My two highly experienced fishing buddies: Keith Falconer of Explorer Fly Fishing and Chris le Roux, took me out to visit club water on the Vaal just outside of Parys this past Sunday. We went in search of a few smallmouth yellowfish and I really feel for the guys as I don’t think that I stop with the questions from the moment that we get onto the highway until long after the last fly is thrown for the day. “Do these flies look ok?” “Are they the right colour?” “Should I tie them with a glass bead or tungsten?” “Is the water flow correct in this spot?” I am aware of how unrelenting I am with these questions, but I blame them for being so damn accommodating.
Unfortunately for us after the recent rains the river level had risen about 30 centimeters overnight and on top of that the water was reasonably chilly! The consistent chill that I felt the entire day was in stark contrast to the swelteringly hot productive yellow fishing days that I am used to. I managed one sizeable mudfish (losing 2 nippy yellows) and Keith netted 2 beautiful small mouths for the day. We didn’t do too well but after a few phone calls to other avid Vaal anglers, we found that everyone had a shocker at the hands of unsuitable weather conditions and fluctuating flow rates.
Well, I say that we had a shocker but then again no day on the water is a shocker to me. It is always a pleasure to be out on the river, especially with the right people sharing their knowledge and experiences. Every slow day is a great learning experience and I learnt more about fly selection and line mending techniques in one day than I have in the last 10 trips that I have done alone! Thanks Keith, looking forward to the next one!