A hero, a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. The guys from Fly_Bound are heroes and through their passion, enthusiasm and love for everything fly fishing are part of our REEL Hero team. They are our eyes and ears on the water, promoting the REEL Fly Fishing brand as well as providing invaluable product feedback and advice.
Be sure to follow Robbie, Zac and Jordan on their fly fishing adventures around South Africa and abroad as they showcase some of our finest products!
Fishing Achievements: Fished for Eastern Cape in the Junior 2018 Nationals, landing a trout of 50+ cm in the Kraai River, the unique ability to lose seven fish on dry in a 3-hour session during nationals, oh and he can tie a mean Minky.
Favourite fish to target:
Trophy Stillwater trout in Tarkastad. He is a lucky bugger with access to many private dams in and Around Tarkastad that he says hold some real slobs.
Most Productive pattern:
Stillwater – Hands down a weightless size 10 brown Minky, with 2 strands of red flash on each side. Streams – Any purists worst nightmare, a GUN. Who needs natural materials?
Top 3 favourite fishing destinations:
- Tarkastad – His dad grew up there on a farm, and he goes there every winter, but whenever he gets a chance, he is out fishing trying to break his Stillwater PB trout.
- Barkly East – There is a huge network of streams up there. It is an hour away from the Lesotho border, so you can just imagine how mountainous and steep the terrain is. All of the streams are untouched and as a result hold many fish.
- Gubu – This dam in the pristine mountainous region of Stutterheim has helped Robbie grow his competitive fishing and tying skills. During rainy days, he sits with some of the top EC anglers and picks their minds for any scraps of information he can get. Being able to fish the whole day on a boat with top anglers really boosts ones learning curve.
Top destinations on his bucket list:
- Katse dam for double digit Rainbows
- Bolivia for Golden Dorado.
- Mongolia for a trout’s big cousin, the Taimen.
First three items I grab before going on a trip:
- A selfie stick with a tripod mount. Always nice to get a video of hungry, dry fly consuming trout.
- Fly tying kit. You never know when your mate might klap fish on a pattern you do not have in your box.
- A notebook and pen. Robbie is OCD when it comes to recording how many fish he caught, lost etc.
Robbie hopes that at Varsity he will have time to do small locally guided trips in South Africa. After university, he will try his luck guiding with an overseas company. He would also love to make the Protea youth team and go fish one of those eastern European countries for some big Brown’s and Grayling.
Fishing achievements: Zac is yet to compete in any competitions, but he has racked up some respectable fish catches such as, a 9lb Carp and a 5 lb. rainbow trout. In the saltwater, he has also caught a 57cm flathead gurnard.
Favourite fish to target:
Carp on dry fly tops the cake for him. Being a very fussy feeder, it is always a challenge to get these fish on dry. For Zac, having a fish challenge him in fly selection and presentation is a fish worth fishing for.
Most productive fly patterns:
It has to be an Olive variant Minky with a long sparse tail with one or two UV strands normally tied on a size 10 or 8 nymph hook. For carp, he says a small size 14-beetle pattern always produces fish. He believes that the smaller presentations always work better when it comes to beetles and the more realistic it is the better.
Three favourite fishing destinations:
- Thrift Dam, Tarkastad – because it offers all types of trophy trout fishing. Being in an area that is renowned for big trout, there is no shortage of them there.
- Brakendunne, Oyster Bay – It is mainly a conventional fishing dam but the bass there cannot resist a well-presented fly. With fish reaching well over 6lb average, the pull is toxic and one has to love that place
- Swartkops River, Port Elizabeth – Not being the cleanest fishing destination, but the fish there are of great magnitude with lots of Garrick And plenty of Grunter.
Top Bucket list Destinations:
- Cuba. Growing up he has always wanted to fish the Cuban flats for bonefish amongst the mangroves. Plus, it is also home to some Goliath sized tarpon
- New Zealand. What trout fisherman does not want to visit the land of misty mountains for the prestigious streams, and monster fish? With the gin clear streams and rolling mountains, the backdrop is otherworldly.
- Alaska. This place speaks for itself. With its kilometers of untouched waters, it is a haven for Salmon during summer and still water in the icy winters.
Three items that I make sure I bring:
- Fly tying equipment. You never know when the next addition to your fly box will arrive until someone catches a fish on a fly you do not have. So coming prepared is always a good option.
- Extra Fly box for wet flies. Zac hates having the flies he just used fogging up his fly boxes.
- Polarized Sunglasses. Polarized lenses are paramount in fly-fishing. Having a good pair of glasses is an investment but seeing that he mostly fishes for carp, a good pair glasses goes a long way.
In a few years, he sees himself growing in the sport, hopefully being an experienced competitive fly fisherman. He would also like to have travelled and become more experienced in the art of fly-fishing and tying.
Dikkop. Only his parents call me Jordan
Fished for Eastern Province at Boland nationals. Biggest fish 5-6 kilo carp
Favourite specie to target:
Carp have a special place in his heart, as they are big and probably the hardest fighting fish that he has caught. They are also at the top of his list as some days they turn down flies more than the most finicky of trout, but other days smash a fly like a GT, so you always have to be improving tactics and flies as these fish change what flies they like on every second trip.
The one that catches the fish. Does not really have a favourite fly but wooly buggers, squirmies and clousers will be enough to catch anything that swims.
Top three destinations?
- Seychelles – for all the incredible flats fishing
- America in general – the land of milk and honey as there are so many species to catch both saltwater and freshwater. There is definitely no lack for fish able water
- New Zealand – River trout! The thought of catching giant trout in turquoise skinny water while viewing the stunning scenery and wildlife
Favourite places to fish in South Africa:
- A Golf course by his house where he has spent many days targeting his favourite fish
- Swartkops – another local water only 15km from his house it has great fishing all year round and is home to some massive fish.
- Barklyast – you are spoilt for choice when it comes to the number of Trophy Rivers and dams that are home to big yellows and trout
Three things I don’t go fishing without
- Polarized glasses “polies” fishing without them is impossible they also protect your eyes from the glare or any rogue flies
- Phone – Have to get pics of any fish
Continue competitive fly fishing and try get into the Protea team. Once he starts studying, he wants to put as much time as he can on the water to better his skills and add to his fish count. His future plans are to pursue a career in guiding after university.