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 roamfree4             04 00 05 06 02
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Francis Edwardes
Hometown: Nottingham Road, KZN
Company: Fly & Arrow Africa
Area Fishing: South Africa
Discipline: Fly fishing
Species Targeted: Predominately Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Tigerfish, Smallmouth Yellowfish, Natal Scaly and what ever else he can find that swims.

Growing up on a farm in the Natal Midlands, Francis, with a rod almost three times his height at the time, flicked his first fly into the trout dam no more than 300 meters from his front door. Since then; well… one doesn't need to be explained the rest.

Currently a student at the University of Stellenbosch. Time out between his studies is spent exploring the waters of the Western Cape. The availability of the Cape Streams at a bow and arrow's cast away has turned him into a competent river angler. The saltwater too, neither so distant, has seen him when the tides are right. When home for the holidays, Francis spends his time on the still-waters and the surrounding rivers forever in search for one more fish. Whenever the opportunity arises, more often than not, he and the boys of Fly and Arrow Africa are seen exploring new waters.    

Call it blue lining

Call it blue lining

I was hoping that this would not be my last venture to the streams. Alas, it was. Sadly it was the next after my previous post too. Oh well, I'll sleep in the post graduate bed I chose to make.

A new addition to the CPS waters this season which has become one of my favourite. Not because of the size of fish, nor the numbers, but more so due to the fact that it is the closest to blue lining I have ever come. The term blue lining is more commonly used in the States where there is an abundance of trout waters.

Picture this: open a map, find a trib. of river known to hold the aquatic critters, find a trib. of that trib., pack your 2wt and a box of 18-22 dries and head for the mountains. That faintest blue line on the map is your destination. It's all about getting high up, in tight places and far from those often fished. It's fly fishing like this that gives me a kick; it can never become repetitive if you don't let it.

Anyway, so this is the closest I have yet to come to blue lining - skip the finding it on a map part. Although, I got as high and tight as I could. The thought that not many other people dig this was pretty rad too. Yeah the fish are pretty naive and will rise for your yarn indicator, big LOL, but you can't be. You're pretty much fishing in a tunnel of witch fingers the whole day. Short role casts and/or bow-and-arrow casts are the most appropriate ways to present the little RABs.

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Almost gone

Almost gone

To be honest, I think I was losing interest in fly fishing. It's almost halfway through April and the only fishing I had done all year before yesterday was a session at De Mond. To call that fishing is even a lie, all I really did was sit on the sand and talk about girls with my good friend Alex. It didn't help much that the night before we had an absolute blow out with some rock and surf fishermen that we had met at the campsite where we were staying. But hell, we had a cool time exchanging fishing stories with a cold jaboolie in hand until the early hours of the morning. Yeah so that's about right, I haven't fished all year. I mean c'mon, I live 40 km from the CPS streams where one can sight fish to happily rising trout - what is wrong with me?

So, when asked to guide for three days over the course of one working week I apathetically accepted. When the time came closer to take these chaps out on the stream I decided to give preparation a little thought. Renew the CPS license. Book the beats I thought would work, but had no idea if they would. Stocked up on tippets and leaders; forgot how fine 7x was. Opened they fly box to find a measly collection of dries and nymphs. Spent the three days before the first of guiding spewing out flies that I thought would work, but had no idea if they would.

The first day of guiding arrived. I got out of bed at 4am to leave Stellenbosch at 5am to get to Camps Bay by 6am to be on the river by 7:30am! Man, I wasn't too stoked when my alarm went off. However, after my first session out with Grant from Colorado on the river, I had forgotten about the 4am rise and quite enjoyed those that were happening on the river. The following mornings that I had to awake early were easier because I looked forward to the session on the stream ahead. To keep it short re the guiding, all three days were kick-ass with many fish, fishing stories and great banter.

After it all, I received a very touching email from the second chap I took out where he thanked me very much for reigniting his passion for fly fishing and that it was his most memorable day out ever. In all honesty, I should be the one thanking him, as well as the other two, for rekindling my love for fly fishing. Not once in all three days did I wish I were fishing, I had such fun watching them have such a gas and seeing the fish behave the way they did. 

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Cape streams photographic essay

Cape streams photographic essay

When asked to be a Fishtube guide and help with the blogging I accepted it with much excitement; I knew that I'd be out in the field a fair amount during the second half of the year. I enjoy my writing and whilst being briefed in the office by Rhuan as to what was expected of me, ideas of epic fishing missions with the possibilities of turning them into posts started churning. On return to the Cape I was hit with an unfamiliar amount of academic work and had my fingers dancing on the keyboard everyday, unfortunately with no relation to the theme of writing I had hoped to be doing. That being said, the imagined missions did not turn into reality and my fishing days were cut to almost zero during the semester. 

I have been itching to write my first blog post, but with no real adventure having happened I have not had a sufficient story to tell. Therefore, to get the show on the road I though it may be an idea to start with a photographic essay of a small collection of images I have collected as an angler on the whiskey clear cape streams.

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