After an expected 4 hour drive became a 6 hour drive through the scenic mountain roads of Lesotho, the first group of the Makhangoa 2022 season arrived in camp. After a long day on the road Rob, Jan, Nitzan and Lindsay eagerly drove into camp.
They were greeted by all the guides and camp staff, and unfortunately, rain. With the heavy rain prior to, as well as when they arrived the river was blown out, a nightmare for most destinations, but not too much of a problem at the MCC. Due to the healthy catchment and the short and steep gradient of the Bokong River, it clears very fast. And while we wait, we have Katse. So, with Katse dam(largets dam in Lesotho) bordering the camp, and the first full day of fishing went ahead as planned on the dam.
While not first prize, the dam is always good fun and many fish were caught on nymphs fished either static under a dry fly or twitched on a long leader under a floating line. With space to run in the dam everyone got a good idea of the raw strength and power of the Bokong smallmouth yellowfish
The new day brings a crystal clear river in the mountains of Lesotho
As the sun slowly rises over the Maluti mountain range of Lesotho and the smell of a fresh cooked breakfast wafts through camp it is a sight to behold! The river has all but cleared up overnight, and the first schools of yellow fish can be seen pushing up into the river in front of camp. At the breakfast table you can feel the excitement building as we start discussing techniques tackle and marvel at the beauty of the Bokong. Not long thereafter, everyone is on the river sight fishing to yellowfish!
We couldn’t have asked for better start. From delicate dry fly eats to aggressive airborne attacks on hoppers the river gods had smiled down on us! Cecily, from Zambia arrived in camp late and that evening, and was treated to all stories from a magical day on the water. Cecile proceeded to make the most of her 5 nights in camp as she got to grips with yellow fish. In Cecily’s own words:
Words will not be able to express my shear delight and gratitude for a truly unbelievable and memorable experience I had there last week.
Kyle, Dave, Chris and Angus are incredible guides with heaps of patience and great humor – 15 years of strip striking with big rods was a definite disadvantage to start with, but with superb teaching and a lot of laughs – I finally got to grips with a 5 wt and 6x tippets, and even size 16 and 18 dry flies – and am now so in awe of what a little rod can do with decent size fish. A completely new appreciation.
The fishing was beyond belief, the Bokong is truly unique with such a variety of water lending to different techniques to master, which was a huge learning curve for a first timer. all possible with expert guiding and great fun.
The camp gives you such a welcoming feeling, and the guides who work so hard and then still produce absolutely scrumptious meals, with Dave somehow finding time to to tie beautiful flies to keep our boxes topped right. Very much appreciated.
So a huge Thank you to you all for making my trip so incredible with everlasting memories, in a very unique and stunningly beautiful country, with a world class fishery.
With my warmest regards and thanks
The first brown of the season – guide’s point of view
On the third day it was decided to do a bit of a walk up river, starting at Oh So Technical and heading into beat 3. The day started of well with a few yellows but as we are fishing balbyters we see a shape, a fish, but not a yellow fish this is definitely a trout, a big one! Rob and Jan eagerly drift the flies past it, with no interest shown. The same result when we swing some streamers past it Angus arrives with Nitzan and Lindsay. Kyle is sure it is brown. I (Angus) recons a big rainbow. While this discussion goes on, to prove a point the fish turns and everyone can see clear as day, this is a good sized brown trout! Once again we change tactics to attempt to get the fish to eat. Still with no luck. That is until Rob hooks into a hand sized rainbow trout and the brown trout in front of us loses all composure and violently starts attacking the rainbow on the end of Robs line. This prompts Martin to reach into his fly box for a large muisehond streamer. A fly more commonly fished on the Orange River for largies! It’s worth a shot. Lindsay delicately presents the large streamer and almost instantly we can see this is going to work. And so the first brown trout of the season was landed! After a quick photo the fish slowly cruised back onto his sand bank.
While you decide I cast
Icy wind, a slight drizzle, and big black clouds on the horizon pulled in for the afternoon of ay 3. With no thunder to be heard the guys get a choice stay on the river and fish through the rain, or head back to camp and get warm for the evening, the group is indecisive this is when we hear a phrase I will never forget “while you decide I cast” Nitzan says removing himself from the conversation. While the discussion continues all of a sudden we all can hear it clearly that sweet sound of a reel violently being stripped of its line, it doesn’t take much to realise this is a big fish, eventually he lands the fish and what slab it was. This fish puts Nitzan in a rather exclusive club, a 60cm smallmouth yellow fish on a dry fly, epic! With the rain closing in it is decide to head back to camp and welcome in the evening around the fire with red wine and stories of the days fishing!
A so brings an end to the first few days on the 2022/2023 MCC season. What an incredible start is has been! Keen to join in the fun? Click here to find out more.