Yellow Fish fly-fishing – The Vaal River- How to Fish It, Top Tips and Best Tackle
Below we mention some top tips and advice for fishing the Vaal River, South Africa, for the hard fighting yellow fish.
Wading Safety and Etiquette
Wading is an excellent way to find the best spots on the river to fish. Wading in the Vaal River or any other river can be dangerous at times so it is recommended to always fish with a friend or partner. A good pair of wading boots, such as these, can help protect your feet and ankles from rock and boulders and also reduce the risk of slipping when wading. Similarly a simple wading stick/staff that is light and strong can help you maintain balance and avoid falls when wading in fast flowing water or rocky river beds.
When wading it is important to show some respect to other anglers. Never cross directly upstream from other fly fishermen. Wading too close upstream to other fishermen will disturb the water and river bed and possibly scare fish away.
Waterproof Fly Boxes
A waterproof fly box is required to keep your flies neat, dry and organised. When river fishing it is more than likely at some point you will drop your fly box in the water or you yourself will take an unexpected “swim”. A water proof fly box will be your saviour in these situations and will float to the top so you will not lose any flies and keep you flies dry and in good condition.
Organised Fishing Vest
Fumbling around in your fishing vest for something is not ideal. Keep your fishing vest well organised so you can find whatever you need quickly and efficiently. If you are not going to be using something in your vest it is advisable to leave it out. Take along the essentials only.
Wear Good Boots
A good pair of wading boots will let you grip on slippery rocks and keep your feet and ankles protected. Wading boots are perfect for rivers that consist of  mud, rocks and sand.
Fish Without a Strike Indicator
This tip is only recommended for the advanced fishermen. Those of you that are skilled at high stick nipping with a strike indicator may be surprised at how successful this can be. You should keep your cast short and only have the amount of line out necessary. Your rod tip should be downstream of your nymphs and it should follow the same speed your nymphs drift in the current.
Just a small amount of practice of this technique will result in a lot more strike and ultimately fish.
Use Strong Tippet
Most of us are very diligent about using the lightest possible tippet to prevent the fish from seeing the line and presenting the fly well. This is advisable when fishing crystal clear mountain streams. However the Vaal is a different river. When fishing the Vaal River you will be using heavier nymphs and there are a number of rocks, submerges stumps and other obstacles that your line can easily snag on. Yellow fish are extremely powerful fish and will put your tippet to the test. Considering all the above it is advisable to fish tippet that is strong and can stand up to all that the river will throw at you.
We would recommend 2X tippet for fishing the Vaal River for yellow fish.
Shorten up your Cast
Most Vaal Yellow fish are hooked within a few metres of you. So it is advisable to keep your cast short and accurate. These shorter casts will allow you to control the drift better and stay in contact with your line, resulting in more strike and more fish.
Polarized Glasses
Wearing polarized glasses will protect your eyes from the damaging African sun rays while fishing for Yellow Fish and also allow you to spot fish feeding in rapids and just below the surface.
Remember not to forget a hat and sunblock to further protect yourself from the sun when fishing.

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