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Ronan's report

Friday April 4th, 2008

Dave Weaver wrote again an article in Africa's Origin Flyfishing Magazine about fishing on Sterkfontain Dam (lake), with Sexyloopers as FF heroes - Dave by himself, Gerald Grubscrew, Peter Skeg and this destroyer of Friday's FP.

Subject was about Peter Skeg visit to SA and Eastern-European (Balkan) approach to the specific Africa's Yellowfishing technique on the one of the most beautiful water in Africa (read: God, shave the Duck or CDC forever).

So, after introducing of F - Fly to Africa last year, we have introducing of Fants this year, a small CDC Ants tied on #22 hook .

This interaction between Balkan and Africa's FF experience and synergy in approaching Yellowish is one of the most interesting things in my humble FF career.

It was amazing to see 2+ kg Yellowfish response (read: madness) to the irresistible small Fants ( #22 CDC Ant) tied especially on another Continent, for specific fishing on the another water- River Ribnik, Bosnia.


Useful threads from the Board for reading with this article:;f=7;t=7684;f=6;t=7576;f=4;t=7698
and one Serbian site, lots of small CDC Ants photos, and you will notice CDC on almost each fly.


Fants and Faddisses

On Thursday afternoon I went birding and was plagued by tiny black flying ants, they were everywhere, in numbers, swarms. I didn't manage to find the Yellow-Breasted Pipit that I was looking for but I had a mission for that nights tying, tiny black flying ants, with white wings. I had a guest from Hungary coming to fish Sterkies the weekend and I knew that if I did not have a few ant patterns we were going to miss out on some great catching.

Fant Swarms

Having been a great follower of Ed Herbst's ant articles I knew that if the fish were hooked on "Formica" they would pay scant regard for any other pattern. But the problem still remained, how does one tie a wing on a #22 hook, how does one tie anything on a #22 hook. Examining the natural I realized that all that was needed was black floss, white wings and buoyancy. CDC was the answer to the latter 2 conundrums cause I had black floss, and so was born the Fant. I simply built a head and thorax and tied in 2 white CDC feather tips between the head and thorax, F-fly style.

Peter Harsagyi aka Skeg ( arrived with Zoran and Gerald on Friday night. They brought with them Unicom an herbal drink made from 17 herbs, on the first tasting I could not identify the different herbs but by the third shot my arms were twitching.

The next morning my arms had stopped twitching and my head was clear, clear enough to realize that the "Ledges" was not working and that we had to head across the dam to the "Quarry". As we were approaching the Quarry I realized 2 things, one, I have new respect for windscreens and two, there were swarms of ants, flying ants. The water was boiling with a "profusion of porpoising Pisces" and I had the flies. I proudly produced my box and indicated my new creations only to be informed that, "no ve have lots of zat patterns"

What followed was one of the most memorable sessions we have had on the dam. The ratio of fish caught per cast was almost 1:1. The interesting thing is that Zoran was fishing with a double rig, the Good dr's Foam Beetle and the Fant; the fish would nudge the beetle but only take the Fant.

I now won't venture onto the dam without a good supply of Fants. The bad news is that the season for these small flying ants is over and we are heading into the large termite alates (alate means winged, usually referring to termites). So be warned for next season, make sure you have a few large flying termite patterns stashed in the darker regions of your box if you are heading this way in late February/March.

Skating, floating and the spent Faddis

Faddis is an adoption of the F-fly and the caddis also known as the FCaddis. The east Europeans use CDC on everything, from delicate dries to weighted nymphs. Peter caught a few fish on this pattern after the Fant madness had calmed down. Looking at our naturals along side the dam he selected a match from his box. It was one of the most buoyant, unsinkable patterns I have yet to see on the dam, oh and the fish also liked it. After landing this fly close to the bank it was allowed to "dead drift" for a few minutes and then it was "skated" across the water in preparation for the next cast. The line was never snapped up as this disturbs the fish in the "zone". If a bad cast was made it was fished with the same diligence as a perfectly landed "sexy loop". Fish were taken both on the dead drift and during the skating.

The revelation in this fly was when he demonstrated the tying process that evening. Clever, innovative and a method of tying that the backwaters of Harrismith have not yet seen. See pattern description.

The Caddis is a "fur-winged" insect, meaning that the wings are covered with fine hairs and not scales like a lot of the other winged insects. The CDC perfectly imitates this whereas the other materials that we used for tying the elk-hair caddis don't. Wings tied with CDC also don't cause the fly to spin in the cast, thus preventing terrible tangles. It floats gently down onto the water; not spooking the fish and a few false casts dries the fly after a fish is caught. Remember not to do these false casts over the "zone" rather do them sideways. Unlike the F-fly the Faddis has a CDC body, which aids in buoyancy and prevents this fly from sinking. It is very visible on the surface and if not, try taking your Polaroid's off. The resultant glare then provides a superb 'canvas' for your work of art. Even if the fish don't take the fly (which they will) there is nothing so all consuming and therapeutic as watching a perfectly presented dry fly on a drag free drift. Your imagination supplies the fish and your soul is rejuvenated.

(courtesy of Dave Weaver, Africa's FF magazine, April/May issue 2008 )

Pic Of Day

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