A Successful (Fishing) Trip To The Bend

A Successful (Fishing) Trip To The Bend

Having spent the week pondering my Bend curse, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when we drove straight into pouring rain en route to the Bend. I was yet to visit in sunshine, and was yet to get in any fishing, unless of course you consider a short fishless session and a broken line fishing? I was therefore pleasantly surprised when the weather lifted and we arrived, late afternoon, to a beautiful albeit chilly day.

The first evening was spent catching up over a braai as well as few drinks, and planning the next day’s activities. The girls played happily and the evening went well until Sharon poured me a rum that not even the mighty Kingsley could have stomached. Thankfully I caught it in time and headed to bed before consuming what could best be described as a half a bottle of rum.

The next morning started with another well concocted breakfast by the Haines’ – scones with bacon, chicken, secret sauce and pesto. A strange combination but utter magic to say the least. Sadly the weather appeared to have returned and there was a light drizzle falling on the foothills.

Not deterred Dave and I loaded up the Ark and took a short drive to our new location X. After launching the boat Dave handed me a paddle and proceeded to tell me tales of woe about a recent biking accident, a plate in his shoulder, and his new inability to paddle. In his defence he did take 3 short strokes before lowering his paddling and letting me do the rest.

It was cold, with a chilly wind pushing across the water, and was drizzling on and off. Not deterred we picked our first drift and got down to prospecting the new water. It was a poorly chosen drift and we didn’t get so much as a touch as we crossed the water. However, as we approached the far bank and as I was getting ready to paddle us to our next location, I connected with a fish. It felt solid and gave a good account of itself all the way to the net where we discovered it was a beautiful brown trout of around 1.5kgs.

Some of the brown trout from location X
Some of the brown trout from location X

With the Adrenalin now flowing we worked our way around the water trying various new spots. I managed to land 3 nice brown trout while Dave was having slightly less luck. Trying to help out I lent him a fly similar to the one I was using, and suddenly things changed. Almost immediately he connected with a fish which he strangely lost. He quickly threw another cast in the same direction hoping to get a second chance at the fish, while I warned him to check his fly. He immediately pulled it in and, low and behold, the hook had snapped…something Nick will find humorous as it’s happened to him on numerous occasions when borrowing flies from me.

With lunch fast approaching we called it a day and headed home to the families, with Dave mumbling in my ear about his lost fish and my jinxed fly.

We arrived back at the cottage to the magic sight of platters of cheese, biscuits and cold meats. It went down a treat after a morning of paddling in the cold. Friends of Dave then joined us and we spent the afternoon around the roaring fire defrosting our hands. This was followed by a short trip to other friends who have a beautiful house on the Mooi River. Finally we said goodbye to the day with a fantastic rib braai, and more appropriately poured rum and cokes.

The following day we gave location X another try, this time in what were beautiful conditions for us humans – sunny skies and warm weather. Sadly the trout disagreed and I only managed to land one fish in a solid two hour session. Dave was once again unlucky missing another fish which again looked to be solidly on. Thankfully this time it wasn’t due to a borrowed fly.

Again we were great by a fantastic snack lunch set out by the ladies who’d spent the morning entertaining the kids and enjoying the good weather. Emma went on and on about her new ability to feed horses. “Open your hand dad. Not closed!” she kept repeating with a smile on her face.

After lunch we packed up our kit and headed home, happy in the fact that the Bend curse had finally been broken. Now all I can hope is that Dave needs someone to paddle him around and invites me back to the magical location X.