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Name: Jeremy Rochester- Human being (fisherman first)

Hometown: Hillcrest, South Africa.
Works for: Xplorer
Area Guiding: KZN Midlands, North & South Coast S.A, Mozambique, Lower Zambezi
Discipline: Fresh & Salwater Fly Fishing

Species Targeted: All Freshwater & Saltwater Game Species

Salt water
Jeremy has guided in South African locations such as the North Coast (Zululand) and the extensive South Coast. Guided offshore fishing in Mozambique in the Barra Lodge and Inhanbane area, and around the Bazaruto Archipelago Jeremy has also fished and guided for Bill Fish in the waters of Kenya.
 
Fresh water
Jeremy has guided in the Southern and Central Drakensburg on rivers and still water for rainbow and brown trout. He has also spent time on the rivers of Lesotho tousling with yellows and trout. He has a deep appreciation for the wildlife on the upper and lower sections of the Zambezi River and of course the thrill of guiding there for the magnificent Tiger fish. Guiding in the Okavango Delta during the Cat fish run is another annual must.
 
Jeremy devotes a lot of time tying some unique fly patterns which he calls upon when he finds himself in a tricky fishing situation.

RIO Lines win Big at Efftex and IFTD!

We are delighted to announce that RIO made a clean sweep of every single possible 2018 new product award in the fly line, leader, and tippet categories at the recent industry trade shows:


At the beginning of July, RIO won the "Best New Fly Line" award at the annual European trade show "EFTTEX" with its new "DirectCore Flats Pro

RIO continued the winning trend by sweeping the board at the US annual trade how "IFTD"; winning the "Best New Saltwater Fly Line" award, again with the "DirectCore Flats Pro" line, the "Best New Freshwater Fly Line" award with the upcoming "InTouch Single Handed Spey 3D" line, and the "Best New Leader/Tippet" award with the new "Big Nasty" leaders and "Big Nasty" tippet .

 

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SPRING TROUT

SPRING TROUT

It’s that time of year when the waters start to warm up and the insect hatches are at the best, it’s like someone turned the lights on. The Trout start moving and feeding actively and to me probably the best time of year to target these fish on the dry fly. The August winds are starting to settle and the days starting to get longer with great dry fly fishing in the shallows.

On a recent trip up to the Little Berg on some pristine private waters, the weather perfect with very little wind and towers of mayflies covering the shallows the caddis flies scatting the surface of the water and the odd explosion of some decent Rainbows were great signs for a good afternoons dry fly fishing. I rigged my Guide II 9FT 5 Weight rod with the new Rio Gold Intouch fly line and a 12 foot Rio Powerflex leader with a freshly tied CDC Elk wing caddis in an olive colour.

The fish were rising to the caddis all around with the sun starting to set in the distance, with a few precise casts to the rises my CDC Elk wing caddis was engulfed off the surface, the fly line screaming across the surface of the water and the fish breaking the surface with some spectacular jumps.

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Within a few minutes the fish was in the net a couple of pictures and the fish safely released to fight another day.

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Catfish Run @ Guma Lagoon Camp

Catfish Run @ Guma Lagoon Camp

 If ever you were looking for a few days of exciting Fly fishing, the catfish run must be top on my list. The Delta over the catfish run turns everything to a froth with birds squawking from the air and the sound of the sharp tooth catfish as they move along the edges of the papyrus smashing baitfish and herding everything in their path. The numbers of catfish are mind blowing as they hoover everything in sight.

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The reason we fish over this short period of time is the feeding frenzy that attracts the aggressive Tiger fish to the fleeing baitfish been herded by the thousands of Catfish, not much stands a chance as the waters become murky and the Tigers pray on who ever leaves the cover of the Papyrus.

John Geils from Xplorer Fly-fishing joined me on the trip smashing Tiger after Tiger, casting clouser patterns and whistlers amongst the marauding masses of catfish and Tigers. This is an eye opener as double ups are so common, as fish launch themselves at the Fly stripped away from cover, every now and then the fly would get hammered and come to a standstill and the sight of a catfish launching its self from the masses with the fly in its mouth, strong fighting fish with an acrobatic display.

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Bass On Fly

Bass On Fly

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of targeting Bass on the fly on some very special waters in the Natal Midlands. Bass are often over looked by fly fisherman and regarded as vermin, unjustly so! Sure they compete with and will prey on Trout in the same water which considering their breeding ability is cause for concern, but if their distribution is limited to specific waters and our Trout waters are managed properly you should be able to enjoy them both exclusively.
The two species of Bass in the area are the Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and the Small mouth Bass Micropterus dolomieu. Both species are aggressive feeders and prey on other species of fish, frogs and will eat almost anything in their path. The other specie off Bass is the Spotted Bass Micropterus punctulatus, this fish has been caught on the Mgeni system and reports of them been caught in Midmar Dam, but few and far between.

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The Small mouth Bass (smallies) Are great fun on light tackle and put up a great fight. We have been targeting them on the surface, casting deer hair bugs and poppers with awesome smashes and takes which makes for some exciting fly action. Visual fishing is always the best……. watching a fish appear from below and take off the surface. A 5 weight Xplorer Guide II 5 weight rod loaded with a Rio Gold 6wt line has been ideal for casting big wind resistant flies up into structure as most predatory fish like some sort of ambush area to attack from. The structure can be from rock drop offs to trees in the water or large weed beds, all these areas will hold fish. The Small Mouth Bass especially enjoys rocky out crops and drop offs which they will hold in water up to 12 meters down. The Largemouth Bass will hold and school in similar areas.
Pound for pound the Smallies are by far the strongest fighting, keeping their heads down and brawling to the bitter end.
Flies that have worked well over the late summer have been Deer hair bass bugs tied in a variety of different colours from purple, olive and black. The surface action takes place mainly in the low light conditions so early morning, late afternoon and over cast days are often good and the fish seem more aggressive and confident to come to the surface. During the bright part of the day when the sun is high you will find fishing a fast sinking line like a Rio In touch  with a sink rate of 5 to 6 inches per second will work best getting the fly down deep and fishing it around the structure. Zonkers in black, olive and purple have been the most successful, fished of the bottom on a slow retrieve. Msp has worked well and clouser minnows in similar colours…..don’t forget your Powerflex 2 x  tippet to hold them off and haul them in.

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Tight lines and screaming reels !!

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WildFly Barotse Tiger Shoot

 

I joined theWild Fly crew at Lanseria airport waiting on our invited guests , Paul Lishman, Peter Lehman and Grevin Price. All excited and ready to depart a charter plane destined for the well known Barotse Tiger Camp, in Zambia.
We boarded the Studio 88 charter plane with an excited bunch ready to tackle the Barotse giants. The spirits were high amongst the travelling crew with a few beers consumed on the flight and lots of banter! We cleared customs in Livingston and headed off for the landing strip in Lukulu in the western province of Zambia where we were met by Graham Williamson and Gerhard Simpson the owners of Barotse Tiger camp. Just a short drive through the outskirts of Lukulu and onto the camps boats awaiting us on the mighty Zambezi River.
The fourty odd minute boat ride to camp gave the guys time to absorb the beauty of the Zambezi system. We arrived at the camp just before sunset and settled into a few gin and tonics around the bar, discussing tactics with the local guides and listening to their advice on fly patterns. After a long days travel we sat down in the awesome camp to a four course meal fit for a king and headed to bed shortly after all geared up for the day ahead.


The crew were up early the next morning rods rigged and ready for battle, 6am was the time to be at the boats ready to leave. My room mate Grevin Price was up pacing from about 4am which had me up and the chatter started with lots of grumbles from our neighbouring camera crew. Grev and I paired up for the first days fishing with Graham our guide and Paul and Peter aboard the other boat. We set off up stream to a well known spot The Waterberrys  with the sun just starting to poke its head up in the distance, the bright orange glow over the Zambezi river is something special,  absorbing these scenes for a few minutes before starting the first drift. It wasn't long and my line took off between my fingers, setting the hook as firmly as possible leaning into the take with the fly line in hand jamming the line against the pressure on the other end, a loud crack and slack line....... one to the fish and nil to me. The twenty pound tippet was not going to crack it here with these beasts. The first day was a big learning curve for Grev and myself, as we were sorted out fish after fish. We managed a couple of fish around the six and seven pound range and were told those were called Barotse Rats !!  A full day out on the water from 6am to 6pm, and the body could already feel the work out. Sitting back at camp around the camp fire that evening talking about the ones that got away, gave me time to think about a heavier aproach to these beasts, minimum  30lb Rio max tippet, 40lb Rio knottable wire or no6 piano wire and bigger hooks with bigger gape, back to the well kitted flytying bench in camp. Graham gave me some VMC wide gape hooks in a 4/0 and Grev and I sat back before dinner strapping some whistlers and clousers in red and black tied with Fishients SF Blend. A hand full of flies each ready for the fish the next day.
The 5am alarm prompted us for a quick breakfast and back on the boats, with Graham rearing to go. The Wildfly crew have a saying that tiger time is at 9am, well it was a slow start to the morning and had been reminded by Mr Taylor that it had just gone 9am when things started to happen. A couple of nice fish in my book, nothing over the top but always good to get a fish or two on the boat, when out the corner of my eye I saw Grev's rod and line go straight and a beast of a fish came out the water shaking its head trying to throw the fly, giving the fish as little line as possible a beast of a fish was at the side of the boat, Grev rattling as Graham netted the fish and put it on the deck of the boat, estimates started flying 18lbs, 19lbs, weighed on the boga grip it weighed in at 20lbs, a beast of a tiger on fly and a new camp record.

The day went on with great spirit and the fish came thick and fast fullfilling the camps reputation. Tactics on drifting the middle of the river fishing the sandy drop offs didn't pay off, most the good fish this day came from casting long lines up to structure on the side of the banks, fallen trees and brush piles seem to hold the bigger fish. Later in the afternoon I had my chance to hold on to another Barotse double didgit fish using the same tactics, casting a long line up to a back edy on the edge of a small inlet and bang a monster came rattling the fly in its mouth as it lept out the water a couple of times running hard. Holding the line as taut as possible not giving it an inch my Rio Tiger fish line creaking under the pressure and my Xplorer Guide Series 904-9wt rod flat to the water managed to boat a fish of a life time - a 15 pounder. A couple of quick picks and the joy of watching the fish roam free to live another day. What a day we had and always good to spend a day on the water with Grev an absolute gentlemen when it comes to flyfishing.

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