Fly Fishing With Bill Saunders

Fly Fishing With Bill Saunders

Fly Fishing With Bill Saunders The day started off bright and sunny, but before fishing, we had had cold wind, hail, and heavy rain and snow deposited itself upon the surrounding mountains. Bill picked me up at 10am and we drove 30 miles upstream to Lyons Bridge where we launched the boat. By 6pm we had drifted some 11 miles down to West Madison. The fishing technique was to fish the “slicks” downstream of rocks and the 15 metre section upstream of the rock. The alternative was to fish the edges looking for slicks and fishing places. Between rocks the riffle was fished (the whole river is a massive riffle). In fishing the slicks downstream of a rock it was important to get the fly into the middle of the slick – not the edges. The fly used all day was a Royal Wulff. I had difficulty getting my fly in the right spot particularly when it was windy with an upstream wind blowing. I caught 4 Rainbows – one of 16″ – and missed quite a number. After the hail and drift down river in heavy rain (we had lunch on the bank during hail storm.) I stopped fishing for about 5 miles until conditions improved. When I restarted fishing I had a couple of rises but caught nothing. Bill was a good guide and a competent fisherman. He would like a job during the Montana Winter guiding in RSA – He would expect about $2000/month. We drive to Tetonia in Idaho tomorrow. I had a lovely wall chart of the Bighoon posted home from Madison River fishing...
Ceres Valley Fly Fishing

Ceres Valley Fly Fishing

Ceres Valley Fly Fishing Ceres River Fly Fishing Part One Another beautiful river in magnificent surroundings on a wonderfully sunny November day. Jan van Huyssteen , Tony Biggs and I fished from about 09.00 to 13.00 and covered about 1 1/2 kms of river – freestone in character with more pocket water than the Olifants or Witte. Caught 5 rainbows up to 300gms on RAB (named after the creator … RA Biggs but it’s also known as Red-arsed bastard) dry flies. I was striking too hard today and broke off on 1 fish which was not that big. Once we finished fishing we had to tackle about 400 metres of “jungle” to reach the road – saw no snakes but we must have passed a few. Its important to take care in this kind of country. Tony Biggs led the way through the jungle. Ceres Valley Fly Fishing: Part Two Jan Van Huyssteen, Inga, Vicki and Pascala, Patty, Gareth and I drove to the farm “Visgat” (some 30 km the other side of Ceres on a gradually worsening dirt road) in Jan’s Kombi. The day’s fishing started by wading the river pool below the derelict cottage with water up to 4 feet deep – Gareth went across on my shoulders. I caught 1 fish in this pool before the mass wading took place. Once the picnic area had been arranged Jan and I climbed the rocks to fish about 50 to 100 metres down from the pool referred to above. This was mountaineering prior to fishing. The river was probably a foot higher than normal but despite the strong...
South African Fly Fishing

South African Fly Fishing

South African Fly Fishing Fly Fishing In South Africa: All You Need To Know Fly fishing is one of the biggest forms of freshwater angling in South Africa and is practiced by many fly enthusiasts and novice anglers. It is arguably the most relaxing form of freshwater and saltwater angling. Fly Fishing is quite difficult to pick up and become good at it, but hopefully the pages on this website will help you become a better fly fisherman and catch more freshwater fish and saltwater fish on fly. Almost any species of freshwater or salt water fish can be targeted on fly, and it is very rewarding when you do get that target species. One of the more popular saltwater forms of fly fishing is targeting Bonefish, Mullet, Giant Kingfish (GT’s), Garrick (Leervis) and other game fish species like Dorado, Sailfish and Barracuda… Whereas in the freshwater systems of South Africa fly fishermen mainly target Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Yellowfish (Various species), Barbel, Mudfish, Moggel, Tilapia, Bass and Grass Carp… All sorts of flies have been tied and sold to fly anglers over the years for those fishermen to pursue their target species and many have worked. With the bait imitation or fly you are trying your best to mimic on what you think that Bonefish or the Yellowfish are feeding on… The closer you get to mimicking this and fishing it with the right technique, you will start catching fish. The History Of Fly Fishing And Other Interesting Information Fly Fishing is essentially the art of casting a fly rod with a lure called a fly that will...
What Is The Calvin Bugger

What Is The Calvin Bugger

The Evolution Of The Calvin Bugger The Calvin Bugger is an interesting fly with a bit of history behind it. Let me just start off by saying at the time of writing this article, there are only a few fly fishermen who know what the Calvin Bugger is, so let me try to explain it. In short, it is a modified Woolly Bugger, or you could call it a Fritz Bugger… Why do we call it a Calvin Bugger? I will get to the name a bit later, but for now let me explain the components of the fly. The tail of the fly is quite a bit longer than the standard Woolly Bugger, and just this aspect has led to many more fish being landed or hooked (In our opinion anyway). The body is a combination of cactus chenille, hackle, copper wire and flash. It is just as buggy as a Woolly Bugger, but has a lot of weight to it and has the attractor qualities of a Fritz. This pattern sinks fast, and a lot of the time you get a take on the drop. The Trout love this fly and will often hit it 5 or 6 times during a retrieve – the one fallback of this fly is that quite a few fish are missed due to the length of the tail, but we have experimented with this fly a lot and the tail is one of the keys to success. Who is Calvin? That is a good question, I certainly do not know who Calvin is, but I can tell you why we named...
Fly Fishing The Eastern Cape

Fly Fishing The Eastern Cape

Flying Through The Eastern Cape – Fly Fishing, That Is! Fly fishing has always been one of my favourite facets of angling and most of the freshwater fishing I do is just on fly. When you start fly fishing in the saltwater, however, it is a totally different experience! The adrenaline pumps through your veins like nothing else, especially when your fly gets hit out of nowhere! Last month, I was accompanied on a short trip to the beautiful Eastern Cape by my brother, Sean and my great mate Gavin. Our plan was to target as many fish as possible on all sorts of facets, but focus a bit more on the fly fishing side. We were hoping to get some Leeries and Grunter (Which would be our main target), but we were also hoping to pick up some “by catch” (Hopefully), such as Stumpies, Moonies, Kob, Skipjack and anything we could lure into taking a fly; and this is how it went… We arrived at our base, a house in Kenton-on-sea and got straight into sorting out our tackle. Various rods between 5 and 9 weights, intermediate, floating and sinking lines, different breaking strain fluorocarbon leaders and of course the flies, a wide selection: Clousers, Lefty’s Deceivers, Crazy Charlies, Salty Buggers, Zonkers, Streamers, Poppers, and Caddis, Worm, Crab and Prawn imitations. The anticipation and excitement was so high, we had to go fish right away! A huge downside to this trip was the red tide which was still in full force when we arrived and continued through our short stay. We fly fished the Kariega and Bushman’s Rivers...
Fly Fishing Changed Me

Fly Fishing Changed Me

How Fly Fishing The Bell River Changed My Life I have told you about the most amazing experience of my fly fishing life up to this point, and looking back on the changes that happened, it was actually really important. I had always enjoyed nature and fly fishing, but this trip took my enjoyment to passion. I couldn’t wait to go fly fishing again and I even started to learn about other forms of fishing. I fished more and more frequently and could not stop talking, thinking and reading about the sport of fishing in general. I even added a fishing section to my Kruger National Park website (Which was transferred to what is now, Fish The Sea) and started to write about fish species and photograph all of them to build up a database for my personal enjoyment. Anywhere I went I would take a rod or 2, just in case there was a fishable body of water close by. So, many years later, looking back, I am so happy with what happened in the wild areas of Barkly East. Fishing got into my blood and got stuck in my body for life, fishing is my life, in fact it is more than life, it is almost like Heaven on Earth for me, there is nothing better. Fly Fishing Rhodes really changed me, I cannot say exactly how, but I could feel...
History Of Trout

History Of Trout

The History Of Trout & Fly Fishing In South Africa The history of trout in South Africa is a very interesting story. I cannot begin to think what would have happened if the process described below never happened. Trout are one of my favourite fish to catch on the fly, and the rich history is here for all to see. The First Of Many, The Brown Trout It all started off in what is the Drakensberg today, where a group of fly fishers decided that the mountain streams would be a perfect spot for the wild trout of Western Europe and Asia, namely the Brown Trout. In 1884, eggs were brought over from Loch Lagan, in Scotland, and introduced into streams or temporary hatchery type structures. It took a long time to get everything right. After many attempts, the introducer’s got the recipe right and we had wild Brown Trout in the Bushman’s and Mooi rivers, in the Drakensberg. In 1887, the same techniques were used to stock the Eastern and Western Cape streams, only this time, they took the eggs from the Drakensberg Brown Trout and tried artificially hatching them in the Cape streams. Eventually, by 1890, there were thriving populations of Brown Trout all around South Africa, and this led to a new plan… Breeding them. The first successful Brown Trout to be spawned and bred in captivity, in South Africa, was in 1893. The attempt to stock many river systems failed, due to the inappropriate conditions. Brown Trout occur (More favourably) in highland areas, especially mountainous regions like Cederberg, Drakensberg, Barkly, Dullstroom and so on. The...
The Fly Fishing Purist

The Fly Fishing Purist

The Impurities Of Fly Fishing Please Just Let Me Fly Fish! The Fly Fishing Purist… This article might upset a few fly fishermen… But I guarantee you that is not the point or my intention. All I want to know is, why are the Fly Fishing Purists so concerned with other techniques that are all within the ethics and history of fly fishing? I have been fly fishing my entire life, and many judgmental eyes have been cast my way (Which I will get into more below), even though I have not disobeyed any of the unwritten laws of fly-fishing. The biggest thing that has been held against me, or so it seems anyway with the stares etc. has been when I fish sinking line, extra fast sinking actually. Now what is wrong with this? I fish dry fly and stealthy nymph techniques as well! I want to catch fish, and I will fish a sinking line on stillwaters when the fish are deep or there is no activity on or close to the surface. So if I want to pull a size 8 Orange Woolly Bugger as fast as I can when it is on the bottom, can I not just do that? It catches fish! I love the challenge of fly fishing, don’t get me wrong, but I love catching fish. So if I want to use fast sinking line and a large orange woolly bugger, I do not see a problem with that? There are a lot of good aspects of the purist method that many anglers enforce. Such as distances, safe handling of fish, no...
A Fisherman’s Journey

A Fisherman’s Journey

Fly Fishing Stories From South Africa – A Fisherman’s Journey The First Cast – The Successes And The Snags… No one ever said fly fishing was is easy, and they were right, it’s not. But to try and be a competent fly fisherman at 9 years old was a real tough challenge for me personally. I had a great teacher, my father Tony Roocroft, but at times he did not have the patience to teach the same things over and over again to an energetic 9 year old that got easily side tracked. I think he did a great job. The first thing he taught me was how to cast, and I managed to catch on to that quite easily. But the impatience and the perseverance was a bit challenging. It took me a while before I managed to catch a fish on my own. I have mentioned it a few times on this website, but here’s more of the full story. I remember it like it was yesterday, or perhaps last week. I was fishing at a place called Millstream (You will also see a lot of references to this Highveld haven on Fish The Fly), where I have fished all my life due to my parents having time share, which they bought in 1990. We have always stayed in Cottage 23, nicknamed Coch-y-Bondhu, and there is a series of weirs close to the cottage, some of which can be seen from the patio. My father’s favourite weir, Evening Rise, is situated below the house, a 30 meter walk at most. It is named appropriately, as every evening,...
Choose 5 Flies

Choose 5 Flies

Choosing 5 Flies To Use For Eternity My second article, in the weekly Walkers Killer, relates to my first post, which was last week, if you have not read it, have a look at the link here before reading this article further, it is really interesting. Due to the similarities in the results of the fly exercise Mr. Tom Sutcliffe put forward, I decided to ask 3 fly fishermen I fish most often with and my father, these were the results… Bare in mind the similar results from last week: My father, Tony Roocroft, the 5 flies he chose: Adams, GRHE, Royal Wulff, Flashback, PTN. The first of my 3 fellow fly fishermen, Gavin Erwin, the 5 flies he chose: Woolly Bugger, DDD, Royal Coachman, Montana Nymph, Flashback. Next, Sean Bisset, the 5 flies he chose: DDD, Woolly Bugger, Red Setter, Flashback, Lake Dragon. Finally, Jason Macintosh, the 5 flies he chose: DDD, Stimulator, Woolly Bugger, Zonker, White Fritz. The outcomes are the following, out of 6 people who chose flies, these flies came up on more than one occasion. D.D.D. G.R.H.E. Adams Flashback P.T.N. Woolly Bugger Fritz So, in summary, 16 different flies were chosen by 6 fly fishermen, and of that 16, 7 came up more than once. And a good selection too, 2 Dry flies, 3 Nymphs and2 Wet flies. Are these the ultimate South African flies? What 5 flies would you choose to fly fish with for the rest of your life?...

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