Extracts from my 26 May Newsletter

Extracts from my 26 May Newsletter

Tuesday, 28 May 2013 13:27

Scientific Anglers new Hover line

Says Tom Lewin of Frontier Fly Fishing -

I tried this line for the first time on a recent trip to Highland Lodge in the Eastern Cape and was blown away. Formulated on the iconic GPX taper, the Hover loads quickly, cuts through the wind and delivers big flies effortlessly.



The line is also optimised for cold water conditions, making it ideal for our frigid autumn and spring water temperatures. The front 12m of the fly-line has an ultra-slow sink rate, while the running line floats; this allows one to retrieve flies slowly and realistically just below the surface.



Tom Lewin at Highland Lodge (Click in all images to enlarge them)

The line was deadly up in the shallows and accounted for my largest rainbow of 10 ½ pounds. I truly believe the Hover line has changed the face of still water fly-fishing forever!

See http://www.frontierflyfishing.co.za/?gclid=CIezkIHzuLcCFZQZtAod7wsAoA


Here are a few favourite shots from my U.K. Trip.  Just a couple of days ago I was fishing the Avon, today I'm home in Canada mowing my lawn and cleaning up the barnyard after the black bears played beach ball with trash cans in my absence. My show to the Flyfishers Club, London was a smashing success and I'll never forget that night.





Says Gareth Reid of Mavungana Flyfishing

Anglers obviously spend a lot of time in or near water and in this modern era carrying valuable things like smart phones, cameras,  MP3 players and run the risk of something valuable falling into the drink. The Gadget Saver is designed to quickly and safely remove water from portable devices with great effectiveness. It is compact enough to carry in your gear bag, utility vest or boat.


All you have to do is to put the wet device into the Gadget Saver’s multi-layered, re-sealable bag, leave it for eight hours and the moisture and liquid build-up will be removed by the internal absorbency pack. For further details contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Here are images of a few high mountain trout streams in Switzerland sent from Chris Amstutz who was fishing them last week despite poor weather.


He tells me he did get some pretty brook trout. To my eye these look perfect high mountain fly streams.



I made reference in last week’s Newsletter to Nick Taransky, the internationally acclaimed Australian bamboo rod and net maker, and included some examples of his outstanding work. Here’s an interesting note I recently received from Nick:

Trout Fishing in South Africa had an indirect but important influence on my early fly fishing!  As a young teenager, I bought a book called "Freshwater Fishing in Australia and New Zealand", edited by Rodger Hungerford.




 It was a strange mix – everything from trout to native fish, and all methods, bait, spinner and fly.   Anyway, somewhere buried in there, was a picture of a lovely freestone stream, with the caption "In the beautiful Cape Province, South Australia, an angler prepares to net his prize as he slowly draws the fish towards him. This is but one of the many ideal trout streams available to anglers in this area".




As a young teenager from a non – fishing family, my heart soared.  It looked like no other stream I'd ever seen in my home state.  I had to find this "Cape Province". Why had I never heard of it?  Could I ride there on my bike, catch a bus, or have my parents drive me there? It was years later (when I'd long given up, but become a dedicated fly fisher nonetheless), that I realised that the poorly researched book had mistaken "SA" (South Africa) for South Australia (SA is the abbreviation of my home state here)! So there you go!  Inspiration is inspiration, regardless of the intention or even correctness of facts.

(Looking at that stream I’d say it’s the lower Berg River, but readers might have other suggestions. Tom Sutcliffe.)


Peter Hayes, a friend of Nick Taransky, is a former Australian and world casting champion and is now a guide and lodge owner in Tasmania where he runs the Australian Fly Fishing Conclave. (See Peter Hayes’ website at http://www.peterhayesflyfishing.com/)

He is currently on a tour of South Africa mesmerising anglers with his casting skills. On Saturday he joined me at my home for the morning when he heaped one fly fishing revelation after another on my head; the Penny knot, two really useful casts for tight places, the frailties of the old ’10 o’clock – 2 o’clock’ method of casting, a patented instrument that uses a ball bearing in a clear plastic tube to teach the rhythm of casting, how the dynamics of casting bamboo differ intrinsically from casting graphite and why they do – I could go on.



Over coffee with Peter Hayes. No points for guessing the topic of our conversation.

He tried my Steve Boshoff and Steve Dugmore bamboo rods and was genuinely impressed with both. Three hours disappeared in what seemed like ten minutes.

Then on Sunday 40 or more disciples gathered on the lawns at Philip Meyer’s Fly Shop on the wine farm Eikendal for a brilliant casting display backed up by lucid explanations about the theory and the practise of a multitude of casts.


It was a polished, practical and at times eye-popping display of total and absolute mastery of man over fly rod. Peter’s demo was aimed not only at making you a better caster, but a better fly fisher. This was a 10 out of 10 performance in my book.

Peter Hayes3

By the way, Peter Hayes backs his Penny Knot as the strongest there is there is for tying flies onto nylon. The knot is rated at 100% the strength of the nylon! Have a look at it on:



Says Jan Korrubel in the Midlands of KZN:

The highlight of the week was attending the Durban Fly Tyers meeting on Monday with Barry Kent, former co-partner of “High Flies”, a top notch fly tying company based in Butterworth in the old Transkei.  Barry is now based in Florida, USA, and has restarted his fly tying company under the name “HiFlies”. See his website at http://hiflies.com


I am a stamp collector and the Transkei Fishing Flies Series from 1980-84 are of great interest to me. I gleaned a lot of background on their history from Barry’s talk. It was a five year series of 25 fly fishing-related stamps, with five new designs issued each year from 1980 to 1984. These were the first stamps in the history of philately worldwide to depict fishing flies and fly fishing! 


Barry Kent (left) with Jan in Nottingham Road

Barry stopped by here in Nottingham Road last week to talk a bit about fishing the Midlands. I thought it an opportune time to present him with the finest fly fishing books to come out of South Africa, your “Hunting Trout” and “Shadows on the Stream Bed” and Peter Brigg’s “Call of The Stream”.

WHAT A TROUT SEES – a Fly fishing Guide to Life Underwater

Geoff Mueller, senior editor of Drake Magazine, has produced an authoritative work on the underwater world of trout, what they see and how they interpret it. It’s an informative and interesting read, where once again the colours blue and purple come out as the most visible to fish underwater! Reading it reinforced my belief that the purple DMC thread Fil Metallise 4012 is an important component of the Zak nymph after all!

WhataTrout Sees

Published by Lyons Press Guilford, Connecticut; soft cover, 198 pages with many high quality colour photographs. It is available in South Africa from NetBooks at R330. See http://www.netbooks.co.za/


My Daughter, Alison, and her husband Markus, are paying their first visit to France. Her emails to us have been regular and have centred on pictures of her first love, fine cuisine so I have had plenty of images of restaurant interiors, delicatessens, food markets, that sort of thing.


Alison in the cafe in Arles and the painting below


But despite the abundance of news on fine French foods, including a picture of Ali sitting in the restaurant Arles where Vincent Van Gogh painted his famous night scene, she found time to take a photo of a French fly stream for me.


Now there’s a thoughtful daughter for you! And what a pretty stream!

Tom Sutcliffe

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