Fish Whisperer Enterprises   

Ian Couryer- Fly Fishing Guiding Services - South Africa.  


Weekend Getaway fly fishing Trips 2019.

For the 2019 season we are excited to be launching our weekend fly fishing packages. This is your opportunity to fish a selection of hand picked high class venues for Trout or Yellowfish on a weekend basis.

Venues include several famous rivers in the Natal Drakensberg including the Lotheni and the Bushmans, as well as selected trout stillwaters. All venues will be hosted by myself. For the Yellowfish enthusiast there are fantastic trips on offer including a variety of great largemouth and smallmouth areas as well as exciting venues for Natal Scaly. We are also offering weekend trips to Sterkfontein, starting at the end of November 2019 and going through to March 2020.

We kick off the fun with a small stream workshop on the Injesuthi river in the berg, weekend of 2nd and 3rd March 2019.  This is a camping weekend so bring your tent and join us. This is one of the most remote and beautiful parts of the berg. All meals, 2 days fishing, A practical, no stress, how to Clinic and 3 nights camping. Please email me on to book.

Trips will include 2 full days fishing. You travel under your own stream to the venue on Friday. Fish Saturday and Sunday and return on Monday. Trips include full meals and board and fishing, and are limited to 4 to 6 rods depending on the venue with the exception of the small stream clinic which is limited to 10 participants.

Check out my column in TCFF Magazine February/March edition, out soon.



Vaal River  We offer day trips to various venues on the Vaal River, approximately 1 hours drive from Johannesburg.

The Vaal River is South Africa's second largest river and a tributary of the Orange River. It rises in the highlands of Mpumulanga near Ermelo and flows into the Orange river at the Northern Cape town of Douglas.

Therethat inhabit this system, namely the Smallmouth Yellowfish (Labeo Barbus aeneus) and the Largemouth Yellowfish (Labeo Barbus kimberleyensis). Our speciality is helping anglers target these two species with fly, on a catch and release basis.

The Vaal flows through picturesque bushveld surroundings and in the glides and runs courses over a bed of cobbles, gravel, and larger rocks making wading boots a necessary piece of equipment.

The beautiful Vaal River. At some venues the river splits into separate channels, this is one of 4.

We fish on the Vaal below the barrage, which is a dam that regulates the flow of water in the river. The water normally flows at 15 cubic meters per second. The river is wadeable at between 10 and 50 cubic meters per second. Ideal flows for fishing are between 15 and 35 cubic meters per second determined by the venue.

The visibility of the water varies throughout the season depending on rainfall and flow rates.  Ideal visibility for smallmouth yellowfish fishing is between 30 - 40 cm. Visibility of less than 10 cms can adversely affect fishing.      To check the Vaal River flow Rate htm


Vaal River Packages and Pricing 2019 

One angler, one-on-one guiding, per person per day-  R 2500.00   Packages depending on individual requirements.

Prices quoted include Rod Fees, no lunch or drinks are provided, but can also be tailored to include transport to and from the venue and fishing kit if necessary. Trip prices are calculated according to requirements on the day. A full days fishing is 5 hours on the water.

Two anglers per person per day R 1750.00 Terms as above.

Three anglers per person per day. R 1850.00 Terms as above.

Please note: Largemouth guiding is only on a one-on-one basis unless it is one of our weekend clinics. Largemouth guiding - is from an inflatable boat.

 Smallmouth Yellowfish

Summer - Wading, September to May.       1 to 4 persons

The Smallmouth yellowfish is a popular angling species growing up to 10 lbs and averaging between 2 - 3 lbs. 

Summer smallmouth fishing, wade wet or dry.

These hard fighting game fish are avid fly takers and in the summer months are caught by wading anglers in fast shallow runs,mainly by dead drifting a team of 2 nymphs under an indicator or by various Euro nymphing techniques.  

This is easy, fun fishing which anyone can master in a day with professional guidance. 

This fish is suitably pursued by novices to advanced anglers.


Fishwhisperer is recognised as a company which has pioneered guiding for smallmouth on dry on the Vaal River, a reputation we are justifiably proud of.

There are few companies or individuals that have our experience and expert knowledge on the how,when and where of getting clients into surface feeding fish. Many of our overseas clients want to fish dry fly and all who have, have commented on the exceptional quality of this sight fishing when conditions allow.

Winter smallmouth on dry. From the boat.

Kit Requirements Smallmouth Yellowfish :

SUMMER     9/10 ft 5 or 6 weight Rod, reel with 50 m backing, floating line,9 foot 2 x or 3 x knotless tapered monofilament leader, small split shot, 3 x and 4 x tippet material, scissor pliers or nippers, waders and wading boots, raincoat, change of clothes, sun hat, sunscreen, polarized glasses, water, lunch.

WINTER    Lighter weight rods may be used in winter for dry fly boat fishing such as a nine foot 3 or 4 weight if you must, or rods as per summer fishing.( My recommendation and preference) Tippets of 5 x and 6 x are standard fare.

Warm clothing is essential for winter fishing with early mornings often dropping to below freezing, but normally by 10am the weather is clear, sunny and hot with temperatures in the low 20's degrees celcius. Rain is not often forecast in Winter.

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Largemouth Yellowfish

Mainly winter - boat fishing - one-on one guiding only - March to October.

The Largemouth yellowfish is a fish predator inhabiting the deeper, slower pools and glides. These rare, elusive fish are much sought after by experienced anglers and can attain weights in excess of 40 lbs.

We are to my knowledge the first guiding company to have guided clients to fish of 20 lbs and larger.

Catch rates of Largemouth yellows are low and this fish is primarily for experienced anglers with good casting and fishing ability and a healthy degree of patience and perseverance. Even with these attributes blank days are unfortunately a common reality when fishing for Largemouth. 

Fishwhisperer is regarded as the leading authority on this species and has succeeded in putting many anglers into multiple fish over many years where others have failed. 

Kit Requirements Largemouth:

9 ft, 6 or 7 or 8 weight Rod, reel with 100 m backing, floating line, 12 lbs, 12 ft or 15 ft knotless monofilament tapered leader, 12 lbs fluorocarbon tippet material, spare spool with fast intermediate line (optional), waders / wading boots, warm clothing, polarized glasses, sun hat, sunscreen, water, lunch.

Casting Lessons

If you can't cast, you cant fly fish!  Most fly fishermen would benefit from a professional casting course.

We offer casting tuition to clients from novice to intermediate level, individuals or small groups at our Fourways office. 

At just R 300.00 per person per hour it's money well spent. Let us iron out any faults in your technique that may be robbing you of complete enjoyment of casting or brush up on some specialist casts for the river or  techniques for throwing weighted flies or casting in windy conditions.

Check out the video clip below.

Ian Casting to a Largemouth lie with a Sage TCX 907/4, " Green Mamba".

Fly Tying lessons   R 300.00 per hour

My millionth black beetle. Re- stocking the boxes,tying outdoors at Sterkfontein, 2008.

We offer fly tying lessons for individuals or small groups from beginner through to advanced. Classes are tailor made to the anglers needs and vary through basic designs to specific advanced patterns. Materials are supplied but anglers need to bring their own vices.

To purchase ready made flies or fishing accessories for all your fly fishing needs, and delivered to your door for your convenience please contact us.