Dragons in the Northern Cape – Day 2

Dragons in the Northern Cape – Day 2

We arrived back to camp the previous evening to the remains of a Vervet Monkey Frat Party.  They had chewed through our braai salt, opened cooler boxes, eaten a whole box of rusks (that one is quite impressive).  Luckily they didnt manage to open the Bioplus saches.  If they had we would have probably had to fight them for our camp back.

We spent a lot of time talking about our war stories, but more importantly, how wrong our fly choice had been.  The proven flies for the River Largies seemed to just not work for the current conditions.   So when we woke up we quickly got to tying more of what we thought was right.  We didnt have all the materials, hooks and articulated shanks necessary.  So if we snagged, we’d swim.

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The submerged camp forest was first stop.  With no drogue or anchor I suggested a different strategy.  Ewan and I would fish one boat.  One would act as drift boat captain, the other would fish.  A few casts an Ewan has a little cat.  Would like a big girl like that.


I suggested we fished that good looking substrate again.  It just looked so fishy.  Colour line, structure, and it was where I saw my first Largie the day before.  I also wanted a go at those big carp again.  We would approach the banks in our way today.  Cut the motors way off and paddle in.  We beached and took off along the bank.  Submerged trees looking too good to resist.

We each positioned ourself at one and began casting.

Then a flash.  Definite Largie.  Another cast and nothing.  Still relaxed on my third retreive Ewan and I were having a casual chat as I was perving on the game changers action stationary, a few meters away.

Flash! Then with two strips it chased in and took inches from the bank.  Setting the hook it took off directly away from me with the top half of its body out the water.

Did you see that Ewan!?
Ya I was looking right at it!
Good fish!

Luckily deep water was close and I managed to avoid the tree.  In the net.  What a start.

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Releasing the fish I couldnt help but notice something.  It looked clearer yesterday?  Is that possible?  Trouble was coming.  Ewan was convinced the geography made this perfect Largie spotting territory, and so began to walk the top of the ridge.  He was right, and almost instantly we spotted two fish together.  A few casts but no commitment.  The reduction in clarity was already hurting us.

Back on the ducks we decided to head to Ewans point and to explore the islands further South.  Starting there.  We were greeted by a ridiclous sight.  You would have to taste the water for salt to make sure you werent on a little island in the tropics.  It was uncanny.  We all split up I began to fish water suited to the crab fly I was set on fishing.  In my spot it was just too calm, too perfect.

Aside from a cruising carp it was dead.  Ewan managed to find a plethora of species on the wild side, but no hook ups (as far as I can remember).  A kilometer away a sunken forest beckoned us looking like something you would see in Botswana or Zimbabwe.

Hatchlings.  The bird fly.  This is it.

bird fly

There were no hatchlings, or baby birds for that matter.  The wind was up and we decided the only way to approach was to tie ourselves to a tree.  Ewan dropped his Goldie Locks fly right on the trunk of a submerged tree, and it was instantly ambushed before it could even sink. Rod bent over, Hooting, hollering.  It was pulling harder than expected.  Largie? Smallie?  It was the smaller mouthed harder fighting brother.  And made for some awesome pictures in the forest.

On release I dropped a cast at a tree. Again a flash.  Not close enough we learnt. You had to almost hit the trunk.  Which I did, and hooked up.  Another baby largie for me.



Having worked the water well we headed back to Ewans point.  I wanted to continue to the bays past it where Id been stopped yesterday.  Ewan didnt waste time and was on again.  To what had to be the prettiest yellowfish of any sort Ive ever seen.  A silver Barramundi lookalike that had be jonesing hard.


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Not surprisingly Ewan had more and more success in his spot as I continued on to the next bay.  A colour line had pulled out from right in the little bay out into the depths, and it just had to be holding fish.  The game changer did his ferret dance left and right and through it, but no avail.  On to the next point.
Something was going wrong.  I could sense it.  Ewan was in denial and I was hoping he was right.  The rest of the afternoon was dismal and we didnt speak much.  The wind was causing the water to milk up in front of our eyes.  If the fly wasnt inches in front of a fishes face it just wouldnt know.  We were worried.
There would be a final stop.  I was exhausted and had a sleep next to Damian on the bank as the man possessed with big fish fever continued on.  I would later hear Ewan went extreme on strategy.  His heaviest line, whistler style fly and a slow retrieve.  Maybe there was clear water down deep?  He hooked up to a cat using that method, and its something we should have explored more.

I woke up from my nap and stumbled down to the same tree id fished in the morning.  Second cast and I was on again.  Another good fish, another take right on the bank.


2 thoughts on “Dragons in the Northern Cape – Day 2”

  1. I’m reminded of your Halaniyat trip and beginning to think you actually create scenarios to take your shirt off. Kerry seyz she doesn’t mind. Gorgeous! The fish I mean, especially that silver beauty.

  2. Another epic piece to a mad story… awesome shit Pete… looking forward to the next one bru..

    PS – That fish of Ewan’s is ridiculous… thats the Christy Turlington of Yellows right there…


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