No Yellowfish on this Trip

by | Feb 6, 2019 | flyfishing Nooitgedacht Lodge

jeff-currier-lesotho-flyfishingToday has long been scheduled to be a full day of yellowfishing on the Vaal River.  A break from the trout fishing practice on the lakes around Dullstroom, South Africa.  Yellows are a fish I have lots of experience with around South Africa and Lesotho and much enjoy.  The reason we scheduled it for today is because the Vaal yellowfishing is near Johannesburg and tonight teammates Mike Sexton and Pete Erickson fly in to be picked up.


nooitgedacht-lodgeBut there’s a catch.  There’s a heap of driving involved.  The trip requires a 5 AM departure.  A 5 hour ride to the river (arrival 10 AM).  Fish till 3 PM then leave on a 1.5 hour drive to airport to retrieve the guys at 5 PM.  If they both arrive on time then comes the four hour ride back to the lodge arriving late.  As much as I wanted to chase some yellows around, I knew what my body really needs – rest and relaxation rather than 12 hours in a crowded van.


jeff-currier-flyfishing-blogScott felt the same so he and I remained on the Nooitgedacht Lodge waters all day long.  We awoke casually around 5:30 AM.  I enjoyed coffee time on the porch with my computer making notes and editing pics for the blog.  The birds were singing and on the distant hillside I saw a herd of kudu grazing.  At 7:30 the Lodge staff made Scott and I a full breakfast and then we hit the lake in front of the Lodge for a session of loch style fishing.




jeff-currier-flyfishing-south-africaThe lake produced great practice opportunities because we had big rain last night and it had a muddy tinge to it.  This could easily occur in the tournament next week so it was good to fish it this way.  My attack to off color water is always a two fly rig.  One fly (the point) is big and dark and the top (the dropper) has a heap of flash in it.  The system proved itself as usual and in an hour I nailed four nice fish including this hefty brown.


flyfishing-team-usa-scott-robertsonScott struggled that first hour.  He was changing flies and lines and going with some of Daniels theories about catching trout in murky water.  Unfortunately they didn’t work so well today.


Team-USA-Flyfishing-South-AfricaEventually Scott dug around his fly boxes and came to the conclusion he needed the same flashy wooly bugger I had on.  There were none left in my box and he hadn’t any either.  We headed in for a break and Scott tied us a few.



fly-fishing-south-africaThe right fly is all it took.  After the tying session Scott and I fished another hour on the lake and we both tore up the fish with the flashy flies.  Interestingly, most our fish were handsome brown trout.


warthogsWe fished till noon then indulged on a great lodge lunch.  I followed with a run through the hills with warthogs and monkeys then a powernap.  We hiked to the beautiful Spekboom River at 3 PM.


flyfishing-the-spekboom-riverI fished this same section of the Spekboom back in November.  It’s a stunningly beautiful piece of water full of tiny native rainbows and the occasional big brown trout.  You must work hard to catch ones of size.  In the Worlds they must be 8” to count.  Scott did well on a variety flies in a deep pool.  I practiced my nymphing in the fast waters and struggled.  I’m sad to say I played dirty and nymphed a red squirmy before I started to catch fish fast enough to win a tournament!


Spekboom-River-flyfishingScott and I did a lot more fishing than relaxing so at 6 PM when the sunset began we reeled it in.  At the lodge we learned that Pete’s flight got messed up and was scheduled to arrive 5 hours late.  The guys wouldn’t be getting back until at least 2 AM.  I felt bad for the guys but man am I glad I didn’t go!  Scott and I kicked back on the porch with a few beers and watched a herd of kudo work the hillside.


nooitgedacht-lodgeIt’s an early one again.  The lodge fixed Scott and I an incredible dinner then we had one more beer on the porch listening to the owls, jackals and crickets.  This is an amazing place. Bed time.



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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!