We’ve cast out to find the best of flyfishing. We scouted some of the best kit in the business and our scribes travelled to the quietest, mistiest corners of the land to scout the finest fishing hideaways. Here are just three flyfishing hotspots we think you’ll love.
Words and pictures: Fiona McIntosh
Fizantakraal Private Trout Lodge
This gorgeous private lodge in the Du Toitskloof Mountains is less than an hour from Cape Town but, surrounded by rugged peaks and overlooking the tinkling trout stream of the Kraalstroom valley, it feels deep in the wilderness. The luxury four-bedroom hideaway boasts three trout-stocked dams so is ideal for a group of flyfishers, but the views, the bird life, the heated infinity pool and private hiking trails into the surrounding fynbos-dotted mountains provide plenty to amuse non-fisherfolk. And if you’re after romance, the view through the French doors from the master bedroom is about as good as it gets.
Most people book on a self-catering basis, but catering can be organised on request. There’s also Wi-Fi and all the mod cons for those who really can’t just relax and enjoy country living. This little-known gem is one of my favourite escapes. So much so that I was in two minds about letting you in on the secret.
021 790 0972, [email protected], www.fizantakraal.co.za
“The best still water for trout I’ve ever fished in South Africa,” was how my friend Erik sold Leliekloof to me. Situated in the magnificent Skulpspruit environs in the Stormberg, about 80km south of Aliwal North, Leliekloof farm offers fishing at a high altitude and in a dramatic landscape. There are two dams – the deep, ice-cold Aquarium, known for its huge and lively trout, and the Kloof Dam, where trout will be introduced this year. Both support bird life, including a pair of African Fish Eagles, and the farm is also famed for its San rock-art sites, which can be visited on guided walks.
Only one group can be accommodated at a time in two rooms and a loft in the main farmhouse plus a separate rondavel, making for an exclusive fishing experience. Due to the high summer temperatures, the fishing season only runs from April to September.
Five Assegais Fishing Lodge
Between Badplaas and Machadodorp
With its sweeping views over the largest of four trout dams and surrounding hills, the veranda at Five Assegais Fishing Lodge is the perfect place to sit, watch the sunset and celebrate a successful day’s flyfishing. And there’s plenty of fishing to be had. In addition to the dams, which are stocked with brown, golden and rainbow trout, the 1 500 hectare country estate has numerous natural cascades and streams in which to cast a fly – as well as game viewing, hiking, mountain biking and the opportunity to bathe in the natural rock pools.
The traditional stone farmhouse, which blends perfectly into the rocky backdrop, has four en-suite bedrooms and plenty of open-plan communal areas, which comfortably accommodate up to eight people on a self-catering or catered basis. And since it’s a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, it’s an easy weekend escape.
082 889 6757, [email protected], www.fiveassegais.co.za