Thursday, 3 August 2017

A day on the Lake: Sterkfontein Dam

We recently visited Sterkfontein Dam and I have put this article together predominantly for newcomers looking to fish this world class sight fishing venue. I am no expert on this dam by any means, however I do try and approach any venue in a similar manor. Many of the flies (both dry fly and nymphs) in my boxes are confidence flies that I feel comfortable fishing on both rivers and dams for a multitude of species.
The information that will follow is a breakdown of the 2nd day spent on Sterkfontein Dam and how I approached each situation. The first day we predominantly spent look for good spots en experimented with a few flies. On the first day we only managed a couple of fish and lost a few more on a fairly cold and windy day.
Leader Setups:
The following two leader and rig setups were used during the day:
Early morning:
Leader: 12ft 3x Rio Tapered leader
Leader connection: 2mm Rio Tippet ring
20cm of 4x GTM Stroft – Connection between indicator dry fly and tippet ring
90cm of 4x GTM Stroft, 120cm of 5.5x GTM Stroft with a dropper tag
Flies: Foam Head hopper, Size 16 Walt’s worm and Size 16 Frenchie PTN
Sterkfontein Dam Nymphing Leader Setup

Late morning to Afternoon:
Leader: 12ft 3x Rio Tapered leader
Leader connection: 2mm Rio Tippet ring
Tippet: 90cm of 4x GTM Stroft, 120cm of 5.5x GTM Stroft
Flies: Foam Only Doctor’s Beetle, Orange Leg Bullet Head Hopper and Foam Head Hopper
Note: A 1.5mm tungsten bead was added above the last triple surgeons knot to sink the leader below the surface
Sterkfontein Dam Dry Fly Leader Setup
Early morning Session:
I started the morning fishing a rocky point with a rocky bay on the one side and a bay with weed beds on the opposite side. From a high vantage point we could see fish cruising along this point, close to the shore, a good place to start the morning. With a fairly cold wind blowing directly into the point the fish where still feeding deep and I opted to use a nymphing rig with a dry fly as an indicator.
I fished this rig in the same way you would fish a river upstream (in this case directly into the wind), keeping in contact with my flies and watching the dry fly for any movement. A few casts in a school of fish cruised passed and I made a cast to a fish that broke the surface. The leading fish (the largest in the school) picked up the Walt’s worm, the bottom fly.
Mid-morning Session:
We moved on to a cliff that had a small beach and a scum line bending around it. I climbed down to the small beach and found a good hiding spot between some boulders. Fish where cruising along the scum line and I presented a foam only beetle to the largest fish I could see. The fly landed approximately a meter in front of it and it caused a reaction take from the fish. After this fish we fished the section for another 30min before moving on.
Afternoon Session:
The next spot was a bay with rocky banks on either side. The wind was churning up mud which formed lines between dirty and clean water sections. I fished a small hopper on these lines and got smashed by a large female after a few minutes.
I moved to the one rocky bank and found another good hiding spot between large boulders. At this spot large females where cruising past every 2nd minute and I could choose which fish to cast at. I landed two fish at this spot on bullet head hopper with orange legs.
Approximately 50m further I found a similar spot where I managed to hook another two fish on the same fly, only managing to land one fish with the other one that threw the hook file tail walking.
We decided to call it a day and started our journey back to the car at 15:00

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