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Subscriber Matthew Muns has nothing but good things to say about a brown trout fishing trip in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa arranged for him this past May by Roy Glasspool of Navigate Africa Safaris in Cape Town, with personal guide Leon Vermeulen. “Two of us took this trip over a long weekend,” Muns writes, noting neither he nor his partner is highly skilled as a fly fisherman. “We usually opt for conventional tackle, but Roy Glasspool set us up in a very good area to catch wild trout. Leon, the local guide he selected for us, was an outstanding fly fisherman. He really knew the local waters, plus he was a good fly fishing coach. Both days we caught wild brown trout, which were first released into the Mooi River way back in 1895. These were not stocked fish, and they were fairly challenging to bring to the net.”
Muns says they stayed at a rustic farmhouse-type B&B called The Bend. “May is early fall in South Africa, so we had morning temperatures in the 50s that warmed up into the 70s. The Bend has its own stretch of the Mooi River and we were the only ones fishing it. Our guide also had exclusive access to some adjoining properties that we got to fish. We were very successful our first day, raising several browns and hooking and landing a couple. On day two the barometer dropped and the fish quit biting, though they were still visible in the stretch of the river we fished on and adjoining property.”
Muns says The Bend is in an area known as the Midlands Meander, which is very scenic and rich in non-fishing activities such as hiking and horseback riding. There are also vineyards in the area that are interesting to visit.
“The scenery in the Drakensberg Mountains is stunning,” Muns writes. “Combining that with down-home hospitality and good cooking made The Bend a near-perfect setting. In the evenings, my friend and I enjoyed drinks at the nearby Nottingham Road Inn Tavern, which is said to be the oldest tavern in South Africa. All in all, this was another great trip arranged for us by Roy Glasspool of Navigate Africa Safaris. My partner and I plan to return next year to fish the Bushman’s River in the same Midlands area, as it has stocked rainbow trout in addition to wild browns.”
Don Causey Note: Muns gives the cost of his trip as about $750 per angler. That covered the cost of two days of lodging and fishing. He says he would definitely recommend this trip to fellow subscribers. As for Navigate Africa Safaris, we had never heard of this agency before Muns recommended it in his report. Indeed, the company’s website (www.navigateafricasafaris.com) is worth a visit. Many of the places this company books (notably the Seychelles Islands, the Chobe River in Botswana, the Zambezi River, and a few others) are already well known, but Navigate Africa Safaris does have some lesser-known offerings such as houseboat trips on Lake Kariba and offshore trips to the Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelagos off the coast of Mozambique. If you book a trip with Navigate Africa Safaris be sure and file a report. Write: [email protected].