La Ferme Fishing Competition

Fly Fishing at La Ferme,

Many thanks to Mercedes Labuschagne for her invitation to join in at the recent fly fishing competition held at La Ferme in Franschoek.

An angler in the gorgeously attractive surrounds of La Ferme in Franschoek.

An angler in the gorgeously attractive surrounds of La Ferme in Franschoek.

It was, after all of the horrendous weather of late, a totally glorious day and the drive out there through the countryside with the winter colours and the sun just peaking over the mountain tops made for a great start. To be honest the weather may have been a tad too nice for good stillwater fishing and the fish seemed a little reluctant to come to the fly. Some were cruising the shallows a sure sign that they were getting into spawning mode and not helluva interested in food. Mind you I suppose that most of us wouldn’t be that interested in food either if in a similar state of arousal………… just a thought.

Paul Cochrane with a 1.2 Kg fish taken during the competition.

Paul Cochrane with a 1.2 Kg fish taken during the competition.

It was doubly satisfying that most of the fish were measured and released back into the water, that is the way it is done in international competition and I think shows considerable responsibility on the parts of most of the entrants and the organizers. It is more tricky to run a competition like that but shows better understanding and empathy for our environment.

There was a pretty good turn out of anglers and although the fishing was perhaps a tad slow it seemed that most people enjoyed the day and I think that majority had some success.

For myself I was fortunate to pick up a fish but others fared better than I did and I have to confess that I really did try rather hard, particularly later in the afternoon when a few fish were rising on the dam, perhaps to some terrestrials that were blowing across the water. Despite cutting down on tippet diameter and switching lines and flies ad nauseum it made no difference and further success eluded me.

La Ferme offers accommodation as well as fly fishing and it is in the most beautiful setting you could imagine, well worth consideration should you be looking for a nice weekend away from the madding crowd without having to drive too far out of central Cape Town..

I was privileged to have the opportunity of doing a fly casting demonstration and also to assist a few anglers with their form and received some very positive feedback from that. The standard of casting amongst many of the competitors I thought a little better than average actually, and it is something that I always notice. Fly casting being a great interest of mine and something that fascinates is that many people who have fished for years actually cast rather poorly. In fact I suspect that most are in one way or another unhappy with their form and would prefer to do better. When guiding on the streams I find that the single most limiting factor for most of the clients is their inability to cast accurately and efficiently. It can seem remarkable that a man who has spent thousands on fishing for exotic fish in even more exotic locations hasn’t taken the time or money to learn to do it well.

Perhaps in the next missive I will take some time to explain why I think that most casting instruction isn’t very useful but for now a simple thank you to Mercedes and her crew and to the fellow anglers who made the day worthwhile. You can contact La Ferme via their website at

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