Eastern Transvaal section of "The Southern African Trout and Flyfishing Directory."

THE EASTERN TRANSVAAL (Mpumalanga)

These include my own home trout waters which lie between the temperate highveld of the PWV and the steamy Lowveld. Like much of South Africa this is an intensely historical area in which the observant angler often comes across reminders, not only of the endeavours of the Dutch-speaking pioneers (voortrekkers) to move northwards, but also of some of the battles of the Anglo-Boer War.

BELFAST

Belfast is, alphabetically, first in line at this point in time, but the town also happens to mark the commonly recognized border of trout country if you travel eastwards from Johannesburg or Pretoria.

You could spend some time guessing why, in 1890, Richard O'Neill, decided that his settlement should be called "Belfast", but there's no great prizes for your answer. Indeed it is pretty countryside, especially in Summer when at least twenty of the thousand hues of Irish green begin to emerge. It has also been called "the coldest place in the Transvaal" but if cold also means the presence of trout, then its elevation is sufficient to encourage the flyfisher in his quest for trout.

 

Belfast Fly Fishing Association P O Box 799 Belfast 1100 Tel: (01325) 31953.

The Belfast Fly Fishing Association has been infused with life by the enthusiasm of its members and constant strides have been made to re-establish the town as a significant venue for visiting anglers. To this end, angling on a number of dams ranging in size up to 250 acres and a shared section of river is available to association members. The visiting angler is welcome, though some waters are for the exclusive use of members.

DULLSTROOM

So you suspect you know how Dullstroom got its name? Nope, it was through the administrations of one Wolterus Dull that a settlement was started around the turn of the last century after which it was pretty much burned to the ground during the Anglo-Boer War. Dullstroom underwent a massive transformation about 15 years ago and has become 'the place to be." As you freewheel down the dip into the town, ignore the useless information about how far it is to Phalaborwa ( remember the new stop street sign someone has put in the way), concentrate on the trouty looking places emerging from the trees.

Dullstroom has experienced phenomenal growth due to the homage it pays the lowly trout. There are now enough places of refreshment to ensure that dehydration does not set in with ease. The lovely Dullstroom dam and Suikerboschkop dams, on the perimeter of the town have undergone a chequered history altely, but they are both capable of provind some excellent angling given good fisheries management.

You'll enjoy a ramble through Dullstroom and not only because it is trout country.

Dullstroom Flyfishers P O Box 72291 Parkview 2122 Tel: (011) 8887337

Some years ago the Dullstroom Flyfishers took on the task of resurrecting a once fine dam - the Dullstroom Municipal dam - to its former glory. In addition, the building of a sister dam, Suikerboschkop dam, also resulted in excellent flyfishing.

In the last couple of years the dams have changed hands and the Club has acquired its own waters not far from the town - a lovely 12 ha, dam which is reguarly stokced with Browns and Rainbow trout.

MACHADODORP

If you happen to be traveling along on the national highway (N4) past Machadodorp, you may well be struck by the unusual architecture of the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk in the town. The Eastern Transvaal towns have already betrayed their cosmopolitan heritage and Machadodorp is no exception. This time it is a Portuguese influence as Joachim Machado was entrusted with the task of building the railway line to Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) in Mozambique.

Machadodorp Flyfishing Club Tel: (013252) Ask for 16

Once you've torn your eyes away from the N.G.Kerk structure, you may notice that there are trout streams in the vicinity and even catch a glimpse of the Elands river running not far from the road. The Club, which is extremely active in bringing the town to the forefront of trout fishing in the area, can offer flyfishing on a generous stretch of the Elands. Stocking in the river is done by the Club. Portion of the river is designated "catch-and-release".

WATERVAL BOVEN

The name gives the clue. "Above the waterfall" to distinguish it from the town of Waterval Onder. The waterfall in question lies on the Elands river which skirts the town and which has its fair share of trout. Indeed the Elands river at times can be a fairly substantial (by South African standards anyway) river. it is stocked and run by the local Club ( See below)

History, in this area, is never far away and it was near here that Winston Churchill spent an uncomfortable night after a daring escape. If you are of the treasure-seeking kind, you will be intrigued to know of the strong suspicion that the "Kruger Millions" were reputed to be buried somewhere along the railway line between Boven and Machadodorp.

Fortunately Boven's trout are easier to find than the "Kruger Millions".

Waterval Boven Trout Association P O Box 28586 Kensington 2100 Tel: (011) 393 3521

The WBTA was formed some years ago to provide reasonably priced river and dam angling for flyfishers and as such controls a long stretch of the Elands river as well as three conveniently placed dams near the town. The Association's waters remain open throughout the year and are stocked on a regular basis. Enquire at the Boven Trout Lodge for details of how to get a legal fly in the water.

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