The Cape Town Fishing Report Monday, November 16, 2015
A while since I put Pen to Paper, or fingers to keyboard to report back on the fishing in the Western Cape Streams. Not that I haven’t been out on the water; more that I have been too much and that as a result the normal commitments of the daily grind have rather got in the way of reporting back.
Equally a good deal of time has been used up trying to push for change and action in terms of the ongoing pollution emanating from the Malopong Fish Farm on the Smalblaar River.
For those that haven’t seen the somewhat controversial video about the pollution on this river it is embedded below:
Whilst agreements were made with the owners about changing the feed used (this seems to have been at least part of the problem) and removal of fish from the settling pond area (which wasn’t done as per our agreements) things are moving slowly. At the time of writing I have been unable to check up on whether the fish have been removed from the settling ponds so am still unsure as to the position on that front other than that it wasn’t done at the time agreed.
I have also been in touch with BOCMA (Breede River Catchment Management Agency) now name changed to BGMCA (Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency). They have been rather slow in responding, but after requests for a formal complaint in writing and then the addition of GPS reference points I am assured that the matter will receive their attention and that they will be having a site meeting before the end of the year. At least that is what is in the emails. We live in hope because as things stand the lack of settlement or filtration on this intensive farm will only lead to additional pollution in the long term if action isn’t taken
On the plus side there does seem to be some evidence on the river that the water clarity has improved, most likely the result of the combined effects of lack of rain and the change in feed used on the farm. So at least for the present the fishing isn’t being as badly affected as it was. That said I haven’t personally been on the Smalblaar of late, most of the trips have been guided work and I don’t wish to introduce visiting anglers to the muddy and turbid waters that were the Smalblaar a matter of weeks back.
On to more enjoyable and heartening topics, myself and some colleagues were able to visit the Jan Du Toit’s River recently. The water was a delight, crystal clear (as of course all of our mountain streams should be), unsullied by any form of human activity but for the occasional errant drift of a dry fly over the smooth surface of a pool. We had wonderful fishing and it was most heartening to see a good number of fish in the lower reaches of the river as well as higher up. Not only that but a number or relatively junior trout which suggests that breeding on the stream is returning to some level of success.
The Cape Piscatorial Society River Festival went off pretty much without a hitch and I was privileged to guide some wonderfully enthusiastic clients who greatly enjoyed the day on the water. Feedback was the same from all the participants, a good vibe, lots of fish caught, and of course released. A great amount of knowledge transfer from the old hands to the neophytes and the pleasure of watching the Aussies get thumped by the All Blacks during the World Rugby Cub final on our return from the stream. About as close as you could get to a perfect weekend I would think.
On top of that a pressing cold front swung in over the peninsula on the Sunday, making my return trip to Cape Town rather fraught, with heavy rain and howling winds reducing visibility to a matter of metres on the freeway. The inconvenience however well worth it as it seems that some of that rain managed to reach he mountains and freshen up the streams. After some days in the 40°C range things have cooled down a little, the water is a tad fresher and the day time temps have been more manageable over the past week. From the activity on the water it seems that the trout have appreciated that change and they have been quite active.
The latest trip on the Elandspad showed lots of the common and minute micro tan caddis flies on the rocks, as well as some egg laying Choroterpes Mayflies getting the trout feeding. We equally witnessed a number of quite large trout flinging themselves after marauding dragonflies and taking them successfully out of the air. We weren’t able to tempt the fish though quite possibly because flying dragonflies are not easily imitated and also because even the largest flies in my stream box are woefully inadequate in terms of representing such large insects. But it was fun to watch.
Although the fishing has been good, up on the Elandspad at least, the fish were especially spooky when the sun came out yesterday afternoon, they are undoubtedly wising up to the angler’s machinations as the season progresses and the water levels fall.
Weather for the coming week courtesy of yr.no:
Just a note about the weather forecast. yr.no using the De Poort Van Du Toit’s Kloof location has been remarkably accurate. Yesterday it predicted the clouds would clear at 11.00 and that was pretty much the case. The long term forecast tends for obvious reasons to change over time so best to check nearer to your fishing date if you want more precise information.
A final word, do take care out in the mountains, we had a close encounter with not one but two Cape Cobras out in the mountains recently and both within feet of one another. The first was spotted and quietly slipped away, two steps further along the river bed another reared up right in front of me resulting in my beating a pretty inelegant and hasty retreat. I don’t think that in all my time out there I have encountered two snakes so close to one another. Thankfully cobras generally do bring attention to their presence and aren’t aggressive but it certainly got the pulse going.
Enjoy the fishing and “Be Careful Out There”..
The Cape Town Flyfishing report is brought to you in the public interest by Inkwazi Flyfishing, the Capes only dedicated full service fly fishing guiding operation. www.inkwaziflyfishing.co.za