Lesotho Trout Fishing
With the air temperature cooling down, the trout fishing season in Lesotho is starting to kickoff. This past week has seen some spectacular fishing, catering to every angler’s preference.
Fly fishing in Lesotho: Bokong River
The first half of the week saw beautiful conditions on the river, with perfect levels, clear water, and a couple of windless days, even by the standards of the Bokong. The river is absolutely alive with small trout in the pocket water, greedily flying clear out of the water to hit a dry fly. While the big fish have been extremely elusive so far, I will never grow tired of watching little trout hit a dry in the pocket water. To start the week, two guests, Rob and Sean, came to spend a couple of nights. This was an unguided trip, and I know Rob well, so I spent the days fishing with them. Rob has recently made the national team for fly fishing and used the opportunity to practice some novel dry-dropper techniques in the pocket water to very good effect. A couple of days later, Bennie and Josh arrived for a short two-night stay. We went far up the river, spending the whole day out. Once again, the numbers of hungry little trout hitting dries were really good, but the big fish continued to elude us. Eventually, Photoshop came to the rescue for Josh, turning a 15cm trout into 15lb. Well, one has to be able to justify the trip to one’s significant other, right?
Bong river estuary and Katse Dam
The dam: For the first part of the week, the fishing in the dam was reasonable, consistent, but the big fish were lacking. Getting 5 or 6 rainbows in the region of 35–40cm was the norm with an occasional yellow in between if you were lucky. The trick seemed to be fishing the old river bed between Diepgat and Swingers from one of your Orange River drift boats with a fast sinking line (Di5 or so), black streamers, and a fast retrieve. In the last two days, a front has come over and dropped some rain on the upper Bokong, bringing a really nice flush of slightly discolored icy water into the dam. As soon as this happened, the bigger fish started to turn up around Swingers. Unfortunately, this happened just as Bennie and Josh were leaving, but the guests in Rosehip cottage took full advantage of the good fishing, braving the freezing rain and wind to get a nice trout for dinner. Larry was rewarded with a stunning 56cm rainbow swinging a black streamer on an intermediate line, and it was quickly dispatched to form a smoked trout starter before supper.
Rooibos smoked trout with wild mushroom sauce – Lesotho trout fishing speciality:
- 2 large trout fillets
- 6 Rooibos tea bags
- Cast iron pot
- Gas stove
- Grid that fits halfway down the pot
- Salt Pepper
Open the tea bags and pour the powder into the bottom of the cast iron pot. Salt and pepper the fillets and place them on the grid jammed halfway down the pot. Place on a gas stove on high with the lid off until you see or smell the first hint of smoke coming from the Rooibos grounds. Place the lid on and leave on high for 5 minutes and then very low for 5–10 minutes. After this, take the pot outside, open the lid, and remove the grid with the trout on it. The heat of the pot will continue to cook it, so it is important to remove the fillets when you have finished the smoking process.
- Porcini (ceps) or poplar boletes
- Milk Flour Cream
- Salt Butter
Finely chop the mushrooms and fry in butter until they begin to become firm. This is important to prevent them from becoming slimy. Turn off the heat and add a table spoon of flour. Add 125ml of cream and about the same of milk and stir over a low heat until the sauce thickens and begins to boil. Add salt to taste.
Get in touch if you would like to join us in Lesotho for this trout season!