On a recent visit to the Swartberg area, I was joined by a good old friend to tube some pristine waters for the day. A crisp winters morning with the temp sitting at around -5 degrees at 7.00 am we were a bit hesitant to brave the cold bobbing around on a tube. A shot of old brown sherry got me going and started the engine for a float tube session.
With the moon been full and the weather to perfect to describe, I had a feeling we were in for a tough days fishing. We launched the tubes at around 9.00am and headed out to fish the drop offs and the prominent weed beds that looked to fishy to be true. The water temp sitting around 7 degrees was challenging on the body.
Fishing on the new Journey V-Boat and Murray on the XPT II Pontoon boat we started trying different tactics on the water trying to crack the code. Fishing the new Rio InTouch Camolux line, fishing Dragon patterns on long leaders. Most the takes were very subtle, without the InTouch core most the takes would not have been detected. Casting a long line up towards the drop offs letting the fly sink slowly, most the takes were on the drop, just keeping contact with the fly.
Fly patterns that were working the best were dragon imitations, and minnow patterns, as the day went on the temp got warmer and the fish became more active. The takes still very subtle and a lot of short takes, finally a hook up a cock fish of about 4 pounds. While still in the net I noticed the fish regurgitating a few large dragon nymphs between 5cm and 6cm. scratching through my box of dragons I found some Papa Roaches I had tied up a few weeks ago, tied on a # 2 long shank hook brown and olive.
A couple cast and bang all hell broke loose and the water erupted with a big Rainbow rolling on the surface and tacking line into the weed beds, I thought I had been taken to the cleaners but managed to stay in contact with the fish keeping tension on at all times. Finally I got the fish out the weeds and to the side of my Journey V-Boat.
Over the moon with this huge hen full of row and weighing in at 11 pounds, my personal best.
After the celebrations and watching this hen sink back into the depths I called it a day.
Making my way to the edge to thaw out and sort some lunch, the scream off excitement came across the water with Murrays rod bent and a fishing breaking the surface. Another Swartberg monster falling
For a dragon Pattern. What a session well worth the drive.