Fly Fisherman In Paradise Millstream - Mpumalanga - South Africa
Words & Pictures by Gareth Roocroft (Fish The Sea)
Since I was very young I have had the privilege and opportunity to Fly Fish at one of the best Fly Fishing resorts in South Africa - Millstream Farm. I caught my first ever fish at this location aged 9. It was a 400 gram Rainbow Trout caught on a Yellow Humpey that had seen better days. Since then I have managed to land many fish that have brought me happy memories including a 2.4 kilogram Rainbow Trout in Lake Tintern on a R.A.B. This article however is about my birthday weekend visit in July 2011, this was to be my most successful Fly Fishing trip in terms of numbers of fish caught, enjoy!
My family, my girlfriend and I travelled to Millstream Farm on Friday the 22nd of July after getting off work early at 1pm. When we arrived I was greeted by a 1.2kilogram and a 500 gram Rainbow Trout recently caught by my cousin. This got me excited and I unpacked the car and set up my Sage 5 weight Fly Rod with sinking line and 2.1 kilogram tippet. Being the spawning season I tied on an Orange Dragonfly Nymph and walked to the weir "Rainbow's Lie" I was going to fish at. According to all the anglers I spoke to it had been a tough day and I saw 3 fish come out the entire weekend, except for mine, but more about that later. I casted and let my line sink right to the bottom, after a few quick strips I had a knock and I was on with a fish! I was very happy and full of adrenaline as I landed the 500 gram Rainbow Trout. After loosing a fish 5 minutes after this one had been landed, I hooked into, landed and safely released another beautiful Rainbow Trout. After a few fishermen seeing how much action I had in such a short space of time the weir started to become overcrowded with people casting all over the place... So I moved down to one of my favourite fishing waters "Walker Water". I used the same technique that worked in the previous weir. Let the line sink and strip fast. I landed another 3 Rainbow Trout in 30 minutes before the cold chased me away to the warmth of the cottage.
The next day I was up at 5.30am, it was pitch dark outside and freezing but I headed back to Walker Water and casted out my Orange Dragon Nymph, which had lost it's gold ribbing and one eye at this stage... I decided to have a few casts to see if it would still produce any fish... On my third cast I had a fish on, my first for the morning and to my delight it was a beautiful Rainbow Trout cock fish of about 300 grams, it had a goldish tinge to it and was in it's full spawn colours. I then quickly landed two hens of about 500 grams and by that stage the dragon nymph had fallen apart and the weir had become quiet. I then tried numerous other patterns and colours as I had no more Dragon Nymphs in my fly box and then I eventually found the pattern, an orange Zonker! I caught 2 Rainbows in 3 casts and then decided it was time for breakfast. I had already caught 10 Rainbow Trout in 2 sessions of fishing and I was so happy. I ate my breakfast quickly, got a bit of heartburn but headed straight back to the water. I proceeded to get another 8 fish during the day all Rainbow Trout and between 500 grams and 1 kilogram, what a day's fishing!
Sunday the 24th of July was my birthday and I was on the water at 7.30am where I managed to get some more fish, 4 before I went to the cottage for breakfast. So my total tally for the weekend ended up on 22 Rainbow Trout between 300 grams and 1 kilogram, of which 6 were kept and all the others safely released, but the most exciting part of the weekend was about to happen, 1 hour before we were scheduled to leave. I heard of some Trout spawning in shallow water in one of the Trophy Dam's: Lake Crystabel. I did not get any hook ups but the Trout were following any fly I presented towards the bank. It was heart pumping stuff. There must have been about 25 fish in the area and my heart stopped when I casted at a 1 kg Rainbow Trout started stripping and out of the deeper water came a Brown Trout Cock that must have been in the 3 kilogram range, unbelievable stuff, it just goes to show that catching fish might not always be the favourite part of your angling trip!