Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trout fishing in South Africa

Trout fishing opportunities are fairly sparse in South Africa. Most of the activity is centred on private waters of the high veldt south and east of Johannesburg going into Natal Province and touching on Lesotho and Swaziland. The hilly country adjacent to the escarpment bordering Lesotho, known as the Drakensberg, has several National Parks which are popular bases for hiking, climbing and horse riding, with a little trout fishing thrown in for variety. The Royal Natal National Park dams are stocked each 3 weeks with rainbow trout of 12 to 14 inch size, day tickets being available at the Visitors Centre.

The ranger releasing about 90 fish into the dam during the summer. Royal Natal National Park. Nearby Mooi River is fishable but the privately owned dams are best since they are maintained in good nick by fishing clubs.

Of the ten accommodations listed for Waterval Boven most have their own dams for fishing or access to the Elands River.(Click on foto for larger image)
Mt Lebanon backerpackers was a favourite stopover of mine in the Drakensberg for there is a beautiful dam full of trout located at your cabin door step. In the morning or evenings I would catch a trout from the bank, or drift around in a row boat to fish for rainbow trout. About 1 lb, or 14 inches size, was normal, and I would catch one or two for the evening meal, or smoke them over an improvised smoker for tapas con vino. During the day I would hike up to the escarpment or join in with others on a horseback ride of the property.

A smoker of unique design that kept us backpackers supplied in smoked trout.

Hiking above Mt Lebanon backpackers, towards the escarpment, with a Ridgeback dog for company.
More details of backpackers and fishing in the Drakensberg region is given in my Bootsnall article The Drakensberg.

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