Fly-fishing in the rivers near Kimberley
Did you know?
Fly-fishing for the indigenous yellowfish in South Africa started during the South African War (also known as the Anglo-Boer War) when English soldiers caught this gamefish on fly.
If you want to know about fly-fishing in the rivers near Kimberley, speak to Turner Wilkinson, who has been fly-fishing for nearly 30 years and who is 1 of only 15 people who have taken all 9 yellowfish species on the fly.
'The yellowfish populations in this part of the Northern Cape are arguably some of the finest in the country, with world-class catches to be had in the very clear waters of the lower Vaal and Riet rivers,' explains Wilkinson, who is also an experienced fly-fishing guide.
Wilkinson guides fly-fishers of all levels and decides on the best location to match their skills. 'If you are a less proficient caster we focus on the smallmouth yellowfish in the faster flowing areas of the stream, where there are lots more fish. If you are a proficient caster and after a trophy fish, we head for the slower sections and pools where we can "hunt" the largemouth yellowfish, a worthy gamefish,' he explains.
When you talk international standards of trout, most people are happy with a fish of about 1.3kg (about 3 pounds), whereas the average smallmouth yellowfish in South Africa is 1.8kg to 2.3kg (4 to 5 pounds). The largemouth yellowfish is generally regarded as South Africa’s largest freshwater fish species, with trophies weighing 3.2kg to 3.6kg (7 to 8 pounds).
The catch-and-release ethic applies to all yellowfish to ensure the fish's long-term sustainability and conservation.
A favourite fly-fishing location in the district is the Lilydale Rest Camp in the Mokala National Park, approximately 70km from Kimberley. A relatively new national park, Mokala offers several different habitats with wonderful birdlife and several species of game to enhance your fly-fishing adventure.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Turner Wilkinson - fly-fishing guide:
+ 27 (0)82 881 5789
David Weaver - fly-fishing guide:
+ 27 (0)83 303 4230
The Complete Flyfisherman (magazine)
Lizellle Jacobs, editor
+27 (0)12 371 3914