Here in South Africa, and certainly in my own home waters of KwaZulu Natal, our river fish are not expected to grow very big.
On a typical day on the Mooi, or the Bushmans for example, one should expect to catch little Browns ranging from just a few inches up to say 13 inches, on a normal day.
On a good day, you will get a fish or two of around 15 inches. This is not the norm, despite what glossy magazine articles may have you believe. Of course better fish do come out, but if you head out in the morning expecting one of those you will in all likelihood be disappointed.
So take this short piece as a reality check. Or maybe just a reassuring message that you are not on the wrong river. Or perhaps it will serve to tell you just how lucky you were that time.
But in the meantime, I would suggest you just enjoy the beauty of these little fish, the challenges of catching them, and the opportunities to sight fish to them, or take them on tiny dries.
And if you do just relax and enjoy, and don’t expect it too much, the better fish will find you.
Some better fish: from The Umgeni, and the Mooi . Dave Prentice, Paul DeWet, Andrew Fowler