Waters & words : a celebration of flyfishing

Posts tagged “solitude

The price (or benefit) of not being a sheep

I know of many anglers who’s success comes in large part from searching out waters that are fishing very well. Make no mistake, they are often anglers considerably more proficient than I am, but they have a way of ratcheting that up exponentially by keeping their ears to the ground, and keeping their network  buzzing. Theirs is a race. There are rules, and inner circles, and invitations garnered, not shared.

As a semi professional hillbilly, I seem to have missed the secret handshakes. I just go off to my usual spots. Spots that were on the list a few years ago, but are now largely relegated to the B list. I have had spectacular fishing there before. It will come again in the future, that is a certainty, but for now they are quiet.

And I have them to myself. 

Quite. Really quiet.

On my last jaunt, I didn’t even notice any planes overhead. Maybe that was because Joburg is closed. What I did hear was the plaintive cry of orange-throated longclaws in the windy veld. I heard the fish eagle. I heard the loud gulp of an occasional large trout rolling on the surface the few times the wind dropped. For the rest of the time, I heard the wind. Incessant wind, whisking the veld and buffeting my hat and ringing in my ears. In the evening I heard the crackle of the fire and the lapping of the waves a few metres away outside. In the morning I heard the kiewiets complaining at the cows, and the odd trill of a panicked dabchick. If the wind wasn’t blowing, I would hear the roll of another heavy fish. 

I caught a few fish, but they were few and far between. They were beautiful.

Just yesterday  I was given the inside track on another water that is fishing spectacularly well. Big fish. Grip and grins. Faces I don’t recognize. Several of them. PD and I shared the pictures. I could make that phone call. I could get in on the action. I could be part of the inner circle. The noise.  I asked PD what he though. “I fear its inundated already” he said adding “Like North pier in a shad run”.

They are big fish though. I could still make the call….

Or I could work on that semi professional hillbilly thing , catch smaller fish somewhere quiet, and not be a sheep.