The opening week of the Kalahari 2021 season set off to a fantastic start despite the slow fishing. The cold, relatively high-water level and considerably lower visibility, compared to that of the previous season, due to floods earlier in the summer certainly contributed largely to the slow fishing. The order of the trip was to fish deep slow-moving water close to the structure as much as possible in hopes of finding both largemouth and smallmouth yellowfish.
Whilst working our way down river, James Bader managed to fool a lovely largemouth yellowfish tight up against structure. The eat was strong and a welcomed surprise after a busy day on the water, James’ efforts were certainly rewarded having managed to tick off his first largemouth yellowfish. It was then Johan Kuhn’s turn who managed to get stuck into several smallmouth yellowfish nymphing the faster water and glides just below a large weir. He then followed up with a largemouth yellowfish off a large boulder in deep water once more proving the worth of hard work and persistence. James went on to land a beautiful smallmouth yellowfish along with a largemouth to end off the final stages of our drift.
Apart from the fishing, the wildlife and spectacular scenery kept our eyes wondering. Waking up to the sound of Fish eagles, constant calls from the Baboons in the mountains, the occasional Kudu and large variety of bird life including a Black eagle sitting on its nest high up on one of the cliff fasces, in addition the scenic mountains and picture-perfect river system made for a memorable first drift for everyone.
Camp setup and navigation through the many channels was done by Hein, our trip leader and Brad, the experience and efficiency of these two was clear as camp was always perfectly set up and ready to welcome guests after a good days fishing. The perfect place for a good lunch and at the end of the day a delicious dinner followed by great company by the fire before settling in to recharge the batteries for the next day ahead.
All in all, despite the fishing being slow it was a trip that was enjoyed by everyone, making memories and being in such a beautiful part of the world, the lower orange truly is a special place.