Current Fly Fishing Conditions

I am not a full time, reliable source of all water conditions, but I endeavor to share as much news on Current Fly Fishing Conditions as I can . My info is Trout centric, and is gathered from my various trips (fly fishing and otherwise) across the KZN Midlands, and stuff readers and friends tell me about. I don’t blow fishing spots and I don’t cover the whole province. The news is mainly about rivers in the area from the uMkhomazi basin in the south to the Injasuthi in the north, with some stillwater info thrown in here and there.

If you have crossed a bridge, or visited a river, and would be willing to share your news, please do drop me a mail and I will share your news with full acknowledgement.

(andrew at truttablog dot com)

I hope this page is useful to those like me, who are always seeking out opportunities to get in a few hours fishing here and there. 

 

Enjoy.

If you asked me to meet you at a coffee shop to get the lowdown on where to fish, you would probably buy me a coffee for my troubles. I would be most grateful for that. With the “Buy me a coffee” function below you can now do that online if you so wish. Of course there is no obligation, and I will continue to provide these updates free of charge and for the common good of fellow fly fishers.

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a guide on when to stop fishing for Trout based on water temperature

This is something I harvested off the internet as a guide as to when one needs to stop fishing, or take extra care when releasing fish.

Some may argue that our African Trout have adapted, and that we could move this needle 1 or even 2 degrees.

Others will say they drove a long way to fish.

Whatever…there it is:

use it/don’t.

Check in: 19 February 2024

Since Thursday’s searing heat, and gum-tree-buckling wind, we have had grey skies, drizzle and cool weather. But as far as I can tell, so significant rainfall. That means clean streams, with some temperature relief.

That is about as good as it gets in February. The only thing we didn’t get right is the alignment with the week-end. This means that your work will have to suffer for a day or two.

Oh well…at least you have your priorities right.

Check in: 16 February 2024

Yesterday was fierce, meaning it was 30 degrees C in the Dargle, and no doubt hot everywhere across the KZN midlands and berg. The gum trees were buckling under a strong NE wind, and quite honestly, it was tough being out and about. My mate Rogan called to enquire about the prospects of fishing soon, and I said “Naa”…or something similar.

But a friend of mine fished the Bushmans last week-end and got some fish (before being chased off by yet another storm)…so its not impossible.

And speaking of storms, farming friends tell me that it is actually getting fairly dry. I can see that in the receding level of the Midmar Dam overflow. But the water table is up, and the uMngeni is only now starting to look fishable down at the Chestnuts bridge (in my book anyway).

If we could just get some relief from this heat…

Oh, but the plane trees above 1600m ASL are starting to get the slightest yellow tinge. And in March, we still have lots of hot (sometimes VERY hot days), but start watching the night time temps….there lies the cue to get fishing again. March is 13 days away. Yes…I am counting. 

Check in: 5 February 2024

Storms hit the Bushmans and Ncibidwana yesterday afternoon, knocking them out in terms of throwing a fly, but I guess that only counts if you plan on fishing between Monday and say Thursday.

The uMngeni was clear* Friday, and as far as I know yesterday’s storms missed there.  

‘*  I say clear, but the Furth stream continues to add some colour, so you would need to be upstream of that to get the cleanest water.

 

Water temps on the Bushmans: 19 degrees C at 11: 00 am.

Check in: 28 January 2024

The Lotheni was completely blown out by a massive cloudburst on Friday evening. As significant is that the road into the park is partly washed away, as well as being blocked by flash flood debris!

A road washaway after a flash flood in January 2024

The Mooi has been clean for a week now, and temps varied from 17 degrees last week-end to 18 degrees yesterday. There is a bit of colour at the bridge at Riverside,

Mooi River water colour

 

but not much, and going by the small amount of colour in the Reekie Lynn tributary, I reckon the main river in the gorge below, and below that, is very fishable.

The uMngeni still had a little more clearing required when I saw it on Friday, and it is not helping that the Furth stream is very dirty…something upstream is causing the water to cloud quickly and clear slowly….some stream channel stuff that I am aware of.

Check in: 19 January 2024

News in this morning is that the Bushmans is clean throughout the tribal water, with flows receding after the last heavy rain.  So you could get lucky and get in a day there over the weekend. 

The uMngeni is however still blown out. 

Check in: 16 January 2024

We seem to be having blisteringly hot days and rain every night.

The uMngeni is absolutely pumping and completely blown out. That stands for the very top beats too. There is water pouring out of everywhere, with at least 2 severe storms in the last 4 days (and much hail and wind and wash damage).

The Bushmans is apparently full but clearing. A friend of mine says its not as radically full as the uMngeni, and will be clear  at the head of the tribal area if we can just get through the next 24 hours without another storm breaking.  Isn’t that kinda typical of all Trout rivers at this time of year….if the storms can just stay at bay….and then they don’t…

Those guys in the Sates who have real-time flow and colour monitoring have it good!  We just don’t get enough of a break from theft to make that work here…theft of the device, the solar panel, or the batteries of the local cell tower required to send the data.  Also, the sensors which I know were put out were washed away within 12 months due to the wildly unpredictable nature of our berg streams and rivers. 

But what if we could get a photo, a clarity tube reading, and some sort of flow measurement every Thursday, just ahead of the week-end….? On several of our KZN Trout streams.

If that would SERIOUSLY interest you, I would really like to know.  So if it would, please drop me a one liner on andrew at truttablog dot com.

or

Take one minute  to answer this very simple SURVEY  (click the word…it’ll take you there)

(yes…we timed it…it took only 1 minute)

Check in: 9 January 2024

Last night’s storms were pretty remarkable!  I am not aware of a river anywhere that is clean, and not dangerous to go near!

Here’s the Dargle Falls on the uMngeni (lower limit of the Trout water) as at this morning:

The Dargle Falls on the uMngeni River in flood 9 Jan 2024

Check in: 8 January 2024

The rivers in pictures: the last 24 hrs (and before Monday evening rain deluge)

uMkhomazana

 

uMkhomazi

 

Lotheni

 

Inzinga

 

Bushmans  (With thanks to Ray)

Check in: 14 December 2023

There has been a mix of weather, and depending on which river valley you are in, you could encounter clean water, or it could be blown out. 

I have been getting water temps around 19 degrees everywhere.

Yesterday the Hlatimbe and Hlambamasoka were filthy after big rains. The Lotheni (into which they drain) looked that way too:

The Lotheni River in spate

 

but take a look here:

Video of the upper Lotheni

The uMngeni has been full, and while the Poort was adding a bit of colour, the main stem and the Furth were clean, such that yesterday Chestnuts was approaching a fishable state, and I reckon by today or tomorrow, it will be ready to fish. 

The upper reaches are certainly very fishable at present:

The uMngeni River at Sheardown farm

The Mooi at Reekie Lynn was blown out yesterday, in part due to the Reekie Lyn stream which was dirty.

a tributary of the upper Mooi River

But up at Riverside it was just “slatey”, and you could see the bottom of the river off the bridge:

a view from the bridge at  Riverside farm.

So there’s a wrap for the upcoming long weekend. 

Enjoy!

Check in: 10 December 2023

Wow…its actually cold (14 degrees C here). And wet (60 mm in the last 48 hrs). Thank goodness for the relief!

On Friday evening, as a prelude to two days of cold and wet, we had some hum-dinger storms, at various places across the midlands and the berg.  It drizzled all day yesterday, rained last night, and is drizzling again. 

I haven’t heard from everywhere, but I can tell you the uMngeni is blown out. Before this it was as clean as a whistle, and getting a bit low.

Water temps reported as high as 24 degrees in the days preceding this cold front, are now coming in consistently at 19 degrees C, which is much better!

There’s lots of rain forecast, so it will be a case of looking for gaps and news of clean water. I will try to help with that. 

Check in: 4 December 2023

Despite some rain and one or two cooler days, the heat of summer remains fierce.  A friend measured a water temperature of 24.5 degrees C at Riverside on the Mooi over the week-end, and I measured similar temps while doing some water testing just below the Trout zone on the uMngeni.

The uMngeni, both at Chestnuts and right up at Umgeni Poort were looking thin when I crossed those bridges on Saturday. I was on a work trip, but given the blistering weather, I didn’t even pack a rod.

There were wild (and non predicted) storms yesterday, and I am waiting for more news to trickle in as to who got how much rainfall.  I know the lower end of Dargle got 45 mm, and here in Hilton we got 50mm.

But it is damned hot again.

There is some marginally cooler weather predicted in the next few days, and I for one am working furiously at my PC while its hot, so that I have a better chance of getting in a few hours on the rivers during that cooler patch.(water conditions permitting of course).

AND news just in….the uMngeni at Chestnuts is absolutely blown out. Mudpies. 

Check in: 25 November 2023

What a week!  We had an awful heatwave. Last night and this morning it stormed several times, which has thankfully cooled things down a whole lot, but the sun came out for an hour earlier, and it was instantly hot again. The weather forecast for the coming week still shows some high temperatures.

You know how they have an “off season” in the northern hemisphere when it snows in winter……….same but different here. 

Check in: 20 November 2023

Saturday and Sunday were hot as hell. Saturday saw a particularly ferocious storm in the vicinity of the Furth stream catchment, and despite the source of the uMngeni not getting any significant rain, that tributary, and some road  runoff turned the uMngeni filthy at Chestnuts. Who knows what happened in the Kamberg, at Lotheni and over the Bushmans. We are in full ‘summer unpredictable’ mode.

Case in point: Today I heard that a heatwave is forecast for the whole of this week, but today isn’t nearly as hot as the forecast predicted.

We are starting to get water warm enough to consider not fishing at all, or at very least, limiting forays to the high altitude white water sections, with a lighthearted attitude and an eye for birding, or photography. 

I have just scanned my weather app for a cold front.  I didn’t find one.

The uMngeni river at Furth farm with Inhlosane mountain in the background

Check in: 12 November 2023

The rivers are flowing fairly well, but as at yesterday (before the widespread storms that may well have changed all this) they were all clean, and looking pretty damned good.

I bumped into a friend on the roadside who reported the Injasuthi in similar condition, and certainly the Bushmans, Mooi and uMngeni which I have seen this week, were looking great. Despite waters temps from 18 degrees C to as high as 21 degrees, fish have been on the move. Just yesterday they were taking dry flies, it would appear, in preference to our nymphs, even through hardly any fish were seen rising through the day.

 

Check in: 24 October 2023

Current river conditions in pictures

(taken in the last 24 hrs)

a Trout stream

The Mooi at Riverside (above and below)

a tributary of the Mooi

Reekie Lynn stream

a small trout stream

The uMngeni at New Forest

Poort stream

The Poort stream at Umgeni Poort

uMngeni River

The uMngeni at Chestnuts

Belmont

The Inzinga at Belmont

Lotheni River

Lotheni River

 

Check in: 22 October 2023

I was up on the uMngeni on Thursday…right up at the top. After the 40 or 50mm of rain a few days prior, the levels were good, but the water in the main river was clear again. A friend of mine had visited Chestnuts on the week-end and found it like liquid chocolate. The Furth stream was flowing stronger and just a little coloured. I got a look in at the top end of Chestnuts and Boundary Pool  was looking absolutely sublime: deep green and cool. 

But an hour or two before that I shot this quick video much further up:

 

 

 

19 October 2023

So we went and fished it yesterday on a hot morning with the pressure falling ahead of predicted storms and rain. We saw the odd fish, and managed to catch just a few small ones, but they were hardly ‘on-the-prod’. The storm chased us off a little after midday, and last night it rained all night.  I think there has been another 2 inches of rain!

Check in: 14 October 2023

Some rainfall has arrived, but thus far it is scattered (the weather forecast says more this week, but for now there are still dry zones).

Underberg is dry, and it seems that the uMkhomazana, uMkhomazi and Lotheni are still clear and low, with no evidence of runoff.

uMkhomazana River

uMkhomazana River 14 Oct 2023

uMkhomazi River 

uMkhomazi River 14 Oct 2023

Lotheni River 14 Oct 2023 
Lotheni River 14 October 2023
 
The Inzinga and uMngeni however , have had some runoff, and it shows because a slug of winter’s road dust has entered the rivers (certainly down at the bridges on the Dargle/ Impendle/Stoffelton roads) and has turned them an awful opaque colour . But the levels have hardly risen, so they look awful:
uMngeni at Chestnuts 
uMngeni at Chestnuts 14 Oct 2023

There is quite decent rainfall forecast over the next week or so, so let’s wait and see.

Check in: 06 October 2023

some footage showing the upper uMngeni today, so that you can get an idea of conditions

Check in: 04 October 2023

There has still not been any significant rainfall, and we are currently in a very hot week, with no decent rainfall forecast. The rivers are low, and algae growth is rife in some rivers like the Bushmans. A dreaded dry spring is unfolding……

Check in: 26 September 2023

A quick check in at the upper uMngeni after approx 15mm of week-end drizzle. 

For my Video Content:

Other South African fly-fishing content

Check in: 7 January 2024

I kept my fingers off the keyboard over Christmas and new year, for a variety of reasons, not least of which was that conditions were changing daily, and being off work, I wasn’t crossing rivers. 

There has of course been a deluge, and everything I have seen, including the Inzinga, uMngeni and Mooi, has been brim full and varying in colour from “ginger beer to milo” (No Sprite, except perhaps in the berg itself).

I saw the uMngeni yesterday, and it was still that way. I crossed it on my way to a stillwater, where we found fish rising in the early morning. However by mid morning it was a stinker, and everywhere I went I found water of 23 degrees C within a meter of the surface.  A mate of mine found a few fish deeper down, but at least one of the ones he landed, didn’t make it, so we called it quits.

So right now, its a river in the berg between storms, and probably even there, with enough lead to sink a battleship. If I find some river water worthy of a dry fly, I will be sure to let you know.

 

Check in: 14 December 2023

There has been a mix of weather, and depending on which river valley you are in, you could encounter clean water, or it could be blown out. 

I have been getting water temps around 19 degrees everywhere.

Yesterday the Hlatimbe and Hlambamasoka were filthy after big rains. The Lotheni (into which they drain) looked that way too:

The Lotheni River in spate

 

but take a look here:

Video of the upper Lotheni

The uMngeni has been full, and while the Poort was adding a bit of colour, the main stem and the Furth were clean, such that yesterday Chestnuts was approaching a fishable state, and I reckon by today or tomorrow, it will be ready to fish. 

The upper reaches are certainly very fishable at present:

The uMngeni River at Sheardown farm

The Mooi at Reekie Lynn was blown out yesterday, in part due to the Reekie Lyn stream which was dirty.

a tributary of the upper Mooi River

But up at Riverside it was just “slatey”, and you could see the bottom of the river off the bridge:

a view from the bridge at  Riverside farm.

So there’s a wrap for the upcoming long weekend. 

Enjoy!

Check in: 10 December 2023

Wow…its actually cold (14 degrees C here). And wet (60 mm in the last 48 hrs). Thank goodness for the relief!

On Friday evening, as a prelude to two days of cold and wet, we had some hum-dinger storms, at various places across the midlands and the berg.  It drizzled all day yesterday, rained last night, and is drizzling again. 

I haven’t heard from everywhere, but I can tell you the uMngeni is blown out. Before this it was as clean as a whistle, and getting a bit low.

Water temps reported as high as 24 degrees in the days preceding this cold front, are now coming in consistently at 19 degrees C, which is much better!

There’s lots of rain forecast, so it will be a case of looking for gaps and news of clean water. I will try to help with that. 

Check in: 4 December 2023

Despite some rain and one or two cooler days, the heat of summer remains fierce.  A friend measured a water temperature of 24.5 degrees C at Riverside on the Mooi over the week-end, and I measured similar temps while doing some water testing just below the Trout zone on the uMngeni.

The uMngeni, both at Chestnuts and right up at Umgeni Poort were looking thin when I crossed those bridges on Saturday. I was on a work trip, but given the blistering weather, I didn’t even pack a rod.

There were wild (and non predicted) storms yesterday, and I am waiting for more news to trickle in as to who got how much rainfall.  I know the lower end of Dargle got 45 mm, and here in Hilton we got 50mm.

But it is damned hot again.

There is some marginally cooler weather predicted in the next few days, and I for one am working furiously at my PC while its hot, so that I have a better chance of getting in a few hours on the rivers during that cooler patch.(water conditions permitting of course).

AND news just in….the uMngeni at Chestnuts is absolutely blown out. Mudpies. 

Check in: 25 November 2023

What a week!  We had an awful heatwave. Last night and this morning it stormed several times, which has thankfully cooled things down a whole lot, but the sun came out for an hour earlier, and it was instantly hot again. The weather forecast for the coming week still shows some high temperatures.

You know how they have an “off season” in the northern hemisphere when it snows in winter……….same but different here. 

Check in: 20 November 2023

Saturday and Sunday were hot as hell. Saturday saw a particularly ferocious storm in the vicinity of the Furth stream catchment, and despite the source of the uMngeni not getting any significant rain, that tributary, and some road  runoff turned the uMngeni filthy at Chestnuts. Who knows what happened in the Kamberg, at Lotheni and over the Bushmans. We are in full ‘summer unpredictable’ mode.

Case in point: Today I heard that a heatwave is forecast for the whole of this week, but today isn’t nearly as hot as the forecast predicted.

We are starting to get water warm enough to consider not fishing at all, or at very least, limiting forays to the high altitude white water sections, with a lighthearted attitude and an eye for birding, or photography. 

I have just scanned my weather app for a cold front.  I didn’t find one.

The uMngeni river at Furth farm with Inhlosane mountain in the background

Check in: 12 November 2023

The rivers are flowing fairly well, but as at yesterday (before the widespread storms that may well have changed all this) they were all clean, and looking pretty damned good.

I bumped into a friend on the roadside who reported the Injasuthi in similar condition, and certainly the Bushmans, Mooi and uMngeni which I have seen this week, were looking great. Despite waters temps from 18 degrees C to as high as 21 degrees, fish have been on the move. Just yesterday they were taking dry flies, it would appear, in preference to our nymphs, even through hardly any fish were seen rising through the day.

 

Check in: 24 October 2023

Current river conditions in pictures

(taken in the last 24 hrs)

a Trout stream

The Mooi at Riverside (above and below)

a tributary of the Mooi

Reekie Lynn stream

a small trout stream

The uMngeni at New Forest

Poort stream

The Poort stream at Umgeni Poort

uMngeni River

The uMngeni at Chestnuts

Belmont

The Inzinga at Belmont

Lotheni River

Lotheni River

 

Check in: 22 October 2023

I was up on the uMngeni on Thursday…right up at the top. After the 40 or 50mm of rain a few days prior, the levels were good, but the water in the main river was clear again. A friend of mine had visited Chestnuts on the week-end and found it like liquid chocolate. The Furth stream was flowing stronger and just a little coloured. I got a look in at the top end of Chestnuts and Boundary Pool  was looking absolutely sublime: deep green and cool. 

But an hour or two before that I shot this quick video much further up:

 

 

 

19 October 2023

So we went and fished it yesterday on a hot morning with the pressure falling ahead of predicted storms and rain. We saw the odd fish, and managed to catch just a few small ones, but they were hardly ‘on-the-prod’. The storm chased us off a little after midday, and last night it rained all night.  I think there has been another 2 inches of rain!

Check in: 14 October 2023

Some rainfall has arrived, but thus far it is scattered (the weather forecast says more this week, but for now there are still dry zones).

Underberg is dry, and it seems that the uMkhomazana, uMkhomazi and Lotheni are still clear and low, with no evidence of runoff.

uMkhomazana River

uMkhomazana River 14 Oct 2023

uMkhomazi River 

uMkhomazi River 14 Oct 2023

Lotheni River 14 Oct 2023 
Lotheni River 14 October 2023
 
The Inzinga and uMngeni however , have had some runoff, and it shows because a slug of winter’s road dust has entered the rivers (certainly down at the bridges on the Dargle/ Impendle/Stoffelton roads) and has turned them an awful opaque colour . But the levels have hardly risen, so they look awful:
uMngeni at Chestnuts 
uMngeni at Chestnuts 14 Oct 2023

There is quite decent rainfall forecast over the next week or so, so let’s wait and see.

Check in: 06 October 2023

some footage showing the upper uMngeni today, so that you can get an idea of conditions

Check in: 04 October 2023

There has still not been any significant rainfall, and we are currently in a very hot week, with no decent rainfall forecast. The rivers are low, and algae growth is rife in some rivers like the Bushmans. A dreaded dry spring is unfolding……

Check in: 26 September 2023

A quick check in at the upper uMngeni after approx 15mm of week-end drizzle. 

OLDER REPORTS

Due to space limitations (storage limits) for secondary website pages, like this one, I am now archiving posts sooner than before.

However, the good news is that you can access older reports in the document below.

LINK