The weather was on its head as Jacques, Andre, Corne, Wynand, Johann and Tiaan came up for the last fully guided Yellow fish trip of the season. There was a bite in the morning air and a cold rain pushed hard against the basalt cliffs of the Bokong valley. The river rose nearly two feet in a morning, sending cold shivers down the spines of the remaining yellows and sent them running back to the dam. As a result we decided to take the guys down to the estuary section to search for the missing yellows and their trout friends.
The first day on the water was a testing one. The guys spent hours on end in their tubes in search of fish only to find them feeding very selectively on tiny midges, and of course they refused everything else. The tension to get on the scoreboard was mounting so I took Wynand to the edge of a steep cliff where he could cover the rises with a big streamer and it wasn’t long before he got stuck into two decent trout.
Luckily things only got better on day two. Stu and I took the boys down to the Malibamatsu River below the Katse Dam wall, the constant nature of this river makes it a great fall-back when the Bokong gets blown out. So we worked the Malibamatsu with great success as everybody caught and released some strong, wild trout. Once Johann and Tiaan got up to speed it was hard to stop them, the fish were eating their flies like ‘mielies’.
On their last day we took them back to the footbridge to restore their reputations after the first day’s bruising. Corne was first to strike with two trout in quick succession and was soon followed by the rest. It was a splendid day on the water. Tiaan was on form again, getting fish after fish in the rapid where the river joins the dam. Just before sun was about to duck behind the hills, Jacques came to me for some assistance since the fish were giving him a hard time. We changed to a classic New Zealand rig, two nymphs under an indicator, and worked it along the bankside. Two casts later and he was fighting a strong yellows fish. His luck had turned and proceeded to land another yellow and three trout.
The catch of the day often comes at the very end, it sure did for Jacques and his mates.
Best wishes from the Tourette team here in Lesotho. We wave goodbye to the yellow fish season in anticipation as the trophy trout season gets on the way.
Johann and Stu