Fly Fishing For Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish On Fly

How To Catch The Smallscale Yellowfish On Fly?

Bushveld Smallscale YellowfishThe Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish (Labeobarbus polylepis) is a silvery coloured species of Yellowfish, that is restricted to the Bushveld areas in South Africa, hence the name “Bushveld” Smallscale Yellowfish. The adult species go an olive green to yellow colour with bronze coloured sides, while the smaller fish remain silver in colour, with a cream underbody.

The Smallscale Yellowfish is one of the least fly fished for species of Yellowfish in South Africa, this is due to the areas in which they occur. They do occur in dams, but only large bodies of waters that are connected to the rivers of the Limpopo, Incomati and Phongolo (Phongola) and their tributaries.

More Information On The Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish

The Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish is found in cooler waters, and generally at altitudes of 60o meters or more above sea level. They prefer deeper pools of rivers and rapids (Where they spawn), and they do require permanent water sources such as the larger perennial rivers and their tributaries. besides the rivers mentioned above thy can also be found in the Olifants, Letaba, Elands, Komati, Assegaai river systems, as well as dams such as Loskop and Nogodwana. They prefer areas that have stable temperatures from the low 20’s into the higher 20’s degrees celsius.

The female species of the Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish grow larger than the males, and can reach 50 centimeters and close to 7 kilograms. They can be differentiated from the Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish by their distribution, as this species prefers areas 600 meters below sea level.

The Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish is very adaptable when it comes to it’s food sources. In winter months they use up very little energy, and often consume algae exclusively. Other times of the year their preferred items of food include aquatic insects, terrestrial insects, crabs, molluscs and even small fish.

Catching Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish on fly is one of the most exciting forms of fly fishing you can do. There are a variety of different techniques for catching Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish on fly. First of all you need the right setup. A 5 to 6 weight fly rod and reel, paired with floating line is perfect for this application. Tippet of about 10 lbs is the strength we would recommend. You can catch Yellowfish on dry flies, in rapids, on dams (Such as Loskop), and in the calmer pools and areas of large rivers. Small stream dry fly fishing for Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish can be done as well. They often rise, and catching Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish on dry fly is truly exhilarating. They will take big dry flies, and sight fishing for them is amazing. The Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish is more at home in perennial rivers, so keep an eye out for them there.

Methods For Catching Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish On Fly

The most common methods of catching Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish are on nymphs, with nymphing techniques such as Czech Nymphing, Short Line Nymphing and the New Zealand Nymphing methods. Short line nymphing is our personal favourite, where you use two nymphs. A heavy nymph (Such as a Brassie), which is the control fly, and then a smaller nymph (Such as a San juan Worm) tied to the base of the control fly. This is called the point fly. You can fish this method under a strike indicator, or you can watch the tip of your line. It is called short line nymphing simply because you barely cast the fly. You cast a tiny bit of line out in front of you, and let it drift, and then cast again and so forth. You are in complete control of the line, and it is best fished behind and adjacent to rocks in the shallows or rapids and white water in deeper areas. You can use a slit shot or two to get the fly down to the bottom quicker. There are a variety of great Yellowfish flies you can use, we have written an article on the top 10 Yellowfish flies to use in South Africa.

The best flies in which to catch the Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish on fly can be seen listed below:

Dry Flies


Follow Us On Social Media... Fish The Fly knows how everyone loves updates, photo's and videos, so keep updated with all the latest fly fishing news from South Africa below!

Pin It on Pinterest