The following e-mail conversation was picked up from africa@fishypetechat.com

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To: Fly fishing in Africa

Subject: best time & water temps

hi guys,

being new to trout flyfishing, i was hoping you could tell me more or less which would be the ideal water temp and time of the year for targeting trout.

tks, rob coomer

Reply from "Fly fishing in Africa"

Subject: : Best Time & Water Tempertures

Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 4:45 PM

Hi Rob,

As with most things about fishing the following are general rules - I usually find that as soon as I come up with a theory, a fish is caught in exactly the opposite manner, time, etc - as if to show you just how dangerous making rules about fishing can be.

But none the less the following should generally hold true. Certainly it does in the Natal Midlands where I have done most of my trout fishing. When: Trout will breed in winter and although they will feed during this time they are not fully on the feed.

Often the attractor patterns are the ones that will induce a take at this time of year for two reasons: they are thinking about things other than food and the insect activity slows during this time of the year and things like the damsel fly and dragon fly nymphs are not around.

The middle of summer is also not great because the water temperature gets quite high. The best times for them are early and late summer (or spring and autumn if you like) Temp: Trout will feed most actively in waters between about 12 and 18 degrees, give or take a couple of degrees. Activity will tail off at either end of this temperature bracket. Anything above 20 degrees and they start to stress and below about 8 degrees they will slow right down. This is a general rule and in my experience the more one moves away from the wild enviroment the less this rule is applicable - I have had fish feeding like mad in water that was about 23 degrees - this was in a put'n take fishery out at Dullstroom. Trout will also go off the bite when the water gets extremely cold. I have seen the little Cattle Herders in Lesotho catching trout by hand in water that must have been around the freezing level. Joe Humphrey's Book Trout Tactics - Stackpole publishers, goes into this in great detail, but it must be remebered that his book is written based on Northern Hemisphere experiences and observations. I hope this if some assistance.

Tight lines.

Nic Barnes piscator@netactive.co.za