The wind has finally subsided. The clouds and cold, and today even drizzle, however continued on so it was another slow start for us and for the yellowfish of Sterkfontein Dam. Because it’s the last day, Granny joined us from the get go despite hating the cold and rain. Our friends of FlyCastaway, Tim Babich and Ryan Hammond took us directly to Elizabeth so Granny could see this beautiful section of Sterkfontein. Unfortunately, the mountains and mesas were completely socked in.
The yellowfish were there. They were hard as heck to see with the dismal light conditions but once you got high enough you could pick them up. But getting them to look at a dry fly was near impossible. Tim resorted to one of his little inventions he calls the cormorant and he made five blind casts and caught five nice yellows.
I went right over and snagged one of Tim’s concoctions from him and sight fished it as a dropper below the beetle. Even the sight fishing with the nymph was challenging and in an hours’ time I only landed one fish. Tim landed another two fishing it blind so I took off the dry and put on two nymphs, one of my own Vladi nymphs and the cormorant. It took some time but I ended up landing my largest yellowfish of the trip on the cormorant.
The weather improved throughout the day and the fishing should’ve also but instead we went from seeing lots of yellowfish to a few to absolutely none. I recon this species is similar to a brown trout and when they aren’t eating, they aren’t eating. Other than catching a random largemouth bass, the only good fish hooked up after lunch was by Tim and after a great fight he lost it. We were disappointed because Sterkfontein has some huge largemouth yellowfish in it and I have yet to set eyes on one.
We packed it in around 4 and you guessed it, we went straight for the charcoal and prepared for one final and massive fridge cleaning barbeque. Regardless of the difficult weather and fishing here on Sterkfontein Dam, this has been a stellar last segment. Just spending time fishing with Tim again and meeting Ryan made this part worth it. Thanks very much to these guys and FlyCastaway for taking the time to show us a place long on my list.
Tomorrow morning we’ll return to Johannesburg. Tim and Ryan will turn Granny and I over to Gerhard Laubscher and his wife. We’ll spend the night and next day with them then begin our long journey home. Expect one final entry for this trip with a recap and a few final photos.