Fishing in Lesotho is one of the more popular activities and not without good reason. As it offers plenty of excitement for the angler and can be undertaken at numerous sites around the mountain Kingdom. The areas are remote, with difficult access and very few people, as a result fishing pressure is very light and you will have unlimited kilometres of rivers all for yourself.
The trout river fishing season opens each year on the 1st of September and closes on the 31st of May. Water levels permitting, the best time to fly fish these waters is at the end of September to the end of November and then again from March to May. Trying to fish during the rainy season (December to February) is possibly the worst time to stalk the river banks, as most of the rivers are clouded with silt and the fishing is badly affected.
Whilst there are plenty of easily accessible fishing sites dotted all around Lesotho. There are many that are still to be explored, although they do require the angler to be a keen hiker as well in order to access them over the mountainous terrain. Rest assured it is well worth the effort, as Lesotho boasts some of the most incredible scenery, from snow capped mountains and green fertile valleys stretching to the horizon.
Brown trout, rainbow trout and carp provide satisfying sport for anglers in the mountain streams of the Lesotho highlands. Yellow fish, barbel and the Maloti minnow (Senqunyane, Bokong and Jorodane rivers) are found in the lowland rivers.
Most of the fishing is upstream deep nymph fishing and dry fly fishing. Wading knee deep with a 3 weight outfit in your hands, under a canopy of Willow trees, sight fishing to Rainbows and Yellows is great sport.
When fishing in Lesotho it is wise to gain permission (payment in fish) from the various tribal chiefs whose river you are contemplating fishing. Or you can organize your trip from one of the lodges or guides (Linecasters / TouretteFishing) that operate in the area.
Some of the more accessible locations are:
- Butha-Buthe, about 2 km from the Oxbow Lodge which is at the confluence of two major rivers, provides the suitable atmosphere owing to it’s the merging of currents. These two rivers are the Tsehlanyane and Tlholohatsi, Rivers and constitute an ideal ground for catching fish specimens.
- The Malibamat’so is about 2 km below the Oxbow Lodge.
- Malimabatsu River – Runs past the Oxbow lodge.
- De Beers Dam – here you will require an additional permit as this is private waters. This is a really good spot to fish as it has been stocked.
- Khubelu River downstream from Metebong ea Lelingoana
- Soloane, near the disused mine at Letseng-laTerai Mokhotlong River upstream at Mateanong and Sanqebethu
- Senqu (Orange) River in the rural highlands of South west Lesotho, is fed by the Senqunyane River.
- Sehlabathebe Park – Tsoelikane River downstream from the falls
- Sehlabathebe Lodge – the Park Ponds
- Leqooa River – can be reached with a 4 hour pony trek from the lodge
- Makhaleng River – 2 km below Molimo Nthuse Lodge
- Senqunyane River upstream from Marakabei Lodge
The Thaba-Tseka main dam which contains one of the most beautiful lakes is another haven for anglers with the Mohale and Katse dams.
- Thaba-Tseka main dam, near the Pony Breeding Centre
- Kaste Dam – floatation device may be required
- Katse Lodge – pool at the bottom of the dam wall (you can get permission from the lodge)
- Maletsunyane River, the best spots are to be found upstream of Fraser’s Semonkong Lodge and at the bottom of the waterfall.
Fishing Regulations in Lesotho
The license fee is minimal only M5.00 and the licenses can be obtained from: The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Division in Maseru Tel: (09266) 22323986
The season for trout fishing is closed between 1st June and 31st August every year.
Fishing tackle that you may use for trout is limited to a rod, line and artificial non-spinning flies. Landing nets and gaffs are not permitted.
The bag limit for trout is twelve (12) trout over 25 centimeters in length. All the other trout must be returned to the water.