Fly Fishing For Clanwilliam Sawfin In South Africa

Clanwilliam Sawfin Barbus serra

Sawfin Drawing…

How To Catch The Clanwilliam Sawfin On Fly

The Clanwilliam Sawfin (Barbus serra) is often just referred to as the Sawfin, and is an endangered fish species that is closely related to Redfins, Barbs and Yellowfish. It shares many tendencies and characteristics with it’s close relative the Berg-Breed River (Cape) Whitefish.

The Clanwilliam Sawfin occurs in the Olifants River system and neighbouring tributaries. It is believed that this fish can grow well over 5 kilograms, and it attains lengths of 60 centimeters. The decline of Sawfin populations is linked to predation from Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass and even Spotted Bass.

More Information On The Clanwilliam Sawfin

The Clanwilliam Sawfin is a bottom feeder, as can be seen by the shape of it’s mouth above, this means you will need to get your flies deep down in order to get into the strike zone. You can use a split shot and weighted flies to get into the strike zone a lot quicker.

The Sawfin prefers deep pools and rapids, and the juveniles of this species occurs in calmer water and tributaries. They breed in Summer close to waterfalls and rapids, and they feed similarly to a Grunter or a Steenbras in that they blow the gravel, rocks and sand in order to flush out their diet of insects, crustaceans and other organisms.

Fly FiCzech Nymphshing For The Clanwilliam Sawfin

The tough and highly prized Sawfin is a challenge for fly anglers, and any anglers in general. Locating this fish is the toughest part, but when you do find them you still need to figure out what will work. Nymphing is the best way to catch the Clanwilliam Sawfin, and there are a variety of good flies to use (Yellowfish flies work like a charm). You want to imitate in
sects and swimming organisms close to the bottom.

A 5 or 6 weight outfit will be perfect when targeting the Sawfin, but if you know of places where the bigger ones hide, gear up with a 7 or 8 weight, as they can be strong and aggressive fighters, and a rod with good back bone is needed.

Ten pound tippet on a tapered leader with floating line is the best way to go.

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