My Secret Paradise and Two New Flies

It’s a place I discovered about 3 years ago, and I have spent countless weekends since then exploring all the little valleys and streams in the area. I have said in previous posts that Lesotho and the Drakensberg is the most beautiful place I know, but maybe, just mabe I may have found somewhere even more beautiful, made all the more special by the fact that I seem to be the only one who goes the.  I won’t tell you too much about this place. I will let the pictures do the talking. You will see lots of pretty pictures of this place over the next few years and it will make you drool.

There are streams with Rainbow trout and Brown trout in this area. I had an amazing days fishing this year in mid October at the height of the drought. I caught 6 beautiful brown trout. All sight fished with a dry fly in low and very thin water. It was one of those days when it all comes together. I had attended a fly tying course with Gordon Van der Spuy and had learned a whole lot of new techniques and refined existing ones. I had taken my fly tying to another level since the course. I’m sure all of you have experienced some sort of “eureka moment” in life. Well this was my Eureka moment in fly tying and being a creative thinker, I immediately put my new techniques to work on some of my old fly patterns. I like to use flies of my own design if possible. Using a fly that I designed gives me that much more satisfaction when it works out. I had just designed two new flies that looked very promising and needed testing. They are modifications of older patterns that I have tied and used successfully for a while now. They are the Para-Daddy and the VDS Hopper (VDS for Van der Spuy)

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Para-Daddy 

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VDS Hopper

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These flies worked spectacularly well on this particular day. The most fish I have ever caught on this stream was two. It’s an incredibly tricky stream to fish with its crystal clear water and overgrown stream banks. I was fairly used to having my flies rejected by these picky fish. This day was different. I saw 7 fish, stalked them and perfectly presented my fly 7 times. I had not one rejection despite the very low stream conditions. I lost one fish after having it on for a while and I’m surprised I didn’t loose more as I was trying to photograph the strike with my camera held in one hand and rod in the other. It’s not something I would advise if your goal is purely to catch fish. Interestingly it was also the first time I had ever used barbless hooks. An article written by well known Cape Town based flyfisher, Tim Rolston, had persuaded me that other than the welfare of the fish, the hookups are easier. On the results of this day I am a convert, thanks Tim. I am slowly becoming a more refined fly fisher.

Enjoy the pictures of this special place. You will see a lot more of it on my blog over the coming years, if not of fishing then of the spectacular wild flowers, mountains, and forests of this region. It really is mother nature’s garden at its best.

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Waiting for the fish to take
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The resulting Brownie
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I watched a fish swim from the depths of this pool to take my fly on the surface
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Guni inspecting my catch. He is my most enthusiastic fan
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My happy place
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A monster cruising the pool
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All hell broke loose when I set the hook
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Finally 19″ of gold come to hand

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