Long Hike Pays Dividends Fishing in Lesotho

by | Nov 23, 2016 | fly fishing in Lesotho

blog-nov-23-2016-1-trout-fishing-in-lesothoThe sun rises here in Lesotho just before 5 AM.  The birds go off like mad.  While winter approaches back home, the green of spring is full on in Southern Africa.  I live for the southern hemisphere when the days are cold and short back home.  We left early to fish a very special section of water today.


blog-nov-23-2016-2-fishing-in-lesothoThe river was an hour drive from our cabin up and down the winding roads of the mountains.  Once parked we split up.  Today I went with FlyCastaway guides Craig and Brendan to fish the upper reaches of the river.  This meant an hour hike before first cast.


blog-nov-23-2016-3-bauer-reels-winston-rodsOnce to our start place Craig and Brendan went in to action fishing upstream.  I needed some food and water followed by one of my Kate’s bars.  While enjoying the three I saw a rise on the far bank.  The water was slow moving so I approached with caution.  The smallmouth yellowfish was swimming towards me when I got close so I made my cast.  I hooked up!


blog-nov-23-2016-4-smallmouth-yellowfishYellowfish fight far harder than you suspect.  This dude smoked me upstream then buried me in some weeds.  I waded through deep horrible muck and broke him loose then off he went downstream.  These are wild fish never been caught before and it shows.  At last I corralled him and flicked this shot with my self-timer.  I cut off my head but not a bad fish portrait!


blog-nov-23-2016-5-rising-yellowfishsI stayed on the far bank and slowly stalked upstream looking for my next target.  It didn’t take long before I saw the smallmouth yellowfish of dreams.  He was long and as thick across the back as a mirror carp on Blackfoot Reservoir.  I watched and soon he settled like a big trout against a boulder.


blog-nov-23-2016-6-rising-yellowfishI launched a cast.  It was a tough casting angle because I was on a high bank and the needed distance was long.  I went too far but was able to lift my rod and drag my parachute hopper into the fish’s lane without him seeing.  The anticipation as my fly drifted into the zone gave me the feeling I got with big trout as a kid.  The monstrous smallmouth yellowfish rose as slow as a cutthroat and took the fly facing directly at me.


blog-nov-23-2016-7-jeff-currier-fly-fishing-lesotho-for-yellowfishI mentioned yesterday about how yellowfish don’t have a mouth for feeding off the surface.  I’ve learned that when the yellow eats directly at you, you must wait at least three seconds before striking.  I did exactly this and rewardingly I went tight.


blog-nov-23-2016-8-smallmouth-yellowfishWith all the rocks, weeds and logs in the water it’s a miracle I landed this beast.  But I got him.  Unfortunately, the big yellow was cumbersome to handle so I didn’t try again for a self-timer hero shot.  Instead, it’s the lousy ole fish next to the rod shot.  He was big!


blog-nov-23-2016-9-flyfishing-africaI liked my spot and hung around there relaxing, nibbling on snacks, had a droopy ham sandwich and took in the gorgeous landscape.  I could see plenty of grazing sheep around me and somewhere up the mountain behind was a local singing and playing a homemade guitar sounding instrument.  It was a cultural surreal scene for sure – I’m not in Victor anymore.


blog-nov-23-2016-10-jeff-currier-fly-fishing-lesotho-for-yellowfishMidafternoon Craig came back to check on me.  He was surprised to see I only moved about a quarter mile from the starting point.  But I was in my groove.  My slow pace was perfect for taking it all in.  I was catching fish and enjoying the best of Lesotho.


blog-nov-23-2016-11-flyfishing-for-yellowfishI’d end up catching four yellows by the time we hiked out.  I was more than satisfied.  On the trek out the mountain valleys took on an entire new look.  The sunset cast shadows proving the mountains are much larger then they first appear.


blog-nov-23-2016-12-jeff-currier-fish-artTonight I broke out the Sharpies again.  This time I decorated Gerhard’s laptop with a leaping tarpon.  Perhaps I’m practicing for the show season?  Could I actually get 20 pieces done in Somerset this year?  I think I can so put me to work!


blog-nov-23-2016-sunset-in-lesothoLooks like some storms are rolling in tonight.  Could be trouble for our rivers in the morning.  No matter what happens this has already been incredible.  Stay tuned for more from this month of insane fishing adventure!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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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!