The finest fly fishing experience on the Orange River
The Orange River is South Africa’s longest river, with its mystical source in the Highlands of Lesotho it flows 2340 km West. Eventually its Swan Song is the last section before the Atlantic where it flows through the utterly breath taking Richtersveld National Park
Where we go
We have been fly fishing the Orange River for yellowfish,for many years from its confluence with the Vaal River at Douglas, progressively downstream. Like any river in the world, the most remote reaches and those protected by a National Park are the waters that produce the goods. Therefore we have chosen our piece of water, deep in the Richtersveld desert, Namibia.
Camping and Logistics
We have partnered exclusively with SA’s longest standing rafting company Felix Unite. As a result the standard of campsite, comfort and catering is unsurpassed on the Orange River.
An experienced flyfishing guide will row two anglers, in our custom designed built inflatable rafts daily. At the same time a logistics team heads downstream with all provisions and non-fishing related gear to set up camp. Having run operations in far flung parts of the world, being remote is not an excuse for Polony and white bread sandwich lunches! There is a staff ration of 1:1. Furthermore we have large spacious two man tents, hot showers, and a resupply halfway through the desert replenishing cold beers, fresh food and ice. Certainly a huge treat in the middle fo the desert!
The fishing is exceptional in this lower section of the Orange River. This is because of the distance the river flows and sediment is able to settle out. For this reason the water conditions are always optimal compared to many other areas upstream. We fish and carefully rotate three different beats of around 35 km each. As a result anglers access uncountable riffles packed with obliging Smallmouth yellowfish, many in double figures. We target the swimming Unicorn, the trophy Largemouth yellowfish holding in the boulder strewn pools. From swinging streamers through deep water on sinking lines to sight fishing for holding fish. We have caught multiple 20 pound Largies each season. In conclusion this is a trip of a lifetime for globally travelled anglers to rank beginners.
PROTECTING THE YELLOWS
We are excited to announce that we have teamed up with 'The University of Mpumalanga' and 'Rivers of Life' to start a tagging program on both the Largemouth Yellowfish and the Smallmouth Yellowfish on the Lower reaches of the Orange River, in the Richtersveld National Park.
This is a first of it's kind and no research has been done on this section of the Orange River. We hope that the information gained from our studies will better our knowledge and understanding of the species to help protect them for future generations. Have a look at our short video in our blog below.
I was looking forward to this trip for 9 months, and after the long wait the trip certainly didn't disappoint. The stark and unusual landscape combined with some great fishing makes for a truly memorable experience, which I can highly recommend. If it's not on your bucket list already then add it quickly!
The success of the trip is virtually guaranteed given the combination of experts in their respective fields - Felix Unite & Mavungana Flyfishing. Felix Unite have been operating river cruises since my student days in the 80's, and Mavungana Flyfishing provide real expert guidance and equipment proven to be well suited to the task. Thanks to the expert guides for putting us in the right places and giving us the right amount of guidance.
The Richtersveld is truly an amazing part of the world - with it's rugged and remote Mars-like environment combined with a great outdoors experience being worth it on it's own. Add in some of the best fishing for yellows and the result is an unforgettable, unique experience.
- Dr Nick vd Merwe -
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