Hastily covering long distances, running to fish for trout and yellowfish in the Western Cape mountains has been my standard approach since high school. I walk fast or jog along the trails because one, the idea of finding fish in pools that I have never seen before is exciting and I can’t wait to get up there, and two, it typically involves an approximate 20 km round trip (or more) to get to new water and return to the car, which only provides a small window for fishing. Similarly, Michelle (my wife), has enjoyed long distance runs since high school and we used to train together regularly to stay fit for our interests.

However, throw in two kids and three years of on-and-off lockdowns and both of us lost a lot of stamina. So when the African Waters Bokong Flyathlon was announced and we heard that it had women’s and men’s categories, it was a great excuse for us to dust off our running shoes and start training again. Just the thought of trail running up a river in the stunningly beautiful Lesotho highlands got both of us very excited!

My pack list:


Opted for the Salomon Sense Ride 4 as my preferred all-terrain running shoes for the Bokong Flyathlon.

Hydration pack

Selected the Osprey Talon 11 hydration pack because one could easily fit in fishing gear plus the necessary extras (2.5 l bladder, splashproof second skin, medical kit etc. etc. etc.)

Fly rod

Will be fishing a Derek Smith-built CTS Affinity X 590.

Line and other odds & ends

Airflo Superflo floating line matching the rod, Airflo tapered leader, The Mission neoprene reel pouches, The Mission shirt (optional).


Selection of flies that may catch quality fish quickly (don’t discriminate!)

Michelle’s pack list:


Michelle chose the women’s Merrell MTL Long Sky 2 as her preferred running shoe.

Hydration pack

Women’s Camelbak Rogue.

Fly rod

A Derek Smith-custom built Epic 590C.

For more on the African Waters Bokong Flyathlon, read Leonard’s Trout Boxing from issue 39.

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