How I Got Hooked On The Sport of Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Stories – Flying through Life
I had always enjoyed fly fishing, but April 2004 changed everything for me. I went from loving to obsessive. This trip I did changed my perspective on fly fishing and changed my life. I was on holiday with my mother and father in the Eastern Cape. It was school holidays and my father planned to expose me to some different types of fly fishing. We were staying in Kenton-on-sea, one of my favourite places in the World. My dad first took me to the Kariega River, to throw some streamers (At this stage my fly fishing knowledge was limited to dry fly fishing for Rainbows). We didn’t have any hook ups, but a few chases from fish, I cannot remember what they were. This did bring back some memories, the time (No idea how old I was) when my father was fly fishing the other saltwater river in the area, the Bushman’s (Not to be confused with the small stream in the Drakensberg). I watched him catch a Garrick and a Shad on fly, the fact that I remember the smallish fish he caught so vividly must mean something, it is a great memory.
Anyway, back to the trip… After being unsuccessful at the Kariega, we went to Port Alfred, where I caught my first saltwater fish on fly, I believe I was using a 3 weight, and my go to fly at that time, the Yellow Humpy. My father and I alternated the rod and managed to catch Cape Stumpnose, Striped Mullet and Freshwater Mullet. It was exhilarating. That was just a taste of what was to come in the following few days. We found a fish farm in the outskirts of Port Alfred, and after much effort we managed to catch some Barbel (Sharptooth Catfish). I managed 4, between 700 grams and 1.5 kilograms. I caught them on a large Mrs. Simpson and an Orvis HLS 4 weight. It was a big challenge and these fish were strong. So in a few days I had managed to experience 2 other forms of fly fishing that I had never been exposed to and I was loving it. And to top this all off, we were going to Rhodes in the next few days, wow was I excited.
After reluctantly leaving the coast, we made the journey up to the Barkly area and the beautiful town of Rhodes, where we stayed at a place called Walkabouts Inn. We had 3 days of river fishing here; well 2 and a bit. We unpacked and headed for a close by river, where my father managed a few fish on dry fly. I didn’t catch but I was captivated by fishing such a beautiful area, with trout in abundance, and on a small clear stream. I have never been the same since that day. I have always loved wildlife, and for me to watch these beautiful wild Rainbows swimming around in crystal clear water, and then moving along to hold in deeper pools was absolutely magical. The next day we fished the Upper Glass Nevin I believe it was called. My father showed me all sorts of new techniques, mainly about Nymphing, and taught me the importance of stealth, accurate casts, and no false casts (Meaning if you had to cast, it was once back and then forward, that was it). As I am writing this, I cannot remember specific details, but you can read my story here at this link. I do know I caught my first wild river Rainbow that day, had so much action and caught a few more fish. I can remember the cold water, sneaking up on the fish and watching my father catch fish out of this stream like he fished it every day. I was envious and really happy. What an amazing day.
The last session, my father got me a guide, his name was Mario. I learned so much from him on this day, we were fishing Parksgate. He taught me different casting techniques, how to read pockets of water, what to look for and showed me how to find what the fish were feeding on. According to my records kept, I caught 4 fish (1 Brown and 3 Rainbows), but I lost 20 fish or so due to various flaws in my fly fishing technique. All I know is when I got off the water that day, I felt like I was on top of the World… And that’s how I got hooked on fly fishing.