Makhangoa Community Camp 2019/20 Season – Blog 5

As fly anglers we are constantly setting goals for ourselves. Normally we begin with the usual challenge of learning to cast, followed by trying to catch a fish, and then tying your own flies(In whichever order). Conquering these goals keeps us interested and longing for more.

One example would be Gordon van der Spuy. He is no stranger to hard work and long hours aimed at a specific fishing goal. For example, he is super passionate about tying really high quality flies. His salmon flies, that can take up to a week to tie, or his intricate dries. Now Gordon, himself, will admit that he is not the most skilful of fly fisher but I will tell you that he is one of the most passionate anglers out there. Gordon returned to the Bokong for the third year, hosting two groups and unbeknown to him, was going to challenge himself way more than what he antisipated.

A slow start due to a blown out river, coupled with cold water saw, Gordon working on illustrations for his new book, teaching us rookies some new fly patterns, as well as tricking  a few fish out of the pocket water sections.

Once the water cleared, his dries came into a world of their own. a Few new hoppers fresh off the vice, resulted in some lovely fish. But as any goal setting angler, he wanted a bigger specimen to tackle with his 4wt rod. 60cm was the line drawn in sand that was begging to be crossed. He watches everything intently, scoping out all the pools, runs and glides, learning the behaviour and feeding habits, putting in the hard work and long hours, returning well after dark dripping with sweat. But despite all of this, he kept falling short. 55cm being the closest he could get – but it didn’t stop him.

As the week started to draw to a close, armed with new flies fresh off the vise, Gordon pulled it off. A huge golden bar of 60cm ? Bringing the trip to a bitter sweet finish ?

Let’s see if 2021 will be the season of the 70cm yellow.

Thanks again for reading