Trout Fishing South Africa

by | Nov 23, 2018 | fly fishing south africa

brown trout in Africa“Trout fishing in South Africa?”, that was the surprised response I got the last few weeks when I told friends that’s what I was up to over Thanksgiving.  But it’s true and after the grueling 36 hours of travel to get here, I’m near Dullstrom, South Africa, the trout fishing capital of Africa.


Nooitgedacht Lodge South AfricaMore exact, I’m at the Nooitgedacht Trout Lodge about an hour from Dullstrom.  It’s a beautiful little lodge surrounded by small dams (South African reservoirs) full of rainbow and brown trout brought here in the late 1800’s.  There’s also the Spekboom River gliding through the property and it too is full of trout.  All the waters near the Lodge are private.  You can fish them but you need to pay the daily fee or stay at the lodge.


Jerry Arnold Fly Fishing Team USA MastersI’m here on a reconnaissance mission for Team USA Masters Fly Fishing Team with Team USA manager Jerry Arnold.  Jerry is the generous sponsor of all USA Fly Fishing Teams (Youth, Men’s and Masters) and you’ll remember Jerry back in March when we did a similar mission for the competition in Spain that took place in April. The competition we’re scoping out this time takes place February 9-16, 2019.


South African Fishing Guide Daniel FactorOur Guide/Host this week is South African fishing guide Daniel Factor.  Dan has been a fly fishing competitor for Team South Africa for many years.  He’s far from old enough to be on their Masters Team and therefore its ok for him to help us with the trip.


Nooitgedacht DamToday, I awoke at 4:30 AM and sipped coffee on the deck and listened to the birds singing.  Its spring here in the Southern Hemisphere and the days are long.  A welcome change from the darkness of November in Idaho right now.  Then after a scrumptious breakfast at the lodge we headed for the small and beautiful Nooitgedacht Dam which will be part of Februarys contest.


flyfishing South AfricaOur guide Dan is one of the top anglers on this region.  He was recommended highly to be our fishing guide by several of my South African fishing friends.  We need good help because the February tournament will consist of three lakes and only one river.  For years lake venues have menaced Team USA Flyfishing but we’re getting better thanks to learning from anglers like Dan.


Dan Factor fly fishing AfricaDan brought his inflatable raft for us to fish from.  It’s tiny, messy and hard to manage your line.  However, we’ll be fishing from boats in the competition that don’t look much better.  As hard as it was to fish from the tiny raft it was good practice.




flyfishing guide Daniel Factor

Dan suggested intermediate sinking lines for Nooitgedacht.  I used my Scientific Anglers Sonar Stillwater line.  We fished three flies about 5 feet apart with the heaviest at the point (catch me show season and I’ll show you how to rig this).  While Dan put on some fancy flies for Jerry, I went with a heavy bead head black woolly bugger on point.  My first dropper was a slightly smaller less weighted olive bugger and up near the fly line I put a red woolly bugger as an attractor.


Dan rigged Jerry up with dragon fly nymph concoctions and a booby.  Within five minutes Dan changed two of Jerry’s three flies.  Then again.  And again.  In the first hour Dan changed flies and amazing 20 times!


With aging eyes and 45 years of confidence behind the woolly bugger I kept tossing the rig I started with.  Jerry and I both caught about four fish in the first couple hours.


Jerry Arnold fly fishing AfricaWe weren’t getting skunked but I’ll guarantee four fish in a session in the World Championships of Fly Fishing aren’t going to score well.  It was getting hot and just before lunch Dan took us along side the dam to dredge some deeper water.  We switched to fast sinking lines and quickly caught fish.  In an hour period Jerry and I each landed a half dozen handsome rainbows.


Jeff Currier fly fishing AfricaAfter a leisurely lunch at the lodge followed by naps, we headed back out on the lake and continued on the deep water section by the dam.  Things slowed down dramatically.  However, we caught a few more rainbows and this huge brown trout crushed me while by crawling buzzers.  This one has a memorable hook jaw.


The best way to avoid jetlag is to stay busy.  We did exactly that today.  We fished the Nooitgedacht Dam till dark.  The sunset was stunning and the minute I stopped casting I could hardly keep my eyes open.


flyfishing south africaWe just finished a four course meal at the lodge and I’m back in my room.  I had big plans to rig some new things to try for tomorrow but its time to pass out.  It will be nice to sleep without distant lights or the sound of traffic.  This place is fantastic.


fish coffee mugs by Jeff CurrierChristmas is around the corner.  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!