Aquaculture is one of South Africa’s fastest growing industries; our country has a huge trout fishing industry. We have at least 220 freshwater fish species, 120 of which are considered perfect for angling. Fly fishing is both a sport and art form that has been around since the 3rd century AD. This fun yet relaxing pastime is one of the most popular types of angling in South Africa.
Fly fishing has been around for hundreds of years and many countries around the world have a history of the sport. Apart from being the best escape from the busyness of life and other stressors, fly fishing has some interesting facts that will make you love it even more.
Five Fly Fishing Facts
1. The roman author and teacher, Claudius Aelianus, was ostensibly the first to make a record of fly fishing towards the end of the 2nd century. After observing Macedonian anglers, he noted how “…they have planned a snare for the fish, and get the better of them by their fisherman’s craft. . . . They fasten red wool…round a hook and fit on to the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax. Their rod is six feet long, and their line is the same length. Then they throw their snare, and the fish, attracted and maddened by the colour, comes straight at it, thinking from the pretty sight to gain a dainty mouthful; when, however, it opens its jaws, it is caught by the hook, and enjoys a bitter repast, a captive” (Trouster, 2014).
2. Tenkara is a style of fly fishing that has its origins in Japan; it was birthed in the mountains of Japan as a way to yield local fish and trout to sell or feed loved ones.
3. Fish angling in South Africa has the highest participation rate to date. South Africa boasts an all-year fly fishing season. You can enjoy fly fishing any time of the year in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Midlands and Dullstroom.
4. It was in 1893 that trout were first bred in South Africa. Brown trout and rainbow trout were introduced to our shores in 1890 and 1897, respectively.
5. South Africa has three main trout areas: Mpumalanga, the Drakensberg, and the Eastern Cape mountainous foothills. All of South Africa’s trout streams are situated near mountain ranges. The streams of the Drakensberg account for no less than 90% of South African trout waters. Mpumalanga’s streams house to some of the best trout on the continent.