SA’s top young fly fishers compete in junior champs

2013-09-21 00:00

TOMORROW sees the start of the annual South African Youth National Fly Fishing Championship taking place in the Kamberg Valley until Wednesday.

This year, the KwaZulu-Natal Fly Fishing Association (KZNFFA) will play host to the young fly fishers who eat, sleep and breathe this challenging discipline of angling. This event will see the top young fly fishers in the country come together in their provincial teams to work the waters with the hope of hooking and landing a good few trout.

The three-day tournament (tomorrow is set aside for the opening ceremony) will comprise five, three-hour sessions of fishing, with anglers being challenged by a different type of water in each session.

The KZN junior team is made up of a mixture of experience and enthusiasm. KZN’s very own Protea angler, Matt Gorlei, who recently returned from the World Champs in Ireland where he formed part of the SA team that won a bronze medal, will be joined by last year’s national champion, Luke Criticos, and fly-tying marvel Christian Calliontzis. They will be looking to lead the team into netting, recording and releasing some fine catches.

Roo Bechard along with two development anglers, Sabelo Zuma and Thembi Ngxongo, who have been part of the KZNFFA’s Tendela project in the Kamberg, will make up the rest of the team. The anglers have the benefit of competing on their home water.

Team selection was based on their performance in their local provincial fly fishing leagues hosted by KZNFFA.

Junior teams from all over the country will be putting their best cast forward as they hope to secure a team medal and increase their individual standing for further selection to the Protea team. The tranquil setting will do little to quell the competitive spirits of the teams as they venture from drift boats gently careening around the beautiful Forest Lake to rotating bank situated at smaller surrounding dams.

The event will begin with an opening ceremony and street parade in Nottingham Road at 1 pm tomorrow. For more information on the event or representative fishing in KZN, please contact Linda Gorlei on

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