Lakenvlei solitude – photograph by Andrew Ingram
Lakenvlei solitude – photograph by Andrew Ingram
Billy de Jong at Highland Lodge in the Stormberg Mountains of the Eastern Cape - Photograph by Tom Sutcliffe

Ed Herbst writes: The August 1993 issue of Piscator carries photographs of the Lakenvlei Dam cabin under construction. It reveals that, a quarter of a century ago, the CPS committee approved a sum of R25 000 for the construction of the cabin and that the rental was R30 a night.

That has probably been the wisest investment decision the committee has ever made.

In my editorial at the time I wrote about an intriguing new tactic being explored by British fly fishers on their dams and lochs.

Snails

As any experiences stillwater angler knows, whenever snails are present they form a substantial component of trout diet. Tom Sutcliffe has told me that in the Dargle snails are, for much of the year, the most important single source of food for trout – so much so that the trout virtually rattle as they are lifted from the water.  What happens is that the trout’s digestive juices quickly break down the tender body parts but the shell remains impervious. The anal vent of snail-eating trout is often clearly irritated by the passing of these indigestible shells and this has led to a curious practice among British stillwater anglers.

According to an authoritative British fly fishing magazine an angler can ascertain whether trout are feeding selectively on snails by placing a plastic tube into the water and then applying your ear to the one end. If a deep groaning can be heard emanating from the depths the angler can confidently attach a snail imitation to the tippet. This intriguing new angle of attack for stillwater fly fishers is one which I intend to explore the next time I am in snail country. The fact that this valuable advice was carried in the April issue of the magazine is, I am sure, purely coincidental.

Piscator has, since 1947, carried a wealth of articles, many of which are still relevant today.

This folder will be the repository for those which relate to dam fishing and will make available, for internet record, information which was previously  inaccessible to those who do not have back issues of the magazine.