Lesotho: To The Escarpment

So the destination today was the escarpment. We were up early and packed light. Ryan was told were leaving in 30min, we left in an hour. He was getting better 🙂 The day promised to be hot; the sky spread blue to the distant horizons and the mountain’s seemed alive.

We're going there... somewhere...

We’re going there… somewhere…

Heading further into the mountains. Photo: Rex Fey

Heading further into the mountains. Photo: Rex Fey

Photo: Rex Fey

Photo: Rex Fey

We skipped the water I had fished the day before and hooked a shortcut up a ravine and around the contour that skipped several kms of river. It was time to get into the real high altitude small stream fishing. The water of these tributaries runs crystal clear and I was overjoyed at the sight fishing, albeit to small fish, that was happening. There are days when I’d honestly and happily sight fish to small fish than plumb unknowingly for the possible big one.

We pretty much resorted to hop, skip and jump fishing – three on a small stream requires some movement around each other – we fished our way to lunch. Which of course was another spread biltong, or droewors, or something very high in protein without much filler. I had a Rush Bar too.

At this point we split to fish different tributaries. Rex’s conversation with an old herdsmen revealed that he believed that in his lifetime, no mlungos had ever fished up this valley.  What a feeling to cast a fly on water that potentially had never ever seen a fisherman before. I had an absolute blast along the crystal clear rivulet casting to free rising trout all afternoon. I then had a bit of climb to get back over to the main stream to join Rex and Ryan, who I found swimming in the most beautiful pool.

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Crystal clear sight fishing all day long!

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Looking down on the main stream after fishing for hours on some nondescript tributary.

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Small, skinny high altitude trout water

We continued fishing until eventually we ran out of trout. We took them on a variety of dries – hoppers, RABS, DDDs and Elkies. The fishing was simple, a good presentation resulted in a take; often a splashy rise by a fish in the region of six to 10 inches, with the rare bigger one. A combination of altitude and thinning water ended our fishing just short of 3000m. It was then packs on and a final hard walk up to the the edge of the world.

There is nothing that quite prepares one for the view you get as walk up to the escarpment. The view arrives step-by-step and seems endless as the world gradually drops away below you.

We ate trout for dinner, looked down over South Africa, made phone calls home and enjoyed a quiet windless evening. We were buggered – later we, with the help of Google, I worked out that we had walked and fished over 16km.

The camp, right there on the edge.

The camp, right there on the edge.

Sometimes food is more important than CandR - don't worry, this is not a regular practice. But hell, it tasted so good!

Sometimes food is more important than CandR – don’t worry, this is not a regular practice. But hell, it tasted so good!

Sighting fishing for angels...

Sighting fishing for angels…

Giant's Castle off in the distance.

Giant’s Castle off in the distance.

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