During this instalment of Fly Fishing Update – September with Charles Stewart of Fishing Pro Shop in Pretoria we report on trout and yellowfish.
Charles visited Groenvlei Farm situated just outside of Belfast MP at the end of August. At this time of year, the water temperature should start rising but was still hovering at about 11°.
It is well known that the ideal temperature for trout is between 15-17°, thus the slow fishing came as no surprise.…
The combination of cold and crystal clear water made for difficult fishing… Since then we have experienced some excellent warm days and the temperature should now be close to the ideal range for trout all across the country.
Charles adapted well to these challenging conditions by fishing deep and slow. He managed four fish fishing very deep that averaged out at about 1kg each.
Groenvlei is known for trophy specimens! Here at Fishing Pro Shop, we believe that this venue will be an excellent choice from Mid-September into November.
With the lifting of travel restrictions, these venues are accessible once again and should produce well.
Following Facebook, it is also clear to see that anglers making the effort to get out to the Vaal has had lots of fun with the smallmouth yellowfish.
At the start of the season, we always suggest nymphing a little bit deeper with the smallest fly that you can get down. Another top tip is to use thin tippet and leader as this cuts down on the drag,
Ideal tackle is 10ft 4wt fly rods, but the standard 9ft 5wt will also get the trick done!
Here at FPS, we have a group of passionate fly anglers that look forward to assisting anglers of all levels to get into fly fishing. We stock quality brands like Hardy, Greys, TFO, Xplorer, Rio, Airflow, and Sciflies.
Check out this short video by Hardy, the Czech Nymphing technique is perfect for fishing the Vaal River.
How to catch Trout in Winter is a question often asked here at Fishing Pro Shop in Pretoria. Below Charles Stewart from Fishing Pro Shop will do his best to assist in a short article. All the staff at Fishing Pro Shop enjoy fishing for trout and will be happy to assist!
Trout prefer cool water with Rainbow Trout being most active between 14 and 17 degrees celsius. Brown Trout will be active at slightly colder temperatures.
Winter temperatures on the high lying areas of South Africa drop well below this level with water temperature below 10 degrees being common.
In these cold conditions, Trout will move to areas where the temperatures remain more stable. It stands to reason that with ambient temperatures below zero that shallow water will cool dramatically, but also heat up slightly during the day.
It is therefore practical to look for fish in deeper, more stable water. Fishing deep and slow at this time of year will be more productive.
As most waters are crystal clear at this time it is advisable not to employ flies with too much flash. Natural colors will work well with brown and black being some of my favorites.
The reason for this might be because the weed beds turn darker during the shorter days of winter?
The saying of, “Match the hatch” comes into play here and by matching the background the angler will be more successful.
The converse of this also applies as winter is spawning time. Even though trout won’t lay eggs in still water, they will still be staging. One will often see a female with two or three males chasing her in the shallows where gravel is present…
They are generally not interested in feeding, but this is where orange and pink comes into play. In a natural environment where laying eggs take place, after covering the eggs, they pick up anything orange that looks like an egg.
This is to prevent the exposed eggs from rotting and infecting the whole batch.
It, therefore, makes sense to tri flies like the Red Setter(Which is Orange), Egg flies, and Blobs. The latter two can be fished on sinking lines on the bottom. Some anglers are successful by suspending a Blob or Egg file from a big Dry Fly or indicator.
Trout may be slightly more difficult to catch in the very cold months, but by employing the right techniques a lot of fun can still be had.
Charles is available at Fishing Pro Shop on most days and would love to talk trout!
”Where the trout are, it’s beautiful.” – Thomas Garrigue Masyryk.
Fly fishing in South Africa will put you into places where your soul needs to be. Especially after this difficult and tardy lockdown, it seems that ALL the answers lie in one place and one place only – deep nature. If you have the means and the time – and the friends or family – load up that car or van – and hit the road – to any of the many trout-infested towns hardly a few hours drive to the east of the Big Smoke.
There is no time like right now! And its smack bang in good trout fishing weather (read freezing cold) and conditions (near frozen streams). However, as we move towards another hot summer…
Spring is on the march and with summer close behind, Charles breaks down the summer rainbow trout fly fishing intricacies you can expect and plan for – in a neat post for us. At the end of the post you can browse into our Trout and Fly fishing section that carries all you will ever need to hunt down your bus rainbow too.
How to catch trout this summer
This is how to catch trout this summer. Trout are cold-water fish and become rather lethargic as water temperature rises. The warmer the water becomes the less oxygen it can hold and this explains the fish’s inactivity.
Optimum temperature for Rainbows is between 14 and 17 degrees Celsius and as temperature rises towards 20 degrees and above, the fish start struggling. Fortunately, trout in large Stillwater have an advantage in that some of the impoundments are fairly deep and the deep water remains colder. In the hot months one will often measure temperature of 21 or 22 degrees on te surface. If one measures the temperature 5 meters down we find that it is 18 or 19 degrees. It stands to reason that this is where the fish will be as this deep water is closer to their comfort zone. In flowing water that is more oxygenated, trout can tolerate slightly higher temperature.
To catch trout in the hot months one has two strategies. The first is to find the deepest sections of a stillwater and fish a fast sinking line employing a slow retrieve. Various flies are effective but it is recommended that smaller flies are used. Using a booby is a very effective method of fishing. The booby has closed cell foam eyes and is therefore buoyant. Using a fast sinking line and just a piece of tippet of about 35cm as the leader, the line is allowed to sink to the bottom. The booby now floats just above the bottom and can be left static or moved slowly with erratic strips.
The second technique required getting up in the dark and getting to the water before first light. The atmospheric temperature drops a lot at night causing the water in the shallows to cool. The fish have now moved into the shallows to hunt and can be taken on Dragons, Damsels and baitfish imitations. They will remain in the shallows till the sun peeps over the horizon when they will move back into deep water.
By Charles Stewart
Thank you ever so much Charles Stewart for penning up yet another informative fly-fishing article which collectively are forming up into an invaluable online resource for both budding and already proficient in stalking and catching trout.
And as promised, here you can learn all about fly-fishing (as we go), and see all the brands and their product lines, that we carry here at the Fishing Pro Shop. And with a host of fly-fishing gurus behind the counter and in the aisles in-store, pop in for a good chat with Charles or anyone else in the team, anytime we are open.
Fly-Fishing Products Page
As our site grows to encompass all the fly-fishing products we stock, you can start online by clicking along to the following link. This is the generic fly fishing section of the shop and it will soon come to you species by species aswell. But in the meantime, please check it out, and get in touch with any questions at all.
If you live a little too far away to make it in-store to meet and chat in person, then you can click on over to our new website which is mainly is focused on being all the resource you ever need for your fishing outings, close or far. The new website is riddled with feedback forms conveniently placed in all the relevant sections and that will get your message or question to the right guys the FPS in a flash. And in a similar flash, one of the team will get straight back to you.
At this point the all-new Fishing Pro Shop website works only on approved orders and EFT payments. This is to address the real security concerns with giving out your credit card or debit card details these days. Even Google was compromised recently so we are extra tight with security and are keeping the payment system manual EFT for the moment.
The website has SSL security and certificate, on top of the many malware and robot firewalls and fences we have out up to keep the bad guys out. Our web and online security is done by TLC in Cape Town, thank you guys! Great job!
At this stage, procedure is to shop online, go through checkout using the EFT or Invoice option, after which we will send you an invoice, and you can take it from there.
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