South Africa is an unsung number in the world of trout fishing and, secretly, many of people hope that it stays that way. Eastern southern Africa is divided from its vast interior by the Drakensberg Mountain range that stretches from the Eastern Cape in the south to the Gauteng and Limpopo in the north.
Fish to catch on fly include not only Trout, but also the exciting Yellow fish and numerous salt water fish such as Garrick, Grunter, Kingfish, Kob and many more. The South African coast line offers some spectacular spots for salt water fly fishing.
Where to go
To the trout fisherman the mountains are a godsend. Close to the coastal plains the mountains rise steeply to over 3000m, causing a massive upwelling of moist air and heavy rain on the eastern slopes in summer. Thus, they are the birthplace of countless trout streams flowing east into three prime trout areas of the country:
– the midlands of KwaZulu Natal
– the Eastern Cape around the towns of Barkly East and Lady Grey.
At the furthest tip of Africa in the Western Cape, trout are found in the high mountains a short distance inland of Cape Town where the climate is Mediterranean with clear sunfilled days in the summer.
Most of the rivers and lakes can be reached with ease.
What to catch
Salmonids were introduced to southern Africa near the turn of the century from Loch Leven brown trout stock imported from Scotland.
South African trout waters are small by international standards, more streams than rivers, yet the average size of the trout caught is large. Most are remarkably fertile, and the growth rate of the fish in them is phenomenal. Trout up to 10 pounds have become commonplace, and the best go over 14 pounds. Most of fishing is done from float-tubes, using floating lines, imitative nymph patterns and dry flies.
Most river fishing in South Africa is done wading. The trout season starts in September and goes on through to the end of May.