From chasing largies and smallies in her home waters of the Vaal to MacGuyver tactics, art and some fine wine recommendations, we catch up with Parys area guide, Anthea Piater.

5 best things about where you guide? 

  1. The Vaal River is a scruffy creature, broken up in sections of broad deep pools and shallow stretches with island scattered rapids. It can be smooth and flat or churning like a dishwasher. The variety of water lends itself to the numerous different species one can target so, in one day, you can really mix things up.
  2. The exhilarating fresh water fish action! Yellowfish are probably the fastest freshwater fish in SA. Once you’ve set the hook you know all about it! They shoot off like bullets through the rapids and you should never underestimate how much they love airtime when they’re trying to throw the hook. What’s not to love about catching energetic fish like that?
  3. You can fish all year round if you just adapt your methods and techniques.
  4. It’s a nature junkie’s paradise, set against a scenic backdrop of steep cliffs and rolling hills. There is always something rustling in the bushes behind you, and the monkeys make for great entertainment. It’s also an hour’s drive from Jo’burg city centre so is easily accessible if you’re planning a day trip.
  5. Meeting and spending time with like-minded people, swapping stories and knowledge and just appreciating nature.

5 things you are probably doing if you are not guiding? 

  1. Tying flies. The meditativeness and levels of creativity are addictive, and the imagination can really run wild when you’re sitting behind the vice.
  2. Drawing or making something, any kind of hands-on activity. Art has always been a passion and drawing is one of my favourite creative outlets.
  3. Being an environmental warrior, raising public awareness around the pollution issues of the Vaal River, and especially supporting the NGO ‘SAVE the Vaal Environment’ in all their endeavours fighting the Vaal’s ongoing water quality crisis.
  4. Growing things. It’s so rewarding when you get it right. And especially if you can eat it.
  5. Chilling around a braai and popping open some wine.

5 fishing-connected items you don’t leave home without before making a mission? 

  1. Freshly tied flies, stacked to the max.
  2. Dr Slick all-purpose scissors, to trim down, mend, or shape up a fly on the spot. Largemouth yellows know how to shabby-up a fly.
  3. Mini cable ties. They give you instant MacGuyver points when shoelaces snap, zips break, nets rip and magnet clips fail.
  4. Water resistant sun cream, factor 50.
  5. Pocket knife.

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For the rest of Anthea’s High 5s, get stuck in to issue 21 below or buy the print edition here.