Fly Fishing the Vaal River

by | Nov 27, 2018 | fishing the Vaal River South Africa

flyfishing the Vaal RiverSouth Africa has more varieties of fishing to offer than you can imagine ranging from the trout fishing you’ve seen this week near Dullstroom to the bass fishing and saltwater fishing I did down south back in 2015.  But one place I’ve always wanted to fish is the Vaal River.  Today I finally got to do this.


Vaal RiverI stayed with longtime South African friend Gerhard Laubscher last night in Johannesburg and this morning he and I drove to the Vaal where we met up with Jerry and Daniel Factor.  Dan guided Jerry nymphing through the rapids of the Vaal for yellowfish while Gerhard and I hiked searching for dry fly opportunities for yellows.


smallmouth yellowfishJerry and Dan would end up catching most the fish.  They caught several of these smallmouth yellowfish.  There are many different kinds of yellowfish.  I’ve taken smallmouth yellows several places in South Africa but my most memorable yellowfishing trip was my first to Lesotho with my friends of Tourette Fishing.


flyfishing South AfricaLet’s just say the dry fly bite wasn’t on today.  We had some rain last night and the Vaal was a tinge off color.  Gerhard and I eased our way up and down the banks of the Vaal all day long but never saw the rise of single yellowfish.


Jeff Currier flyfishing for carp in Africa

Gerhard Laubscher Photo

We did however spot many tailing common carp.  Its hard to beat the tailing carp on my home waters of Blackfoot Reservoir so I passed up many tails early on.  But then around noon I broke down.  I wasn’t going to accept a skunk on the famous Vaal so I pursued the carp.  As usual they did not come easy but I finally landed my first carp in Africa!


Vaal River MudfishThe carp was the only fish for Gerhard and I.  Dan said he and Jerry had a slow day by normal Vaal standards but they still got some fish.  Along with several yellows Jerry nymphed up a species I’ve not yet caught.  This is the unique Vaal River mudfish.


flyfishing seminars Jeff CurrierWe had to pull off the Vaal early around 2 PM.  Tonight, we returned to Johannesburg for a gathering at Jonathan Boulton’s city Mavungana Flyfishing Store.  I introduced Jonathan on Nov 25 when he arranged us to fish his private water near Dullstrom.



Mavungana Flyfishing Store

The visit was fantastic and I met up with many others of my South African friends that I haven’t seen in years.  I drew on some fly boxes.  Then Jonathan took all of us out to dinner and we had a blast.


The South African reconnaissance mission for the February Worlds comes to an end for Jerry and I tomorrow.  We fly home at 9 PM.  However, this gives us one more nearly full day and we are going to attempt a more difficult species of yellowfish.  Were going for the largescale and smallscale with Dan and another of my FlyCastaway pals, Craig Richardson.


Jeff Currier fish coffee mugsThere’s still time for Christmas shopping.  DON’T FORGET my Online Store has gifts for the angler that has everything!  I have painted over 60 species of fish now available on my coffee mugs and frosted beer steins.  There’re also my new Solar Flex shirts in both men’s and women’s.  AND my growing collection of fish decals can be purchased on Amazon.

Be sure to keep track of my upcoming travels around the world!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!