The lengths that a man is willing to go to, is the measure of one’s character I’ve been led and grown to believe. Our reasons for embarking on these journeys might evolve the more we travel, but in our world they stem from an insatiable appetite to outwit.
That a cold-blooded opponent, some distance down the evolutionary scale can keep us awake at night, remains a mystery. But fixated we are and driven we have become. This expedition was to the highest Kingdom in the world, a land forged by volcanic upheaval, where testament in the barriers it has created surround you.
One of the earliest documented account of fishing with nothing but feathers refers to ‘ a fish with a speckled hue…..’ and over the centuries anyone who has challenged it’s elusive disposition knows that you will encounter few fish as clever as this character.
And we wouldn’t dream of an adventure in these treacherous mountains without the guidance of Jonno, a Basutu by his own admission, albeit a pale one.
Now there are only two ways to tackle the Maletsunyane Gorge, the short abseil down for adrenaline junkies and the old goat route, which is to follow the mules as they meander down, which everyone with even a mild case of vertigo jumped at.
Getting to virgin water is almost as difficult as keeping to it’s namesake for any young lad. But in the same vain, the journey makes it all worth while.
More often than not a small fish beat the more educated Trout to the punch and in a sprint, the Rainbow would be the quickest compared to it’s Brown cousin
Myself and Jer have always been a solid fishing team, largely as I get to pillage in his fly box, but we both believe that watching a fish take a fly is as exciting as catching it yourself, so the task to guide your mate into a sizeable specimen is where it’s at.
Further upstream Grevin was making hay while the sun was out.
And Brett, bred in the rugged Trankei coastline, has seen enough majestic settings to appreciate the cathedral in which he now found himself enjoying the attention of a ravenous Brown Trout.
But alas, the weather gods were to have the last say on this fishing expedition with the rains turning the river into a brown torrent, making it completely unfishable for the next two days that we took to hike out of this magnificent gorge.
Having seen the proportions of Browns that Semonkong Lodge is renowned for, it ranks as the finest wild Brown Trout fishery in Africa and when you couple this with the ease of access, outstanding hospitality of Armelle and Jon…..And the top class establishment that they’ve created it remains my favorite destination in the country.