Stonecutters Blog

Flyfishing in the Mpumalanga Highlands is very rewarding in Winter

Posted by Margi Butler on May 24, 2012 9:22:00 PM

River fishing stonecutters lodge dullstroomAs temperatures drop in the Highlands area of Dullstroom and Lydenburg, so the excitement levels of anglers rise! As mentioned in the Fosaf Guide to Flyfishing there are five rivers in this area that have traditionally been earmarked for trout, - the Klip, Waterval, Spekboom, Sterkspruit and the Dorps. There are numerous trout lodges in the area that offer both dam and river fishing, ranging from rustic to luxurious and now is the time for the fly-fisherman from Gauteng to head for the Mpumalanga Highlands to hone his skills in ideal conditions.

In still water the warmer summer months have seen sluggish feeding as trout head for the comfort of the cooler depths but lower Autumn water temperatures cause a resurgence of feeding activity as trout endeavour to pack on weight for the coming winter months.

 Trout fishing DullstroomWhereas in summer, fishing at first light produces the best chance of a catch, in the cooler Autumn weather trout will feed throughout the day, especially in overcast conditions. Even the enthusiastic angler may take advantage of the opportunity of rising a little later while still enjoying a productive day’s fishing! Aquatic plants will be dying back and insects will be less plentiful, but there are enough bugs around to stimulate activity and the muddy river conditions of summer are now giving way to gin-clear water.

In many dams in this area trout go through an abortive spawning ritual just at the onset of winter. The fish are in magnificent breeding colour but for a period of about three weeks are more interested in the mating game than in feeding, but may take egg-pattern flies or take flies with a flash of red simply out of aggression.

During the colder winter months the water temperature is still mild enough for some insect activity and particularly on sunny winter days fish may be enticed into feeding. Floating and intermediate lines are the order of the day.

Read a recent fishing report by Louis Munnick on fishing the Dorps River.

Suggested reading: Fosaf Guide to Flyfishing Destinations in Southern Africa.

This beautifully illustrated book is a ‘must have’ for the South African flyfisherman and is much more than a venue guide, with comprehensive chapters on types of fish, techniques and tackle.

Tags: Dullstoom, trout fishing, Fly fishing in Dullstroom, Dullstroom Trout Fishing, Stonecutters Lodge, accommodation in Dullstroom, River fishing near Dullstroom, Accommodation with fishing, Mpumalanga flyfishing

Trout Fishing at Stonecutters Lodge near Dullstroom

Posted by Margi Butler on Sep 16, 2011 3:41:00 PM

Gus Mason is an experienced fly-fisherman who was able to marry his passion for the sport to his ability as a sales training facilitator: His course “Fishing For Business” engendered in many a delegate a newly awakened interest in trout fishing in the Mpumalanga Highlands.

Flyfishing Dullstroom, LydenburgMany of these courses were held at Stonecutters Lodge near Dullstroom which offers superb accommodation and boardroom facilities as well as the opportunity to fish in dams and river. The 2 dams  and three kilometers of Dorps River are well stocked and are ideal for fly-fishing clinics. But river fishing is Gus’s first love and he wrote an article "Fishing the Rises"- the setting is the Dorps River at Stonecutters Lodge and the thrust of his lyrical prose is that the appreciation of fly-fishing is not confined to the number of bites or the weight of the catch: The pleasure of fishing is not measured by the number of fish brought home by the fisherman but is rather the deeper holistic experience of truly connecting with nature and of pitting one's wiles against those of a worthy opponent. So read and enjoy and download his article  Fishing The Rises……you will be pleased you did!

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Tags: Mpumalanga, fly-fishing, Lydenburg, trout fishing, Dullstroom

Hook a large trout or two at Stonecutters Lodge!

Posted by Margi Butler on Aug 30, 2011 10:37:00 AM

Guests at Stonecutters Lodge come in all shapes and sizes. Among them are those who want a romantic getaway in a country setting, those who want to take in the Dullstroom vibe and those who are doing business in Lydenburg. Then there are those who come to fish. Especially at this time of year when the waters are cold and the fishing is good, those desk-bound city dwellers who have been bitten by the fly-fishing bug feel the lure of the well-stocked dams and river at Stonecutters.

Trophy trout near Dullstroom

Many arrive with all their fly-fishing gear, but some make use of the rod and reel hire facility here. Some swagger bravely down to the water, secure in their ability to hook even the most wary trout, while less confident fishermen request the services of a local guide to ease them into the rhythm of casting and retrieving.

Fly fishing tuition near Dullstroom It is always a pleasure to host the occasional fisherman who, with well-honed skill, enjoys an outing on our water that they rank as exceptional. Andrew Wilmot was one such guest this month who has documented his stay and his catches at Stonecutters Lodge. The following article for our fly-fishing followers is an inspiration!

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Tags: Mpumalanga, fly-fishing, Lydenburg, trout fishing, Dullstroom

Catch a big rainbow trout Dullstroom, Mpumalanga

Posted by Margi Butler on Aug 14, 2011 10:20:00 AM

A fair number of our guests at Stonecutters Lodge are keen trout fishermen, but spawning season is always a difficult time as the fish are more interested in chasing one another than in taking the fly. So in early August this year we added some juvenile fish to the dams and river so that these youngsters (up to 450g) who were not sexually mature could provide some sport for those throwing in a line.

Big Trout at Stonecutters near DullstroomMark Heslop and his family who had sought long weekend accommodation near Dullstroom, booked a weekend in the family cottage  at Stonecutters Lodge.  We had organized a fly fishing lesson for his young son from one of the local guides early on Sat morning and Mark then spent time fishing the river and dams. On Sunday morning when casting in the large dam Mark hooked a magnificent cock fish weighing 2.1 kg using a black woolly bugger with a flash of red. The following morning he once again presented the fly to the spawning rainbows and hooked another biggie- 1.4 kg hen fish.

Both fish will be prepared for the Lodge buffet table- and if you are interested in knowing how to prepare trout for the table join the Chef's Hat Club and we will forward the recipes to you.

Fishing Reports

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: catch large trout, lydenburg fly-fishing, fly-fishing, trout fishing, dullstroom fly-fishing

Fly-fishing in the Mpumalanga, close to Dullstroom

Posted by Margi Butler on Jul 6, 2011 8:52:00 PM

Gus Mason is an experienced fly-fisherman who was able to marry his passion for the sport to his ability as a sales training facilitator: His course “Fishing For Business” engendered in many a delegate a newly awakened interest in trout fishing in the Mpumalanga Highlands. Many of these courses were held at Stonecutters Lodge near Dullstroom which offers superb accommodation and boardroom facilities as well as the opportunity to fish in dams and river. The 2 dams  and three kilometers of Dorps River are well stocked and are ideal for fly-fishing clinics. Gus starts off with some background on the history and science of fly-fishing. Did you know for instance that human female pheremones are attractive to trout? When attaching a fly to a line allow a female to handle the fly first! The theory is followed by casting lessons on the  lawns in front of the Stonecutters dams before the inductees are allowed to sink a line.

But river fishing is Gus’s first love and he wrote an article "An Early Rise, a Silent Pool and an Exercise in Patience." The setting is the Dorps River at Stonecutters Lodge and the thrust of his lyrical prose is that the appreciation of fly-fishing is not confined to the number of bites or the weight of the catch: The pleasure of fishing is not measured by the number of fish brought home by the fisherman but is rather the deeper holistic experience of truly connecting with nature and of pitting one's wiles against those of a worthy opponent. So read and enjoy and download his article……you will be pleased you did!


River fishing for Trout, Dullstroom

 "There don't have to be a thousand fish in a river; let me locate a good one and I'll get a thousand dreams out of him before I catch him - and, if I catch him, I'll turn him loose."

~ Jim Derren ~


Tags: Mpumalanga, fly-fishing, Lydenburg, trout fishing, Dullstroom

Go Fly-fishing in the Trout Triangle in Mpumalanga

Posted by Margi Butler on Jun 23, 2011 2:25:00 PM

 

Trout Fishing MpumalangaMpumalanga has long been known as a popular venue for trout fishing. The excellent and accessible rivers in the eastern parts of the province lend themselves to supporting trout fishing as a significant sub-sector of the tourism industry. The most notable trout rivers are the Sterkspruit, the Spekboom, Klip, Waterval and the Dorps.

According to a study undertaken by Professor Leiboldt and Dr Van Zyl, fly-fishing in South Africa has a direct economic impact of R3.5-billion rand (2007). In response to the increasing popularity of fly-fishing, dams all over Mpumalanga have been rehabilitated, particularly in the trout triangle of Dullstroom, Waterval-Boven and Belfast. This sector of the tourism industry provides an increasing number of jobs in an area that sorely needs employment opportunities for unskilled and semi-skilled employees.

Breeding for the many trout lodges in Mpumalanga is undertaken by specialists who conduct thriving businesses trading in eggs and live fish, varying in size from fingerlings to trophy fish. Angling fish suppliers in the Dullstroom, Lydenburg areas include Nooitgedacht and Lunsklip Fisheries. Milly’s Trout Hatchery operates near Machadodorp.

Smoked Trout products Lunsklip and Milly’s are also in the business of processing trout for consumption with a variety of products from smoked trout to trout pate, and deboned whole baby trout.

Testing is currently underway in a joint venture between two government departments – Science and Technology and Agriculture and the Department of Forestry and Fisheries on a method of cage-net technology that will produce trout fingerlings for hatcheries with 50-ton production facilities.

Fly-fishing is a thriving industry and the introduction of trout to the Eastern Highlands in the late 1800’s has had a significant impact on the tourism industry of Mpumalanga.

River fishing at StonecuttersThe off spin is that many country Estates boasting beautiful trout waters have developed in the Trout Triangle – some offering dam fishing and others river fishing. Stonecutters Lodge on the Dorps River offers both.

 

 

 

Tags: River Fishing, Mpumalanga, trout fishing, Dullstroom