On a bit of a nostalgia trip Glen and I headed to Kosi Lakes to join Ewan Kyle on a guided adventure.
We made base at the Natal Parks Board chalets nestled in the indigenous forests and settled in for the afternoon getting the tackle rigged and ready. The bird life around the chalets was amazing with a couple new birds to tick of the list.
We knew the trip wasn’t going to be easy fishing but the thought of giant Rock Salmon kept us on a positive note. I rigged myself three rods, two ten weight Xplorer Guide II rods and an Xplorer Guide II 12 weight. The ten weight rods were rigged with a Rio Tarpon floating line and one with the Rio Leviathan 400 grain, the twelve with a Rio Tarpon 12 weight floating line.
Fly fishing for these giant Rock Salmon has been on my wish list for a few seasons. Ewan had caught a really nice Rock Salmon on Glen’s last trip to the lakes while guiding him and a friend, I won’t say more!!!
We caught up with Ewan the next morning at first light, boat ready and rearing to go. We headed across lake three to a sand bar out in the middle of nowhere. The sun just started to peak up over the Kosi dunes. A little weary of my surroundings, wading around amongst crocodiles and hippos gave me a slight chill. We thrashed the water until about 9:30am with no joy at all, going through the fly boxes trying everything we had.
Lots of casting practice was done but no success. We headed back to base camp to enjoy a light lunch and a recovery session and some more fly tying.
Big 8/0 brush flies and Nyaps are what normally work for these Rock Salmon so we tied a few up and headed back down for an afternoon session. We headed across Lake Three and into the channel between Lake Three and Lake Two. We anchored the boat and started wading the drop off looking for action. I think we must have made at least a thousand casts between us with no joy.
As the sun started to set in the distance things started to come alive with the odd chase, casting a twelve weight rod all day isn’t easy but with a bit of action happening I got a second wind. Casting a long line out over the drop off with an 8/0 Nyap the water exploded and my reel started singing as the line took off into the distance. We thought it was what we had come to target but as I got the fish in closer we realised it was a big eye King Fish and a prime specimen of 65 cm.
A quick tag in the fish and it was off to fight another day.
The weather had changed the following day with a bit of rain over night. We got back on the boat and headed to Lake Two for something different. Casting flies up at the structure of the fish traps targeting the rock salmon was exciting with lots of smashes on the flippers and Nyaps. It wasn’t long and Glen was into a solid fish that gave him the run around. We caught a few smaller Rock Salmon that day but not what we were after.
Day three and our last day on the water was going to be a challenge. Still charged up for the elusive Rock salmon, Ewan took us all over searching the water. Later that afternoon we came across a shoal of Rock Salmon probably a hundred fish or so gathered together in slightly deeper water. I approached the shoal with my Xplorer Guide II ten weight and the fast sinking Rio Leviathan 400 grain line and presented a brush fly in front of the shoal. A couple of strips and my line went tight, all hell broke loose as the fish headed off. It wasn’t to be as the hook pulled.
A trip is been planned now for next season as I will be back to a special place with great memories. Thanks Ewan Kyle for a great session, will definitely be back to use your guiding services.