Three Rivers – Lesotho Yellowfish Group 11: 25th Feb – 2 March 2014

On arriving at Katse Dam for the 11th group of the season we were quite unsure of what the start of the trip would be like as the previous week it had rained most heavily, making the fishing tough with swollen rivers. Regardless, the guys on this trip were all veterans to yellow fishing, and were excited to get started no matter what the weather gods threw at us.

Due to the heavy rain we spent the first afternoon fishing the lake as the river was still too high. Simply fishing 5 to 6 metres off the bank with a tandem nymph rig and an indicator as one would do on Sterkfontein when the fish are down. The fishing was slow that first afternoon with only mudfish, strangely, being landed.

The first full day we woke to sunshine and a dropping river although still too high to fish with dry flies. We fished from the mouth up to camp and just above camp in the afternoon. Still on tandem nymph indicator rigs we targeted productive looking seams and runs but focused on the tails of pools where we had sighted a lot of fish. With the water still being cold (16 degrees Celsius) meant the fishing was still difficult and only about 5 fish were landed that day. Mainly caddis larva and hot spot nymphs seemed to be the go to patterns

Day two, three and four the river dropped dramatically and the water temp rose to a comfortable 20 degrees by noon. The fish came higher in the water column and dry flies became the name of the game. With a stealthy approach to the tails of the pools we were treated to many fish eagerly eating big terrestrials. Big stimulators and hoppers came into effect and especially black hoppers or black crickets seemed to be irresistible to the yellows as the water got warmer. Steadily the number of fish landed per day on the Bokong rose to the 20’s with most fish being taken on the dry.

0n day five we departed under threatening skies to the Malibamatso and after a hair raising drive to the river it was clear from a distance that the river was in good fishing condition. Due to the Malibamatso being a much larger river than the Bokong its tempting to go back on to nymphs but with a careful approach and a lot of patience in watching the water, one is able to spot yellow fish lying in shallow water and if presented to well, most of them are happy to come up for a dry. This was case for our last afternoon of the trip with a few fish being landed on nymphs and a few on dries. Great ending to yet another great trip in Lesotho.

A big thanks to Peter, Kevin, Duncan, Morice and Murray for coming and well done on some good angling.