South Africa’s location sees its east coast washed by the warm currents of the Indian Ocean and its west coast by cold Atlantic Ocean currents. This creates a unique environment in which the country’s most sought-after fish offer exciting, challenging fishing.
So, you’ve brought home a beautiful fresh fish that you just caught, and you want to turn it into something delicious. Most people would cook it with some awesome flavouring agents, but you can get much more creative than that.
Fly-fishing is a sport that allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty and splendour of nature. It also can lead you to explore some of the world’s most beautiful destinations.
Are you a fan of traditional Thai flavours? The cuisine of Thailand focuses heavily on fish and seafood, which means there are dozens of delicious recipes based on the catch of the day.
Fish is the perfect addition to your diet. It is packed with lean protein and omega-3, making it healthy for your body, your brain, and even your nervous system.
Fly fishing is a wonderful sport and if you’re looking to get started, you’ve certainly come to the right place.
Follow our top tips for fly fishing beginners and with a bit of patience and practise, you’re sure to reap the rewards.
When it comes to choosing a venue, you should ideally find a location which offers both plenty of space and fish.
We don’t suggest getting started with rivers as a beginner as this will likely cause more frustration than anything, so instead focus on finding small still waters as you won’t need to cast far.
While you shouldn’t spend a fortune on gear as a beginner, it is still important to purchase a reliable starter outfit. The good news is that you won’t have to break the bank to get a suitable starter outfit and we suggest looking into the Airflo and Snowbee brands.
The best option for getting started in still water fly fishing is a nine foot, six-weight rod, reel, and line.
The options for fly line can quickly become overwhelming, so it’s best to start with floating fly line.
You’ll attach regular line (known as the leader) to the floating fly line, as well as a few tapered leaders as these will help land your line without scaring off the fish.
As a fly fishing beginner it’s a good idea to focus on tried and tested flies and that’s why we recommend the Cat’s Whiskers, Hare’s Ear, Diawl Bach, Montana, Viva, and Fritz – names almost as exotic as your favourite bingo Canada sites!
Some companies even sell fly selections which come with a handy storage box and you may even get into creating your own flies eventually.
You’ll soon discover that sunlight casts quite a glare on the surface of the water which may make it almost impossible to spot a fish.
As such, we suggest purchasing a pair of polarised sunglasses as they will protect your eyes from errant hooks and casts and cut down glare.
As a beginner, you likely won’t have much experience with casting, so we suggest that you cast on grass first.
Try using a piece of wool or a fly without a point to avoid getting stuck on tress and obstacles and get a good feel for the motion before hitting the water.
The varieties of fishing knots are almost innumerable, but you don’t have to learn many of them before getting started with fly fishing.
For beginners we suggest you learn the half-blood knot and the overhand loop knot.
Wild Fishing Rules
If you’ve chosen a location you’re not particularly familiar with, be sure to check the rules quite carefully as you wouldn’t want to get into trouble.
On most wild fisheries, you’ll have to release whatever you catch, but stocked trout lakes will often have different rules entirely. Be sure to check which licenses you’ll require as well.
Fishing is traditionally done on a warm, sunny day when the fish are at their most active. But depending on where you’re situated, the winter can set in for a number of months at a time, and it may seem impossible to head out to the nearest lake and try and catch something.
Fishing in cold weather, however, is just as simple as any other type of fishing, and only requires that you take the time to prepare in advance.
1. Timing the Weather
Most fish that live in colder-climate regions tend to be at their lowest activity after a cold front hits, and choosing the timing of when to throw the cast in can make a big difference, and sometimes it’s best to just stay at home and enjoy online casino NZ games.
As a general rule, most fish will begin to feed just before the front passes, meaning that they’ll be their most active at certain spots around the body of water. And while it may be difficult to determine exactly where they’ll be – as it depends very much on the temperature and volatility of the water – once the group has been found, there should be plenty to catch.
2. The Location
In a river, dam, or lake, fish tend to move around to the spots that suit them the best, and this is no different when colder weather strikes.
Many will migrate to an area that has an abundance of food available even when it’s cold, and it’s best to do the research to find out exactly where these spots are, otherwise it can become impossible to find any biters.
3. The Right Bait
Lures work best in spring and summer, but they’re not nearly as efficient during winter periods. When the temperature of the water starts to plummet, the prey that fish usually eat will generally begin to slow down, and this can become a problem for fishermen that tend to use fast-moving lures.
For this reason, it’s best to rather opt for live bait that will become accustomed to the temperature of the water and adjust accordingly, and increasing the chance of catching something, even if the water is frigid.
4. Winter Gear
Being out on the water means that you will not have access to any buildings or tree cover, and means that you will bear the full brunt of any cold winter winds. On top of this, water on the line can eventually begin to freeze, so it’s best to make sure that the line is always conditioned.
Wearing warm, insulated clothing that covers all of your skin can help avoid any serious cold-related conditions, and keeping your fingers warm means the difference between losing a rod or catching a good haul.
5. Be Safe
Never fish alone during the colder seasons, even if you consider yourself a pro. Always have the right safety equipment available, as falling in the water can become extremely serious.
Wool and synthetic fibres are the best materials for keeping the cold at bay, and a life jacket can and will be a lifesaver.
Fishing equipment isn’t cheap and we all know what it’s like to have to kiss goodbye a favourite rod and reel because it’s come to the end of its lifespan. But looking after your gear can extend the lifespan somewhat, giving you more time to reel in a catch on your lucky rod.
If you want to maintain your equipment and ensure your gear lasts for as long as possible, follow these handy guidelines:
Don’t leave your fishing gear in your boot or in your garage. If you store it in a dry, well-ventilated space it will last longer, it won’t rust and a drop in temperature or any other factors won’t affect it.
Always clean your gear. Even if you are not fishing in salt water, make sure that you rinse your gear off before you finish for the day. This way any trace elements that can cause corrosion are removed and your gear stays clean too.
#3. Long-term Storage
Store your gear like you would your clothes. Between seasons it is best to store your fishing gear inside, in a warm spot. Just like your clothing, your gear needs to breathe and to have air circulate around it in order to prevent damp, mould and rust.
Make sure everything is always dry. Even if you are only packing away your gear between fishing weekends, make sure your bait and boxes and rods and reels are 100% dry. Excess moisture can cause havoc with your gear and can lead to it disintegrating quickly.
It can also lead to funny smells and damage scented baits, lures and flies that you’d have to spend your online pokies Australia winnings on if you need to replace them.
After every fishing session, rinse off your reels. This will remove any sand, seaweed, pondweed or any residue that may have built up whilst you’ve been fishing.
Just ensure you don’t use a high-pressure hose or water stream, as this can do more damage than good and push water into places you don’t want it to be.
#6. Wiping Equipment
Wipe down your equipment after you’ve washed it to ensure there is no dirt left behind and to keep everything in tip top shape.
If you are worried about water having gotten in where it shouldn’t, you can also use a blow drier on a medium heat to get every last drop out.
Ensure that you’ve taken the tension off your reels. If you leave your drag on tight setting it pus unnecessary strain on the reel components and causes undue wear and tear.
Make sure that you have backed off the tension at least 3 or 4 turns so there is no added stress in play.
#8. Oil It Up
Oil up anything that may rust. If you lubricate your reels they shouldn’t rust at all, and they’ll work smoothly the first time you go fishing next season.
Just beware that you don’t over oil, as you don’t want oil on your line that may end up in the sea or the lake.
Whatever type of boat you have and whatever type of fishing you enjoy, there are some things you need to do to ensure that you always enjoy your day on the water.
Take heed of these great tips and you’ll have the best experience every time.
Even if the sun is not shining, the glare from the water can give you a nasty burn. Always wear sunscreen on any parts of your body that are exposed, and if you are wearing a shirt or pants, make sure they offer adequate UV protection too.
Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your lips too, as they can burn badly.
Wear polarised lenses
Polarised lenses area fisherman’s friend as they not only protect your eyes, they also provide a great view of the water, as they don’t simply block out all the light. With polarised lenses you are far more likely to spot a flash of a fish as they provide a different type of transparency.
And landing a big catch is just as satisfying as winning big playing the online pokies Australia has to offer, so make sure you give yourself the best possible chance.
Be prepared for all weather
This is especially true if you are out on a boat on the water. Weather can change fast and you need to ensure that you have a warm top and pants just in case.
Bear in mind that you may also get wet while on the water, so a waterproof jacket can help stave off the cold and the damp when the weather turns.
Keep fresh water at hand
Staying hydrated is crucial, and even if you are not in the sun, you still need to have access to an adequate supply of fresh water.
The old adage of water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink is not funny when you have been fishing for hours and may not be close to the shore with no relief in sight.
Keep contact open
Always ensure you have some way of making contact if you need help. Tell someone where you are going and if you are on your boat, make sure you have flares and other emergency signalling equipment just in case.
Emergencies happen when you least expect them, so be prepared!
Learn from experience
If you are new to the whole boating scene learn from others or try and take someone out with you who has experience.
If you want to enjoy your fishing trip and feel comfortable on the water try and round up an experienced fisherman who can step in if you run into any trouble with your boat or with your fishing equipment.
Have enough life jackets
The Titanic was unsinkable and it sank, so your boat could well sink too if the worst comes to the worst. Make sure that you have adequate safety equipment and life preservers, even if you are only going out for a short sail.
Anything can happen on the water, and you need to be ready to act if it does and have the necessary equipment at the ready. This is extra important if you are taking children out on the water.
If you want to be a better boater and to ensure your boat is always in tip top condition, these tips will give you the edge, every time.
Wipe off dew
Morning dew is actually distilled water. If you wipe off your boat using it, your boat will be spotless and it will cost you nothing.
Remove old wax
If you want a spotless shine you need to get rid of old wax before you add new. Use a dewaxing solvent to rid your boat of last seasons wax and you’ll get a great shine with added protection.
Natural mould remover
If the idea of using bleach is off putting, use vinegar to remove mould. Vinegar does the job naturally and leaves a lovely shine.
Remove gelcoat residue safely
If you need to remove paint and adhesive reside without damaging gelcoat, oven cleaner works extremely well and leaves no damage or trace.
Create a crisp waterline
Use masking tape that you have burnished by rubbing the edges with a paintbrush handle or dowel stick.
Carry a spare belt
We’ve all heard about how pantyhose or duct tape can serve as a belt in an emergency, but rather always ensure you carry a spare belt just in case! Belts are not about to break the bank and you won’t have to spend all your online slots Australia winnings just to be prepared.
Protect outboard prop shafts in transport
Cut a section of PVC tubing and wrap it around the prop shaft while transporting your boat. This cushions the prop and the splines while you are in transit.
Clamp hoses properly
Worm gear hose clamps may be cheaper, but they can also cause the hoses to wear and distort, leading to leaks and potential bursts. Rather opt for the T-clamps as they do not allow for distortion.
Eliminate free play in hydraulic steering
If this is an issue, add fluid to the helm pump to see if it alleviates the problem. Only add small amounts at a time till you get the desired reaction.
Cracking and glazing on engine belts is a major cause of failure. Check your belts regularly and ensure the proper tension is always in play.
Check exhaust systems regularly
Always keep your exhaust systems well maintained. No only can they cause carbon monoxide poisoning, a faulty exhaust can sink a boat. Ensure fasteners, plumbing and supports are all in good condition and replace any parts that sow signs of wear and tear.
Long haul soaping
If you’re transporting your boat long distance always rub it down with liquid dishwashing soap before you set off. When you get to your destination hose it off, and all bugs, dirt and grime will be washed away too.
Beware of fishing line
If fishing line gets wrapped around any part of your boat or motor, always check the parts carefully for signs of damage. If line is wrapped around a sterndrive or outboard prop shaft you should always have the unit pressure tested, as the oil seals may have been damaged.
Soap the rails
If you have a carpeted trailer bunk or a bunk that sticks when offloading your boat, apply liquid dishwashing soap. It won’t damage your boat or the rails.