Herman Botes is the most enthusiastic fly fisherman I’ve ever fished with. I had no idea just how obsessed he was until I recently began my forays onto these inland streams and read back to the amazing posts he wrote for us. Insects to Herman are what crustaceans are to me and this new world has given me insight to how daunting it must be to a stream fisherman when he sets foot on a sand flat. The learnings are fun though, and a beetle hatch (I don’t think thats a thing but everything is a hatch when I’m on a stream) proved to me that people don’t just paint those silly little beetle flies with sparkly emerald nail polish for fun. A bunch of the little flamboyant buggers landed on me and I spent far too much time examining them.
It was incredibly hot and the combination of my Flu and some potentially dodgy water didn’t help the cause or stop Herman and I from hiking into the rift valley that looked phenomenally good from up high. I still haven’t quite come to terms with how obliging the carp are up here, and ended up stalking tailers for a few too many hours. The most Permitty of the freshwater fish is just too good for me to walk past if tailing, and on a high overhang I dropped a trouser worm right next to a fish doing its best Permit impression on a rock shelf. The set was a bit too hard and the fish turned around and ran, breaking the surface with head shakes before traversing the entire pool. I was pretty chuffed to land it considering how gnarly the rock beds were and then decided to ban myself from carping. I need to get this nymphing and dry and dropper story down. I feel like an absolute fool on a small stream.
The lack of flow meant cruising fish and I managed to convert 1 Smallmouth before a serious hike upstream to satisfy Herman and my curiosity. The rise that evening was special, and although the size of fish was not particularly impressive, the ankle deep depth and clarity of the head of the pool made up for it.