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. 



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Check in: 29 June 2024

Okay.  Winter.

You will see fewer water conditions updates during winter: not because I am not fishing…I have thankfully done plenty of that, but because conditions are ultra stable.

Ice cold mornings, thick with frost. Water cleaner than you can image, and lovely mild, warm sunshine.

I haven’t kept up with how the various competitions have gone…how many fish, how big etc, but I guess you can find all that on social media. I have heard comments that the fishing has been pretty slow, and catches down on other years. 

From my side:  Mates and I have done well with black flies. I have also had a some good action on a Booby Bugger tied about 12 inches behind a cactus chenille bugger, and chucking that lot into the shallows, really tight up against the reeds.

Water temps I have encountered range from about 8 degrees to 11.5 degrees C (in the shallows and late in the day). What has been quite unusual is the lack of wind:  dead calm conditions or close thereto, have made for some challenging fishing often for hours at a time. At times like this I generally try to keep off the canoe or tube and fish from the edge where the ripples of the craft are not going to disturb the calm.


Check in: 4 June 2024

So we had warm weather right up to the end of the river season. Cold nights sure, but surprisingly warm days. I fished the upper Mooi as did a few friends, and while we got a few, we agreed it was all over for the season: fish schooling and acting grumpy.

It was like that on the upper uMngeni too. The Boardermaster and I got one or tow little ones, but for the most part we just spooked them in shallow water. BUT….I did get a 17 inch stonker. What a great way to end the season. 

Then I went off on a work trip and as I arrived back so did winter. BAM…just like that. I have a fire going and the dog has put in a request for one of those ridiculous suits that people dress them up in. 

Stillwaters coming up….

Check in: 11 May 2024

The weather has been warm, but night time temps have meant that river water starts off around 12 to 15 degrees, and warms up during the day to 17 to 19 degrees. The browns are loving it!

The uMngeni and Ncibidwana were both ever so slightly milky this week past, but really, we are splitting hairs, because they are both clean, and you can see the riverbed wherever you go. The Ncibidwana fish were more willing to take a dry than the ones on the uMngeni, which, as usual, were just downright picky!   

My friend Wayne tells me that the stillwaters have been disappointingly slow. I recommended he try the Bushmans today, because honestly, the rivers have been on fire!

With the warmer weather, we have been handed May on a plate….often by now we have had a frost or two and it is all over, but this year…..

Don’t waste it!


Check in: 3 May 2024

All the Trout rivers are looking magnificent….from the Injasuthi in the north, to the umKhomazana in the south, and everything in between.  That includes the Lotheni, uMkhomazi, uMngeni, Mpofana, uMtshezi….all of them.

If you get with the isiZulu, you will know where those all are! 

The Bushman’s level dropped in the last week to the point where a dry fly is now working a higher percentage of the time than it did a week earlier. The Browns seem to be hanging in the mid to tail end of the pools and runs, with the odd good one in a pocket in the riffle water, or an eddy up near the whitewater inflow at the top.

They were eating my hopper with gusto on the last two trips to the Bushmans, and the #18 troglodyte a few feet behind it almost as often.

On my last foray, the angler on the beat above us got 15 fish, 4 of which were “better”.  Our party o landed twenty something fish, and literally one or two were under 12 inches. The best were 18″. 

Water temps….I was getting 13 degrees in the mornings, but with a few hot days that was 15 degrees on Wednesday, going up to 18 degrees by mid afternoon. So the temp is drifting past the magic 16 degree mark twice a day.

It just doesn’t get better!

Check in: 26 April 2024

The roadworks in the vicinity of the Reekie Lynn stream are dirtying the Mooi, in repeated slugs of mud that join the main flow. It is a real bugger, because aside from that, the Mooi is beautifully clean, despite being quite full.

So up at the bridge at Riverside, you will see that it is as near perfect as it gets.

Notwithstanding the water colour the fish were snapping at passing flies when I was there 3 days back, and the angler I met at the stile yesterday said he also got some fish, but we shared a moan about water colour.

The Bushmans at the Clinic is a tad milky, but I would say, still very fishable, albeit with a wading staff at hand. The colour comes from the Emahlutshini stream, which joins on the Bhungane beat above. If you go in above that confluence you will get your nice clean water.

The cockfish have started to develop their kypes. The leading edges of the anal find are a dashing white, and the Trout are smacking a dry fly.

Go get em…autumn is receding by the day. 

Check in: 20 April 2024

The Mooi at The Bend and at Trout Bungalow was still milky, very full and was 18 degrees C on Friday 19th April. 

Apparently the Bushmans at the upper tribal water is crystal clear as at Saturday, but the report is from a non-fisherman.

On Friday the uMngeni was still very full, and even up above the Poort confluence it was off colour, albeit with tannin stain.

We just need flow to drop off, and things will be perfect.

Check in: 14 April 2024

Last week-end saw a cut off low, and a deluge of rain. By Monday the Bushmans, the Little Mooi, Mooi, uMngeni and others were a bundle of mud. The roads were pretty damn slippery too. The tributary was over the Reekie Lynn bridge in the vicinity of the Mooi, and fishing was very much out of the question.

Interestingly, the rain fell over what I would describe as the Giant’s Castle massif, meaning that anything that drains off there was blown out. I don’t know what happened at Injashuthi, but I do know that all the rivers that we fish south of the Elandshoek, were actually in fine fettle.

Yesterday the uMngeni at Chestnuts was still full and blown out. We did however witness some Trout rising!  The Bushmans was still very full and slatey, following a top up of rain on Tuesday last week. I imagine the Mooi would be similar.

Water temps were 15 to 16 on the Bushmans, but as low as 13 degrees in the mornings on a number of the rivers, topping out at 18 degrees as the day moved on.  Hoppers are everywhere. Fish are eating them.

Autumn is very much in the air.  The day the river clears, you need to be out there. 

Check in: 26 March 2024

After the heat and dry, some scattered storms have been sweeping across the hills dropping rain in unpredictable patterns. Suffice it to say, dwindling river flows may be rescued yet, and autumn could just be all it is cracked up to be……



Certainly until this rain rivers were low and clear, but not drastically so.  I have still been able to drift a hopper down a tumbling run, or flick a fly into multiple pockets to skittish Trout. No algae and no fish stranded in stagnant pools….nothing like that. Just very clean, beautiful, and challenging water, ranging from 17 degrees C in the mornings to as high as 23 degrees by mid to late afternoon.  The weather is however cooling by the day, and I suspect we have seen the last of those high water temperatures.

And we have just had a rain shower here in Hilton. Things are looking up.


Check in: 18 March 2024

Damn it has been hot! 

A mate fished The Mooi on Saturday and tells me that flow has dropped significantly. I was on the phone to a friend on the upper uMngeni this morning, and although as a non-fisherman he wasn’t able to describe it in terms I could picture, he also reported the river as very low. 

Of course today is wonderfully cool, as was yesterday, and I am having trouble believing the weather forecast which says it will be above 30 degrees by tomorrow. I can more easily believe what I want to believe, and that is that autumn is now upon us, with this cool spell being the corner we needed to turn.

I will say that morning water temps have been reasonable (18 degrees or so) despite the hot days. That talks to day length and cool nights.

So if we could just get some flow!  The drizzle we are having in Hilton now has translated into precisely ZERO rainfall up in the catchments….or certainly ZERO runoff. 

So the weeks are flicking by, and I  hope for some pre-autumn rain so that I can use all the hoppers I tied up over the week-end. 

Check in: 11 March 2024

I managed to find another day when we had had drizzle the night before, and the morning started off cool. In fact it was sublime: I could have sworn it was April!

Clean water (on a falling Bushmans River), sunny skies, as the mist burned off and the puffy white clouds drifted by. But after lunch the sweat was trickling down the back of my neck, and the water suddenly seemed so warm that it was no longer refreshing.  We had had a good morning, so we called it off, just idly chucking a fly here and there on the way back to the car.  We had caught a few fish as the water temp crept up from 19 degrees C, and we were happily done.

The nights are definitely starting to cool, but daylight hours are still long enough that it is not necessarily translating into cooler water. Over the last few weeks I have been trolling the valleys with a thermometer and sticking it into streams here and there. The morning are generally good, but more so after a cooler spell.  Not the dams.

Midmar has stopped overflowing. The uMngeni has good flow, but the Mooi is a lot drier, and the Bushmans was great, but I reckon it is dropping by the day as this dry spell starts to bite. We haven’t had rain in about 3 weeks now. 

Hopefully it will cool while there is still water in the river. If this is an drought inbound, that could be like, a week, tops. My bigger hope is that it will rain soon.

Autumn is short enough as it is. 


Check in: 2 March 2024

This week we had 3 wonderfully cool days at the beginning of the week So on day 4, and before the heater turned back on (which it has done), a mate and I got onto a river.

We fished the very upper uMngeni. It was sublime!  Water clean and 18.5 degrees mid morning, and the weather vaguely autumnal.  The fish were reasonably willing, and we raised roughly half of them on dry flies (terrestrial patterns). Hooking them was another thing, but we landed a few.

a Brown Trout from Wakefield on the upper uMngeni river

By 3 pm, it was rather warm however and water temps were up at 22 degrees. Amazing how quickly they can rise on a river with lots of sun-exposed black rock!

Another friend was on Brigadoon yesterday and he did similarly….nothing big, but very pleasant fishing.

I heard that a week back a fisherman did quite well on a tributary of the Bushmans, and I saw two superb fish from the Mooi online….2 different beats.

We have not had all that much rain…not widespread anyway, and the river levels have dropped, giving us very clean water.

Night time temps are just starting to drop, and suddenly altitude seems to be making more difference in moderating air temps.

I reckon we give it another week and then we declare our mid-summer mini “off season” over, and start calling in sick.

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.


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)









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. 


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


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. 

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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.