on Woodcliffe Farm...

(GPS coordinates: -30.992445, 28.16386)


The Witte River
11 Nov 2015

The Witte is a free stone river situated in the Limietberg Reserve above Bains Kloof.  Its name, “Witte” or “Wit”, most likely comes from the abundance of white quartzite boulders that litter the river bed. This river holds a historical population of the Loch Leven brown trout strain that were introduced in the late 1800s. Although shy by nature and regarded by some as the most testing trout in the Cape, there is still a healthy population of brown trout in this river...

(GPS coordinates: -33.619711, 19.099759)


9 Nov 2015

If you know the upland country halfway between Rhodes and Maclear, where the Naude’s Nek Pass touches the clouds, then you know some of the best trout country on this fine planet. It is high altitude grassland – cold, sparse and remote, threaded throughout with mountain streams, all swift and clear and full of the promise of trout. It also happens that some of the better stillwaters in South Africa is found here...

(GPS coordinates: -30.787356, 28.276114)



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