Yellowfish festival Derrick , Stephan and partner 2012 last trip

January 10, 2013
We have just arrived back from our 2012 Catfish Joe's Fly fishing South Africa Orange river Wilderness raft/float fishing season excursions for Smallmouth and largemouth yellowfish and already my heart is longing  to return....and we haven’t unpacked yet. We closed bookings for the season in the middle of the year due to our hectic corporate schedule and a bit of a health setback on my side. I restricted the season to a private exploration session and a few with clients Derrick, Stephan and his partner.. and what an absolute magic one it turned out due to the fishing quality, weather conditions and the type of the clients. Me and Hardus spend a few days gathering intelligence and brushing the river to find the suitable areas along the 35 km stretch of river before the arrival of our clients.  This has always been the policy I had to maximise the experience for the customers. 
 

We have just arrived back from our 2012 Catfish Joe's Fly fishing South Africa Orange river Wilderness raft fishing season excursions for Smallmouth and largemouth yellowfish and already my heart is longing  to return....and we haven’t unpacked yet. We closed bookings for the season in the middle of the year due to our hectic corporate schedule and a bit of a health setback on my side. I restricted the season to a private exploration session and a few with clients Derrick, Stephan and his partner.. and what an absolute magic one it turned out due to the fishing quality, weather conditions and the type of the clients. Me and Hardus spend a few days gathering intelligence and brushing the river to find the suitable areas along the 35 km stretch of river before the arrival of our clients.  This has always been the policy I had to maximise the experience for the customers. We have to do this as the habitat of rivers constantly change and one cannot expect to fish on the same spot every time. (see article on habitat and thermal conditions elsewhere.) Our product has always been exclusive and I have strived to maintain it. When I designed the Wilderness raft product more than 12 years ago I realised that any true wilderness inspires people but that bad people experiences can spoil the wilderness feeling and make a trip extremely unpleasant. Therefore I ensured that a  certain profile person only would  be allowed on the trips.

 
  

 Sustainability was my number one motto and I therefore had to remove maximised profitability from my list of goals and rather believe in the triple bottom line approach  of  good governance. My health at the time also  made sure that the season was kept as  short as possible. The dates of the trip had to be shifted a few times to make sure the clients received maximum bang for buck. Long term weather forecasting is a major part of planning a trip. Clients that can mobilise on short notice normally have great fishing. Planning also normally starts in January of each year and intelligence is gathered every month until September when the International weather patterns are being monitored.

   

Two weeks to a week before a trip we still give the clients an option to move their dates instead of making the trip for the sake of revenue when it is clear that the conditions will not be favourable for fishing. Either due to the flow of the river, water conditions or temperatures  expected. Stephan and Wendy arrived at exactly the same time by vehicle as me Hardus and Derrick from the Upington airport. Earlier we picked Derrick up at the Upington airport. To wash the Gauteng carbon dioxide from his throat he was poured a few "Green labels" while we drove the hour long trip to the lodge. The trip flew past as we philosophised on a range of subjects in an attempt to solve the planets problems as far as we were concerned. I instinctavely know that the client is going to be a pleasure if he or she doesn’t start talking about how good a fisherman they are on the first hours after meeting them. 

    

 After dropping Derrick at the lodge and enjoying a few drinks under the bright Kalahari stars we said goodnight our clients. The next morning we picked them up again after breakfast and headed down the valley of dreams. As soon as I stopped the vehicle next to the river at our first beat super fit Ironman athlete Stephan was ready instantaneous, but Derrick prepared with the "grace" of a seasoned water rat trying to locate all the bells and whistles tugged away in his bag of armour. Stephan nicknamed "Muddy" by me and Hardus due to his above average ability to catch mudfish after mudfish due to his accurate casting ability amongst others. When they were ready to rock and roll I discussed strategy and they started fishing a side stream that I know was full of fish as we observed it with binoculars the day before. They were hungry as they have spawned the week before. When we do fish spotting before the arrival of the clients we normally don’t fish these zones to maximise the experience for the clients.

    

 I must admit it is extremely difficult to literally touch the fish and not to pull out the rods. On investigation of the riverbed we found probably the most prolific food supplies in many years. Caddis's, blood worms, leaches, dragon fly nymphs like you have never seen them. The river was in great condition. By the end of the day both Stephan and Derrick had caught enough large smallmouth yellows that would have satisfied any fly fisherman on the face of the planet. I will let Derrick and Stephan describe the fishing in their own words when they can find time to put pen to paper in their hectic corporate schedules. The second day we launched the raft and drifted down to cover the top of the system we fished the day before. By the beginning of the afternoon the huge thunderclouds were building on the Namibian side of the river and I instructed Hardus by phone to rather return to our side to be off the water due to the possibility of lightning. Like most times the system was blown back into Namibia and Upington. 

  

 From where they were fishing in the valley they could not see the oncoming storm behind the mountain peaks on the Namibian side. I had to leave to the only shop about an hour away and upon my return had a good vantage point as I was high up on the Plato about 100kms away. They thus had very good fishing but the major runs were not covered.(they were covered the following day) On the third day conditions were once again perfect and we launched to have a second take at the system that was not covered properly the day before. This time around they could comb it properly and they all had exceptional fishing for the whole day. Stephan could fish only half day and had to leave at the height of his strike rate. The next morning we picked up Derrick and headed for the airport in Upington.

    




 
 

American Fly fishing show in Somerset New Jersey .

January 30, 2012
Scott Develin visited the show and send us photos of some of the flies.
















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Stephan Yellowfish trip

November 16, 2011
Stephan Muller and Wendy.
Stephan Muller and his other halve Joined us on the Orange river on the Luxury Fly fishing package for two days from the 20th of October. An avid fly fisherman of Indigenous species and remarkable all round lifelong angler. If it swims Stephan can catch it. Stephan is a General manager of one of the top companies in the world with an exceptional general  
knowledge.This fact makes a fishing excursion like watching a discovery program every day.  His partner joined him ...

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Stephan trip

November 16, 2011

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