There is a special river that meanders its way across the midlands of KwaZulu Natal, from its source as a pristine, cascading freestone stream deep in the folds of the Drakensberg Mountains above the Kamberg Nature Reserve, through picturesque pastoral landscapes, before reaching the recently completed Spring Grove Dam near Rosetta. The Mooi (Nice) River steeped in the history of trout acclimatization in South Africa. It was the first river to be stocked with trout in South Africa in 1893 when John Clarke Parker introduced 500 Loch Leven Brown trout fry hatched from ova from the Solway Hatchery in Scotland, into the Mooi River just below the village of Rosetta. They didn’t survive the conditions so low down and so 4 years later he introduced a further batch much higher up on Game Pass farm which is now part of the Kamberg Nature Reserve. Since then they have become a self-sustaining population. The river is a legendary brown trout water with 120 years of angling stories of battles won and lost with the small feisty fish in the cascading headwaters to the large specimens that surprise the flyfisher occasionally in the deep, slow, mysterious runs of the lower reaches. This is a short photo tribute to the KwaZulu Natal Mooi River.
Trout Bungalow, originally the Officers’ Mess for British soldiers stationed on King’s Hill in Harrismith during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899, overlooking a lovely stretch of the middle Mooi River.
Monument in honour of John C Parker’s trout acclimatization in 1890’s.
A good catch of Mooi River Brown Trout – 1920’s
SA’s oldest Fishing Record Book at Trout Bungalow- the first entry was in 1903.
The pristine mountain headwaters
The Middle Mooi at Reekie Lyn
All images and copy in this post are copyright Peter Brigg Photography © 2014. All rights reserved.