Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Drakensberg and the Tenkara Part 2

Wednesday I decided to fish all the way from the Gate to maybe Cool Pools or somewhere thereabout.

Well this idiot went from the gate all the way to Mountain Hut. Would guess thats probably about 10-12km. Well that night I was wasted as I barely made it back to Mountain Hut. Was it worth it?
Hell yeah!!! I was a bit rushed though but I did manage 19 fish. Would probably have been more had it not been for the fact that I fished most of the water behind other people. Told my Father-in-law that I was done, caught enough fish......Ek was stukkend!!!!

This spot is just too pretty not to show....

Wednesay night at the Braai I had a Vaal Ribbok run past me so close that I could touch it and not long after it rushed past I heard this funny tsweep-tsweep sound. I thought to myself what on earth could make such a noise? Is it a bird? I switched on my headlamp and was amazed to find that it was in fact a small Vaal Ribbok calling out to his mother. It hid itself between the tall grass when I got close. This was pretty amazing and I slept good that night.

Thursday morning I slept in a bit and when we got up I asked whether or not my Father-in-law was game for a hike up to the Waterfall close to Yellow Wood Caves? He agreed and we set off close to Simes Cottage for the 3.5km hike. I was in shorts and takkies, but I had a fly rod in my hands as I thought it would be pretty cool to fish below the waterfall.

Halfway in seeing this water.....

My prostate started burning up my bum to get onto this water.

I couldn't see a spot to get in so we just sat around the falls and took some snaps

Snap of the view above the falls....

We started walking back and my father-in-law could probably see that I had a burning coal up my behind and he suggested I go down and fish this stretch.

I walked down and looked everywhere for a spot to get down and finally managed a spot.

Oh, my soul I was in heaven. This section is any dry fly fisherman's dream.
It had a mix of all the good stuff. Rocks, Boulders and things that made Boulders look like pebbles.
I hopped over rocks in my takkies and searched for my fish. I really worked hard in this section as the fish can see you miles off and it's most definitely a one fish one cast per pool setup. This water was so clear that it looked like the fish were floating in mid air.

I fished up all the way back to the waterfall and managed 3 fish and I was feeling extremely proud of myself in my soaking wet takkies and bruised shins. Look this boulder climbing thing is not everyone's cup of tea but I certainly enjoyed it. And it sure as hell was worth the effort. At the waterfall I made a cast out to the left and let the fly drift back down and as soon as it hit the part where the sun shines over the cliffs onto the water I saw this massive shadow swirl below the fly and take it. For some odd reason I could not set the hook. I was stunned, I could not believe the size of that fish. I swear that fish must have been 45-50cm......come to think of it it might have been bigger as it dwarfed this beauty I hooked to the right of the pool.....

I was disappointed that I could not raise that huge fish again and decided to leave. I climbed out of the Kloof and walked back to my Father-in-law that was now starting to worry as he could not spot me anywhere. We walked back and I just couldn't stop talking about that fish. I have seen huge fish before at Lotheni but this one topped it and I will certainly be back to go and wrestle with that beast.

At the Hut we sat and talked about this and that and later that afternoon I walked down to a small trib that enters the Lotheni from the left just below the confluence of the Lotheni and Elandshoek. This little stream is in some places less than 1 meter wide and my first cast saw me hook into this handsome fellow....

All and all I manged 63 fish at Lotheni and for me it was an absolute blast. I am humbled as I have certainly been blessed with some favor from above on this stay. I have always had a soft spot for Lotheni and this time round I completely fell in love with the place all over again. I have fished lots of runs, beats, pools, glides but there is still so much water to fish at this place. The Bodhla in the Cove comes to mind and so does the Elandshoek in the Kloof to the right. I never went up to Jacobs Ladder nor did I get out to Vergelegen but that never bothered me as this was just one of those trips where everything worked out the way it was supposed to.

My Father-in-law reckons that he has seen some beautiful places here and elsewhere in Africa and he has, but he reckons Lotheni is the prettiest place on earth and nowhere has he felt closer to his Maker than here. This place has some magic to it sometimes it reveals it's secrets and other times it keeps it close to its heart, but if you are patient she will show you her true spirit.

I fished other dries too, but the EHC was king of the hill.

I have my feet on the ground but my head is still in the clouds and cold breeze of the Lotheni Mountains.

What a trip.....What a trip?

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