Makhangoa Community Camp Group 5: 4th – 8th Jan 2015

Carl, Cassim, Johan and Johan arrived in camp around midday to a perfect 4 day forecast. Arriving at the tail end of a cut off low, the river was dropping and heating up well. The fish were on the move and hungry as the pressure stabilized. Carl and Cassim have both fished with us before in Sudan, Botswana and Lesotho, and it was great to have them back with Carl’s father, Johan and good friend Johan.

The first evening was spent fishing a small portion of Beat 1 around camp. This first session is a great time to get rid of some bad habits under the watchful eyes of the TF guides. This is especially important as the fishing gets progressively more technical as the we move through the beats each consecutive day. All 4 guests did well on this first evening, with a number of fish landed on ants, klinkhammers and DDD’s.

The first full day was spent fishing the rest of Beat 1 and into Beat 2, returning to camp for lunch. Again, well presented dry flies fished in both the pocket water, glides, and pools were rewarded with good fish. The flies for the day, and rest of the week really, continued to be large foam and CDC ants, and massive klinkhammers tied on size 8 hooks.

Day 3 and 4 the group made their way up river, fishing Beats 3 and 4 respectively. Packed lunches and white knuckle drives in the cruiser to the bridal path are how the days start and finish. These treks into the mountain allow guests to fish remote stretches of the river, all exclusively for the Makhangoa Community Camp guests. These waters are up there with some of the best fresh water river fishing in the world. The beauty of the river as it flows through large boulder fields and over bed rock sections, framed by 3000m peaks is something to behold. The fishing is also very technical, as we target individual fish in the 4 – 10lb range holding in water often no deeper than ones shins. Dry fly sight fishing at its best.

All the group landed some superb fish, and lost some lunkers in the process. Highlights of these two days, was when a well presented fly, on the back of a careful stalk and planned approach results in a hook up. The visual aspect of the process, paired with the anticipation of the planning and build up to making the cast, make the results that much sweeter.

Apart from the 4 days of subliminal fly fishing, the group was treated to some amazing mountain vistas as we fished upstream and even enjoyed some lunch time swims in the crystal clean water. A highlight of one of the hikes to the upper beat was the sighting of a breading pair of Verreaux eagles (Black eagle). This pair of unique raptors now adds to the local Bearded Vultures in the area, making this Bokong Valley a important site for large raptor conservation, adding to the amazing environment which makes fly fishing in Lesotho so unique.

ON behalf of the TF crew and Makhangoa Community, we would like to say a big thanks to Carl, Cas, Johan and Johan for a spectacular trip. It was an absolute pleasure to guide and spend time with you. Looking forward to the next time.

Cheers for now

Keith and Pierre