Monday, 2 April 2012

Late Season Fishing at Vaal Streams

The past weekend I fished and camped at Vaal Streams with my friend and both of our girlfriends. The weather as predicted was quite cold and it was still raining early Saturday morning. As the weekend went on the weather deteriorated, becoming colder from late Saturday Afternoon. This affected the fishing and we only managed to catch fish on Saturday morning to early the afternoon where after it became quiet. I will briefly tell you what unfolded during the Saturday...

So as we arrived at the water on the morning it was quite cold and I was regretful of leaving my waders at home and also telling my friend to do the same. We met a fellow angler at the water and I had a short discussion with him about some flies and different tactics. I quickly rigged-up my girlfriend's rod as she would fish a bit later as the day got a bit warmer. Her rod had an NZ rig with a heavy Caddis pattern with a floating hotspot. That out of the way I showed my friend the basics of nymphing rigs and how he should fish it. I sent him on his way and after rigging my two rods (one with a three fly Czech nymphing rig and the other with a dry fly) I joined him on the river.

We fished our way down and across the rapids to the opposite bank, I lost a fish on the way with one of my droppers parting on the take. I suspect that the line got damaged while nymphing, learning a valuable lesson, check your line and knots often! We got to the opposite bank and made our way down to the deeper slow flowing section. I decided to start of with a PB caddis pattern and my friend with a yellow foam hopper. It was not long before we both had takes that we managed to mess up by striking to early, causing loads of swearing out of frustration. 

My friend managed the first hook-up and after a brief fight he had his first Smallmouth Yellowfish on fly, quite an achievement to get your first Yellowfish on dry fly I must add!

Yellow Foam Hopper

My friend's first Yellowfish!

I kept on missing fish out of lack of concentration and striking too late or early. We later realised that side striking seemed to produce better hook-ups. I experimented with various patterns that got strikes, all that I missed. I switched to an Airhead that proved to be a fantastic idea as an epic fish chased down the fly causing a bow wave and leaping out the water as it grabbed the fly. It heading down stream with some force and I had to follow it for a few meters. It calmed down after this and the fight reverted to a slow tug of war where after the fish gave up and was safely netted by my friend. A few minutes later my girlfriend on the opposite side of the river also managed  to catch a little Yellowfish on the floating orange hotspot, this was the only fish we managed to catch on a nymph between the three of us.

The Airhead disappeared into the abyss !

The beauty that made my weekend!

A close-up!

A few casts later with the Airhead and it was smashed again, however I was too slow with the strike! I cast it back into the middle seam of the river and it immediately got another take this one I side strike and the hook was set properly. This fish was only worth a laugh as it proved to be my smallest Yellowfish on dry fly. 

Little bugger, big appetite!
My friend switched to a black beetle and it was not long before he got another average sizes fish. He then decided to move to a different spot and I said to him that he should go see if there is any other suitable places further down. A few minutes later a saw a splash in front of him as a fish took his fly. He later told me that he saw a fish rising close to him and he dropped the beetle close to the fish where after it sipped in the beetle and sped off! I made my way down to him to net the fish for him, the fish was quite a fighter and reluctant to come to the net. After a few nervous moment and careful manoeuvring, the fish was safely landed. It proved to be another beauty of a fish and I was glad for my friend, who at one point said that he is already addicted to Yellowfishing!

Another Beauty of a fish!

We managed another couple of average sized Yellowfish both on black foam beetles whereafter we decided to head back to the camp and have some lunch. After lunch we returned with high hopes, but this feeling was short lived as we didn't get any fish. We tried various dry fly patterns, emerges and some nymphs, clearly the colder weather was having an effect. My friend wisely opted to call it a day and left for the camp site. As sunset approached a tried various mayfly patterns as there where various species of mayfly hatching, this also proved to be unsuccessful. As the sun was setting I took a few photos to end the day and was suprised by a little visitor that seemed to to find my hand comforting... 

Perfect ending to an awesome day!
The little visitor!


  1. Nice yellow Pieter, it's fabolous if you can sleep near of the river.

  2. Hi... nice blog. Here in Spain more anglers prefers go fishing carps, barbel...
    Foam bugs are my favourites.
    good fishing...

    1. It is cool to see that you get carp on dry fly, they don't feed on the surface here often. Will follow your blog, I like your flies! Will tie some and try them here.

    2. Where in Spain are you based Carlos Rubio?