The road is long and winding, the last 30 km rough and pot holed, some large and deep enough to account for missing persons – it stops at the rustic KZN Wildlife resort of iNjisuthi over looked by the prominent iNjisuthi Triplets and surrounded by raw and majestic mountain wilderness.
My son Craig and I spent a couple of days there a week ago camping, well in fixed tents with beds and mattresses, electricity and with running water and hot showers a short walk away, is hardly the kind of camping I’m used in the back country. But, we were comfortable, could prepare our food on a level surface and under shelter – we slept well after a long tiring day on the stream.
The iNjisuthi is a dry fly stream, as pretty as you will find anywhere with a healthy population of feisty little wild rainbow trout. The stream was running well but probably 6 inches below perfect – crystal clear and cold from the remains of the winter snow in shadowy gullies and southern slopes of the high Berg. The trout rose confidently to our dry flies, many splashing or turing short typical of small fish – we used a variety of dries, but it was the Wolf Spiders and small Para RABs that consistently got their attention, even a new experimental Wally Winged Mayfly fooled a few.
By small fish I mean 6 to 8 inches, because here a 10 incher is a trophy and anything over that a cause for removing the cork from the 1983 Meerlust Rubicon – they’re colourful, the true meaning of rainbow, fin perfect and many still with parr marks. The iNjisuthi is a fragile system like most of the upper reaches of the Berg streams – places that won’t withstand too much fishing pressure. Here you stand out like Gulliver did in Lilliput and anything over a 1wt is likely to be a handicap.
I fear that with no rain forecast for the foreseeable future and the unlikely possibility of more snowfalls, the water levels will drop rapidly, temperatures will rise and oxygen content will diminish – I believe we should wait and leave this stream and its inhabitants to follow their natural course until after the spring rains come, and they will – the trout will still be there.
Keep them in the water.
All images and copy in this post are copyright Peter Brigg Photography © 2016. All rights reserved