May 27

Sixth Week of The Nubian Flats Season 2015

John with a Nubian Flats GT

John with a Nubian Flats GT

We were joined this week by John, Richard, Platon and the film crew of the popular South African fly fishing TV show, WildFly.

The forecast for the week looked okay, with good weather for the first three days, followed by two windy days and then calm conditions again for the final day.

So after setting up the rods and a tasty Italian breakfast on the morning of Day 1, we headed out for the day very excited. One boat headed to the South Eastern corner of the Big Island, while the other boat, with the film crew, headed for the North West.

Unfortunately the water on the flats was really warm right from the start and carried on heating up throughout the day. The fish were really scarce and the going was quite tough.

We found some triggerfish but they were really tricky. The majority of them were very skittish and spooked for almost anything we presented to them. This left both angler and guide very frustrated, but that is what makes fishing for triggerfish so interesting and addictive…just when you think you have got them figured out, they bring you back to reality very quickly and you have to almost start all over again.

Towards the end of the day however, the wind started to pick up and so did the fishing. We started to see some more positive reactions from the triggers and on the tease some really big fish decided to join our party. Bohar snapper, bluefin trevally along with some very angry GT’s to name just a few species. Platon cashed in handsomely and ended the day with a solid 10kg Bohar Snapper, a big bluefin and a very good sized GT.

Happiness is a flats GT

Happiness is a flats GT

After finishing the first day on a high, the guys were super amped to get cracking on Day 2. Unfortunately the bad weather predicted for the second half of the week came early and by dawn of Day 2, it was thumping already and did not look like it was about to die down any time soon either.

Regardless, one boat headed to the Playstation while the other boat headed back to the Big Island for the day.

We found some triggers but the drop in air-pressure really put them off the feed. Most of them showed zero reaction to the fly and by midday the flats were fishless.

We resorted to teasing for the rest of the day but with the frontal system moving in fast, it was clear that we were out of luck. We could see GT’s, bluefin and even boar snapper free swimming in the blue water but they did not react to either the tease or the fly.

Luckily, Platon managed to save the day and convinced one small bohar snapper to eat his fly, bringing an extremely windy and frustrating day to an end.

Over the course of Day’s 3, 4, and 5, the wind shifted gears and came howling even stronger out of the north, reaching speeds of up to 35-40knots.

with a Nubian Flats Titan Trigger

with a Nubian Flats Titan Trigger

Needless to say the fishing came to a halt. We had to take shelter in the lee of the one Island, as the sea became dangerously rough. We did, however, manage to sneak in some fishing here and there, when the wind and seas allowed, and got rewarded nicely. John and Richard both landed some really nice bohar snapper on the tease, as well as a good 85cm GT , two more that wrecked some fly lines, and some big bluefin trevally.

Luckily the weather Gods decided to smile on us on the final day of the week and we got treated to a nice calm atmosphere and a very beautiful sunrise. The wind was still blowing but after days of 35 – 40 knot winds, a day with 5 – 10 knot wind felt like glassy conditions. One could almost feel the excitement around the breakfast table.

Both boats headed back to the Big Island for the day, one headed to the northern section while the other headed for the southern edge.

Platon finishing off the week with a solid Nubian Flats GT

Platon finishing off the week with a solid Nubian Flats GT

The day started off slow but it did not take long before the flats were alive with triggerfish tailing into the distance while the bluefin and giant trevally gangs harassed anything that was small and swimming.

Platon went straight into a small GT and followed it up immediately after with a 85cm GT on the flat, before hooking into some nice yellow-margined triggerfish.

In the meantime John and Richard were bringing the heat to the fish as well. Both managed a number of really nice bluefin trevally with the latter also landing a very nice titan triggerfish. Unfortunately John was having no luck with the triggerfish. He had a number of fish follow his fly all the way to the rod tip, and when he finally managed to hook into a really big yellow margined triggerfish the hook pulled before the guide could land it.

All in all the weather, again, made the going quite tough this week but in the end it was still a great week with a really great group of guys.

Hopefully the weather Gods will smile on us this week but only time will tell.

That’s it for this week but check in soon for another update from the Nubian Flats.

Ciao,

Tourette Fishing Nubian Flats Guides Team

May 19

Fifth Week of the Nubian Flats Season 2015

Great yellowmargined trigger on the Nubian Flats

Great yellowmargined trigger on the Nubian Flats

After a short two week break, the second stint of the 2015 Nubian Flats season kicked off again, and to say that we were excited to get back out there is a huge understatement.

For Week 5 of the season we were joined by a group of friends of South Africa.

The weather forecast really looked good with only 5knot winds predicted for the week before dying down completely towards the end of the week.

The first morning we woke to a slight breeze and clear skies and as planned, we headed out for the whole day. Upon arriving on the flat, it did not take long before the first tailing triggers revealed themselves. Most of these triggers were pretty aggressive and with a delicate approach were interested in almost all the fly patterns we cast at them. August managed to land two very nice triggers in the process and although we hooked a few more they unfortunately got away. Some medium size bluefin were in the area as well and kept the guys entertained. We finished the day off teasing in the low light and raised some really good sized GT’s and bohar snapper but unfortunately no one could convert.

Titan Trigger on the Nubian Flats

Titan Trigger on the Nubian Flats

The second day the weather improved even more, glassy water and no wind, rendering the day almost completely calm. One boat headed out to the PlayStation while the other headed back to the Big Island for the day. We quickly found triggerfish in crazy numbers and some really good sized ones as well. However, as with any trigger fishing, they weren’t handing out any gifts. In almost near perfect weather, ones approach and presentation had to be top notch, almost extraterrestrial level like. We had countless opportunities but by the end of the day, the triggers won the battle and left us empty handed. Again we finished off the day with some teasing but only managed to raised a couple GTs and the odd bluefin.

Over the next three days some heavy clouds rolled into the area and made sighting fish extremely tough in the early morning, especially with the extremely glass conditions. We still managed to find a good number of triggerfish tailing, but as soon as they dropped their tails they went completely out of sight. All was not lost however as by lunchtime each day the clouds would burn off and we found ourselves surrounded by countless triggerfish, both titan and yellow-margined specimens. They were being slightly fussy, although Shayne and Simon kept the scoreboards ticking over and brought some nice triggers to the net. One of the highlights was when we managed to stalk right up close to an estimated 25lbs permit tailing in skinny water, in the overcast conditions. The fish was tailing hard, but lady luck was not smiling on us as before we could get a cast in, a bird flew in low and spooked the fish.

Tailing Triggers

Tailing Triggers

Some guys opted to fish offshore during these lowlight conditions and caught some really nice Spanish mackerel, barracuda along with some yellow spot & bluefin trevally.

On the finally day the sea was completely flat and not a breath of wind or clouds in the air.
Both boats headed back to the western side of Big Island for the day.
It was not long before the flats were crawling with triggerfish again and we had fish tailing all around us. Two to three fish tailing right next to each other and at some stages the guys were almost spoilt for choice at which fish to cast at. The triggers however were still not handing out any gifts and if the fly was not presented delicately, they gave you the fin before darting into the distance. We did manage to hook into some very nice yellow-margined trigger but the fights always ended with a mangled hook or broken tippet.
In between all the trigger tails we had shots at some very big GT’s but failed to convert any of these. The sight of a meter plus giant trevally coming right at you in knee deep water with speed, can be very unnerving. It’s not always about the fish you land though and being granted the privilege to witness these spectacular beasts hunting in such shallow water is an absolute wonder of nature and left everyone in awe.

Redsea Sailie

Redsea Sailie

We finished the day off with some mind blowing snorkelling before heading back to the Port, bringing a very fun week to an end.

A special mention goes out to Warren Pretorius who managed a spectacular 45kg Sailfish he hooked and landed behind the mothership while we were moving to a different anchorage. The fish unfortunately died during the fight but what great catch!

Thats it for now but check in soon for another update from the Nubian Flats.

Till next time

Mark, Fede and Stu.

Apr 30

Fourth Week of the Nubian Flats Season, 2015

Week four, also the final week of the first stint of the 2015 season, came within a blink of an eye. We were joined this week by a group of friends, Piet, Christo, Riaan, and Johnathan from South Africa. They were also joined by Thomas from Holland and Leo from Italy.

Unfortunately the weather seemed that it’s still had some cards to play and the forecast for the week seemed gloom! Two “sort-of” decent day’s followed by what looked like to be winds from the movie Twister for the rest. Nonetheless, we had two days of predicted fair weather and were keen to make the most of them. A positive attitude will always bring positive results.

So at the dawn of the first morning, we had a quick breakfast before heading out for the full day on The Island. The wind started to settle down again but was still fairly strong. One boat headed to the eastern side while the other boat tackled the west.

The day started off with really cold, high waters and the fish were scarce. However, as the day grew older, the water temp started to rise and so did the numbers of fish. Soon we were casting to a good number of triggerfish although they were beyond tricky. Spooking for almost anything you cast at them while some just plain ignored your fly. The lads persisted though and managed to lift some nice fish for the camera’s. Piet and Leo took the spoils with two triggers each and Thomas came very close with two bluefin and a solid GT on the tease, but got dealt a bad hand and lost all three of them.

Wind, wind...and some more wind!

Wind, wind…and some more wind!

On day 2 we woke to beautiful weather and one could feel the excitement around the breakfast table among the guests and most certainly the guides. One boat headed back to the big island while the other headed straight to the PlayStation.

It did not take long for the fish to make an appearance and soon the flats were crawling with triggerfish! So much so that at one point guide and guest were spoilt for choice with tails all around them. To make things even more complicated, in-between all the trigger tails a couple shoals of bonefish decided to crash the party along with some bluefin trevally, barracuda and two really big permit. Thomas managed to hook one of the big bonefish but his run of bad luck from the previous day continued and not long into the fight his hook pulled again. He quickly followed up though and finally put his bad luck to rest(or so we thought) by landing a very nice titan triggerfish right before lunch. By the end of the day however the fish still came out tops and we got showed again that triggerfish deserve a lot of respect. Just because they are tailing hard doesn’t mean they are easy fish. Pinpoint accuracy and delicate presentation is required and even when you gets these right, they will still decided if you are worthy.

Thomas fooled this trigger into eating a tan merkin style crab with rolling beads

Thomas fooled this trigger into eating a tan merkin style crab with rolling beads

Day 3, as predicted, the weather went really fowl on us. We woke to heavy winds and rough seas. We decided to give it a go anyway. One boat opted to rather go an do some popping offshore while Thomas and Riaan braved the one small flat close to the mothership. We found some triggers on the flats but one, the wind made casting incredibly tough, and secondly the change in weather really put the triggers off the feed. One could just see in the body language that we were out of luck in a big way! We opted to do some teasing in the late afternoon but after 2hours of teasing and not a single fish showing interest, we decided to call it a day and head for a steamy cup of Italian coffee on the mothership. Meanwhile the popping boat had some success. Piet got some smaller GT’s, a nice barracuda and bohar snapper while Johnathan got a new PB 85cm GT.

Day 4 the weather got even worse with winds almost in access of 40knots. It was pretty clear that fishing was not a real option but we did manage to sneak in at least 2 hours of teasing in the morning which got us one small bluefin but that was it. The rest of the day we took shelter on the mothership as the wind got even stronger, ripping the canopy on the mothership to shreds!

Over the next two days the weather gods decided to smile on us a little and the wind started to die down. 15knot winds is not considered as ideal fly fishing conditions but after days of 30+knot winds it felt like a slight breeze and more than manageable. So for Day 5 we split again with two guys heading for the flat while the rest went popping offshore. The flats were icy cold from all the wind and water levels very high but at least we could get out and fish. We managed to find some triggers but they were extremely skittish and near impossible just to get a fly close to. The teasing session in the afternoon however produced the goods. After a couple teases, we had a solid bohar snapper come in and wreck  complete havoc. After eating Riaan’s black semper at his rod tip, it took off in spectacular fashion, breaking his rod in the process. Riaan ended up fighting the fish by hand but managed to land a beaut 7-8kg fish. We were running low on daylight and decided to squeeze in five more teases. On the second tease, a monster GT exploded behind the teaser like a grenade and came in very, very angry! It followed in all the way and when the tease came out, ate Thomas’s fly in one massive explosion, again at his rod tip, before making his way back off the flat and popping his loop on the coral. A very unfortunate end to the day for Thomas. Meanwhile the popping boat had some success landing 4 GT’s with Piet taking first prize by landing a whopping 20kg fish.

Piet with his 20kg fish taken offshore while popping

Piet with his 20kg fish taken offshore while popping

The final day the wind dropped some more and so did the water level, at an alarming rate. The water was still icy and fish were few and far between. We found some triggers in patches of warm water but they were still fussy and not planning on handing out gifts either. Thomas’s bad luck continued though. He managed to hook the only trigger for the day but the fish took him right off the flat and straight into the coral. The guide at hand was so desperate that he went in pursuit, diving between the coral, trying to get the fish out but was left with only a tan merkin stuck in the coral, and no trigger.

A very unfortunate end to a really tough week. The weather made the going beyond tough and hopefully this was the last of it for now. The “calm” days really showed the potential of the Nubian Flats and if this unseasonal weather decides to leave us alone, we will be in for a cracking second half of the 2015 season.

Thats it for now.

Till next time

The Tourette Fishing Nubian Flats Guides Team

Bohar and broken rod, teasing is not for the faint hearted!

Bohar and broken rod, teasing is not for the faint hearted!

IMG_0237

Apr 22

Third Week of the Nubian Flats Season, 2015

It felt like the season has only begun and we were already into week 3 of the Nubian Flats 2015 season.

We were joined this week by Jeff Currier(for the second straight year), Mike La Sota, Mike Murray, Andrew Early, and famous Capetonian artist, Conrad Botes.

The first morning we woke to a beautiful sunrise and almost mirror like ocean. So after setting up all the rods and a quick breakfast we headed out for the day, eager to go find the tailing fish the Nubian Flats are so famous for.

The calm weather did not last long unfortunately and soon the wind was howling again, making the going quite tough. The visibility on the flats decreased and so did the water temperature as well. The triggerfish were really hard to see but some of the ones we found tailing were super aggressive. Mike La Sota in particular had two fish follow his fly so far that by the time they ate, he literally just pulled the fish onto dry land on the hook-set.

The story of the day however had to go to Andrew Early who hooked into a brute of GT while walking back to the skiff for lunch. This fish shot straight off the flat and after some serious diving by guide Federico, managed to land a beautiful 100cm fish, bringing the first day out, to a very successful end.

100cm GT, not a bad way to start your Nubian Flats trip with

100cm GT, not a bad way to start your Nubian Flats trip with

On the second day the weather seemed to settled down again and we tried to make the most of the good conditions and headed out for the whole day again. The one boat headed out to the big island while the second boat, with Jeff and Mike, headed for the two small islands also known as the Playstation by the guides.

The conditions were really favourable and this was reflected by the numbers of fish that were crawling on the flats. Not even 5 minutes into the walk thee guys found triggerfish on the big island but quickly realised that unlike the day before, they were beyond tricky and spooked almost instantly. These weren’t the only fish that acquired some “Jedi Level” presentation however. We had two good shoals of permit come in that spooked, as well as bonefish, in shoals and big single cruising fish, refusing everything we tried to feed them on the fringes.

This left guide and angler equally frustrated but on the Nubian Flats, nothing falls on your lap.

Mike Murray realised this very quickly after getting his ass kicked by a 30kg+ GT just after lunch. This monster was hustling baitfish in such shallow water that half of his body was out the water and after eating the fly in spectacular fashion, it was only a matter of seconds before he was off the flat and heading for the horizon. If this was not enough, he took Mike right onto his spool, pulled him literally off the flat into deep water before cutting him off.

By the end of the session the guys managed to fool some triggers into eating though. Both Conrad and Andrew landed some really nice yellow margined specimens.

Conrad Botes with a solid yellow margined triggerfish

Conrad Botes with a solid yellow margined triggerfish

Meanwhile the guys fishing the Playstation was also knee deep in the action. The triggers were equally difficult but Mike La Sota kept the scoreboard ticking over and landed two really nice yellow margined triggers before lunchtime. Unfortunately our luck with the GT’s continued. Jeff also hooked into a brute right after lunch. He really brought the heat to this fish but unfortunately it was not enough and not long into the fight, this fish also found reef and got away.

The gents ended strongly though and Jeff landed a beautiful 8kg Bohar Snapper right at the death on tease.

After the GT action of the previous day, on day three, both boats started the day teasing off the edges, trying to make the most of the trevally in the area before walking for triggers. We raised some GT’s very early on as well as some solid sized bohar snapper and one very angry dogtooth tuna that went airborne before getting hold of the teaser. Both Mike La Sota and Jeff capitalised and landed some nice bluefin trevally as well as a nice bohar snapper and one GT. After the teasing we carried on walking the flats and found some solid sized triggers feeding as well as some bluefin that were out on the prowl.

The triggers were stilly very difficult but by the end of the day we managed to land 4 triggers with both Mike Lasota and Conrad Botes bagging two each. The latter also got to experience exactly how strong the jaws of a triggerfish were when the one he landed, got hold of his index finger. Fortunately it did not brake his finger but left him with a severely bruised finger and loads of pain.

"Trigger Finger"

“Trigger Finger”

Unfortunately by day the dawn of Day 4, the wind picked up drastically from the north and by lunch time was reaching speeds close to gale force. We managed some fishing but the wind made the going very tough. The water was murky and rough and made seeing triggerfish near impossible. The lads persevered and by the end of the day managed to land one trigger and three small triggerfish.

Over the next two days the wind grew even stronger and we could only managed 1,5hours of fishing over these two days. We found a couple triggerfish but only managed to land one bluefin and present to one small GT bringing the trip to an unfortunate end.

The weather forecast for the next week looks pretty similar with even stronger wind forecasted for the last couple days. Hopefully the weather will still improve but so far it seems we will be in for a really tough week.

Thats it for this week but check in next week for another update from the Nubian Flats.

Checkout the full gallery on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153178415788798.1073741860.90837823797&type=3

Till next time

The Tourette Fishing Nubian Flats Guides Team

fish ON

fish ON

Beautiful bohar snapper taken by Mike La Sota on tease

Beautiful bohar snapper taken by Mike La Sota on tease

Heavy wind made the going really tough the last few days

Heavy wind made the going really tough the last few days

Apr 21

Second week of the Trout Trekking Season

Into a solid Lesotho Rainbow

Into a solid Lesotho Rainbow

After meeting Michelle, nick, pat, Pierre and Rhys at oxbow, we headed up the heavily under construction road to letseng, where we all bundled into the Hilux and snaked our way down into the khubelu valley. We made it as far as we could by vehicle where we met the horses and proceeded on foot to the camp for the first night. The guest were understandable very keen to hit the water, leaving a trail of dust behind then as they raced off to squeeze a couple minutes in before dark.
The first evening confirmed that we were in for a good couple days on the river, with everyone getting stuck into several fish each.

The next morning, beat 1 lay ahead of us and after waiting for the sun to hit the water we set off upstream, we soon noticed that we had been a dash premature with our departure and had to change to nymphs while the water warmed up.

Fly Fishing for Rainbows in Lesotho

Fly Fishing for Rainbows in Lesotho

Throughout the day we had good solid action, with 3 fish around the 16” mark finding their way to the bank and probably two dozen fish of 10 to 12”
A bit of rain in the night cast a looming sky over us the next day. We cracked on none the less and sighted some really big fish despite the wind and cloud. Unfortunately a lot of these fish required a long cast into the wind which made things very tricky. But I take my hat off to everyone for prevailing and still catching a number of fish of 16”.

 

After walking out of the valley - Trout Trekking Lesotho

After walking out of the valley – Trout Trekking Lesotho

We continued fishing our way up over the next two days in some very miserable weather, which meant nymphing almost all the time as it became nearly impossible to spot fish. On and off rain in the days and rain every night had us leaving absolutely nothing to burn at the various campsites. Luckily this weather although tough and depressing didn’t seem to affect the fish, which made coping with the wet and cold more than bearable.
Once again hats off to everyone especially after our walk out the valley into a 80km/h headwind.

From me personally I am looking forward to seeing you back in Lesotho for the Yellowfishing season.

 

Cheers for now, Stu

Apr 20

First week of the Trout Trekking Season – Plenty of rain, but not enough to dull the spirits of a great bunch of guys.

Jay into a good Lesotho Rainbow

Jay into a good Lesotho Rainbow

The first week of trout trekking, got off to a slightly wet start, and by slightly wet I mean somewhere in the region of 200ml of rain. Before even attempting the wind down into the khubelu valley we made the call to change plans and head over to the Bokong where we could enjoy the comforts of a roof and hot showers. This idea went down faster than the rivers came up. So after arriving late to a clean but fully in flood Bokong, we called it a day, lit the fire and enjoyed a hot meal and a couple glasses of red wine. Not a bad situation considering we were meant to be sleeping in tents in this torrential rain.

Releasing a Lesotho Rainbow

Releasing a Lesotho Rainbow

Waking up to an impending sky we still cracked on and made our way down to the estuary and first couple of pools in the river (still very much in flood). Heavy nymphs and wooly buggers being the names of the day. The gents did very well fishing with on and off rain and the odd hurricane blowing through. We managed 4 rainbows over 20” and a few little guys in-between.

The next day meant more terrible weather and a second bit of flooding from the previous days rain. Undeterred we fished on, jay landed a beut 24” rainbow in the river and his brother Paul jumped on the board with an incredible 5lb rainbow also well into the river. That night with the promise of better weather we planned to pack some donkeys and head upstream for the last two days.

Blue skies woke us the next day and without delay we loaded five very unwilling donkeys and set of upstream. After about 20km we found a cracker of a campsite, a huge old willow tree with a big hollow in it which served as a perfect fire place. That afternoon and the whole of the next was spent fishing around camp and much further upstream,

The Bokong River, Lesotho

The Bokong River, Lesotho

unfortunately we didn’t find any fish apart from some shivering yellowfish that hadn’t made their way down stream yet.

The next morning we broke camp and skipped back to the vehicle and headed out.  Minus the poor fishing we had an incredible time with some beautiful weather and some very good company.

Apr 17

Makhangoa Community Camp: 22 March – 12 April

23 – 28 March:

_MG_1841 merge

The picturesque Makhangoa Community Camp, Lesotho

We had an impromptu  visit  from the Wildfly crew the other day as they worked on a Lesotho project. Although we only had a single night available for the crew between groups, some great fishing was had.

Releasing a trophy rainbow trout

Releasing a trophy rainbow trout

After a quick introduction and briefing, tackle was set up, and the guys headed off to fish the estuary just below camp.  The river was still running strong and the rainclouds were looming overhead, but Jeremy Rochester was soon into a strong fighting rainbow.  The fishing was wild and swinging big streamers down the fast runs proved to be very successful with all the guys lading some really big rainbows.   After filming, the guys settled in in front of the fireplace to enjoy a whiskey and reminisce about the days fishing, and the adventures that await.  After saying farewell to the Wildfly crew the following day, there was yet another surprise –  TF guide Stu arrived in camp with the group (Jay Smit from Jay Vice fame) who were supposed to be trout trekking on the Khubelu river.

Releasing a trophy rainbow trout

Ed enjoying success as he swings flies for big rainbows

Heavy rains, and high water levels, caused a change of plans, and the trek had to be put on hold. So instead the guys opted for the comfort and warmth of the Makhangoa Community Camp, and to target the big trout in the area.  The river was flowing strong, but clear enough to swing big streamers through the fast runs.  The fishing was not easy but everyone caught some trophy rainbows as well as the odd yellowfish.  Jay and his merry band of anglers made their way upstream as soon as the weather cleared to search for some wild river trout while the rest of the party, fisherman visiting from Swaartberg in Natal, stayed in camp taking advantage of the perfect conditions targeting large rainbows and yellowfish in the estuary and river.

doubleIt has been an absolutely fantastic season here at Makhangoa Community Camp as we break new ground fishing through autumn and into winter. The trout fishing has been absolutely world class, complimented by some epic late season yellowfish sessions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has joined us on this incredible adventure. None of this would be possible without your support. On behalf of Tourette Fishing and the Makhangoa Community we would like to express a heartfelt thanks to all our guests, and we look forward to seeing you back in the future.

 

We have our first family group, 3 couples and 7 young children, coming in today which should be great fun. Trout fishing, kayaking on the river, pony treks and river hikes are all on the cards!

Cheers for now.

Pierre

Henk with nice trout

3 – 6th and 6 – 12 April 2015

Kids enjoying ponies and donkey rides from the Makhangoa Community Camp

Kids enjoying ponies and donkey rides from the Makhangoa Community Camp

We had a whirl- wind three night stay with three families and 7 young kids over Easter. What a great experience for everyone. With kids kayaking on the river, riding ponies and donkeys, endless swimming and river hikes, combined with the fathers trying to fit in some fishing between their family duties, the Easter weekend was spent in true family holiday fashion. The Makhangoa Community Camp, offers a really unique mountain experience and we look forward to welcoming more family groups in the future. Apart from the fun family times, some great fish were landed as well.

The change in focus from purely fishing however did not last long as the next groups arrived. We have just completed a record breaking week at the Makhangoa Community Camp with some very big rainbows being landed.

Leonard Flemming broke his personal best by landing a hefty 12.5 pound rainbow trout while stripping a large streamer through a fast run on the Bokong River and also managed to land a few more rainbows in the slower glides and pools.  The yellowfish were around but they were super skittish in the cool clear water and presenting a fly to a feeding yellows proved to be very challenging.

 

TF Guide Pierre Swartz and camp guest Henk with a fin perfect trophy trout

TF Guide Pierre Swartz and camp guest Henk with a fin perfect trophy trout

The next group of anglers were also treated to some exceptional fishing in the estuary, as well as the river, where large schools of big rainbows were moving into the system to start their annual spawning run.

The fishing was, to say the least, off the charts.  More records were broken with many large rainbows being landed both on dry fly as well as streamers.  Henk landed a beautiful wild river rainbow of 9 pounds, Schalk and Tony landed their personal best river rainbows, and on the last day Tony succeeded in landing the fish of a lifetime and broke the camp record with a 15 pound rainbow hen caught on a large black woolly bugger fished deep in the estuary.

 

Tony landed this 15lb brute to take the new camp record

Tony landed this 15lb brute to take the new camp record

The trout season at Makhangoa Community camp is still running strong and we are looking forward to some more great catches as we welcome more guests to this spectacular area.

The Makhangoa Community Camp , is not only a fly fishing haven, it is a nature lovers paradise with clean air, great fishing, walking trails, mountain biking, trail running, horse riding, pony trekking, cultural village tours, and much more.  It is an experience unlike anything else, and not to be missed.

Look forward to having you here.

Cheers for now

The TF and Makhangoa Community Team

Tony and Pierre enjoying some world class river fishing

Tony and Pierre enjoying some world class river fishing

 

Apr 07

Second week of the Nubian Flats Season

AJ showing off a really great Nubian Flats Titan Trigger

AJ showing off a really great Nubian Flats Titan Trigger

For the second week of the 2015 Nubian Flats Season we were joined by returning guests and old friends Eric Heyns and Chris Rooseboom. They were teamed up with friends AJ, Riaan, Werner, and Richard Wales from Cape Town.

The wind was still strong and the forecast showed that the conditions would be tough for the first few days.

 

The first morning everyone was more than amped to go out on the flats despite the tough conditions. The water was high and really cool but the triggerfish were out in good numbers. The strong wind made spotting these fish really hard but by the end of the day everyone had plenty of shots, although not everyone converted these chances into fish.

A truely memorable fish. A trophy Yellow Margined Trigger

A truly memorable fish. A trophy Yellow Margined Trigger

Triggerfish are extremely difficult fish to catch. Firstly, they are really hard to get close to. Secondly, they can be incredibly fussy when it comes to eating your fly and lastly, when you finally hook one, chances of him either clipping your hook like a side cutter or just plain letting go, is a very real possibility! All of the above make them that much more desirable to catch. Addictive is the right word that springs to mind when thinking about triggers.

Just being able to get the eat is a massive victory.

By the end of the day we did manage to land some really nice yellow margined triggerfish. Special mention has to go out to AJ who landed  a really massive specimen of a yellow margined triggerfish.

 

On day 2 the wind continued to make the going tough, but was still manageable. The visibility on the flats was less than the first day, and on top of this the permit, bones, bluefin and GTs, that were on the flats in good numbers the week before, were hard to come by. Fortunately the lack of these species was made up for with the ample shots at tailing triggers. The wind made the going really tough but on a positive note, the extra noise and movement in the water allowed the anglers to come really close to tailing fish, making presenting the fly a little easier.

We succeeded in fooling many triggers to eat the fly and landed some really nice Yellow Margined Triggers with the odd Titan in between.

The wind continued to gain potency and we resorted to some teasing in the afternoon before heading back to the mothership for some shelter. The going was tough but Richard persisted and landed a really nice bluefin trevally and a decent GT in the roughest of spots.

 

Happy Guide and Guest. Eric Heyns getting the job done.

Happy Guide and Guest. Eric Heyns getting the job done.

Unfortunately the wind reached gale force speeds during the night and by the morning of day 3 we had to call off fishing, and spend the morning tying flies and rebuilding leaders.

By late afternoon the wind died down and we headed out for a quick session in one of the semi sheltered areas close to the mothership.

What was expected to be a slow session turned out to be a little gem. Eric alone hooked 7 triggers and landed 4. Between the other anglers on the flat we got a couple more triggers and also had a good shot at a solid meter GT that somehow missed the fly 3 times before spooking. A couple more big GTs came in over the flats, but we didn’t manage to get a fly in front of them. The most memorable catch of the day though had to go to Riaan who sighted, cast to and landed a solid 8 plus kg Bohar Snapper on the flat.

 

Over the next couple days the weather improved drastically and so did the numbers of triggerfish on the flats. The guys landed some really good sized fish and got schooled by many more! We also had some shots at milkfish, bluefin, barracuda, GTs and incredibly big bonefish but to no avail. One bonefish in particular was well over 12 pounds, and although it took its time to inspect the crab pattern, in the end it decided against eating it.

A solid Bohar Snapper taken on "Little Snake Island Flat"

A solid Bohar Snapper taken on “Little Snake Island Flat”

We are still hoping for a photo with one of these monsters. This is something to really relish, the thought of cracking the code on these monster bonefish, as they are like no other bonefish we have ever fished for in the past. Big, spooky and more selective than the permit.

 

On the last day a big frontal system moved over the area again bringing heavy clouds with it.

The fishing however was hot from the start. Barely 20min into the walk we were already presenting flies to tailing fish and the majority of them were incredibly big in size. So much so that every fish we hooked, ended well into the backing.

Luck was not on our side though. Richard and Riaan hooked 5 really great triggers and both, on each occasion, were left with broken tippets and mangled hooks. Between Chris and Werner they presented to 15 fish each, and although they hooked a few, were still left empty handed by the end of the session.

Richard into a good fish - Nubian Flats

Richard into a good fish – Nubian Flats

In the end though we got 4 triggers to hand before being chased back to the mothership by the strong wind at 15:00, bringing the trip to an end.

 

Over the week the weather made the going very tough  but the guys persisted and did very well. It was really good to share this week with such a great bunch of fly anglers that were happy to accept the good, with the bad hand we got handed with the weather.

 

On a final note: To all guests that will be fishing with us on the Nubian Flats in the near future. try to limit the use of any hot orange in your crab patterns.

Thats it for now but be sure to check in next week for another update from the Nubian Flats. The weather for the next 7 days looks dead calm, and we have got a score to settle with some permit, GTs, and some massive bonefish. I am sure there will be plenty of shots at the triggers.

 

Till next time

The Tourette Fishing Nubian Flats Guides Team

Mar 31

First week of the Nubian Flats Season

Nubian Flats permit

Nubian Flats Permit

For the first week of the 2015 Nubian Flats season we were joined by a group of very eager fisherman ready and set to kick-off the season with a bang. Father and son combo Dave & Matthew Espen were joined by long time friends Martin, Fanie, Gerrit and all the way from Namibia, Chris. After a late arrival and good dinner on Monday night, the guys went to bed very excited to kick off their trip the following day.

On the first morning we woke to very strong wind coming out of the north. This wind direction is very favourable for fishing but the strength of it made the fishing very tough. The fish were definitely there in good numbers, but visibility was a challenge. Luckily on the Nubian Flats, with all the different islands around, no matter what direction the wind is coming from, there is always some shelter to be found.

Nubian Flats GT

Nubian Flats GT

Despite the tough conditions, we still had some shots at a couple really big bluefin trevally as well as some triggerfish with the latter being very difficult and almost near impossible to see, until it was too late and the fish were moving. We saw some incredibly big permit as well but the conditions made it very hard to get a good presentation to them. One of these permit in particular was an absolute beast, and well over 25 pounds. There were also a few single bonefish on the flats, all of them excessively big and comfortably over 10 lbs. The code on these big bonefish is yet to be cracked. As we get very few shots at them, the time we have been able to dedicate to figuring these fish out has been limited. We have got a few ideas, so we are hoping to be able to send some pictures of these bones in the next few blogs. A mouthwatering prospect for the next group of anglers.

By the end of this first day the guys scratched up some fish with Martin taking the honours by landing a very nice bohar snapper.

Over the course of Day 2 & 3 the weather improved drastically and so did the fishing. In true Nubian Flats form, the flats were crawling with both titan & yellow margined triggerfish but they were incredibly finicky. Refusing almost every crab we presented, spooking when you start loading your cast, or just plain ignoring your fly, most definitely a result of the very cool water. The guys were left frustrated at times but managed to fool a couple of them on size 2 tan coloured Velcro Crabs and some Avalon Shrimps.

Nubian Flats Yellow margined trigger

Nubian Flats Yellow margined trigger

We also encountered some really big GT’s on the flats as well as some big barracuda. Fannie got absolutely smoked by two incredibly big GT’s on Day 2 and got handled again the very next day by another big GT on the flat. Special mention has to go out to Gerrit who persisted and kept on presenting to the shoals of permit and managed to land a small, but very nice specimen on a chunky merkin crab.

One can also spice up your trip to the Nubian Flats by adding some offshore popping and jigging, away from the fly fishing areas, and this is exactly what Chris and Matthew did. They did some morning sessions offshore and then spent the afternoons on the flats fly fishing. The water offshore was still a little coolafter the northern hemisphere winter, so the GT’s offshore were scarce but they still got rewarded handsomely with some really big bohar snapper in access of 10kg. Chris even managed to land two bohar on the same cast with one lure.

Day 4 & 5 we headed up north some more, to go and fish a different section as well as some of the atolls further offshore.The weather gods still smiled on us and we got treated to picture perfect days and some really good fishing. A number of good GT’s presented themselves on the flats. Some fish cruising solo while others accompanied rays and sharks. Matthew got stuck into a nice GT on the edge of the one atoll and managed to land a nice 90 cm fish. The guys also cashed in on some good sized bluefin. The triggers were still in good numbers on the flats everyday but were extremely tricky, refusing almost everything we had in our arsenal and ultimately leaving guides and anglers equally frustrated. We still succeeded to land a couple though. Fanie landed an exceptionally big yellow margined trigger while Matthew also got into the mix.

Nubian Flats GT

Nubian Flats GT

On the 6th and final day of the week, the wind came with force from the south and made the going very tough. This isn’t a good wind for this area, and luckily it only blows on the rare occasion. We had some shots at triggers but the main attraction of the day was the GT’s and bluefin we found hustling the flats. The wind was very strong which made the casting very difficult but Martin and Fanie capitalized and landed two nice GTs on the flats. An exciting aspect of this session was that we again saw some massive single bonefish in the skinny water. One fish in particular was well over 12 pounds, and although we didn’t get a legitimate shot at the fish, it is an exciting prospect for the week ahead.

The wind continued to get stronger throughout the day and by early afternoon, it pushed all the fish off the flat and we decided to call it a day and head back to the mother ship for a shower and steamy cup of Italian coffee. All in all a good start to the season despite some of the windy days and we can’t to head out for the second week.

Till next time The Tourette Fishing team in Sudan.

Fede and Mark.

Mar 25

Makhangoa Community Camp: 19 – 23 March 2015

Winter is approaching fast in the mountains of Lesotho.  Heavy autumn rains have caused havoc in the catchment area of the Bokong river claiming 1 victim who got washed away by the strong currents while trying to cross a swollen river.  The local man from Motswedi village upstream from Makhangoa was only found days later when the river subsided a bit. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

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On the fishing front, the bulk of the yellowfish have moved out of the river at the end of the spawning season by early March and into the Katse dam where they can be caught against the steep banks and in the weedbeds as they forrage for food.  Autumn is hopper time in Lesotho. Garth Wellman and Armand Flies enjoyed a crazy session casting big hoppers at cruising fish from high on the steep and slippery slope, risking both limb and rod to get an eat and were rewarded with some very good fish.

 

 

John spent time on his small inflatable duck with trolling motor cruising the margins and casting stimulators to rising yellows landing a number of good size fish.

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The next day Garth and Armand fished a very swollen river and were rewarded with a very good yellowfish taken from ‘Homepool’.  High waters made it impossible to  fish the river using conventional upstream tactics so the guides had to come up with some new ways to target the big rainbows moving into the system.

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Standing waist deep in the head of the run, casting huge streamers on intermediate and sinking lines across the fast current, then allowing the fly to swing down while stripping line proved to be very successful.  The rainbows were hitting the flies hard so the guys spent most of the time ripping and stripping big flies through the runs and pools hoping to latch onto that all elusive 10 pounder that all trout fisherman are after.  Unfortunately no 10 pounders were landed on this trip but everyone got some big trout as well as yellows. The fish of the week being a hefty yellowfish landed by Garth while swinging flies in the estuary just below camp.  This is what the guides call fishing for “Katse Steelhead”.

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It was a very good week with some great fishing and great company.

The trout season is now in full swing and there are still plenty of yellowfish to be caught in the dam so get your float tubes ready, pack your sinking lines and come visit us at the Makhangoa Community Camp.

See you on the water.

Pierre

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