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?
- 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.
- The people I travel and fish with. What a bunch of mad, crazy peeps with never a dull moment.
- Clear freshwater streams in the mountains and knowing they’re pristine.
- Croc and hippo-infested rivers in Africa. There is always a sense of danger and adrenaline flowing at an all -time high.
- Saltwater walking and stalking. Knowing that we are the only people in that area for miles and miles.
5 fishing connected items you don’t leave home without before making a mission?
- “Fishing Crew” (they are as important to me as my fishing gear, with someone carrying the big JBL Boombox in tow).
- Some currency and smokes in my pocket.
- My lucky cap (blue, red and white Simms).
- Proper polarized sunnies (Bajio or Costas).
- A bottle of Moët.
5 thing you are loving right now?
- Love my job as an executive Chef – creating food with my own twist.
- Being home when I’m not on the water.
- My two cats Yeti and Rafiki.
- Pro-create app on my iPad. I can spend hours drawing on it. It keeps me out of trouble when I’m not fishing.
- Prepping mentally and physically for Norway (the first ladies fly fishing world championships).
5 indispensable flies for saltwater?
- Tan Alflexo/alphlexo crab for that lovable but infuriating trigger fish.
- Golden knight (killer of a fly) for bone fish. The most fun to catch.
- Any squid imitation.
- Brush fly – Ferrari red for slaying the GTs on Astove.
- Spawning shrimp.
5 indispensable flies for freshwater?
- Carrot fly.
- Very secret fly (Heh heh).
- Brush fly.
- Game Changer.
5 favourite fly-fishing destinations across Africa?
- Bushman’s River.
- Cape streams.
- Sudan (Red Sea).
- Orange River.
5 favourite fly-fishing destinations globally?
- Astove Atoll, Seychelles.
- Nubian flats. Sudan- Northeast Africa.
- Tanzania – the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers.
- New Zealand.
- Okavango (not big fish but an unbelievable experience).
5 of the most difficult competition experiences so far?
- Probably going into the Commonwealth Championships in New Zealand 2020, when Covid, the globe and everything was unknown.
- Catching over twenty fish but not one got measured because of the size limit.
- Losing all my fly boxes in the Diablo River in Canada after a big fall. What a f##$@@ck up.
- Getting drenched in a very cold session can be very unpleasant, and I’ve had a few of those.
- Doing so well in a comp for four sessions and then not catching a fish in the last session (ahhhh).
5 of the best things you have picked up from competition fishing?
- Making a shitload of friends with the same competitive vibe and passion.
- Working efficiently on the water.
- Reading water and different situations and adapting accordingly
- Not overcomplicating anything.
- Shit happens – deal with it! Be creative.
5 of the worst things you have picked up from competitive fishing?
- Still being competitive even if we are fishing in “down time”.
- Being too hard on myself.
- Sometimes my airtime runs out and the signal is lost. All English becomes Afrikaans.
- Not appreciating the beautiful surroundings in these wonderful places while you are trying to beat people.
- 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.