You could be mistaken for thinking that this articles title was stolen from one of Amsterdams infamous red light district theatre productions, but you would be sorely wrong.
There is however one similarity when trekking the remote wilderness of Lesotho and the streets of Amsterdam, and that is the local’s choice in tobacco products. This however is where the similarities end. If the altitude in Lesotho was not enough to get you ‘high’ so to speak, then the world class sight fishing would definitely push you over the edge. It most certainly did for me. …
Along the entire length of the pool, fish dimpled the surface. In the riffle water, subtle rises, apart from a mere flattening and silvering of the surface, were barely discernable. On the far side of the stream beyond the current, a perfect reflection of the new day shimmered and broke as a large tail creased the surface.
Twenty minutes trickled by revealing little of the cycle happening below. I relented, attaching a small Baetid emerger not far beneath a sparsely tied Klinkhamer. Stifling a sudden gasp, the cold water reinforced that I was closer to the stratosphere than I had ever previously cared to venture.
I took great pleasure in noting that – as lightly as a broken spider web riding a morning breeze – each cast landed where it ought to. The fish continued to rise with purposeful bearing. As the sun rose higher, shadows of several feeding fish became obvious and although a fewer smaller feisty freestone rainbows accepted my offerings, it was clearly apparent that I had not yet unravelled the mystery below the riffled surface. Several fly changes, lengthening and down-sizing of leader found me none the wiser. I began to chuckle and it was then that I realized that it was moments like these which, to me, define the very essence of why I fly fish. Deciding it was time to sit back and reflect and more importantly, check if my toes were still intact, I began to reel in. Not far upstream, a good fish showed. A quick flick and a mend covered the rise nicely. …
Trout fishing is something of a pickle, from the rods being lighter to the Bait resembling that of a dragon fly and then the technique of making one’s fly move without disturbing the water in order to create a flowing creature that looks good enough to eat! Trout fishing is a blessed affair in Lesotho; the streams are filled to the brim with flopping, shining, spotted trout. People come from all over to enjoy and marvel in the experience. This month I am celebrating the two seasons combined. Trout season and Spring.
Katse Fish Farms is in the process of completing its 5-year Trout Aquaculture Project based within the Katse Reservoir.
Royale Highlands Trout have just hit 300 tons in annual production and Lesotho now supplies the fastest moving product in the deli section of Woolworths Foods in South Africa. We have established all the necessary technology, logistics, marketing channels to now move from 300 tons/annum to 3000 tons/annum over the next 3 years.
This will necessitate for a primary processing plant and a hatchery with the capacity to permanently employ not less than 150 Basotho.
This is truly the birth of a New Industry in Lesotho.
This article is associated with another article on this blog – Aquaculture – Katse Dam Trout Farms
The Drakensberg-Maloti Highlands are highly valued in southern Africa for their rivers’ excellent water quality and high water yield. These rivers provide water to large areas of South Africa. The region encompasses the whole of Lesotho, excluding the westernmost lowland areas as well as small parts of South Africa just south and north of Lesotho.