RAINBOW TROUT - In Stillwaters




SIZE: Up to 6 kg in South Africa. They are known to reach large sizes in other reaches of the world. Lifespan is approx. 5 - 6 years.
SPECIES: Introduced (Alien Species). Native to North America and Alaska.
DISTRIBUTION: Mountain streams and dams of the Western and Eastern Cape, KZN, North-Eastern Freestate, Mpumalanga, Northern Province,
Swaziland, Lesotho.
DIET: Small fish, crabs, snails, aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial and aerial insects, frogs.
TACKLE REQUIREMENTS: RODS: 5wt to 6wt, at least 9 foot in length. Some anglers also prefer a 10 foot rod.
REELS: 5/6wt Reels, with a good drag system especially in stillwaters where the fish can run you into your backing.
BACKING: Reels must be able to take at least 100m of 20lbs backing.
FLY LINE: Floating line, intermediate line, and sinking line (in summer and in deep water) in 5wt or 6wt.
LEADERS: At least a 9 foot leader, tapering down to 1X.
TIPPETS: 0X, 1X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X. (All depends on size of fish to be expected).
FLIES: DRY FLIES: (All #10 to #18) - DDD, Parachute Adams, Stimulators, Humpies, Elk Hair Caddis, CDC Caddis, Klinkhammers, Hopper Patterns, Beetles, Flying Ants, RAB, Daddy-Long-Legs, Spiders, etc.
NYMPHS: (All #10 to #18) - Kaufmann's Pheasant Tail Nymph, Flashback Nymph, Beadhead Nymph, Brassies, San Juan Worms, Beadhead CDC Mayfly Nymphs, Gold Rib Hares Ear (Natural colour and Olives, with and without beads), Hotspot Nymph, ZAK, Soft Hackles, Glow-Bugs, Egg-Patterns, etc.
STREAMERS: (#6 and smaller) - Wooly Buggers (in Olive, Black and Brown...with and without bead-heads or bead-chain eyes, weighted accordingly), MSP, Zonker, Crystal Buggers, Dragon and Damselfly nymphs, Mink Burgers, Attractor and Baitfish patterns, Aggravators, etc.
METHODS: Dry fly, Dry-and-Dropper, Nymphing with streamer patterns at various depths.
TIPS: Two key retrieves can be used...the "figure-of-eight" retrieve, and the strip-retrieve.
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 4X tippets when 6kg plus fish are around!
Land and release the fish as quickly as possible...to minimize the stress on the fish.
Release trophy trout, to fight another day. If you do want to keep one or two for the pot, keep "pan-size" fish as the flesh is better for eating than larger, older fish. use a "priest" to kill the fish instantly...do not let them suffer by suffocation.
Float tubes and pontoon boats are recommended for large stillwaters, to get you to spots not accessible to bank-anglers. Target the "food-factories" of the lakes...such as weedbeds. Old river channels, drop-offs and structure are also good target points.