The fish are definitely getting bigger, proven by the number of Trout in excess of 55cm landed this weekend! Led in the 1st session by Anton Martyne’s 61cm runner up which was just pipped by Deon Nel’s 62cm winning Rainbow hen, now in line for the Quintrex boat, compliments of Yamaha.Taking nothing away from the angling prowess apparent in the 3rd leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge, but the larger fish witnessed on the prowl certainly had a lot to do with the spawning season in full swing.
The ice cold water temperatures have galvanised those cock fish into action, chasing each other in the shallows, the instinct to fight for their right to fertilise overwhelming any rationale…can a fish be rational? Not if you ask some of the fly fishers, presenting all manner of fly meals to cruising Trout that were met with staunch refusals. But, as always for many, the Winter fishing was very satisfying, helped along by the almost picture perfect weather conditions. Fortunately for all, the wind did not pick up unreasonably, however, early morning was not for the feint hearted, as eyes freezing on the rods was a given and only a stiff tot in your coffee was going to ward off the bone chilling conditions. But, those that took on Jack Frost saw the fish come to the party.
And a festive gathering it certainly was, with BAT South Africa running away with the illustrious Betty Ford award…..one of their talented crew did not make it out onto the water the whole weekend….a first in the 16 years that we’ve been hosting the event. The Growler beer on tap kept the lads from getting dehydrated with such thirsty work and as usual the legendary Notties lived up to it’s reputation.
A total of 354 Trout were caught and released in the 3rd leg of the TCC, at an average of 6 fish per fly fisher, bringing the grand total in the qualifying legs to 1115 specimens, a worthy tally for everyone’s fishing efforts…and never a dull moment when fishy tales abound. Spare a thought for Owen from the Spar team, who had an absolute beast in his net (it actually couldn’t fit into his net), only to have it roll out and steam away, consigned from here-on-out as a fish of WildFly folklore. Bucket loads of prizes, compliments of Greys, Hodgeman, Xplorer, Famous Grouse and Craghoppers rewarded as many antics off the field as on, in the entertaining WildFly choice awards, with another 5 teams qualifying for the grand final
The new team from Zimbabwe, TDI snuck into 5th spot, followed by The Growler WildGuys, then in 3rd place The Finance Team, St Fergusson grabbing the silver medal with the winners of the 3rd leg of the TOPS Corporate Challenge being Zulu Waters.The top fly fisher for the weekend recording 14 great Trout at an average of 44cm, was Pieter Van Der Merwe.
It’s down to the business end of the TCC on the 4th and 5th August, where the 15 qualifying teams will be battling it out for top honours. Here’s to that elusive 10 pounder making an appearance.