Here at Gooderson Kloppenheim, we offer both rainbow and brown trout to our avid fly fishermen to catch.
Please enquire at reception for fly fishing bookings, catch sizes and rules.
Please note, whilst we make every effort to keep our fish levels high, they are subject to availability dependant on local supply for the season.
Rainbow trout are native to rivers in the Pacific Ocean drainage of North America. They prefer cool to cold oxygenated water, optimally between 13° C and 16° C. The critical thermal maximum (CTM) temperature they can tolerate is between 24° C and 26° C but scientists have found that this depends on the strain of the fish, its temperature history and its life stage - they have found rainbow trout that survived temperatures of almost 30° C.
Rainbows in South Africa feed on essentially the same types of prey as elsewhere in the world: aquatic insects include mayflies, caddisflies, midges, dragonflies and damselflies, and terrestrial insects are represented largely by ants, beetles and grasshoppers. Snails and crustaceans such as daphnia also feature prominently on the menu. Minnows are taken mostly in autumn and crabs and frogs add a significant touch of local flavour.
In contrast to brown trout which are considered to be pool dwellers, rainbows favour faster water for feeding as well as holding. They can hold in flows ranging from 20 to as high as 80 centimetres per second and can feed in water flowing twice as fast. However, in small mountain streams where there is a scarcity of sizeable runs and riffles, they may only find suitable sanctuary in the slower and deeper water of pools or pockets. The spawning season commences in mid-winter. Stream fish and fish in dams with a suitable feeder stream will run upstream until they find appropriate spawning sites. In other dams the ripe adults will mill around inlets and gravel patches but, in the absence of flowing water, they cannot spawn successfully and will have to re-absorb the eggs or milt subsequently. This invariably causes fish to lose condition. Very few dams in South Africa have feeder streams that allow for natural reproduction and so stocking is the norm. By using triploid fish, spawning is precluded and adults are not subjected to the trauma following a failed spawning.
Brown trout are much loved by fly anglers because of their selective feeding habits and wary nature. They occur naturally throughout Europe and western Asia, but they have been translocated to all the continents except Antarctica. In South Africa, self-sustaining populations are confined largely to a few rivers in KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape.
Their habitat preferences are much like those of rainbow trout with an optimal water temperature range between 8° C and 18° C, but they are reported to have slightly lower maximum CTMs - from 23.5° C to 26.7° C. Adult brown trout prefer to rest and feed in water with a velocity of about 15 to 70 centimetres per second but they can tolerate velocities up to 90 centimetres per second.
They feed on essentially the same food items as Rainbow trout but, while the younger fish concentrate on insects and other invertebrates, the larger browns are active predators of fish, frogs and other larger prey. Like rainbows, they may target all available stages of insects during a hatch or concentrate on one stage only - some fish may be taking rising nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners whereas others may focus on a specific stage. They generally feed more actively in late afternoon or early evening but when the weather is cool and overcast, they will also feed during the day. The largest browns are predominantly nocturnal.
Adults are more solitary and territorial than rainbows and apart from moving upstream to spawn, tend to frequent the same place in a river.
Brown trout commence spawning in autumn and their requirements and spawning behaviour are similar to those of rainbows. If necessary, they are able to travel considerable distances to spawning areas or to winter refuges.