Archive for July 15th, 2009

Cape Piscatorial Newsletter July 16th

July 15, 2009

Cape Piscatorial Society Newsletter

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Had enough rain yet?

I suppose I could fish out of my window, there is enough water in the garden to easily cover a ten pound something but it doesn’t really appeal and to be frank it is too darned cold to be considering such activities. I also happen to have been particularly busy so that hasn’t helped.

On a positive note the dams around Cape Town are apparently at all time highs and that includes the new public water works facilities in main road Somerset West and Camps Bay, although rumours that we will be moving the Bell’s Festival indoors to Blues Restaurant are premature. There is a fair likelihood that the water will have subsided come September. It has however been pretty miserable out and about, if you have kids on school hols it more than likely has been pretty miserable in as well but that is another story entirely.


The only real options are some stillwater angling and I would suspect that Lakensvlei would be performing particularly well at the present time, the fish seem to revel in the colder conditions and of course you can always take a break and build a snowman next to the hut if things are a bit slow.

Just remember to dress warm and I wouldn’t even consider float tubing in a wet suit unless hypothermia is some sort of twisted sadomasochistic goal of yours.. it is going to be chilly out there with a capital “C” I would be sorely tempted to skip the beers and take soup.

There is of course fishing to be had closer at hand, with Jonkershoek hosting the Bell’s Festival on the 25th of this month and Eikendal will be open and should be offering good fishing. On all the stillwaters there is a considerable likelihood that the fish will be getting into spawning mode and acting a little strangely so orange patterns and annoying attractors are valid choices if the imitative approach doesn’t work.


Saltwater action is obviously not at its best at the present time but there have been quite a lot of snoek about so those with a boat and a hankering to get down and dirty with some big toothed denizens of the deep could well consider that an option. I haven’t been snoek angling in a long time but it can prove to be great fun and if conditions are pleasant makes for a super outing. All you need are some very large flashy flies and a fast sinking (DI7) line and you are in business. Just a case of making sure that the flies get down deep enough and that usually means that you need what ever little breeze that there may be going in the same direction as the current. Opposing forces will tend to keep the line too shallow. Plus remember that for whatever reason the fish seem not to be keen to take a fly if there is a lot of bait in the water so you need to either wait until the commercials move off the shoal or find your own fish for success. We have always used very flashy 4/0 Clouser style flies, if only because they don’t foul as easily when casting and they are something of a handful to throw without any more drama. Large dumbbell eyes keep them sinking which prevents fouling with the fast sinking lines, and remember some bite trace of wire or heavy mono you will get a lot of bite offs if you don’t.

The River season:

Now is certainly the time to start preparations, I am busy tidying up my fly tying room and there is a possibility that I shall actually be able to see the floor by September, it needs a real sort out and I have to get on with building up a stock of patterns. I have however at least put a rod rack into the cupboard so that I don’t get brained by stray rod tubes every time I open the door.

I start every winter with good intentions and this time I may actually get around to it. The promised postings of fly patterns and instructions haven’t been forgotten, although they have been a tad delayed but I will keep you up to date on that score. With the National Championships to be fished on our home waters again in October I think that the Bell’s Festival will be held in September so keep your eyes open for notification of the exact dates coming soon.

For all of the bad weather, the necessity of the electric blanket and the lighting of the gas heater every day the positive side to things is that there should be a good flow of water in the streams throughout the season , it is just now a case of waiting out the remainder of the winter months, tying some flies and being as best prepared as possible come September. It seems a long way off but it isn’t really, let’s just hope that the streams will be fishable early and we won’t have a late deluge as last season keeping us from fishing for an additional month. Withdrawal symptoms are setting in already and further delays could be hazardous to one’s health.

If you are heading out to the dams or off into the briny in search of snoek, as always “Be Careful Out There”.


Housing for Trout?

July 15, 2009
A good feeding lie, behind a mistream obstruction?

A good feeding lie, behind a mistream obstruction?

We are blessed down here in Cape Town at the Southern Tip of Africa, we have gorgeous scenery, some really great fishing and a mild climate with a short winter of only about three months.. Well that is what the travel brochures say, they neglect however to mention that the climate isn’t quite that mild all of the time and the  winter can be remarkably harsh despite the short duration.

Right now we are in the midst of the worst of the weather and only last week I was warning of the risk of praying for rain. Sure we need rain, we don’t get it for much of the year and the farmers and more importantly to readers of this column, the fish need a serious deluge over these few months to keep the ground water levels high and the rivers flowing throughout the warm summer.

I do try to see the bigger picture and tell myself that this inconvenient and frigid down pouring is indeed just housing for trout at its most basic level but that doesn’t mean that I particularly enjoy it. There had been far too little of the stuff of late and with the fishing season on the local trout streams but a few months away it was apparent that winter had yet to really kick in. So a little of my energy went towards hoping that the cold fronts would come and drop some much needed liquid over the mountains.

I didn’t realize that I had quite the psychic power that I apparently wield because since those thoughts last week it hasn’t stopped. Cape Town apparently over the past weekend had more rain than it has seen in such a short period of time for over fifty years. Roads flooded, roofs leaked and the temperatures dropped to levels that are really rather uncomfortable in an environment where most houses lack double glazing or even any inbuilt form of heating.

More trout housing that you know what to do with in Camps Bay.

More trout housing that you know what to do with in Camps Bay.

Its all very well assuming that one can use the dark days usefully to tie flies and fill boxes in preparation for the coming season but with frozen fingers and steam clouding one’s vision the size 22’s will have to wait, manufacturing them is simply too tricky and drinking enough scotch to take your mind off the chill merely makes fly manufacture even less productive.

There is some sunshine due in a couple of days but right now overnight temperatures are plummeting like proverbial concrete parachutes and being tucked up in bed with the electric blanket and a copy of “Trout Hunter” by Rene Harrop is about the only course of action keeping me alive, never mind sane.

Trout Hunter Front Cover

In fact if things don’t slow down a tad I could be casting at Tuna out of the bedroom window. The Cape Flats, the remarkably level and low lying bit of ground that prevents the Indian and Atlantic Oceans from joining up and usurping the Pacific as the largest body of water may well lose the battle. Another weekend like that past and shipping could take a short cut over Mitchell’s Plain and avoid the dangers of rounding the Cape of Good Hope altogether.

So for now I am focusing on staying as dry as possible, tidying out the fly tying room and once again considering the financial implications of installing heating.

As my mother is want to quote “this too shall pass” and hopefully come September the rivers will be full, the trout happy and fishing able to start in earnest. If I put in that heater I may even warm up enough to tie a few flies in preparation. Don’t forget to visit our website, in great need admittedly of update at