14 APRIL 20134 NEWSLETTER
FIELDSPORTS OFFERS THE WORLD’S ULTIMATE FLY FISHING DESTINATIONS IN ONE MAGAZINE!
I just received copies of this magnificent ‘bookazine’ from the editor, Marcus Janssen. It’s 148 glossily illustrated pages are straight from the stuff of dreams; premier fly fishing destinations from around the world, each with magnificent photographs, a word essay and a fact file listing exactly what you need to know about the place, from visas, language, medical needs, currency, best fishing seasons, flies, tackle, right down to which outfitters can actually get you there!
I considered all the venues carefully, trying to decide what place I would choose to visit from the seemingly endless collection of superb and sometimes exotic fishing camps – all supposing I had the money, of course. These days I barely make it to Barkly East what with the price of fuel.
My final choice might surprise you. I went for sight fishing for Golden Dorado at the Tsimane camp in Bolivia – and I selected FlyCastaway as my outfitter. They describe their Dorado trip as ‘…like fishing the Madison for tarpon!’
Here are a few images from the FlyCastaway website. By the way, this is one of the most intuitive, complete and beautiful websites I have ever visited. See the link below this last picture.
Click in all images to enlarge them
THOUGHTS ON SELECTIVITY IN TROUT
Not surprisingly my review of Bob Wyatt’s latest book, What Trout Want, provoked some keen-edged interest. Here are a few of the responses I got:
From Peter McGregor
I too, believe that Bob has made some valid and hard hitting points that make a lot of sense and having watched the likes of Mark Krige winkle numerous fish out of a hole with his Zak-Jig, I'm a convert.
Denny Rickards in his book ‘Stillwater Presentation’ makes pretty much the same point that Bob does, I believe. He also includes this graphic, sourced from a colleague, in his chapter, ‘Understanding Trout Behaviour’. (See an illustration of the relative size of a trout’s brain below.)
From Ian Cox
I see that Bob Wyatt has caught your attention. I think he is one of the most lucid technicians I have come across; or is it just that I agree with him?
From Herman Botes (Highly regarded angler and developer of the Papa Roach stillwater pattern.)
I found it very interesting that the work of Rene Harrop – especially ‘Trout Hunter’– is not to be found in Bob Wyatt’s bibliography.
The Papa Roach
Rene’s accounts (on fishing the Henry’s Fork) make a very strong case for what is referred to as an ‘educated trout’ (trout changing their response triggers during a long-term hatch, due to the long term impact of anglers)
In Harrop’s books, one can clearly see how exact fly pattern (plus incorporating a specific trigger) is important to these fish, as it is a given that presentation in each case is perfect or near perfect. But I must add that I think there are very few other places in the fly fishing world where one would encounter ‘educated’ trout, besides the Henry’s Fork.
The Henry's Fork. Image by Dean Riphagen
I have not read Wyatt’s book yet , so cannot comment on his view on selectivity , other than to say that I’m am a firm supporter of the ‘selectivity theory’.
Though the word ‘selectivity’ conjures up the notion of a smarter fish, it actually boils down to a fish getting more and more ‘narrow minded’ as a hatch intensifies in order to maximize effective feeding. Harrop’s keen observation of nature at the point of engagement between predator and prey, and my own experiences (I’m lucky to fish super hatches on a regular basis) can leave little doubt of the fact.
I fully support his idea of simplicity , ‘life’(scruff) ,and being in the ball park regarding imitations – but know from firsthand experience that ‘being in the ball park’ sometimes is just not good enough(even if your presentation is ‘perfect’.
(It wasn’t easy for me to find just a single paragraph that best sums up Bob Wyatt’s position on educated trout and selectivity. The one below was the best I could find in his delightful book. Tom Sutcliffe.)
‘For fly fishers, ‘selective’ and ‘educated’ trout are the same thing: the educated trout becomes more and more selective. What Swisher and Richards mean by ‘selective’ must be its dictionary meaning: the selective trout is a creature making careful judgments and considered choices, and the trout is learning to distinguish real bugs from fake ones. Worse yet, the trout is aware that there is a degree of risk involved in making choices. I think this has taken the whole thing a bit too far and made things more difficult (for fly fishers) than they need to be.’
But whatever position you hold on this issue, please read Wyatt’s book, especially if you are just starting out in your fly fishing career.
BARRY KENT’S VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA AND HIS MINI WOBBLER - (Puristus nightmareus)
From Barry Kent in the USA:
Here are the details of my visit. I will be arriving Johannesburg on 3rd May and staying for the whole month. After my grandchild is born (15th May) I will be driving down to Pietermaritzburg during the second half of the month. I will be staying with my daughter Tamsyn while in Johannesburg at No 4 Bologna Estate, 86 C. R. Swart Drive, Randpark Ridge. Tamsyn’s home phone is 011-794-377.
Please consider announcing my visit in your next newsletter so old friends over there will know. Also please consider including the following (after you pick yourself up off the floor!) I get the impression you’ve become more pure in your fly fishing pursuits!
THE SMALLEST SPOON FLY IN THE WORLD?
Here’s one of my best kept secrets, Barry’s Mini Wobbler - (Puristus nightmareus), a- sub-species of the Meppus golsdspoonus.
Mini Gold Wobblers, size 12 and 14 with Big Boy Cyclops Gold Wobbler (size 1/0)
This little beauty will hatch year round in all common sense fly shops! I believe this is the smallest spoon fly in the world.
JAN KORRUBEL ON CONDITIONS IN KZN
The rains have eased off, and with the promise of the best blissful autumnal weather for this weekend anglers have come out of the woodwork in droves. Some good fish in the 20+ inch range have been reported from the stillwaters. The rivers are apparently starting to look peachy again, so much so that I am being dragged out (kicking and screaming of course!) to have a long overdue personal inspection. We have Darryl Lampert and Jean Bence visiting from the Cape, so fingers crossed that The Mooi provides us with some of it’s beautiful brownies today. Full report to follow in next week’s newsletter.
It’s not easy to find a single paragraph in Bob Wyatt’s What Trout Want that sums up his position on selectivity and educated trout best, but I think this one comes close:
CLEM BOOTH WITH AN INTERESTING BAMBOO ROD ON THE WAY
Wyatt Dietrich, who took over from the great George Maurer , has finished a pair of bamboo rods for me one year early! Now, it is true that I don't need another bamboo rod in my lif , but they are so damn beautiful. One is a 7 ½’ 3 weight and the other is an 8 ½’ 6 weight.
Tom here is an advance picture that Wyatt took of one of the new rods he built me. It is now on its way to Blighty!
(George Maurer was a very fine rod builder. After he passed away, the business was taken over by Wyatt Dietrich who was a student of George and who builds beautiful rods. See http://www.bamboorods.net)
A bamboo fly rod, in my opinion, is an article of tackle you can be forgiven for owning just on account of its beauty. Tom Sutcliffe.)
Garth Nieuwenhuis asks…
I'm looking to get a Sage 3 weight for the rivers and was wondering if you know of anyone who might have a second hand rod that they would be willing to sell me?
READERS IMAGES – DAMON MATHFIELD
From Damon Mathfield
Attached are three more underwater pictures I recently took. Two yellows in their environment and a bass being landed.
READER’S IMAGES OF BALLOCH
From Johan Bouwer of Graaff-Reinet
Thank you so much for referring me to Balloch. We had an amazing weekend in heaven!
(For Balloch See http://www.ballochcottages.co.za/)
UPSTREAM’S OFFICIAL OPENING
John Yelland and Mark Krige were on hand to host clients and friends at the opening of their new shop in Plumstead, Cape Town last Wednesday.
Mark Krige with a client in the new store
They have a special offer on – a look-alike Regal vice with bobbin holder, scissors and a whip-finish tool for just R300!!
GORDON VAN DER SPUY OFFERS FLY TYING CLINICS
I am trying to gauge the interest for a couple of nationwide fly tying clinics I intend holding. I will present these workshops free of charge except, of course, my travel and accommodation expenses. The workshops will be a two day intensive tying course with a maximum of 10 participants per workshop. They are aimed at improving and developing good tying techniques.
Gordon’s tying of a traditional South African wet fly, the Mrs Hilliard
Gordon’s tying of a traditional salmon fly, the Jock Scott
Hoping to have workshops in both Johannesburg and Durban but I can hold clinics in other towns or cities should the need be great enough.
Gordon’s tying of Ed Herbst’s marvellous Hopper
GRIP ADDS THREE NEW HOOKS TO ITS RANGE
From Arno Laubscher of Grip Hooks:
There are the three new barbless hooks in my range available in the following sizes:
12804BL: #10 - #16
13021BL: #8 - #14
14012BL: #8 - #16
OVER 600 SUBSCRIBERS!
Last week I offered a pen and ink sketch on grey art board to the 600th subscriber to my weekly Newsletter. I am happy to tell you it was won by a lady fly fisher from Randburg.