Every year, the Xplorer team closes shop for a day or two and heads to a new destination for a few days to blow off some steam and put our tackle to good use. This year’s excursion was to the majestic mountain kingdom of Lesotho and the Makhangoa Community Camp established by Tourette Fishing. The Team was once man short this year, as Dayle had to stay behind for family reasons, so Alec was quick to fill the spot and joined myself Jeremy and Keith on our journey. We were in lured to this part of the country in pursuit of the legendary Trophy trout that are known make their way into the Bokong river estuary system, from the Katse dam, this time of year.
We departed Durban mid-morning and headed for our first overnight stop in Clarence. The next morning we were up at first light, picked up Pierre, Tourette’s camp manager and headed through the Lesotho border en route to the Makhangoa camp with the anticipation of getting an afternoons fishing in.
We arrived at the camp by midday unpacked and settled into our rondavels. Pierre gave us the customary welcome talk about the Makhangoa camp and what we could expect from the Bokong River. We assembled our T-50 9’0” 5wt rods. Lined them up with RIO In Touch CamoLux intermediate lines, RIO In Touch type 5 Lake lines for the deeper holes and Rio In Touch Gold for the shallow runs up stream, all with RIO Powerflex 9ft 1X leaders and we headed down to the River.
We each found a section along the bank and worked some deep pools for the afternoon. Jeremy was the first to catch a nice 6lb rainbow on a brown papa roach off of a rocky drop off. He would land 2 more that afternoon around the same size. I found a hole opposite an old dead tree, this would be my spot for the next few hours. I managed to land 6 Rainbows of 6lb to 8lbs all on a black zonker. The other guys each managed to land a few fish that afternoon before the sun dropped over the mountains.
The next day were up early and headed down to the river for a morning session that was bitterly cold, guides freezing up cold, before the sun peaked over the hills to warm us and the fishing up. We each hooked into one or two rainbows, about the same as the day before and one brown trout, before heading back up to the camp for brunch.
The afternoon session, we decided to float the river and down the estuary towards the dam. We inflated our V boat’s, lugged them down the mountain and launched for an afternoon on the water. We kicked our way down stream towards the dam, working the various structures from the reeded edges that gradually go deeper to and the sharp deep drop offs of the rock cliff faces. Each yielding different results. Alec managed to land a few yellowfish, fishing deep with a type 5 line as well as a 6lb rainbow. Jeremy, a few brown trout and Keith some rainbows.
The wind picked up in the early evening so we kicked back to the edges and fished the last light from the bank. Keith managed to land a nice 9lb Rainbow before we called it a day.
The Tourette- Makhangoa camp at on the Bokong River was a great experience. We all landed some big Trout and missed some monsters. It’s certainly worth a trip to this part of the world. The camp is comfortable with flush toilets, warm showers and a base camp with a fire place and all the amenities. It was a trip we all would remember and look forward to getting back to again in the near future.