Trouting in South Africa

South Africa has a robust trout population. They were introduced into both lakes and streams near the end of the 1800s. Like trout everywhere, they can be highly selective one day and pigs at the trough the next. Gerrit Redpath send me a note on a recent trouting trip he made  with his family into the Lady Grey area of South Africa. This area is east of Cape Town along the coast. The Drakensberg Mountains lie on the mother side of this region. Garrit says:

I fished the Karnemelkspruit in Lady Grey area.  (South Africa)  We stayed in Lupela lodge, it is as good as it gets.  Situated on a working farm, with all the farming sounds to go with it.  Our hosts Alf and Denise Ross where outstanding, warm and friendly people.  The lodge was actually an old milk shed that has been converted into a lodge sleeping 10 people. With a lot of adventurous activities to pleases the whole family.  (

The Karnemelkspruit is a very pretty high mountain stream, filled with willing wild rainbow trout.  The water was crystal clear, though spotting fish was a bit difficult.  Most of the days were overcast and windy.  But we managed to see some nice specimens; even lucky enough to catch one or two!

Using your bottom bouncing nymph leader, tied with Maxima Chameleon line,  I had a ball on the small river, spending some time with the kids.  My oldest daughter caught a nice rainbow on a dry dropper rig.

I experimented with different indicators and systems.  Found that the coiled indicator worked pretty well, under the circumstances that I was faced with. When well greased it floats well enough to spot strikes and it cast easily into the wind.

Crystalline waters make fishing a true challenge, but the Angler as Predator takes the precautions necessary to surmount such circumstances.

Fishing crystalline waters is black and white–you either become the Angler as Predator or go fishless.


  1. Theo Bakelaar says:

    Hi hi….how funny, Karnemelkspruit is a Dutch word. Karnemelk is a specie of milk that taste bitter ( acid ). Have never seen that in the world or tasted it some were. Its pure Dutch. I know that in Africa has been a lot of Dutch people that have lived there. Maybe that why that river has that name, it must be very old. Cheers Theo

  2. Lars Bentsen says:

    Theo, it’s called buttermilk in English, and I can assure that it’s not a pure, Dutch thing in any way. I think it’s common in any dairy-production throughout the World. It’s a common biproduct when making butter in the old fashioned way. I think the buttermilk that comes from this proces isn’t really fit for drinking, so the “drinkable” buttermilk is you buy in stores today is actually made from skimmed milk.

    By the way, it’s called “kærnemælk” in Danish :-)

    None the less, it’s a strange place name, and it could be interesting to know how old it is. The Netherlands has a long history in South Africa, since The Netherlands established colononies there in the 17th century.