Consistently holding pole position as South Africa’s top-ranked competition angler, Dan Factor of X-Factor Angling (www.xfactorangling.co.za), is also a fly fishing coach and a guide, taking clients all over the world. We caught up with him for a rapid-fire High 5s.
5 best things about where you guide?
- The afternoons on the Orange River when the shadows hit the mountains and the colours pop, are special. It’s the quiet time after fishing stops that gives you a chance to take in the surroundings.
- The size and sheer volume of water on the Zambezi is staggering. It makes finding the needle in the haystack all that more rewarding.
- The Bushman’s River after the first spring rains turn it into a sea of green. It’s hard to explain but it can burn your eyes.
- Being able to experience healthy fisheries all around the world but specifically locally.
- The wildlife and birdlife that surround the waterways of southern Africa. Sometimes I need to take a minute to really appreciate how lucky I am to be where I am.
Get The Mission merch!
5 fishing-connected items you don’t leave home without before making a mission?
- Bum Paste. They don’t call it ‘the crack’ for nothing.
- Scissor Clamps: forceps and nippers in one.
- Wet wading tights.
- 106mp camera (Samsung). Keep your DSLRs.
- Crocs. Comfy and stylish!
5 things you are loving right now
- Spending time with my wife and my two newly adopted dogs.
- Learning how to run my new online shop and all the background stuff that goes with that.
- Air fryer! Makes perfect schnitzel and sweet potato chips every time. I’ve even heard it makes perfect bacon (not that I would know).
- Bone Black Dry UV resin from Solarez – makes buzzers and perdigons quick and easy.
- My non-existent fuel bill.
5 indispensable flies for saltwater?
- Alflexo Crab.
- Spawning Shrimp.
5 indispensable flies for freshwater?
- Hot Spot Hare’s-Ear.
- UV Buzzer.
- Black Parachute.
- CDC Bugger.
- Shrek Fly (you guessed it, it’s green).
5 favourite fly fishing destinations across South Africa/ Africa?
- Lower Orange River.
- KZN Rivers (especially the Bushman’s and Mooi).
- Eastern Cape still waters.
- Lowveld Tigers (in places you’d never expect).
- Sterkies. If you can’t sight fish big fish in the Orange, you might as well sight fish smaller fish in a dam.
For the rest of Dan’s High 5s, get stuck in to issue 23 of The Mission below. As always, it’s free.