A Break from the Life

Between the hustle and bustle of everyday life the opportunity to go flyfishing is a rare gem, some have the privilege to call flyfishing their career the rest of us take our chances as and when we can.

The Mooi River

Just such an opportunity presented itself recently and I found myself on the banks of the Mooi River just west of Nottingham Road in the scenic Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands. If I could choose my native country it would be this part of South Africa – the rugged landscape, pristine farms, fantastic people, and beautiful fishing.

The Drakensburg has been blessed with good rains this summer and I found the Mooi River with good volumes of water making its way to the Spring Grove Dam. Unfortunately, the extra volumes meant less visibility.

Split Cane Therapy

With the sun already heading to the horizon I took up my dainty #2 split cane rod rigged with a dry fly pattern and started the slow and methodical process of working my way upstream. Casting methodically from directly upstream alongside the bank to outwards and across the river I targeted the different streams, hiding holes, slips, calms and tumblers.

Working a river like this with deliberate discipline and the slow rhythm demanded from a split cane rod I found myself pausing at the extremity of each false cast, waiting for the energy transfer from arm to handle into the natural micro-fibres of the bamboo that first flex and load before springing back and unleashing the energy into the fly line. My eyes on the target, body presented forwards, lungs held in anticipation the surrounds become oblivious and all that exists is the metronomic function of casting.

The anticipation breaks after few fly changes that see me matching a hatch with an Adams and the Rainbows started taking. Nothing big mind you, but the dainty split cane loaded with light tackle ensured that every fight was a choregraphed dance that ended with a successful catch and release.

Three hours alongside the river with only the rhythm of casting marking time is a therapy that dissolves away complicated muscles and ideas created an opportunity to connect, unwind and little to brag about on arrival at home.

The tech-bits shared:

I was fishing with:

Rod and reel: Split cane 8”2’ 2WT, line was held by a Xplorer XPLA 2/3wt reel.

Line, leader and tippet: RIO DT2F floating line followed by furled leader and 6 x tippet.

Flies: Adam (size 13-14)

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