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Fly-fishing has changed !

Totally plagarised from Xplorer, thought this was very good and had to share it.

Over the past twenty years Fly-fishing has changed its image from being an old school gentleman’s sport. Fly-fishing for trout on chalk streams or bobbing about in reservoirs dappling for trout in old tweed deer stalkers and a cloud of smoke from a Cuban cigar was the way of the past. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong in my eyes with enjoying the finer things in life. That’s why so many fly fishermen enjoy this sport that takes them to the most breath taking places on this planet, from the flats in the Seychelles to the deep blue of the Indian Ocean or to the clear cut mountain streams that make their way to the seas and deltas.

Fly-fishing has grown so fast in the last decade with anglers targeting any fresh or salt water species on the fly. Our indigenous species, the smallmouth yellow, has become one of the most targeted species on fly on the Vaal Orange system and all its tributaries. The smallmouth Yellowfish gave the SA fly-fishing market a huge boost in the late nineties as the anglers in the Gauteng area and the old Vaal Triangle areas started to target this fine fighting species on the Vaal River. Lodges popped up all over, giving fly fisherman access to new waters. The summer months have become the time to spend on the river, smashing these golden yellows. This has been a great alternative to targeting Trout on fly. Going back 10 or 20 years ago most of the Trout waters were reserved for syndicate members or clubs that had month or year long waiting lists. This made it difficult to find waters for the average angler to access and this restricted the growth of Flyfishing.
Rainbow and Brown Trout are the 2 main species of trout that are caught in South Africa. These trout can be caught year round but the prime season is in the cooler winter months in the higher elevations of Mpumalanga (Dullstroom to Lydenberg), the Cape Mountain streams and the Drakensberg Mountains of the Natal Midlands, fishing Stillwater lakes, ponds, or rivers. The rivers have a closed season from the 1st of June till the 1st September giving the trout a fair chance to spawn naturally replenishes the stocks. The Trout need to be stocked from Hatcheries on most Stillwater dams as there are no flowing waters for them to spawn. Having an opposite season to trout, targeting Yellow fish on fly has made fly fishing a year-long season, trout in the cooler months and yellows in the warmer months.

Fly tackle started to evolve for our local fishing conditions and species. Xplorer Fly-fishing began to develop tackle specifically designed for our local methods of fishing. Longer fly rods started to become popular, in 10ft 5 weights for different styles of fly-fishing from long line nymphing to high stick nymphing and Czech nymphing. The interest in fly fishing grew and it wasn’t long before the Vaal River was inundated with fly anglers perfecting their skills, any afternoon, mid-week or weekend it didn’t make a difference. They were hooked and still are.

Tiger fish on the Zambezi River has also become the latest craze in the sport in the past 5 years. The Tiger fish season on the Zambezi starts in April and runs until late October before the summer rains come. The Zambezi River Fly-fishing season starts when the flood waters begin to recede off of the plains. This brings all the newly spawned baitfish, which spent the rainy season tucked away on the flooded plains, growing before the waters start to recede. When the water filters back into the main river channels, the Tiger fish wait to ambush the baitfish in a feeding frenzy. This is the prime time for targeting these hungry Tigers.

The Zambezi River is split into three different areas, the upper Zambezi, the middle Zambezi and the lower. The Zambezi River flows through the Mana pools in the National Parks on the Zimbabwe side heading down to the Zambian National Park.
The common Carp has also become another species to catch on fly. They are mainly found in small ponds to the bigger lakes in the country and on the Vaal River system. One particular are that Carp is being caught on Fly is Albert Falls dam in KZN. It has large numbers of Carp that the Artificial Lure Angling clubs have been targeting on fly over the past few years. The common carp can be caught on a dry fly from July until the end of December. The preferred tackle used to target the carp is normally a 9ft, five or a six weight rod.

Saltwater fly fishing has also grown in the past 10 years. Our coastal angling in the Indian Ocean has seen Fly fishers push the limits of their fly tackle by catching Sailfish, Stripped Marlin, GTs and even Dog Tooth Tuna on heavier 12wt plus outfits. The flats in the Seychelles has fly anglers targeting bottom, crustacean feeding species like Bonefish, Trigger fish, Permit and even Lemon Sharks.

The limits are endless with fly fishing. Any species you can catch on bait or artificial lure with conventional tackle can be targeted on the fly. The wide variety of fish species one can target in Southern Africa has helped to make fly fishing a year-round sport. Other local species not mentioned, that can be caught on fly are Barbell, Large and small mouth Bass, Tilapia, Largemouth Yellowish and Bream, to name a few.

The advancements and development of fly tackle has made it more affordable to the average angler to start fly fishing. The techniques used to target our local species, has helped to develop the gear for these specific applications which has expanded the choices for the new age fly fisherman. Fly fishing continues to grow as a sport both socially and on the competitive side, getting more and more anglers hooked each year.
Visit our website www.xplorerflyfishing.co.za to view our range of fly tackle designed for all of our Southern African Species.


May 23, 2013 | Category: News | Comments: none

 

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