Mud and Aquaculture

Mud, Trout, Small Flies and Long Leaders.

This post sponsored by Inkwazi Fly Fishing Safaris

This post sponsored by Inkwazi Fly Fishing Safaris

You may have seen the story in the Cape Piscatorial Society’s Newsletter about the pollution of the Smallblaar (Molenaars) River. You will find below the images of the filthy water pouring into the stream from the Du Toit’s Estate.

However apparently Deon Roussouw of Nature Conservation has been in contact with the transgressors and they have agreed to close the outlet from the dams whilst the work is underway and only reopen them once the water has had time to settle out.  With rain today hopefully most of the filth will be washed out of the system in short order and be back to normal.

Digging out old ponds caused severe discolouration of the waters of the normally pristine Smallblaar Stream.

Digging out old ponds caused severe discolouration of the waters of the normally pristine Smallblaar Stream.

So well done to Deon and to Molopong Aquaculture for taking action to protect the stream.. I understand that the new owners of the estate have requested a meeting with the CPS chairman to obviate similar problems in the future, all of which are good signs of some concern and cooperation..

I am not sure that really makes me feel a whole lot better about having an intensive fish farming operation on the banks of a pristine mountain river but it is a start that they have taken our concerns seriously enough to stop or reduce the damage, and that is all to the good..

DuToits Polution #1

Gone Fishing:

Due to the pollution of the river, as mentioned above, and to avoid a total waste of my afternoon having been booked to fish on the Smallblaar, I rescheduled to fish the Elandspad, Phoned the office, established that there was no-one booked and managed a couple of hours of remarkably good fishing given the late hour, near dark conditions and a nasty, cold and gusty wind..

The tiny tiddlers that seemed to be the only fish we could take a week ago were replaced by some nice fish and a decent hatch of mayflies did no harm, although most of the fish weren’t rising.

The only word of warning is that despite the still moderately high water, the lack of sunshine and the blustery wind the better trout were still quite reluctant to commit to any fly that was too big or which dragged in the slightest. A difficult presentation to make when fishing with a long fine leader in an inconsistent gale. It would however have been impossible with a shorter leader as the complex currents would have dragged the fly in moments.

I didn’t fish well, so the “good fishing” epithet refers to the trout and the stream and not the efficacy of the angler. I missed fish, broke off on fish and messed up more often than I would normally expect. Mind you the weather wasn’t nice and didn’t make things easy.

The top fly? Yet again the Spun Dun, although the smaller poly yarn version worked better it was very tricky to see in the poor light and much of the time I had to use a slightly larger deer hair version, which was more visible but I am convinced that some of the fish failed to commit to it at the last moment and , as the Brit’s would say “Came short”. When possible under the conditions, 7X tippet, an 18’ leader and smaller more sparse fly patterns did the trick, and if the fish are being that discerning already we are going to have our work cut out later in the season. I think that I might start breaking out the #22 hooks shortly.. 🙂

Something new: I ran out of floatant the other day and in a rush didn’t have much choice, the tackle shop where I stopped only had one lonesome container of Loon Payette Floatant, there were no alternatives available so I took it. It is a fairly solid paste with the consistency of “lip gloss”,  in a small plastic “bucket” type of container and you simply rub a smidgen onto your fingers and then on to the flies. Having sullied almost all of my fishing shirts with greasy dribbles from the normal “upside down” semi liquid floatants this stuff looked to have an advantage. It worked really well and proved to be far less messy, plus it doesn’t have the problem of squirting all over the place due to the change in pressure from driving up to the mountians. If it can stand the heat in summer without pouring all over my shirt fronts I might have found something of a winner here.  I think that it is probably supplied by Jandi Trading here in South Africa and you should keep your eye open for it, currently I am quite taken with the stuff.

I will say that it is a long time since I have been on the water in the late afternoon, it is frequently not that productive and usually I am either returning a client to his hotel or simply too tired to carry on into the dusk. I really must try it more often, despite the adverse conditions the fishing was, as said, very good and had I been “on form” I would have had thirty fish in a couple of hours.

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