SA’s top 10 fly-fishing destinations

Image courtesy of Andrew Cooper

These days, fly-fishing isn’t only about trout. If you try hard enough, you can catch just about anything on a fly…. Here is our list of top 10 places to go fly-fishing in sunny South Africa.

  1. Du Toitskloof, Western Cape

The three rivers in this valley all feature “single-malt water” and feisty, wild populations of rainbow trout which will rise to a dry fly all day long.

On the N1, one hour from Cape Town. Tel: 021 424 7725. Visit:

  1. Rhodes, Eastern Cape

With a population of just 26, Rhodes is SA’s trout-fishing Mecca. You have over 150km of streams to choose from and some top-class stillwaters too, so you’re utterly spoilt for choice.

On the R396, four hours from Bloemfontein. Tel: 045 974 290. Visit:

  1. Lakenvlei Dam, Western Cape

This vast expanse of water in a remote and rugged location offers the best stillwater trout fishing in the Western Cape.

Off the R46, 2,5 hours from Cape Town. Tel: 021 424 7725. Visit:

  1. Dullstroom, Mpumalanga

The great thing about Dullstroom is that there really is something for every kind of trout fisherman, from absolute beginners to seasoned pros.

On the R540, three hours from Johannesburg. Tel: 013 254 0270. Visit:

  1. Giant’s Cup, KwaZulu-Natal

Giant’s Cup is home to the only lake in SA with a self-sustaining population of wild trout. The backdrop’s pretty special too.

On the R617, 2,5 hours from Durban. Tel: 033 701 1511. Visit:

  1. De Mond, Western Cape

De Mond doesn’t have the biggest leervis in the country, but it’s perfect for fly-fishing because of its manageable size.

On the R316, 2,5 hours from Cape Town. Tel: 028 425 1242. Visit:

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Image courtesy of Andrew Cooper

  1. Kosi Bay, KZN

Kosi Bay is most famous for its giant kingfish – the biggest, meanest things you can catch without a boat. There are also plenty of other species in its warm, subtropical waters.

Off the R22, five hours from Durban. Tel: 035 592 0236. Visit:

  1. Lake Jozini, KZN

The tigerfish in Jozini are getting bigger every year, so book your trip before the rest of the country cottons on

Off the N2, four hours from Durban. Tel: 035 572 1020. Visit:

  1. Wag ’n Bietjie Ekoplaas, Free State

Yellowfish are big, strong fighting fish which present a challenge to any fisherman. This stretch of the Vaal River offers a wealth of both small- and large-mouth varieties.

On the S636, three hours from Johannesburg. Tel: 082 826 7076. Visit:

  1. Richtersveld National Park, Northern Cape

If you think catching yellowfish in the Vaal is epic, then you haven’t tried the Orange River. The remote landscapes are untouched and the fishing’s out of this world.

On the R382, five hours from Springbok. Tel: 027 831 1506.

If you enjoyed this blog, download Nick Dall’s story titled The Art of Fly-Fishing from the November 2015 issue of Sawubona magazine.

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