It was the 18th April 1999. Guy and I were fishing the uMngeni on Brigadoon, on what my fishing log describes as “Blacks Water”. That was the section of river above the confluence of the Furth Stream, and at some time not long past, it had been the farm of John Black, and if memory serves, Derek Fly had bought it or taken it over, and its length was now added to the beat known to us as Brigadoon. At that time all the riverside lands from the Furth confluence up to Picnic Pool were planted to maize, and the
As I sit here at my desk, the cuckoo is lamenting “Meitjie, meitjie, meitjie” . That would be the Classless Cuckoo, with a gap in his front teeth, and flashing a ‘hang loose’ hand signal, as our family legend has it. You will know it as the Klaas’s Cuckoo, and tell me that they don’t have front teeth. Either way, they often sound out their call of the jilted lover as the sun emerges after a few days of cool and rain. With that rain, and coolness, us flyfishers are all thinking of heading to the hills to get on
I am keyed into these little house builders at the moment. I guess I am just seeing a lot of them around in our stillwaters. Almost without exception, they have built their houses of either weed fragments, or small pieces of grass stem. In his book “Presentation”, Gary Borger says that he “has had superb lake fishing” with caddis larva patterns, but amongst the American literature in my library there doesn’t seem to be more than a passing references to these caddis dwelling in pieces of weed fibre and grass. In “The nymph fly tyers manual” by Randall Kaufman, one
In the early eighties, or thereabouts, the government of South Africa was handing out subsidies to farmers to build farm dams. It was all about building infrastructure, and I guess on some level about food security in an isolated, alienated apartheid nation. Farmers in our neck of the woods (KZN midlands) built dams. Pretty ones. Some had London planes planted next to them, or liquid ambers. There were concrete benches, and braai places built. Trout were stocked. Some irrigation happened, but I don’t think there was as much of that as the then government expected or hoped. Those Trout grew
My friend Keith had been told that there were Trout in a small tributary of the Umgeni that passes under the road a few kilometers south of Everglades Hotel. There were no Facebook posts, no Google search results, and no Whatsapp groups that could confirm this. It was a time before all these things. There were also no newspaper articles or books on the subject. There were just a few words spoken, and that was enough. It strikes me as a time of both innocence and inquisitiveness ,that on that information alone Keith went fishing. Tom Sutcliffe similarly related to
The word “advocacy” is used extensively by Greg French in his recently published book ”The Last Wild Trout”. In reading the context in which he uses it, the meaning is abundantly clear, but for a simple starting point here is the definition as found on Google: ad·vo·ca·cy ….pronounced ˈadvəkəsē/ : noun public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy. example: "their advocacy of traditional family values" synonyms: support for, backing of, promotion of, championing of; I found that French’s book in general, and the repeated use of this word in the informative “conservation notes” at the end
I have an old friend who, when he is sitting comfortably in our lounge, and a truly classic piece of music comes on the stereo, closes his eyes as he listens. I think he sways a little too. He certainly zones out. He escapes the confines of our simple human surroundings, switches off the world around him, and allows his mind to soar to lofty and beautiful places in which the depth of his appreciation knows no bounds. He transcends those in the room who nod in his direction and snigger, and he rises to a place above us all.