Continuous learning is one of the keys to success in life, and we all know, fishing is life. This is what the GNFFA Social Fishing day was all about – fly fishermen and women of all skill levels enjoyed a day of learning.
We all arrived at Elgro River Lodge at 9 am on Saturday. After a round of coffee, we started the info session, presented by Gary Glen-Young our guest specialist.
Followed by the basic leader setups and techniques generally used on the Vaal. A decent 4/5 weight, 10ft rod is ideal for Yellowfish. The rod needs to be paired with a reel and line combo that ensures you have a balanced rod at the cork of the rod. The balance could be slightly positive, meaning that it should rather be a little REEL heavy than TIP heavy. An unbalanced rod puts strain on your forearm and wrist area, not ideal for a long day of fishing. The best-suited line for a social angler would be a floating line, however, if you intend to fish competitively you should be looking at a dedicated nymphing line.
The leader setup discussed should be as follow:
- Butt Section: 0.25mm Double X High Abrasion (Red / Yellow Translucent line) 10ft (Competition Legal Leader) or longer (Non-competition legal as leader would exceed double the rods length).
- Clear Gap: 0.25mm Double X High Abrasion in a 1 1/2ft section tied to the butt section with a blood knot.
- Indicator Section: Rio Indicator 2 tone line in 1x / 2x, make use of a section that has 2 chartreuse sections with a pink section in the middle (Take a black Copic/Sharpie marker and colour 1 inch on each side of the pink into the pink from the chartreuse to break the colour in the line). This break in colour provides more movement to the indicator and is detected easier by the eye. Connect the indicator to the Clear gap line with a blood knot and leave around 5mm of the tag from the indicator on the knot.
- At the end of indicator, line use a Quick Penny knot to secure a tippet ring or micro swivel in #18 to attach your tippet to.
- The tippet consists of 6 ft of 4x /5x line 3ft to the first dropper (cut a section off the 6ft section & tie on to the unbroken tippet), then 2ft to the bottom fly.
- The heavy fly is generally on the bottom but can be the top fly if you are fishing up/across in wide shallow water. In pocket water, it is better to only use 3ft tippet down to a single fly.
After this, we gathered around for a few practical lessons on casting the setups and fighting fish. Fighting the fish was covered in detail, with many helpful tips being shared. The important lessons here is to use sideward pressure when fighting the fish (Fish are comfortable in water, trying to pull them up out the water would make them uncomfortable. Hence why the try get away from that movement by moving in the opposite direction.), try to keep the fish upstream of you, using the current to help net the fish, never allowing a fish to swim between your legs and remembering to leave a loop of line at the reel when netting a fish (some of these tips are rod saving tips – a gap in concentration may result in a broken rod tip and a trip cut short).
After the theory and technical aspects were over, lunch was served. Gary also managed to squeeze in some time to show the group a few patterns to tie for Yellowfish. These included a Green Rock worm and PTN.
The GNFFA team and Gary also used this time to set up leaders for the attending members, sharing knowledge about the knots required to attach the various pieces of line together as well as best suited knots for attaching flies and tippet rings. After this, we got into the water at the top section of Elgro! It wasn’t long before everyone started getting in on the action, we had some nice fish come out with almost everyone catching fish. Maureen Brits managed a new personal best this weekend, with no one in sight to capture the moment. Gary and the GNFFA team were on the water to share tips and show the correct casting and fish fighting techniques.
We ended the day off on a high note with LOTS of fish talk around the braai on Saturday night. It was an eventful day and we are sure everyone thoroughly enjoyed the event and took home enough information to improve their fishing.
The event was a great success and Gauteng North will be planning a still water Social fishing day soon. We look forward to seeing you all there!
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