I’ve always had an affinity for Smallscale Yellows but never quite understood them. They feed and behave unlike any Yellowfish I’ve come across. We had 5-10kms of the Elands River at our disposal yet ended up fishing one pool, no longer than 200m, for three days…

I’ve truly never seen Yellowfish so concentrated in my life, I’m talking hundreds in one pool, it was ridiculous. Interestingly the year before I had seen the exact same behaviour on the Elands, however, just on a different section of the farm, of course with not much to show for it.

James Martin having a time with the stockies.

Sure, fishing long delicate leaders can be tough and even just detecting the eat in slow water can be borderline impossible but still far from the most frustrating aspect of pursuing these fish. Watching these fish blatantly and whole heartedly reject any form of offering for hours on end, hits a little different. Turn hours into days and you understand the weekend we had…

In “the zone” with Declan Kennedy.

Thankfully we weren’t short on booze though, with a good group of oaks and a stockie every now and then just to keep spirits high. All in all, it was a weekend away in the midst of lockdown to a part of the country, in the heart of Mpumalanga, that I thoroughly enjoy and in hindsight I truly couldn’t have asked for much more. Frustration is one heavy understatement when targeting these fish; but in saying that, many lessons were learnt and the drive to crack these fish, personally, has grown evermore. I will be back.

Brent Poultney making it happen.