From the flats of Sudan to the rivers of Tanzania and the World Champs in Norway, South Africa’s top-ranked women’s angler Marlize ‘Blom’ Heyns is kicking ass and taking names. We caught up with her for our issue 34 High Fives.

 

5 best things about where you fish?

  1. The places we fish are so diverse and each place has its own method of madness. I guess that is what intrigues me the most.
  2. The people I travel and fish with. What a bunch of mad, crazy peeps with never a dull moment.
  3. Clear freshwater streams in the mountains and knowing they’re pristine.
  4. Croc and hippo-infested rivers in Africa. There is always a sense of danger and adrenaline flowing at an all -time high.
  5. Saltwater walking and stalking. Knowing that we are the only people in that area for miles and miles.

“My ‘Fishing Crew’ are as important to me as my fishing gear.”

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

  1. “Fishing Crew” (they are as important to me as my fishing gear, with someone carrying the big JBL Boombox in tow).
  2. Some currency and smokes in my pocket.
  3. My lucky cap (blue, red and white Simms).
  4. Proper polarized sunnies (Bajio or Costas).
  5. A bottle of Moët.

5 thing you are loving right now?

  1. Love my job as an executive Chef – creating food with my own twist.
  2. Being home when I’m not on the water.
  3. My two cats Yeti and Rafiki.
  4. Pro-create app on my iPad. I can spend hours drawing on it. It keeps me out of trouble when I’m not fishing.
  5. Prepping mentally and physically for Norway (the first ladies fly fishing world championships).

5 indispensable flies for saltwater?

  1. Tan Alflexo/alphlexo crab for that lovable but infuriating trigger fish.
  2. Golden knight (killer of a fly) for bone fish. The most fun to catch.
  3. Any squid imitation.
  4. Brush fly – Ferrari red for slaying the GTs on Astove.
  5. Spawning shrimp.
Dan Factor, Blom and a Tanzanian tigerfish

Dan Factor, Blom and a Tanzanian tigerfish

5 indispensable flies for freshwater?

  1. Blowtorch.
  2. Carrot fly.
  3. Very secret fly (Heh heh).
  4. Brush fly.
  5. Game Changer.

5 favourite fly-fishing destinations across Africa?

  1. Bushman’s River.
  2. Cape streams.
  3. Tanzania.
  4. Sudan (Red Sea).
  5. Orange River.
Marlize Blom Heyns with a Sudanese triggerfish

Marlize Blom Heyns gets up close and personal with a Sudanese triggerfish

5 favourite fly-fishing destinations globally?

  1. Astove Atoll, Seychelles.
  2. Nubian flats. Sudan- Northeast Africa.
  3. Tanzania – the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers.
  4. New Zealand.
  5. Okavango (not big fish but an unbelievable experience).

5 of the most difficult competition experiences so far?

  1. Probably going into the Commonwealth Championships in New Zealand 2020, when Covid, the globe and everything was unknown.
  2. Catching over twenty fish but not one got measured because of the size limit.
  3. Losing all my fly boxes in the Diablo River in Canada after a big fall. What a f##$@@ck up.
  4. Getting drenched in a very cold session can be very unpleasant, and I’ve had a few of those.
  5. Doing so well in a comp for four sessions and then not catching a fish in the last session (ahhhh).
Marlize Blom Heyns with a stunning largemouth yellowfish

Marlize Blom Heyns with a stunning largemouth yellowfish

5 of the best things you have picked up from competition fishing?

  1. Making a shitload of friends with the same competitive vibe and passion.
  2. Working efficiently on the water.
  3. Reading water and different situations and adapting accordingly
  4. Not overcomplicating anything.
  5. Shit happens – deal with it! Be creative.

5 of the worst things you have picked up from competitive fishing?

  1. Still being competitive even if we are fishing in “down time”.
  2. Being too hard on myself.
  3. Sometimes my airtime runs out and the signal is lost. All English becomes Afrikaans.
  4. Not appreciating the beautiful surroundings in these wonderful places while you are trying to beat people.
  5. Forgetting to follow my process and just having a good laugh (game face).


Get the rest of this story and more in issue 34 below. As always, it’s free.