SIZE: Up to 7kg
SPECIES: Indigenous
DISTRIBUTION: Largescale Yellowfish are found in the Northern flowing rivers in Gauteng and the Northwest Provinces. Also in the middle and lower reaches of the Zambezi and Phongola river systems.
Smallscale Yellowfish are found in the Southern tributaries of the Limpopo, and the Nkomati and Phongola river systems.
Largescale yellowfish have 27-33 scales in the lateral line...Smallscales have 36-44 scales in the lateral line.
That is the best way to tell the difference (if you have time to count the scales! Remember not to keep the fish out of the water for long periods of time).
DIET: Omnivorous (Including molluscs, aquatic invertebrates found in their local waters, vegetation, algae, terrestrials).
TACKLE REQUIREMENTS: RODS: 5wt to 6wt, at least 9 foot in length. Some anglers also prefer a 10 foot rod. In smaller rivers a 3wt, 7'6" rod is more suitable.
REELS: 5/6wt or 3/4wt Reels, depending on the size of fish being targeted. Good drag systems are must in bigger rivers.
BACKING: 20lbs backing.
FLY LINE: 90% of your fishing will be done with a floating line, either 5wt or 6wt, or 3wt.
In some deep pools in rivers, and in stillwaters, an intermediate (5wt or 6wt) line can be used if the fish are deep.
LEADERS: At least a 9 foot leader, tapering down to 1X.
TIPPETS: 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, 6X.
FLIES: DRY FLIES: (All #10 to #16) - DDD, Parachute Adams, Stimulators, Humpies, Elk Hair Caddis, CDC Caddis, Klinkhammers,
Airheads, Hopper Patterns, Beetles, Flying Ants, RAB, etc.
NYMPHS: (All #10 to #18) - Kaufmann's Pheasant Tail Nymph, Flashback Nymph, Beadhead Nymph, Green Rockworm and Ginger Caddis flies (with or without beadheads), Caddis Control flies (weighted to take flies down to river bed), Brassies, San Juan Worms, Beadhead CDC Mayfly Nymphs, Sparkle Pupa, Gold Rib Hares Ear (Natural colour and Olives, with and without beads), Hotspot Nymph, ZAK, etc.
STREAMERS: (#10 and smaller) - Wooly Buggers (in Olive, Black and Brown), Zonker, Crystal Buggers, Dragon and Damselfly nymphs.
METHODS: RIVERS: Upstream Dead-Drift (New Zealand Style nymphing with a yarn indicator) or Dry-And-Dropper is most effective.
STILLWATERS: Dry fly, Dry-and-Dropper, Nymphing with streamer patterns.
TIPS: Yellowfish are wary...if the water is clear, keep a low profile.
Catching large or smallscale yellows is no easy feat...expect to battle to induce a take. Be very careful and on high alert to detect takes.
Takes can be subtle, concentration is key.
Always de-barb your flies. It's easier to remove them from the fish's mouth and your skin. (in case of a miss-timed cast!)
Try not to handle the fish too much, and do not keep them out of the water for longer than 5 seconds.
Use a soft mesh net, with no knots.
Always wet your hands before handling a fish...your hands can remove their protective mucous on their skins.
Never under-gun your tackle...don't use 6X tippets when 4kg plus fish are around!
Land and release the fish as quickly as minimise the stress on the fish.
Stay away from spawning fish, and avoid wading in shallow riffles where yellowfish spawn.