Fly fishing Umdloti with JP Bartholomew
And here we have JP Bartholomew entertaining us again with tales of fly fishing Umdloti, just north of where JP lives…
A final break in the weather and I wanted to get some flyfishing in and especially to see how my right arm was doing after battling with Tennis Elbow which I had been battling with for the last couple of month’s.I hit the Umdloti stretch with my 8/9wt Explorer fitted with a Explorer Orion 9wt Reel with intermediate line using a 22lb fluorocarbon leader.The water was flat with a slight South westerly wind blowing and as always fishing on a pushing in tide.The water was a nice green/blue in colour which was perfect not clean and not dirty the stretch was mine with the odd Holidaymaker Anglers trying there luck. A lot of scattered reef along the shorebreak and open gullies made it that more interesting to fly fish. Don’t you just ever get that feeling that today is just going to be an exciting morning for you not expecting anything big but just hopping for a epic morning’s session and you just wanna get going? Well this time I had a awesome morning’s fly fishing.
I had set up my fly set up and looked for a fly best suited to try the water’s I was going to be fishing that would attract any rock or sand dwellers in the near vicinity of where I would target the are I would cast towards.I decided to go with a Black Clouser which would stand out and throw more of a dark silhouette and attract some nice Specimen to it.I started peeling off line to begin my assault, I managed to get close to some structure and felt some nice bums on my retrieve but no hook ups so I a slower retrieve and not long a went on tight getting a few little head shakes I was just not quite sure what it was definitely not a small kingie of sorts, finally got it to surface and I had a little beauty of a Kob I quickly got a pic for my photo gallery and removed the fly and slowly released it back into the water stokked I was on the scoreboard I continued to cast around the same structure as well as bouncing my fly off a small sand bank to my left and slowly allowing it to sink and then slowly bouncing it off the bottom to get a reaction I tried the same retrieve a few times before I went on again.
My rod went tight and this fella was giving me stick which felt so good hoping to see what I had picked up a few more runs I slowly started retrieving the line back and slowly got it to the surface it was a nice size Stone Bream. I quickly got my buddy to take a pic for the gallery and removed the fly and slowly released it back to fight another day epic seeing how much activity happens when you fish a pushing in tide and the conditions are right and the fish species are roaming around looking for anything which gets knocked off the rocks or when the waves churned up the sand throwing up all sorts of crustaceans and small sprats allowing anything in tvicinityity to feed freely on them.
After a few more casts I finally moved on to a different spot as the water was pushing a little more with more white water breaking over the rocks hoping to try target for a kingfish or two hopefully.I had a couple of casts into the white water before going tight a a nice quick peel on my line zig zaggingfrom left to right very unasual fight after a few minutes I managed to get close to it so I could identify the fish I had hooked into – Eisssh my first a Concertina fish nice size too happy with my catch I just had to get the pic in quickly and release it back as soon as possible which I did.I carried on for a while hoping for a bigger pick up as the gulley filled up nicely and the waves were still brakeing over the rocks it was still fish able for a few more casts.I slowly started moving out slightly more backwards so I could have a few more casts in front of me towards the bay that had build up in front while I was busy fishing but to no avail.
I moved out and walked more down towards the bigger bays and try for some small Geeeeeet’s hopefully I kept to the Black Clouser why change your fly when you’ve been having such good results with it. I slowly started peeling off line to begin my casting I spotted a nice little gully which came off from a sand bank and dropped off into a nice deepish pool of running white water which is always a exciting spot to target kingfish ambushing sprats or smaller Mullet in the turbulenced water.It wasn’t long before I got smoked by something that just felt like another Concertina fish and yip it was another I safely removed the fly and released it back, carring on and casting into the channel I got a chase and it it my fly but missed the hook up I could only have been a small kingie so I kept at casting in the direction of the chase I got hoping it would give Me another go.No luck after a few more casts nothing was happening so I moved further down where to more of a sandy bay with a scattered reef to see what species I could hook my fly into and attract what ever is lurking along the sandy channels.
Well this would be my final session before my turn around and start to make my way back to my car. Looking to see where would be the best option to start I saw a sandy spot just starting to get water washing over the bank that could only be to My advantage with the water stirring up the sand and exposing small Crustaceans, Sealice , Sand Shrimp….etc and all I had to do is cast my fly towards the turmoil and white water rolling around.
I gave myself 20min to cast and hopefully catch my last fish before before heading home for some family time….!! Well I started casting onto the bank and dropping my fly down and using a slow retrieve hoping something would see it amongst the sand and white water trying to get away and smash my fly. I just kept at it eventually I felt a bump then another bump and a miss then got a proper pick up and quickly held my line and lifted up my rod to strike I was on Dad finally I got my Species that was playing catch me if you can but with perseverance I hooked the cheeky bugger not knowing what it was it was a feisty fella gave Me a nice little rev retrieving some line back I could see what looked to me like a little Grunter which landed up being My first Grunter on fly completely stokked at my little Spotted Grunter I took the Pic and released it back and got back to casting hoping for a bigger Boykie if there was one there must be more surely.
I changed my fly to a Brown Brush Fly to try impersonat a Brown Shrimp I casted for may be 15min then totally got Smashed I really thought I had the Daddy Grunter but landed up being a nice size Stone Bream unfortunately I had to take the Pic of My Boykie Stone lying on the sand quickly removed the fly and released it back safely I got straight back into the channel and kept at it hoping just hoping for that Big Cock Grunter.Boom I was on again and what ever hit me it was peeling line and going for it , it was stripping Me nicely best fight I had all morning.I finally started getting my line back I thought I had a little kingie on but I had hooked a nice size Wave Garrick epic I placed the fella on the sand took the Pic and released it back into the water and watched it swim of into the blue.
Well I called it a morning a gr8 one at that and started heading back to my car and just enjoyed the playback’s in My head on the morning I just had , well maybe I’ll get My kingie the next time round…Homeward bound.
Happy New Year My Friends have a epic weekend all the BEST FOR 2017…..GOD BLESS….!!!
Once again JP, many thanks for sharing your fishing experiences with us. It’s really motivating, educational and appreciated! – Sean