Mkuze River Yellowfish Trip – June 2013

On the weekend of the 7th of June, 2013. My fly buddies and I headed up to a place called Ntibane Bushveld Hideaway owned by Graham Root with the intention to fish for Natal Yellowfish (Scalies) in the Mkuze River, in Winter!

The Drive:

We left Mtubatuba at 4:00pm on Friday with the intention to arrive just after dark. The drive is just 140km but the bulk of the road is through rural areas, mostly tarred. There was a patch of road still under construction just past Nongoma with a stop and go in effect. We arrived at 6:30pm to our cottage, right alongside one of the many dams on the property.

The Fishing:

It was our intention was to fish for Scalies in crystal clear waters as not one of us has ever had the opportunity since Kwazulu Natal rivers run dirty the bulk of the year. Since it was our first time on such clear shallow waters it was a real challenge getting fish. We mainly fished the deeper pools with some current with small Hot Spot Caddis flies with great success. Lots of fish were lost however as these Scalies seemed even more scaly than ever  in these slow clean waters. I also tried to fish some rapids, with only a small yellow being taken on a size 14 Brassie. I did however see bigger fish turn for my fly from behind larger rocks in the rapids, but I am sure I need some more experience in fishing those areas and get familiar with more techniques. The fish were a lot smaller than from our bigger river systems but it was still great fun and learning!

Our river fishing was however cut short as a pumping North Western starting to come down the valley and we settled at trying our hand at some Bass and Tilapia in the many dams around the cottage, of which many were landed in surface poppers fished slowly. This place must be cooking in summer!

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