I recently guided a Liquid Horizon client for some trout fishing in the Cape winelands. After the Cape received its first heavy winter rain storm, I chose to visit smaller streams due to the possibility of high water levels in our larger rivers. The American client and I were delighted with our success finding and catching decent rainbow trout in the streams we visited.
The client was ecstatic after landing his biggest river rainbow trout yet. We unexpectedly stumbled upon the fish in a small bushed-in pool between two shallow runs of a Boland stream. It was hanging motionless in the crystal clear water and I was convinced that it had spooked after the swells created by our ignorant wading hit it. But then the fish rose and gently sipped a tiny insect from the surface that had gone glassy after our disturbance had passed.
I instructed the client to make a low punch cast to avoid the tree reaching overhead and after several attempts the fly landed a meter to the left of the trout. The trout seemed as disinterested in my large black CDC Klinkhamer as it was in our approach. The client sighed and mumbled on about the tricky casting, but I insisted he left the fly to drift well below the fish before recasting it. Before the fly reached a safe place to retrieve it from the water without disturbing the fish, the trout swam nonchalantly to the head of the pool and then down the left bank towards the fly.
Both of us froze as we watched the fish approach the fly, that was now merely two meters away from us. It swam straight to the fly, as if it knew exactly where it was and what it was in for and sipped it. The client’s timing was perfect for the slow take and the fish bolted for the opposite bank where a bush was hanging in the water. This was a 16 inch fish in small water and my heart skipped a few beats during the fight, but we eventually got it in the net to take a few mugshots.
We continued fishing upriver and the chap managed to land a couple more beautiful rainbows before we headed back to the car for some beers and a different stream. There the fish were slightly more skittish, demanding more concentration in fly selection and presentation, but overall the day was enjoyably spent on smaller, lesser known streams of the Cape. It was certainly an above average guiding day for me and likely even better, if not exceptional to the Yank.
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