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.

Dan Factor on the Orange River
Dan Factor on the Orange River

5 best things about where you guide?

  1. 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.
  2. The size and sheer volume of water on the Zambezi is staggering. It makes finding the needle in the haystack all that more rewarding.
  3. 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.
  4. Being able to experience healthy fisheries all around the world but specifically locally.
  5. 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.

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

  1. Bum Paste. They don’t call it ‘the crack’ for nothing.
  2. Scissor Clamps: forceps and nippers in one.
  3. Wet wading tights.
  4. 106mp camera (Samsung). Keep your DSLRs.
  5. Crocs. Comfy and stylish!

5 things you are loving right now

  1. Spending time with my wife and my two newly adopted dogs.
  2. Learning how to run my new online shop and all the background stuff that goes with that.
  3. Air fryer! Makes perfect schnitzel and sweet potato chips every time. I’ve even heard it makes perfect bacon (not that I would know).
  4. Bone Black Dry UV resin from Solarez – makes buzzers and perdigons quick and easy.
  5. My non-existent fuel bill.
Dan Factor on the Orange River
Dan Factor having really deep thoughts on the Orange River

5 indispensable flies for saltwater?

  1. Game-Changer.
  2. Gotcha.
  3. Alflexo Crab.
  4. NYAP.
  5. Spawning Shrimp.

5 indispensable flies for freshwater?

  1. Hot Spot Hare’s-Ear.
  2. UV Buzzer.
  3. Black Parachute.
  4. CDC Bugger.
  5. Shrek Fly (you guessed it, it’s green).
Dan Factor and Dale Steyn on the Orange River
Dan Factor and Dale Steyn on the Orange River


5 favourite fly fishing destinations across South Africa/ Africa?

  1. Lower Orange River.
  2. KZN Rivers (especially the Bushman’s and Mooi).
  3. Eastern Cape still waters.
  4. Lowveld Tigers (in places you’d never expect).
  5. 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.


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