One of my greatest pleasures in fly fishing is exploring new rivers and streams.
There are many streams in the Cape that hold remnants of trout that were stocked over fifty years ago, known to a few anglers who are not so forthcoming about their Stream X's.But it's not trout that I am usually after, but indigenous fish, which despite what the clowns at Cape Nature will tell you, are to be found in abundance in the headwaters of most of the trout streams.
The concept of looking at blue lines on maps and deciding which water to explore actually has a name, Blue-lining.So, after sussing out some likely spots, the family was hiked into one of those, where the headwaters looked like they could contain some indigenous fish, despite the abundance of bass lower down.
The water, while flowing well, was as dark as night. The target species was cape kurper, Sandelia capensis who fortunately have no problem surviving in these waters. As discretion is the better part of valour (sometimes it's not good to be seen hiking up a mountain with a fishing rod) there was a Tenkara rod in my bag, along with some size #28 and #32 flies with 8x tippet.
Rigging up, some larger weighted nymphs were used to fish the faster water at the head of a pool.
It was not long before my first kurper ever was caught. It was tiny, but had swallowed a large #16 chartreuse caddis. After that it just got better and better, the fish were so keen to take a fly that a static fly would be swallowed deep, so flies had to start dragging as soon as they hit the water.
The kids built a little holding dam, and the family managed to put 25 fish in it within 20 minutes buy sharing the rod around. The idea was to get the little fish out of the pool and try and get the big ones, but the big we caught was around 17cm. The tiny flies were not required, and the whole family had fun.
All in all, a successful trip, with the goals being met and exceeded. Next stream please.