A bespoke, drift-boat trip for trout on the Ash River near Clarens.

Target beautifully-marked wild bred rainbow trout from an inflatable drift boat in the Eastern Free State. We offer a unique and first-of-its-kind bespoke, drift-boat operation on the Ash River, just outside Clarens.

The Ash River river forms part of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Making it a true tailwater fishery, meaning the flow is regulated 12 months of the year and water temperatures never go above 15 degrees.

Mavungana Flyfishing has exclusive access to some 10kms at the very top of the Ash River. The river runs through private farmlands with zero public fishing access allowed. We can ensure low rod pressure and a sustainable fishing model. As a result giving you peace of mind that you will be the only person on the river.

The trout range from par-marked six-inch fish right through to fin-perfect trophy fish a Stillwater would be proud of. Growing up in this hostile environment they are strong and have a never-say-die attitude. Trophy fish, like in any great fishery, are there to be had but will take skill and patience. There are records and pictures of fish well over 8lbs that have come out of the river.

This is a technical fishery requiring an adequate level of skill and watercraft. Drag-free drifts, roll-casting, mending, and high-sticking are all very important to effectively fish certain areas of the river. Your guide will assist and advance your understanding of these skills. However arriving with a foundation to work with will only strengthen your chances. The river can be very tight in areas often fishing in close quarters where stealth and presentation are very important.

We fish mainly with floating lines, thin tippets, and hydrodynamic nymphs to aid in getting down, in certain scenarios we may fish a swung baitfish on a shooting head and sink tip fly lines, as well as dry flies when conditions allow for it.

The package is outfitter style – your guide will meet you in the morning at the local coffee shop in Clarens for a cappuccino and croissant. From there, a short 10-minute drive will see you on the farm, and on to the river. A morning spent fishing and drifting down over sand bars, braided channels, and holes. A picnic-style lunch awaits you under the weeping willow on a grassy meadow, followed by an afternoon drifting the lower reaches of the river before being transported up to the stream (a side channel of the main river) for the evening rise fished on foot. Heading back to the village for dinner and drinks.