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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The onset of winter

This morning as my vehicle sputtered reluctantly to life, it coughed out a slug of yesterday’s dust through the air-vents, long before it breathed any warmth into the frigid cab. The dust in question was the only pervading reminder of our travels in Trout country. I had been a dastardly day. High wind, coming out of either the South or the West or some cold place in between. Wind that , having touched some sparse dirty snow somewhere, then thrashed the surface of the dams into icy whitecaps. We tried to fish of course. The canoe was duly launched, and

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Hot summer days and the Trout

I was very definitely assembled somewhere in Europe, or perhaps North America, but either way, my design was intended for climes closer to the arctic circle than the equator. I do not suffer heat gladly. Neither do the trout of course, and I see this as a significant parallel far beyond mere co-incidence. This neat alignment; this poetic symphony of affairs, is shattered every summer however, here in my South African home town. Pietermaritzburg, and even the village of Hilton, can turn into a cauldron of thick hot air, day after day at the height of summer. Right now it

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Roots

A good few years back, my son and I accompanied my father and his brother on a Saturday sortie to inspect a farm in the midlands of Natal. It was not just any farm this one. It was the farm of my roots in a way. It was the place where my father grew up. Umgeni Poort is situated near the headwaters of the Umgeni river, in a tight little valley which stretches South East from the little known Mpumulwane mountain.

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A day on the Mooi

“You will hear the silence of the folded hillside brushed by the wind in its grasses..” (Neville Nuttall) The other day I grasped an opportunity to go out on the river alone. From time to time I have this urge for the utter solitude and peace of being alone on the water for a full day. In fact I have that urge most weekends, and seldom get to fulfill the dream. So when this particular late September day dawned, I woke with my soul upon the lip of the precipice, ready to soar. I was happy. I left my bed

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Fly Size

I often marvel at the guys who buy their dry flies. Mostly I marvel at guys who buy dries for the second time. First time I can understand, but second time around….wow! Now this sounds like an obscure thing to say, but have you seen the size of dry flies in tackle shops? Generally the fly sizes start about a #10 or #12, and go down to a #16. If you are lucky, perhaps a #18. Now that’s just fine if you are imitating a hopper, or in the case of the DDD, a dead stable rat, but lets consider

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