This may sound rather strange for some, but get ready for a surprise!
What is the best thing an angler could do over Christmas?


Date: Christmas 2003.
Venue: Bloemhof Dam.
Target Species: Cat Fish.

Once again the Babich boys (Tim and Terry) were off on yet another expedition to unknown waters. Bloemhof has a reputation for large catfish and multitudes of carp, which generally fall prey to bait. Although Fly-fishing has yet to be established in Bloemhof, there is a small following of art-lure anglers who frequent this venue.

The best way to access the vast waters of the dam is by boat, but be warned, this dam has numerous obstacles submerged under water and shallow sand banks in the most unlikely of places. Another safety factor to consider is, is that when the wind blows she really blows. Many a boat has taken up residence at the bottom of this dam.

All these aspects taken into consideration, we arrive at the dam armed with bait rods, spinning rods and most definitely the fly rods.

Plan A: The original plan was to go fishing on the boat when we arrived, but alas the seas were rough that day and not fit for any boat. All the boat anglers were left high and dry for the day. As true anglers we never say die!

Plan B: As an alternative plan we decided to see if there were any prospects for fly-fishing below the dam. We found a weir just below the dam that showed potential, on closer inspection we noticed that the mudfish were trying to swim up and over the weir. As boys will be boys, we grabbed the fly rods and raced down to the water. The water was flowing rapidly and was difficult to access but after much perseverance we started to land a few fish, mostly mudfish hooked in the mouth.

The fish fell prey to an arrangement of yellow fish patterns, mustard caddis, bloodworms and dream caddis. These fish were taken mostly in the faster more aerated water. We fished the usual New Zealand style with the dropper fly tied into the bend of the hook.

Tim with a 7kg+ catfish caught on yellow fish tackle.

Tim hooked into a 7kg catfish that gave him a bit of a run about. These fish need to be chased after in order to be landed, otherwise they usually just break you up on the lighter yellow fish tackle.