Since then we have arranged a couple of outings to the Vaal river near Parys and got some of the youngsters of the South African Fly Fishing Team to give us a couple of pointers. They introduced to us the concepts of Czech and French nymphing and showed us how to construct the various leaders and the different flies used by the respective techniques. During a later event, which took place at the stunning venue of Verlorenkloof we had the opportunity to put our skills to the test on some of the wild rainbows that rule the upper regions of the Crocodile River in Mpumalanga. The fishing proved difficult since the water was gin clear and levels were very low (as can also be seen in the photo below). One afternoon proved to be quite successful with three wild rainbows falling for my size 16 hot spot pheasant tail nymph. For the majority of us the fish came out on top at this occasion.
We arrived in darkness and knocked back a couple of beers to help with the cold weather. We started fishing the next morning at the lower of the two dams and caught a couple of 1kg rainbows. I lingered longer at that dam than what I intended, this was mostly due to the size of some of the bigger fish, and I had to try my luck... unfortunately none took any of my offerings. The river was in great condition and the perfect small stream for both the beginner and expert fly angler. Some of the areas are forgiving and a well presented fly will surely entice a willing trout to come out from his refuge and engulf your offering. Other areas demand stealthy motion and tight bow-and-arrow casts into small holes. The river fishing proved to be very successful, we landed about twenty rainbows ranging in sized from 15cm to 30cm.
The next day we spent the majority of our time around the top dam, which is also the larger of the two. Most of us had success with the majority of the trout falling for Pancora Woolly Buggers. At one of our fly thing events we had Daniel Factor, a brilliant South African angler who showed me how to tie a Blob. I decided to give one a try and met with immediate success. The largest was a 3.2kg cock fish that gave a good run for his money. He took the blob so deed that I had to cut the tippet in order to release him safely.