New beginning with kayak fly fishing

What an amazing feeling, not a big fish but the “krag” they have is unbelievable

The great outdoor’s has always been the biggest part of my family’s time spent. Whether it was hunting, fishing or working, and finally we were living on a small holding – dreams can come true. City life is not our cup of tea and finally we got to move to the “Weskus”. We settled in one of the small towns, as you drive through the Hexrivier pass, Langebaan lagoon and river areas, here for us a whole new world of outdoor adventures began.

But our life was suddenly shattered with the loss of our sons in a tragic accident. The love for the outdoors became a reminder of the loss of my sons and what they will never see and experience. The number of stars at night, are moments we will never have – such as days where we spend on the shooting range teaching them firearm safety and how to take the perfect shot, and finally them shooting better than me, all gone!

Fishing has always had a positive effect on me and my outdoors family. Carp fishing is a waiting game, that is the time where you sit back to appreciate nature, but not for too long. While bass fishing will keep any fisherman busy. As with all fisherman it didn’t take long to notice that we needed to get to the spots where the fish were hiding, so we began kayak fishing. At first, like with all young kids, the kayaks were mostly new toys, just as long as we where out there. The road to recovery is not easy and the outdoors will always remind me of my sons. The love for the outdoors will always call and it reminds me most of my boys and how they will always be there.

As the winter rains, snow and the river started to flow the beauty of the Hexrivier valley shows again. Driving through the Hexrivier pass regularly and seeing the fly fisherman on the riverbanks drew my attention. As lockdown started fisherman had lots of time to prepare for the next fishing adventure. YouTube, my instructor, gave me some information and level 3 allowed me to go and buy fly fishing gear.

So, ready to go fishing and knowing that winter months are good for trout fishing. As rivers are closed in winter months, I had to start looking out for stillwater to fish for trout. I have been kayak fishing for a while on dams, rivers and lagoons, so all was good.

I have done competitive sport angling before and I was not keen on becoming member of a club, having to follow a lot of rules and regulations. However, Cape Piscatorial Society (CPS) gave me the option of becoming a country member as they have access to stillwater to fish for trout in the Western Cape. The rules are strict when using these waters and as I work in conservation, I understand the need and importance to protect and respect nature. I liked that the CPS enforce anglers to keep to the rules of protecting nature, so I joined the CPS and booked a day at Lakenvlei dam.

My first day at Lakenvlei I was mostly amazed by how beautiful the area was. I was fishing with a fly rod off a kayak for the first time as well, luckily I had the dam all to myself. I hooked everything, including myself, but a fish. After spending the whole day on the water, I realised I still had a lot to learn.

After spending the whole day on the water, I realized I still had a lot to learn.

Needless to say, I returned to Youtube to consult with the trainers. Had a lot more to learn and needed practice, not even trying to think of the technical details of fly fishing. Back to square 1, I booked another day at Lakenvlei and started again on the coldest day I ever had on the water. Not being prepared for the cold, I was determined to catch my first trout, hands blue and numb with cold feet. My Youtube training kicked in and casting of the line from the kayak in the cold wind started to make sense. The movement of the kayak made casting hard at first but soon I got the hang of it.

I read fish are mostly deep in the winter at Lakenvlei, so sinkline and black woolly bugger fly would work. Not having a idea where to fish I took off to the deep waters off the dam wall side. There was cold wind, snow on the mountain tops and rough water were not easy starting grounds, but I wanted to fish. Being used to fishing lures, I had to be patient. The cold made it almost unbearable on the water, but suddenly, bam, fish on – what an amazing feeling. My 5wt rod was bending as the trout jumped for the first time, panic started – with the fear of losing the fish. After a short but unexpected fight I landed my first rainbow trout. What an amazing feeling, not a big fish but the “krag” they have is unbelievable.

I am hooked, this is where my fly fishing adventure begins. Whether it’s trout, carp, bass or salt water fish I am in. I’m going to try and keep it simple and not go to the technical side of fly fishing, but like all hunters it’s all about the stalk.

I will never be able to take my boys fishing again but when I close my eyes I see them with me on the water, the dreams of starting a business with my boys – CRK Fishing Adventures abruptly stopped.

Today, CR Kayak facebook page for us became a family blog, remembering what we wanted to do for and with the boys. Sharing and showing friends and family the world of kayaking, fishing and the beautiful outdoors will always keep our sons in our hearts.

In the words of Catch Cook, “most people think food comes from supermarkets, I AM NOT ONE OF THEM” Stywe lyne!!

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