Fishing on the Golf Estate

Posted on Mon July 31, 2023.

Trout Fishing on the Golf estate

It has been a while since our Golf Estate has offered Trout fishing. With pride and hope in our hearts we have launched a project with the distinct goal of making this a reality. We consulted with some Trout farm owners (Bushmans River Trout Farm in KwaZulu Natal) to try to understand the reasons why previous attempts failed. We concluded that the dams that were available at the time were probably not deep enough, as Trout need a dam with a depth of at least four meters. This enables them to shield themselves from the sun and avoid water that becomes too warm. Our climate in Clarens is perfect for Trout to flourish and we certainly have enough water.

With this in mind, we identified the dam next to the green of the 15th hole, as it measured a depth of 14 meters. Jetties were constructed by the previous developer and overall, it is a pleasant, quiet little corner in which to launch our project. The first Trout were introduced into their new environment at the beginning of March 2023. One hundred and fifty fish at an average weight of 1,3kg were released into the dam. To boost the new lings, we fed them dog food pellets every Monday and Wednesday. The fish soon learned about this little party and when we feed them now, they go berserk! After two months it was abundantly clear that the fish were doing well, so we added another one hundred and nine Trout, but with an average weight of about 2.3kg. Needless to say, this was a successful addition, and we now have approximately two hundred and sixty fish in the dam.

I have fished a few times once all the fish had been introduced to their new home and I can assure you that we have a very high-quality fishery. The fish are inexperienced (have not had contact with anglers), healthy and strong and have adjusted to their new home. Even inexperienced anglers should have success angling here, and for the experienced angler those 2.5+kg Trout are there, just waiting to measure their strength against your best knots and tippet material!

Just a few helpful comments:
They love Mrs Simpson flies, Red Eyed Damsels, Moss coloured Wooly Buggers, and when the light goes dim, White Crystal Buggers.
Intermediate and floating rigs work best. The bottom of the dam has a lot of water grass so avoid letting your fly sink too far down. A floating line with a slightly weighted fly on the tippet works best. Mrs Simpson flies on an intermediate line is also a killer combination.
Retrieve slowly. When you fish from the dam wall, cast your fly out as far as possible and slowly bring it back. You will see there is a distinct grass line all along the dam wall under the water. When you reach this grass wall let your fly sink onto the wall and wait…. give it a bit of a jiggle….and wait. This has been the most productive technique that I have found.
Enough pointers for now. I found that the fish have difficulty recovering after they are caught. So, when releasing your trout, let the fish lie on your hand and keep it upright. Take a hold of the tail and gently pull the fish towards you so that the water flows over its gills, thereby supplying oxygen to the fish. Do this until the fish can swim away upright from you under its own steam. If you do not do this, they will turn over, float to the bottom on their backs and drown.

The main rule is: Enjoy your fishing!
Wessel Potgieter
The Clarens Golf and Leisure Estate