Lake Naverone (My 30th Birthday)

Lake Naverone (My 30th Birthday)

Warren And Sharon At Lake Naverone

Sharon picked me up from the office at 4 and we headed straight for Underberg stopping only to grab some KFC for dinner. The weather was miserable with thick mist and heavy rain. Thankfully there wasn’t much traffic on the roads, especially after we’d passed through Hillcrest. That said, driving my ‘favourite’ road in the dark and mist was far from ideal.

When we arrived at Lake Naverone, 30km outside of Underberg, it was dark and gloomy. It looked awesome but we could barely see 10 meters in front of us so true judgement would need to wait until morning.

Our key had been left on the late arrivals board so there was no reason to check in. The thatched chalet was stunning consisting of an open plan kitchen looking onto a small lounge complete with a fireplace, 4 post bed and a sunbed in the window. There was also a bathroom with a heated towel rail and bath come shower. And the best thing, no cell phone reception.

The evening was spent relaxing by the fire, drinking red wine and chatting about wedding plans.

I didn’t set an alarm but was awake by just after 6am. We lazed around a little so I only made it onto the water at around 8am. I fished the large dam in partly cloudy conditions starting close to the inlet. Almost immediately I missed two strong hits which got me rather excited. Sadly I saw no more fish for the next hour.

The inlet was heavily weeded so I made my way to the far bank which appeared to be the deeper of the two. I picked up one tiny rainbow but wasn’t feeling confident here. I therefore started the long trip across the dam to where I had missed the fish earlier. On route I came across Sharon who had paddled out to see me. Amazingly, while she was watching, I got onto another fish of around 500g.

Bad weather was fast approaching so Sharon made her way back to our chalet. Shortly after that I reached my initial spot and picked up a 1kg rainbow in the rain which I assume was the fish I missed earlier.

The rain was coming down hard so I started fishing my way back to the cottage. By the time I reached it the rain had eased off and so I fished the wall area directly in front of our cottage while Sharon read in the window. I picked up another small fish and decided that that was a good note to end on.

Back in the chalet I had a quick shower and a couple of hot dogs before Sharon and I took a walk to a nearby store. Just as we arrived the rain once again bucketed down so we bought a deck of cards and waited it out playing rummy and eating ice creams.

Sadly the small store didn’t stock wine which was the purpose of the visit. They did however inform us that the Drakensberg Gardens Hotel had a small shop which did. We took a quick drive over there and had a quick look around. It’s well kitted with tennis and badminton courts, putt putt, a golf and mashie course, a spa, bowling green, animal farm, swimming pool and more. That said it’s looking a little run down. This combined with the taxi parked in the picnic area pumping music sealed the fact that I’d never stay there.

After having a quick look at the river, which looked a little high for fishing, we bought a ridiculously priced R48 six pack and R52 bottle of wine and headed back.

View Over Lake Naverone

It was a little early to fish so I dozed on the sun bed (yes, it’s the first time I’ve ever done this and must be because I’m over 30 now). Sadly a storm then approached which meant cards and beer instead of fishing.

Eventually the storm passed so I loaded Sharon up with beer and headed out to do some fishing from the bank (in case the storm returned). Sharon stood patiently under a tree, beer in hand, while I fished the bank in the rain. I managed to pick up 3 fish in miserable conditions and sadly got bitten off by what felt like a monster fish. After taking the fly it headed for the hill unworried that I was trying to slow it down. Just before hitting backing the line went dead and I brought it in to find my fly was gone, and with it the fish.

The evening’s short, and wet, session was followed by an awesome braai on the patio as the rain had finally moved off. All in all a fantastic day at a beautiful location.

I decided that since Sharon has paid for the weekend away I’d better spend at least a little time with her (instead of floating around by myself on my float tube). On Sunday morning we therefore headed out in our cottageā€™s boat and did a little fishing together.

I thought that since we were in the water the lack of distance on her cast would not be a problem. This was mostly true and she got a couple of knocks while fishing but sadly didn’t pick up anything. I on the other hand learned what it was like to fish with kids. I spent the majority of my time helping her, untangling lines, tying knots, etc. And just when I could get a cast in the boat would’ve drifted to a bank and I was forced to row out again. But despite all the chaos on the boat we had fun, even if no fish were landed.

By 11am we had packed up and were on the road heading home. We did of course stop at a few places including at River Glen (the Underberg dairy) where we stocked up on cheeses including a few for Christmas gifts.

Shortly after getting home I headed over to Jay’s house where I had the pleasure of looking at his workshop and collecting my new Jvice ( I was also spoiled to see his new split cane rod which is an absolute piece of art. Amazingly he fishes the rivers with this rod, something I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to do.

From Jay’s house we headed over to the Beaumont’s who were hosting their Christmas party. It was a lunch time affair so we arrived just in time for cheese and pudding. Mmmmm! And despite being late we were lucky enough to receive some home-made gifts including olives and a Cosmopolitan mixer.

The weekend wound down sitting outside, drinking win and relaxing. You really have to love the Christmas period.