GET THE NET! Finding the fly that fakes the food
By Wayne Ulrich Stegen

HIGHMOOR Nature Reserve, Kamberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was closing weekend in June 2014 and a couple of us had spent two days there and had some fantastic fishing.

While there, we spotted numerous fish cruising right up against the bank; their enormous size meant they more closely resembled submarines than trout. We tried everything in the “Tour Da Fly Box” and eventually my wife, Roxanne, managed to hook one of the monster fish. Sadly after a good fight lasting more than five minutes the hook pulled right at the net and off went her trophy! The rainbow trout are stocked at two inches and by the time they reach maturity they are wise and wild. We would have to wait two agonising months for the wattled crane to finish breeding before we could fish the venue again ...

The wonderful thing about this pastime of ours is that there are many different ways in which we approach or engage in the fish’s environment for our own pleasure. The main goal is obviously to catch something so that you smell like you were actually fishing and not just sitting in the pub. As such, there are many ways of “luring” a fish onto the end of your line, but for me, there are some that are far more successful and pleasing than others.

A good friend was recently asking about flies for a trip and at the end of a lengthy conversation he remarked: “Trout love a Speedkop Woolly Bugger.” I instantly assumed that he probably wasn’t going to try much else and left it at that. However, there are other ways, and I truly believe that once you cross the imaginary line from lures to imitative flies, you’ll find it hard to go back.

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