In the old days, trout secured from North American and European sources were seen as the be all and end all of South African flyfishing. No longer. The new quarry is the smallmouth yellowfish, a ravenous eater of flies readily found in both lakes and rivers. Writer Pieter Taljaard knows these fish and the extraordinary places where they live. He takes readers on a spectacular tour from the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa to the remote mountain streams hidden in the Kingdom of Lesotho in search of these yellow submarines.

Words: Pieter Taljaard.

It’s stating the obvious, but their name impeccably describes the coloration of their flanks, which range from a subdued mustardy hue to sunburst yellow. This fades into a wild olive back which makes them, at times, impossible to spot. Their attractive complexion is most certainly misleading though—they feed on very similar food sources to trout—highly opportunistic at times, painstakingly selective at others—but pound-for-pound and tied tail-to-tail, a yellow will rip the scales off any trout you have ever had the pleasure to hook…

Subscribe to start your collection of the world’s best flyfishing publication.


The FlyFish Journal Mailing List

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.