Bell blog – 30 January 2020                                                             Gateshead with Rob Burns

Part of the deal was that we had to go somewhere Rob hadn’t yet been.

After the obligatory bridge stops and various other pauses (where we able to see into the river from the road) we arrived at Gateshead in the late morning The area hasn’t looked this good for the last three years and the upper Bokspruit with its gradient has totally a scoured stream bed.

We kitted up and dressed; wanting to impress Rob, I walked him upstream for about twenty minutes before entering the stream. The verdant veld was bursting with colour from all the flowers. It was a warm clear day with a slight upstream breeze, well just enough to mess us around a bit on a 000 and one weight. We used dry flies for all of our fishing:- Klinkhammer, Rab, Edhammer and Elk hair Caddis.

 We entered the stream at a shallow basalt stretch. A cast here and there on our way upstream failed to get any response. Places that always produce did not deliver. I assume that the fish have yet to re-colonise the shallower stretches. 

At a certain point we started to get takes and from there on there were fish about. Most seemed to be well over six inches and Rob even caught an adult of about thirteen inches; the others were all in the eight to ten inch range. We observed clouds of mayflies involved in the mating dance, probably size eighteen. There was also a much larger dun coloured ephemerid to be seen coming off the surface, possibly as big as size fourteen.

The fish observed were to be found at the tail or deeper centre of the pools rather than at the head where flow enters. The fish were quite spooky and did not return for another go after missing the fly on a previous drift. At one stage we fished with one spotting while the other cast and here the fish required about ten minutes of rest between catches.

The flow rate, water clarity and clean basalt stream bed can only be described as optimum. There are fish about and I assume that they will continue to move into the pocket water and shallower runs as our forecast rainfall continues.

Another day added to the end of our lives!!!

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