News letter / new products

Redington Crosswater waders

I was recently given a pair of Redington Crosswater Waders to wear for an exploratory trip to the Orange River. I suspect this could be considered a little unorthadox by some  who fish for yellows, but these waders serve more than one purpose. I use them for the Vaal in both summer and winter. In summer I like them as pollution protection and in winter they are a must  for staying warm when fishing for yellows and trout. A dry Ian is a happy Ian. 

The Crosswater's are Redington's entry level, lightweight, breathable chest waders and retail for around R 2000.00. 

They have many of the features of some of the other top brands at a fraction of the price and I found them to be durable, comfortable and a generous cut. The medium size waders fitted my ever burgeoning frame with just the right amount of play. They are a 3 ply construction throughout which may lead to reduced puncture resistance over time but at only 2 bar, there are no complaints.

They are very lightweight, which is what you would expect from a pair of breathables. They have a very smart, functional zipper pouch front pocket that can be tucked over the front of the waders when not in use and they come complete with built in gravel guards,good quality strap system and ever important wading belt. 


In view of the recent yellowfish workshops I have been presenting over the last while, I was kindly given an Xplorer guide II series X- tenda Fly Rod by John Geils the owner of Xplorer on the proviso that I fish it. The rods come in a 3 weight and a 4 weight and I chose the 4 weight for nymphing on the Vaal river. The three weight would be the ideal choice for most South African trout rivers.

The interesting and clever thing about the rod is that it converts from a 9' 4 weight rod        ( my favourite weight for dry fly on the river or stillwaters), into a 10' 4 weight  for nymphing by adding an extension piece above the butt section. You can achieve the extra length without having to re-rig the rod as the extension has no eyes, this makes the rod ideal for a wide ranges of specialist tasks. 

Xplorer Xtenda 10' 4 weight smallmouth release.

I can't help but admire this kind of progressive, creative thinking from Xplorer, something that puts them at the top of the local brands. Well done!

I found the rod to be light, sensitive and responsive and it was a treat to Euro/Czech nymph with, with none of the top heaviness usually associated with longer rods.If rod colour matters to you, it is an attractive matt olive with gold trim, sensible and good looking. It looks like a serious fly rod and is, performing exceptionally well in all departments. Believe me it was put through its paces properly, pulling a good few fish in heavy current.

Although a 4 weight is what I would describe as a 'light 'Rod for the Vaal it does also have enough backbone to land the larger fish that are usually on offer. 

There is a definite move towards 10 foot rods for the river in this country and fishing lighter in general, I believe having a guide II Xtenda in your arsenal will definitely enhance your fish catching ability and the bonus is it is 2 rods for the price of one.

Lighter line weight rods are inherently more sensitive, resulting in more finesse which is usually lacking in many Vaal river smallmouth yellowfish techniques. Yellowfish fly fishing has reached maturity and if you want to catch the numbers you used to, you need to be a better more adaptable all round fisherman, this rod will undoubtedly help you achieve that aim.

Celebrity Guiding with Ian Couryer.

Ian has been privileged to guide several celebrities and "A" listers over the years and continues to be the informed, trusted choice as a yellowfish guide, fly fishing mentor and consultant to many VIPs.

Recently Ian was the fly fishing consultant on an advert shoot in the Drakensberg where he helped well known local actor Gys De Villiers ( Geraamtes in die Kas) with his fly fishing.

Gys De Villiers and Ian

Local actor Gys De Villiers and Ian, Drakensberg Shoot 2014, wearing Jeep technical shirts.

At the beginning of the season Ian guided Hollywood "A" list actor and all round nice guy Lee Pace of "Lord or the Rings" fame, he stars in the current on circuit movie" Guardians Of The Galaxy," He enjoyed a day off, getting into a few "African yellows" at a local venue.  

Hollywood actor Lee Pace and Ian on the Vaal September 2014.

6 pounds of spirited Warrenton Largemouth


Maui Jim Premium Polarized Sunglasses

After wearing and testing his new glasses for the last 2 years in a variety of fishing conditions,Ian endorses, wears and trusts  Maui Jim sunglasses for all his fishing and guiding. 

Maui Jim impress with their superior optics, quality, and the best back up and guarantees in the business. Less hype and  more protection, they are in every way superior to some of the other big name products.

Spawning Smallmouth Yellowfish

Male smallmouth showing breeding tubercles on head and gill covers.

As the Smallmouth Yellowfish season starts (beginning of October) we need to be on the look out for spawning fish and avoid them. Smallmouth Yellows prefer to spawn on the downstream side of rocks in fast flowing shallow water. Water of between ankle and mid calf depth is prime water. Try to stay away from these areas and if you see fish spawning and thrashing around please leave them in peace.

Mud fish also spawn at this time of year and most of the muddies will spawn in the tail areas of riffles, often just off the main flow where the current is less intense. If you see a "step" of shallow rock extending across the river, the yellows will spawn on the downstream side at the base of the rocks and the mud fish will spawn immediately above the step in the tail of the pool / run.

Check out a picture of a seldom seen aquatic caterpillar in the Gallery.


Casting Clinics - Cedar Square Dams, R 300.00 per person per hour. Pre-booking essential.

Limited to 10 people per session.

Contact for next date available.