On the home front we are now on the happier side of the winter solstice, days are becoming longer, and there seems to be a general lift in moods. With spring around the corner, also our two flowers are starting to blossom into very sweet little baby girls. Although they still have their moments, Rena and I really can’t complain about the little ones' progress.
In the image below, they have discovered one of Dad’s tackle bags, and it seems they are not going to stay at home next time Dad heads off to cast a fly!
Anna & Lily in my trout tackle bag!
Del Brown Permit Tournament – Florida USA
About a year ago, the Del Brown family commissioned me to make a Perpetual Sculpture of a Permit in memory of the late Del Brown – he was famous for creating the Merkin fly, on which he caught over 300 permit.
Permit are notorious for being one of the trickiest fish to outwit on fly. To catch only one of these amazing fish on a fly, is high on most saltwater fly anglers bucket list - so 300+ permit is an incredible achievement!
I recently moved into a new studio. It is still at the same address in Kalk Bay, but with a lot more space and LIGHT!
I am still finding my feet, but I think I’m going to love it!
Please feel free to pop in for a visit if you are ever in the area – Kalk Bay is a great place to visit. Around the corner from the studio is a quaint little fishing harbour and also some brilliant little restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and other interesting shops to brows around in. Well worth a visit in my opinion.
Please make an appointment if you are keen to visit the studio.
Mid-winter estuary fishing
I managed to get a two day pass from my incredible wife, Rena, to sneak out for a rare splash of fishing on one of our country's best destinations for estuary fly fishing – the Breede River.
My pal, Andrew and I headed out from Cape Town on the 3 1/2 hour drive due East. The weather was playing along nicely, and hopes were high when we met our friend Beetle Bailey at his lovely home in Cape Infanta. Not long after arriving, we tackled up and headed to one of our favourite spots to see if we could interest a notoriously difficult grunter in taking a fly (quite often compared to permit when it comes to their attitude). The tides were very high, and as the sun set, and the cold set in, we ambled back to the vehicle deliberating whether we had chosen the wrong spot for the session.
The next morning saw us getting into our waders whilst sipping on a coffee and soon we headed down the beach to another spot that has good numbers of cob (when you are lucky). There was a mist hanging over us, and a chill that I am sure one could have compared with Siberia! The water was full again, and we were all pretty awake as we were wading deep, and this river is notorious for some of the biggest Bull Sharks this planet of ours has to offer. At one stage a pair of Humpback Dolphins breached a couple of meters away from where I was fishing, and I am sure I missed at least one heartbeat! Once I realized what they were, it was one of those moments in nature where you truly appreciate this wonderful sport of ours. They gently cruised passed me, and the next moment laid into a school of mullet with such speed and intent, it is hard to describe. This session also left us fishless.
The afternoon session with a nice pushing tide upped our spirits somewhat as we had a number of grunter showing mild interest in our offerings. Some of them would come up behind the fly and look at it for some time, not sure if they should eat or not. Unfortunately, none of the takes we had resulted in any fish.
The next morning Andrew and I decided to fish for an hour before heading back home. I was fortunate enough to deceive a fair sized grunter to eat my fly and after an honest battle managed to land this beautiful fish!
Catch of the month – Spotted Grunter
This month's painting
Oil on canvas Size: 76 x 31cm
The South African Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Expo 2016
My good pal, Gordon van der Spuy, has worked relentlessly for the last couple of months to put together this special event.
Amongst other artists and artisans, I will be exhibiting some of my art at the expo.
Gordon Van der Spuy writes:
The South African Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Expo will take place at Lourensford Estate in Somerset West on 30 July this year. It promises to be the largest event of its kind locally. What makes it unique is that it caters specifically for fly fishermen and women. The event is the direct result of the fly fishing community at large getting together to put on a memorable event. Designed to serve both the individual fly fisher and the community as a whole, it offers more than an outdoor expo because it’s not just a commercial exercise, but an opportunity for people within the fly fishing fraternity to connect and mingle in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
The venue hall on Lourensford Estate – ample space, good light and acres of parking.
For too long, in our clubs, provinces or social circles, we have operated in isolation. This event, set to be held annually and in different parts of South Africa, will help change that. Fly fishers will be able to experience the best in fly fishing in one place, from the best gear available in South Africa, to fly tying and casting demonstrations by experts. The Expo will also focus on local ingenuity, fly fishing art and product design within fly fishing. There will be a few firsts at the Expo. I’m not going to spill the proverbial beans though. You’ll have to come see for yourself.
Please support these guys! Proceeds from the event will be donated to Trout SA and other organizations in the industry. There are also some seriously great prizes to be won in a raffle. Each entry ticket of R100 will include a draw in the raffle.