Fly Fishing For The Berg-Breede River Whitefish
How To Target The Cape Whitefish On Fly?
The Berg-Breede River Whitefish (Barbus andrewi) was first described by Barnard in 1937. It has a few names that it is commonly known by such as the Berg-Breede River Whitefish, The Cape Whitefish and the Witvis in Afrikaans. This freshwater fish species is endemic to the South Western Cape where it occurs in the Berg River and Breede River as well as their tributaries and can be found in stillwater systems that coincide with the 2 big rivers. They do surprisingly well in dams, and this may be a way to keep this fish from ever becoming extinct.
The Berg-Breede Whitefish (Cape Whitefish) is becoming a sought after target by many anglers of all disciplines, and the fly fishing opportunities for the Berg-Breede (Cape) Whitefish are huge! This species is listed as endangered.
More Information On The Berg-Breede River Whitefish
The Cape Whitefish can attain lengths of over 60 centimeters and weigh over 4 kilograms. It is believed the name “Whitefish” came from seeing these fish in the crystal clear pools they inhabit. As they turn and forage they look almost completely white. The Berg-Breed River Whitefish prefers deep and rocky pools, which is an excellent place to cast your fly. They are mainly bottom feeders, and feed upon algae and small organisms that live on the bottom.
They can often be found just behind rapids, and they congregate here to spawn and breed, similar to the Yellowfish spawning, and after that the eggs are laid in flowing water amongst gravel, and 5 days later they start to hatch.
The Smallmouth Bass and the Largemouth Bass are predators of these fish and are partly to blame for the low numbers of Cape Whitefish (Witvis). Pollution and habitat destruction are also some factors that have contributed to the decline of the Berg-Breede River Whitefish.
Fly Fishing For The Berg-Breede River Whitefish (Cape Whitefish)
Nymphing techniques are the best way to target the Whitefish, and you should pair yourself with a 5 or 6 weight setup with floating line. Ten pound tippet is perfect and you can go lighter if you want. Streamer patterns and wet flies will work as well, but nymphing is the way to go.
We have a list of the top Yellowfish flies that will work for the Berg-Breede River Whitefish you can have a look at them here. Below are some of the best flies you can use to target the Cape Whitefish:
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