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The Nedbank guide to flyfishing South Africa
I have had the good fortune of fishing with several South African fly anglers over the years, and apart from being great anglers and very nice people (like most anglers I meet), they all left me with an impression of South Africa as a country with a rich variety of fishing opportunities from the saltwater of Durban Harbor over the stocked reservoirs to the streams in the mountains. Brown trout, rainbows, yellowfish, tigerfish and numerous saltwater species seem to be abundant and readily available in beautiful, lush landscapes.
This guide has confirmed my impression. It clearly demonstrates that South Africa is a country, which should range up there on the fly-fisher's wish list somewhere in the New Zealand, Patagonia and Iceland range.
The history of this guide seems to be a story worth telling. The Nedbank in the publisher name is actually a bank, and this monetary institution does indeed support the guide as well as fly fishing and general conservation work in South Africa. The guide has been published for several years, increasing in size and quality. The Chief Executive of the banking corporation - Tom Boardman - motivates the bank's move in his introduction to the guide, but apart from a few ads and his introduction, there are no traces of the sponsorship.
There are many other ads in the guide, but the ratio between advertisements and editorial and objective facts and text is absolutely on the gentle side, and the footprint of commercialism or advertiser's influence does not mar the guide. The ads can even be considered a useful addition providing supplementary information to the editorial text, which is already laden with facts.
The guide is extremely thorough and covers many lodges, guide services, hotels, shops and other resources aimed at anglers as well as other nature lovers.
But the facts are just a welcome supplement to the mainstay of the book, which are the prose chapters on the species and fishing in the different regions and locations.
These chapters will lead you through a lot of attractive places in text and images, and hold a wealth of auxiliary information on methods, gear, flies and much more.
Being a guide this book is held in the style, which characterizes guides: it's crammed with information, tightly laid out and not exactly stylish. This is not a bad thing, but just a fact. This is no coffee table book even though many of the images could easily be in one. But the compact format at dense layout of the book is meant to carry as much information as possible, and it does a good job of it.
Guides like this usually only have the interest of anglers going to the area they cover, but this one differs a bit. It can be read with great pleasure by anglers like myself who only have a slim chance of ever fishing these waters. For people thinking about venturing off to South Africa - not to mention South African angers - it's a must.
|PS: One of the most exhilarating kinds of fishing you can experience in South Africa is fishing for yellowfish. Korrie Broos has written the article Yellow Fever on this new but yet very old species for the Global FlyFisher.|