The Gift of Sight

Some days you just want to give up. 

I left home at 04:00 this morning, slightly hungover, but keen for a fish. I planned to fish the farm Riverside in the Kamberg and was well excited to be going there as I haven’t been there all season. 

Crossing the bridge over the farm at the turn off to the farmhouse it was clear that they’d had some generous rain over night. Witness the photo below; this is just not possible to fish (for someone of my ability). 

I decided to head further up the road to the Kamberg nature reserve as it has some flat water above the old hatchery. 

As I arrived I could see that I was up against it but I spent a few fruitless hours fighting drag and frustration. 

I decided to pack it in and fish one of the dams. 

It was all pretty uneventful as a storm was brewing and trout become completely docile in the approach to a storm. It was (or is- I’m currently sheltering from it) one of those that threaten for hours before getting on with it. 

I noticed that in between totally calm periods the wind would pick up slightly and fish would snuffle around the margins. There was also some activity that suggested emergers and adult sedge feeding. I threw everything at them to no avail. 

After a few hours I sat down, lit a pipe and thought about it. Storms = flying ants around here. I tied on a #18 flying ant and sat and waited on the edge, hiding behind a convenient clump of reeds

After a while a fish showed itself. Fly into its path, beautiful head and tail rise, and, bang, a fair little rainbow. A 20 minute wait, repeat procedure. This time it snatched at the fly and I couldn’t set the hook. Another 20 minutes and success again.  

These fish are bred to be caught.  My daughter loves smoked trout and I am not one of these ‘if you don’t release it you’re a boil on the face of the sport’ guys. 

Sight fishing, especially after frustration, is wonderful. I wish every outing allowed it. The times when you are able to do it just make you want to go back again and again and again. The ability to use your head, eyes and hands and have it work out is just fantastic. 

Fire up the smoker. But for now the Lightning has passed and I see a swirl in the shallows. 

Target acquired. So glad I didn’t go home early. 


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