The Smallmouth Yellowfish is the most sought after fly rod species in South Africa, giving excellent sport to fly anglers. This species is the single-handed reason many anglers in South Africa have taken up freshwater fly fishing.
The species has been caught up to 18lbs, however fish over 6lbs are considered as trophies, with many fish in the 8-9lb range being caught by fly anglers each season.
The natural range of the Smallmouth Yellowfish is the Orange-Vaal River system, but the species has been translocated to larger Cape coastal rivers including the Gourits, Great Fish and the Kei Rivers. The biggest concentration of trophy sized Smallmouth Yellows however, are still found on the Vaal River between Parys and Orkney.
The Smallmouth Yellowfish prefers clear flowing waters of large rivers with sandy or rocky beds. They are also found in large dams like Sterkfontein just outside of Harrismith. The species occurs at higher altitudes and in smaller tributaries than its cousin, the Largemouth Yellowfish. Smallmouth Yellows breed in spring through to midsummer after the first substantial rains of the season. The larger specimens are broadly omnivorous depending on the available food supply. They are opportunistic feeders and will feed on anything from aquatic insects to small baitfish, crustaceans and algae.
All text from: FlyCastaway