July Fishing Report

With winter finally coming to a close, we can expect the fly fishing to start picking up. July was definitely one of the toughest months of fishing in Dullstroom since April, because although the trout are plentiful, they just haven’t been interested in feeding. But that’s due to a number of factors.

The first and most obvious factor effecting the fishing is the spawn. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, when trout go into spawning mode and start pairing, their mind just simply isn’t on feeding. You can still catch trout, but most of the trout you do end up hooking are single cruising fish rather than one of the pairing fish. However, the one advantage of having the Rainbows pairing, is the fact that you now stand a better chance of getting a Brown Trout! Over the last month, roughly 30 Browns have been caught and released on our day waters Laverpa – most of which were caught on dry.

Apart from the spawn, we’ve also had a few cold fronts push through Dullies. Now, apart from temperatures dropping to minus six, the sudden decrease in barometric pressure leaves all the trout sulking in a hole at the bottom of the dam; which as you can imagine, isn’t exactly ideal for fishing. But all in all, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get another cold front like that any time soon. The days are starting to warm up nicely, with water temperature still sitting on around 8-9C.

Certain properties like Santa, Walkersons and the Town Dam will maintain those cooler water temperatures for longer, which as we enter into summer, will be a good thing. But at the moment, your slightly shallower dams start producing a little earlier in the mornings as they’re able to warm up quicker, allowing you to start fishing from 8am rather than 9am.

When the fish start to show themselves, you’ll see them cruising in the shallows. The best technique here is a floating line with a long leader, at least 12ft, and depending on how deep they’re moving, either a dry and dropper, or a team of small size 16-20 nymphs. Your PTN Hotspots, Tungsten PTN’s, Black Biot Beatis and GRHE nymphs have been amongst the top producing flies this month. But don’t forget your Epoxy Buzzer’s at home. There have been days where a #16 black Epoxy Buzzer would be the only fly that would produce fish for the entire day. On the other hand, we had days where a Pancora Woolly Bugger and White Fritz fished on a sinking line where unbeatable. Overall, there hasn’t been a very strong pattern this month. Effective flies seem to change on a daily basis, but perseverance always pays off!Buzzer Fly Pattern Selection

My biggest piece of advice to you when fishing any water at any time of the year is to not get stuck with what you’re comfortable with. In other words, change your flies every 15 minutes, lengthen your leader, step down your tippet, try new flies, mix things up constantly and move around the dam as much as possible. Covering water will drastically increase your chances of catching more fish.

Until next month, tight lines! If you need anything – from gear to advice, join us either in Dullstroom or Illovo, we’re happy to help.

By Nathan Pahl in our Dullstroom Shop