Camera on the water

For as many years as I have fished, I have carried a camera when I fish. At first, and being more than 30 years ago now, it was one of those entry level film cameras that was so rickety in its construction,  that it threatened to let light in at any moment. It took awful pictures. Or perhaps more correctly, I took awful pictures, but it worked. I still have those awful pictures, and they are great, if you know what I mean.

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Adjusting stocking rate for size of Trout

Stocking Trout is such a fickle thing. If one researches the stocking rates recommended on the internet, as I have done, the answers are as varied as the size of the flies in your fly box. Generally one stocks more if you are putting in little fish (fry to perhaps 3 inches), and fewer if you are stocking larger ones (say above 5 inches). This rate of stocking for different sizes is of course on a continuum from “fry” (being something that has only just absorbed its yolk sac) to fish of 10 inches or so. By this we take

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Wading fast water

In KZN we generally don’t do our fly-fishing for Trout in big strong rivers. As a result there is not a lot written about wading and wading safety or difficulty in these parts. But of course at this time of the year, it is not impossible to find yourself on a fast piece of water, that is still clean enough for you to want to fish it. Generally the Umgeni is unfishable from a water colour perspective, if it is too fast to wade. The Mooi, and the Bushmans on the other hand, can run a pale slate grey colour,

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Christmas break

Today we closed up the office and all went home for the last time this year. The place was deserted early, the town had taken on a sort of festive quiet, if there is such a thing, and the common frame of mind was one of “It is done”. Christmas break. A time of hot bright mornings, violent aggressive afternoon storms, and the countryside a sea of waving green veld.

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A gill bodied nymph

Some time back, I worked on a few methods of achieving a “gill body” for my nymphs. I was convinced that Ostrich herl was the way to go. I think I still am convinced. For the time being at least. It has such fine dense fibres, that seem perfectly sized for nymph gills. This is particularly so for the smaller nymphs, #14 and #16. The problem with this material is that it is so frail, and even a good ribbing fails to protect it, and it ends up tattered. The main problem is that the stem of the herl is

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My Space

I don’t know if all us fly-fishermen are afflicted with this thing, but I suspect most of us are. Just take a look at our fly vests. A myriad of pockets, zips, buckles and zingers. And if we fish with a backpack, you can be sure it will have hidden pouches, rain cover, waterproof key pocket, secreted expansion zip and the like. Fly boxes: row upon row of little compartments that clip open. And then there is the fly tying desk!

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Merciful professor of mathematics and Trout

Before leaving the hospital, I was careful to check with the surgeon that he did indeed recommend fly-fishing the following day as part of my recovery program. He confirmed that with my feet in the water and some beer going in the other end, my very recently attended to kidney would be happy as can be. By the following morning the effects of the general anaesthetic had worn off enough that when PD texted to say “are you up to this” I replied in the affirmative without hesitation, and he was forced to overcome his own stress induced lethargy, and

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Hatchery ponderings

I lay in bed this morning, as the rain pattered on the roof, thinking as one does, about exactly where to spread our “winnings”. We have all, I am sure day- dreamed about how exactly we would spend our lottery winnings. A new truck, a couple of bamboo fly rods, a few trips to exotic fly-fishing locations reachable only by helicopter: Kamkatchka. New Zealand. Alaska. Maybe Mongolia for Taimen. That sort of thing. But our winnings this time are real winnings. They are Trout. Hatched Trout, and thousands of them. Thousands of them! We had a good year at the

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