Fly fishing can be enjoyed all year round on WTA waters and weather willing, access to fly fishing can be arranged on more than 200km within an hour’s drive of Rhodes. The Wild Trout Association (WTA) is based at Walkerbouts Inn Rhodes where beats can be booked and day permits purchased. Beats are sold on a first-come first-served basis but can also be booked in advance at the risk of inclement weather rendering the beat/s booked unfishable.
The rules of the WTA are simple;
- Do not drive through a land of any description, ever.
- Dogs are not permitted.
- Fires are not permitted.
- Leave gates as you found them.
- Fly fishing with recognized fly fishing tackle only
(See: www://wildtrout.co.za for a more detailed description of fly fishing in the Eastern Cape Highlands).
Window fishing is the recommended practise i.e. feed trout < 100mm to the crabs, return breeding fish and should you take a really big fish and wish to have it mounted for your pub wall, feel free to knock it on the head. It has done its time, bred, survived and will soon reach its end thus contributing nutrients to the system that nurtured it, a fitting end indeed.
Fly fishing can be enjoyed all year round on WTA waters and weather willing, access to fly fishing can be arranged on more than 200km within an hour’s drive of Rhodes. Winter fishing is definitely for the hardy who are suitably equipped to cope with water temperatures that drop as low as 2° C.
Despite the winter temperatures, fishing in winter is a very different experience. See;
For more information about winter fishing see http://wildtrout.co.za/winter-fishing
More importantly, it is imperative that the prevailing conditions be established before embarking upon the pilgrimage to this fishing Mecca. A blind arrival could be a disaster if one is set upon fishing a particular beat during the visit. Unfortunately, most folk are tied down to specific dates for their visits so pragmatism is the key.
Apart from our renowned pizzas, we also offer to have lunch-packs, currently @ R65/pack, made and ready for outings, a welcome respite from flogging the water into a froth is settling down at a suitable spot on the bank for lunch. It is during these moments that one can reflect upon the success or otherwise of the days fishing thus far. It also creates and opportunity to sit and perchance witness Black duck or Giant kingfisher flying by. An even more rare experience is to see a Cape clawless otter feeding or at play, sometimes a family with young!
An equally rare experience is to see Black stork on the river, an impressive bird indeed, jet black feathers with fire-engine red legs! Overhead, the chances are also good to see Cape vultures and occasionally even a Bearded vulture. Passengers should keep an eye open whilst travelling to the beat allocated for these birds. The latter species is a particularly good sighting as there are only 100 breeding pairs left in sub-Saharan Africa and found from our area right across Lesotho to the Northern ‘Berg.
The Wild Trout Association publishes a comprehensive ring-bound guidebook on fly fishing in the Eastern Cape Highlands. It has more than 130 pages packed with basic information and anecdotes that will keep you busy for some time and hopefully, add to the pleasure of your fly fishing experience with us. The 2013 edition is selling at R195,00/copy from the Thankshjalot Pub at Walkerbouts Inn.
Tony Kietzman, local resident and fly fishing expert is on hand to offer his services that not only includes decades of fly fishing experience but is also a fund of knowledge on the local flora and birdlife. Other than fly fishing, his passion is Alpine flora. He can be contacted via his e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org