The year has been an excellent year for the club. The dams have fished well and some great fish have been caught.
All dams have been stocked with Martin Davies trout and the abundance of stockies bears testimony the health of the fish. These will grow into the trophy fish for which our waters are renowned. There are sometimes questions raised about our stocking policies. In consultation with Martin we continue to keep our dams well stocked. If the catch returns from Thrift are any indication we are doing well.
We have this week stocked two large dams in the Steynsberg area. These ar5e 8 and 9 metres deep and have well established reed beds and abundant insect life.
Early this year we stocked the following dams with Browns: Pine Grove, Birds River, and Snowdon Trophy Dam, and George Smiths Dam. The fish have grown well and will provide excellent fishing for years to come.
We hope to continue stocking browns in the New Year.
I need here to compliment Charles for his hard work in getting the stocking equipment to work and for travelling vast distances to collect from both hatcheries.
Also to express our very grateful thanks to Gary Mr Afrox who sponsors the oxygen for the stocking. Also thanks to Rudi who sorts out the gas supplies for us.
We are extremely fortunate to have two local hatcheries, Ventnor and Hare Street in Makandla. To support Martin Davies and his need to get off the grid we have donated R 20,000.00 to this project. Several Eastern Cape clubs have donated similar amounts.
This week we stocked 20,000 small rainbow trout to the Steynsberg dams to relieve congestion at the Ventnor hatchery. I believe it is very important to keep being supportive of both hatcheries. We are the biggest club in the Eastern Cape and are able to meet our needs from these hatcheries. Hence we have over the last two years paid deposits to both Hatcheries when the eggs are harvested. These deposits are to ensure there is cash available to run the hatcheries and to secure the fish we need. Both hatcheries have expressed their gratitude for this support and in return we have been able to stock some outstanding fish.
To Larry King at Ventnor and Martin Davies should go a bottle of the best for all they do to keep the water flowing and the fish fed ready for us.
The Gathering was moved again this year for obvious reasons. So we held a Spring Gathering over the first weekend in September. Aloe Grove was as always welcoming, accommodating and the food top quality. We had a great bunch of entrants from all over the country. Some withdrew due to testing positive for covid and other personal challenges. However, those who paid and could not come are booked into the next gathering. So we have some 5 entrants fully paid up which is an excellent start.
As always we had a very supportive response from local businesses in sponsoring our prize table. Explora also gave generous prizes as did several from the professional fly fishing world.
Dates for 2022. July 7 – 9 th.
The list of members continues to hover around the mid-80s and there are regular sign ups during the year. Our thanks to Eric and Carol for handling the membership department.
Catch Returns and Booking dams
Andrew Junior continues to keep the returns coming in and does a fantastic job of booking the waters for both members and day ticket people. He is a mine of helpful information for those enquiring about where to fish and what flies work best. He is amazingly committed to this vital aspect of the clubs work. Our grateful thanks for all he does.
This year has seen Darren Boucher, Gerhard Cloete and Stephan involved in the trials as both managers and competitors. All have learnt a great deal and have made great progress. As a club we have sponsored some of the participation.
FOSAF and High court
The government continues to peruse the trout world with tenacity. No sooner had the High Court handed down a very carefully reasoned and thought through Judgement against the Department than the Department decided to appeal. The appeal has little chance of success especially as the Judge awarded costs against the Department. So next year we will see how the appeal goes.
The case was brought to challenge the department’s failure to follow due process in publishing the alien and invasive list which now includes both rainbow and brown trout. The judgement declared the list to be invalid. Now we wait.
We are blessed with very generous landowners who support our passion for casting a fly at a fish which sometimes is attracted but which often swims by without a flicker. So to Pete and Jane Cloete, Hugh Smith, Ed and Kim Clarke, Johan Wege, Marianne and Freddy Boucher, and Dylan Thompson our very grateful thanks for keeping us going as a club.
However this last year has been saddened by the death of two special people; Dave Boucher who ran Snowdon and Jerremy Thompson who owned Oakley. In their own way they made our management of their dams simple. To Marianne and Michelle go our love and prayers and grateful thanks.
My thanks for a good year where everyone has contributed to the success of the club. Being in the chair is a fairly easy task with such support.
Reg Morgan, Chairman. 2021