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Basie and Carien Vosloo own Gateshead Lodges, comprising Gateshead itself, a beautifully remote, rustic, period cottage on the upper reaches of the Bokspruit River set in stunning scenery. From here Basie will arrange a lifetime experience for you – fly fishing the source of this river on the summit of the ‘Berg and you get there on horseback! This is an ideal venue for families keen on hiking, swimming and horse riding, but the stream is excellent dry fly water and there are miles and miles of it. Branksome and Birkhall are on the Sterkspruit River, in fact on one of the best sections of this famous stream. Birkhall lake produces some big rainbows every year and the house on Branksome is a superb venue for a large family or a big fishing party. You are in easy reach of the Bokspruit and the Riflespruit waters run by the WTA. It's self catering, but Carien will provide brilliant catering if needed. She is a master chef!
Contact Carien on 045 9749303 or Basie on 082 9209084
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Balloch in the New England district of the Eastern Cape, is arguably the most beautiful farm in South Africa with the most sublime sandstone landscapes. Balloch is on the Willow Stream, sometimes known as the Vlooikraalspruit, and belongs to Margie and Graham Frost. It’s self catering in two very comfortable cottages that feel they are well off the fringe of the universe. Great place. The river is stiff with rainbows below the 30 m waterfall that divides into two beats. Below the falls there are mainly rainbows, smaller fish (10 to 12 inches), but you can catch 60 in a day on dry fly. Above the falls there is a fragile, beautiful brown trout stream that is pure heaven to fish. It’s all catch and release water here. A stay of four days in this place would pass like it was a minute. Best times of the year are October and March into April.
Contact Margie or Graham on 045 9749228
- Highland Lodge
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Owned by Vicky and Luke Bell this could be the premier stillwater fly fishing venue in southern Africa. Sadly a few summer droughts set the fishing back for a year or two, but things are improving. It is a large, rambling farm house that sleeps large angling groups with ease. Self catering or catered, it's up to you. We always cook and for some reason fish the place in winter when the weather is beautifully bitter under clear skies. Tubes are essential and every known stillwater tactic has a place here. In winter the water is exquisitely clear and dry fly fishing can be fun. The farm is situated between Molteno and Dordrect about 14 kilometres off the highway. Dirt roads are reasonable.
Contact Vicky on (045) 9411001
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This is one of my all time favourite places to be. There are streams all over the place, comfortable accommodation and excellent lake fishing on your doorstep. It's in remote country 60 odd kilometres inland of Maclear in the foothills of the southern Drakensberg and its run by two wonderful people, Donie and Juan-Marie Naude. If you go here you must do a trip into the Swith River valley on John Jordaan's farm, Honingkloof. He's a neighbour of the Naudes. What an experience; what a stream. Recently a small restaurant has been added at Vrederus called Shepherd's Cottage so catered meals are available. There are three cottages and the atmosphere is great. Dirt roads can be problematic so check with the Naudes before you go. I've never had a problem in my truck, but a sedan might struggle in wet conditions.
Phone on 082 4027955
- The Chalkstreams of Hampshire
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- Lupela Lodge
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Situated on the Karnemelkspruit 5.4 kms from the turnoff just beyond the bridge on the highway from Lady Grey to Barkly East (17.5 kms from Lady Grey to be exact), this is a comfortable place to fish this famous river. The lodge is run by Alf and Denise Ross and like all the other fishing lodges I list here, it's a working farm. They have the main lodge, a well appointed, comfortable place that easily sleeps a big party and alongside it, a smaller accommodation created from an artistically converted silo. There's plenty of fishing upstream and downstream of the Lodge in water that's attractive, varied and easy to get to. Accommodation is self- catering and very comfortably and well equipped. For people interested in San art there's a rare painting just off the riverbank downstream of the Lodge of bushmen hunting fish – presumable yellowfish – with spears, which is a very special art site that Alf might let you visit in his company. The view from the lodge is great, especially at sundown with a braai fire lit.Contact Alf and Denise Ross at
PO Box 33, Camp, Lady Grey, 9755 or
Tel: (051) 603 7034, Cell: 082 922 1334,
- Lammergeier Reserve
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Dick and Margie Isted have won conservation awards for their farm Lammergeier Reserve for many years, a point that may well have a bearing on the quality of the water in the Karnemelk Stream and in its main tributary on the farm, the charming Unity stream. Woodlands cottage sleeps four and is right alongside the river and the other cottage I sometimes use, Ossa, is a huge rambling guest house that could sleep a battalion. It is all self-catering and the cottages are managed these days by the Isted's son, Kevin. There is 17 kms of river on the farm and two attractive tributaries, of which the Unity Stream, 8 km upstream of Woodlands Cottage, is a rare gem and a must visit place. The river and streams run in bold, rugged sandstone landscapes that are pretty typical of the natural splendour of this unique part of the world.Contact Kevin on 082 9299729Fax 051 6031114