Fly Fishing For The Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish On Fly In South Africa

How To Catch The Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish On Fly?

Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish

Largescale Yellowfish Illustration

The Lowveld Largescale yellowfish (Labeobarbus marequensis) is often just called the Largescale Yellowfish, or Largescale Yellow. It is also known as the Shortsnout Chiselmouth in other regions of Southern Africa. The Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish can grow up to 60 odd centimeters and can attain weights of close to 10 kilograms, although fish of 5 kilograms or more are considered real trophies. They are generally known as a small species of Yellowfish, and females mature at about 30 centimeters and they are ready for breeding, while surprisingly males mature and are ready for the spawning season at just 7 centimeters. There is quite a big size difference.

This species of Yellowfish gets it’s name “Lowveld” Largescale Yellowfish from the fact that it generally occurs in the lower reaches of areas, as this freshwater fish species is most at home in areas that are 600 meters below sea level. This is one way to differentiate it from the Bushveld Smallscale Yellowfish

More Information On The Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish

Large Scale Yellowfish Caught On Fly

Largescale Yellowfish

The Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish occurs widely throughout the northern and north east parts of South and Southern Africa. This species of fish is home in a variety of different habitats, but the larger fish are normally found in large perennial lowveld rivers. They are just at home in dams, contrary to popular belief, although fast flowing rivers and tributaries of the rivers are where they feel most home at. They breed and spawn during Spring and Summer in the shallows and faster moving areas of rivers.

Loskop dam has a thriving population of these fish, and smaller specimens can often be caught using nymphs and dry flies in the shallow sections close to the slipway and the old boathouse. The Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish feeds on a variety of organisms, such as, plankton, algae, insects (Both aquatic and terrestrial), crabs, snails, mussels, beetles, ants and even small fish. The female Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish generally live longer, and grow larger.

Largescale YellowfishCatching Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish on fly is an exciting form of fly fishing. There are a variety of different techniques for catching Lowveld Largescale 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 Albasini), and in the calmer pools and areas of large rivers. Small stream dry fly fishing for Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish can be done as well. They often rise, and catching Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish on dry fly is truly exhilarating. They will take big dry flies, and sight fishing for them is amazing. They really do love the dry fly, and will take it aggressively, opposed to a Trout that might sip on it.

Dry flies such as the Klinkhamer and DDD should not be overlooked when fishing for Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish… These are great flies to use as indicators (With a mustard caddis or GRHE underneath it), and they are great flies to get rises to as well.

Methods For Catching Lowveld Largescale Yellowfish On Fly

The most common methods of catching Lowveld Largescale 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 GRHE), which is the control fly, and then a smaller nymph (Such as a Bloodworm) 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.

Try sight fishing for them with a dry fly, they love them!

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

Dry Flies


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