Group 2: 8 – 13 Dec 2014
After meeting Jaco, Hylton, Werner and Tim at the vehicle park, we drove in convoy back to our mountain fly fishing lodge, The Makhangoa Community Camp. Unfortunately the weather must have gotten word of the new arrivals and we proceeded to get a good old Lesotho downpour on arrival. Needless to say, fishing was off for the afternoon. We all took this chance to move everyone into their rondavels, unpack food, and prepare for the following days. The pent up excitement, with no fishing release, lead to a number of beers being drunk.
We woke the following day to a picture perfect clear mountain sky. After a quick breakfast we hit the water. With this group of well-seasoned river and Sterkies fishermen, the yellows came easy, and by the end of the first morning all the gents had landed a good number of fish. We were chased off the water by another late afternoon storm, but content in a great days fishing and eager for the following 3 full days ahead.
Day 3 dawned with water levels up, and slightly cooler, due to the previous nights rain. Dry and dropper and complete nymphing rigs are the name of the game when the waters are cooler, and the group all did well in the tougher conditions. Over dinner we made plans to fish the furthest 4th beat the following day. This beat is something from a Lord of the Rings movie. Steep valley walls, and river that comprises fast bed rock glides, pocket water and deep blue pools. It is a also a beat where one starts to find more consistent trout numbers mixed in with the yellows.
Fishing beat 4, entails a good little march up steam about 5km past the end of the road. After getting up there, we soon found hundreds of big happy yellow fish, all feeding happy and in the zone. Armed with big hoppers we started what will go down in the books as an epic day. We slowly meandered our way up the river taking fish at will, all sighted and on the dry. At the end of the day there was no known figure on the amount of yellows on dry, as well as a number of trout.
The last full day was spent on Beat 3, fishing up to where we had started the previous day. Again it was big hoppers to sighted fish for the day, and countless number of fish landed and released. With the weather holding out long enough for us to finish the whole beat and walk back to cruiser in good time, it was a great end to the trip.
On behalf of myself, Pierre and the Makhangoa Community Camp Staff, it was a pleasure to have the group from FlyLeaders in camp, and we look forward to the annual trip planned going forward. Until next season!
Stu and Pierre
Group 3: 14th-17th December
On Sunday we welcomed, Christo, Dave, Vossie, Johann, Steve and Piet. With everyone arriving in their own vehicles and at relatively unknown times, the day was a bit chaotic but we squeezed in plenty of fishing. Once on the water, all the guests settled into the swing of fishing the Bokong, and after a few popped leaders as some school fees, everyone landed their fare share of good yellows.
On the first full day we made the plan to pack some lunch and with Piet, Johann, Dave and Vossie, head up to fish the 4th beat which as explained in previous blogs is a good trek from the end of the road to the start, coupled and a fairly long march back at the end of the day. It is however absolutely worth the effort. Unfortunately some rain in the previous evening had turn the water cold and a bit dirty, undeterred we fished on, heading further and further uphill. The cold water had pushed most of the fish down river but this made for some very excited stalking and talking guys onto singular fish. This type of fishing is very rewarding for both guide and guests. Pieter and Johann who were a bit further downstream did very well, nymphing in the clean but chilly water.
Next day we woke up to a slightly emotional sky. Again undeterred we headed up to fish the 3rd beat. The lads quickly got into the fish in a big way. The sun broke through lifting everyone’s spirits. But as quickly as it came it was gone and the weather went from emotional to downright depressed. The fish however being used to the wet carried on feeding hard, so the rain coats came on and we all toughed it out and found ourselves laughing at something that only fishermen would understand as the yellows rose to eat large hoppers off the top through the rain. Soaked, we headed back to camp and after hot showers all huddled around the fire and feasted on a steaming lamb curry.
Much to our surprise the 3rd day bought cold, but very clean water, even after the heavy rains from the previous afternoon. The sun was out to play which is always great. The group focused on fishing nymphs under indicators in the cold high water, and had a field day. Dave and Piet managed to land a couple of really big yellows. Piet chased one about 200 meters downstream before his fly line was reunited with his reel. Apart from the countless fish landed by the group, 2 fish in the 8lb range highlighted a superb last day
All in all the entire trip was a huge success with many laughs, many yellowfish, a couple trout (rainbow and browns) and a few more laughs, shared amongst a great group of chaps..
We look forward to many more.
Cheers for now
Stu, Keith and Pierre