A Weekend At KarMichael, Himeville

A Weekend At KarMichael, Himeville

A few friends and our families headed to Underberg for a relaxing weekend at KarMichael Guest Farm, located on the outskirts of Himeville. This of course meant that we were within spitting distance of the UHTFC waters; a temptation too good to resist.

Sharon and I left early on Thursday morning after feeding Emma. The plan was to have a late breakfast at the Pickle Pot and then to head over to Alan’s house for a quick catch up.

Breakfast at the Pickle Pot was fantastic. We both opted for egg and bacon, which I washed down with a milkshake while Sharon opted for a more sophisticated cappuccino. After that we relaxed in the sun while Emma played on the jungle gym, in the boat, and explored the small trickle of a stream passing through the property.

From the Pickle Pot we headed for Alan’s house. Unfortunately he’d taken advantage of the weather and had headed out for a day on the rivers. The good news was that he fished both the Umzinkulu and the Pholela, and picked up some beautiful rainbow trout in the process.

Since the rest of our crowd would only be arriving at lunch time we headed for the Umzinkulu for a quick look at the river. It was flowing beautifully and certainly backed up Alan’s news that the rivers were fishing well.

Our cottage at KarMichael Guest Farm
Our cottage at KarMichael Guest Farm

We then headed for the Himeville Arms where we grabbed an ice cold beer and spent a few hours by the pool enjoying the spectacular weather. For lunch we headed over to the Underberg Country Club where we grabbed a quick toasted sandwich for Emma and then played on the jungle gym while we waited for our mates to arrive.

Rory and Shannon were the first to show their faces. We met them at the Spar for a quick shop and then headed over to KarMichael where we checked into our accommodation. It was a beautiful 3 bedroom cottage with a kitchen, scullery, lounge (complete with fireplace) and a small patio. It was set on a beautiful lawn overlooking the farm against a backdrop of mountains. Spectacular to say the least. There were also 2 bass dams on the property which tickled my fancy.

Jared and Shelley joined us a little later and we relaxed for the rest of the day, drank far too much beer, and enjoyed an epic games evening in front of a roaring fire.

After a chilled first day we were up early on the Friday morning for a quick session with the fly before the Sharks game at 11am. Alan warned us that many of the waters had inverted thanks to the first cold snap after a warm summer. Apparently the waters were muddy and fishing was tough. It was an ominous sign but certainly not enough to stop us from wetting a line.

Undeterred by the news we opted to fish Trelevans 4, with Rory and I fishing off a boat while Jared headed out on his tube. Thankfully the water wasn’t too murky and amazingly I got into my first fish on just my third cast. It was a beautiful rainbow weighing in at 2kgs, and was caught on the standard olive green woolly bugger.

A trout out of Trelevans
A trout out of Trelevans

Sadly after that things went quiet and we fished hard for no reward. That said, Jared missed one while taking a smoke break and I missed another while stripping in to leave for the rugga at the Himeville Arms.

That evening Jared and I had another short session, this time at Finelands. Sadly we arrived a little late and only realised how dirty the water was after we launched our tubes. None the less we fished for an hour and a half as the sun dipped below the mountains and the temperature plummeted. Neither of us picked up a fish but the water did come alive as darkness fell.

Since we had our families with us (or perhaps due to the hangovers) we relaxed the next morning. This meant a short drive to the Sani Pass Hotel where we enjoyed a few drinks out on their patio.

Emma and I took a walk along the golf course, across the river, and up into the foothills. It’s a beautiful hotel with a lot to offer, but I believe it is rather pricey.

Our visit to the hotel was followed by some epic croquet on the lawn in front of the cottage, and then coffee and cake at the main house with Shannon’s family. As a dedicated Baha Boy I almost felt guilty not living out of a tent and surviving only on rum and our catches. This was the high life!

Emma relaxing at the Sani Pass Hotel
Emma relaxing at the Sani Pass Hotel

Full of cake and rearing to go we headed out for an afternoon session at Lake Ringstead. We were pleased to find cleaner water, a slight ripple on the surface, and what looked like near perfect conditions. Jared and I headed out on our float tubes while Rory manned a boat alone.

Shortly after launching I got into a 1.5kg rainbow trout on a small woolly bugger. My screams of delight were however cut short by Rory’s screams. As it turned out the boat he had chosen was infested with red ants which had found their way into his delicate places. Fail!

A little later Jared hooked into what must’ve been a beast of a fish. It ran for the horizon, stripping backing off his reel at an incredible pace, until his line went limp. Reeling in revealed his tippet (which I had lent to him) had snapped. Later that evening long conversations were had around whether the borrowed tippet or fisherman that was at fault. I’m sticking to my story that it was the fisherman…

After that our time on the water was quiet. I lost a small fish while the sun lit up the sky with burnt oranges, but other than that the fishing remained tough as it had been all weekend. On the up side we’d remember to pack the cooler box in the boat with Rory, so we had a mobile bar.

The next morning we packed up early and were on the road by 10am. By far my toughest trip to Underberg in 2 years. On the up side I managed to pick up a few fish in trying conditions, and the accommodation was amazing.  Hopefully Jared will drag me back soon to hunt down the beast lurking in Ringstead.