I’ve been so focused on ticking off a 2020 fly fishing bucket list – trying to fit in special fishing trips in the limited free time I had, rather than squeezing in the regular stuff – that I somehow forgot about the fisheries on my doorstep. For instance, the thoughts of chasing after big Clanwilliam yellowfish, sandfish, sawfin and witvis were much more appealing to me than visiting the Witte River for brown trout in the mountains ‘above’ my house, or the Berg River for its tricky carp in the valley ‘below’.

So it happened that I actually cancelled a few ‘special’ fishing days because of sudden weather changes or fishing partners that pulled out, and I ended up just staying at home…Until recently, in which case I decided to throw some carp gear into my car and head to the Berg for a quick cast after all. This, surprisingly, turned out to be one of the most fun fishing missions of the year.

The carp weren’t massive and I didn’t catch that many, but they were hard to get in the clear water and man did they pull string – the adrenalin rush from the sight fishing and powerful, dirty fights had me buzzing for days afterwards. This made me realise that any regular fishing mission is good for the soul and while variety makes fly fishing so enjoyable for me, just getting out there and catching the good’ol carp at the local is fulfilling and keeps the spirits high.