Makhangoa Community Camp: 22 – 26 Feb 2016

Fly fishing is a strange disease. A disease that causes a very select group of people to go to extremes to find that ‘perfect’ piece of water is some remote corner of the world. Once found, they would go through hell and back to fish that water regardless of discomfort, risk to personal safety, or adverse weather conditions. Luckily for Seb, Lionel, Glyn, Allen, Pat and Mike this was not that kind of trip! They found themselves on a near perfect Bokong (after an incredibly volatile season due to drought and sporadic violent rains) river with all the comforts of home, and hundreds of hungry yellow fish right at their fingertips.

On Monday afternoon, shortly after their arrival at camp the guys were treated to fishing below the footbridge. With some pointing and shouting, Stu and I got all the guys a good taste of the Bokong dry fly action. As with most first days on fishing trips, quite a few fish managed to escape the hook, but more than enough of these pretty yellow fellas made it to net and back into the river. It was a good start to what would become a great trip.

Day two, and what a glorious day! The bottom of beat one was on the agenda. The shallow gravel bottom runs were stacked with hundreds of hungry fish that would swim meters to grab a well presented dry fly. The guys were steadily landing and releasing fish from the get go; in fact I had to drag Pat, who had contracted a proper case of fish fever, off the water for lunch. It was Glyn, who got the catch of the day, a hog of 7lb! This exceptional fishing continued until there was no more light and the hunger pains drove us back to camp for dinner. Once again we had to pry to rod from Pat’s hands 😉

Day three, was all about getting technical. We headed up-river to fish the upper section of beat one and bottom of beat two and although the fishing was excellent, it required a much more refined touch. We sight fished the crystal clear water of Home pool, Mike managed to raise a hog of a fish to his perfectly presented dry fly but got a last second refusal. This was how most of the day played out. Plenty of fish drifted below the flies, allowing for utmost scrutiny of what we had to offer. Results, were either a bump of disgust, or a solid eat off the surface. And when they ate it was screaming reels and big smiles all round. Despite their finicky demeanor many golden Yellows came to the net and everybody had some good stories to swap around the dinner table that night.

Day four was even more of a test for our feverishly eager guests as we packed the donkey and made our way onto beat three. The fish hung out in the pockets and runs which required gentle, yet accurate casts. To complicate matters they were not eating the subtle Klinkhummers and Shuttlecocks with the same gusto as the days before, but they went silly for bigger hopper patterns in the faster water. We had a world class lunch in the shade of a willow tree, and thanks to our pack donkey and river ranger, the beers were ice cold. It was a challenging, but rewarding day for the boys from Zim. To round off a perfect trip, we had a braai and a beer followed by a chocolate pudding that would make Willy Wonka jealous.

Thanks for a great trip, gents! Cheers

Johann and Stu