We finally made it to The Riverhouse on the Vaal River in Renovaal, a place we’ve been hoping to visit for a long time. It’s a beautiful free standing self-catering house on the banks of the river. As a couple it’s out of our price range but good friends of ours joined and made it possible.
For a change we had the best possible weather, windless and pleasant. But the fishing gods played a cruel joke on us by making sure the river would be flowing really fast after some heavy rains in the week. This made keeping your lines straight almost impossible. We resorted to casting quite shallow mostly and luckily in the river that’s still monster territory.
Initially only smaller fish came out. Carp, barbel, mudfish and even small yellowfish were regularly caught.
With the house so close to the water night fishing was definitely on. And with a massive spotlight on the premises it made life very comfortable. We even braaied by the water on both nights, because we could.
As the weekend wore on the bigger fish started realising there was food in the water and began making appearances. Our friends caught some huge barbel and carp, including a chaotic 15 minutes when they caught two 8kg barbel at the same time.
We also managed to land a few nice fish. Here’s some examples.
All in all another great Vaal River fishing experience at an ideal section of the river. I’m sure if the river wasn’t flowing so fast we would have had even more luck. But I’m not complaining, lest the fishing gods should hear me 🙂
Tip: If you should find yourself fishing in the Vaal or any river which is flowing faster than normal here are some (very obvious) tips to help keep your lines straight –
- cast shallower – you really don’t need to go that deep in the Vaal anyway, there’s no point casting to the opposite bank, and when the river is flowing fast the more line in the water the more drag on your bait
- keep your lines high – same reason as above, more line in the water more drag, this is sometimes not possible if surface debris keeps washing down too and snags on your line
- heavier rig – another obvious tip
- use only one hook – taking off the second hook helps to avoid snags when your rig is washed into underwater structure
- cast with the flow – this is mostly not possible, but if you can try to cast downriver to once again lessen the drag, this gives your lines the best chance of staying straight
The house was great. There’s two large bedrooms with a bathroom in between and a shower with a view of the river. Two lounge areas, a nice kitchen and a huge deck area overlooking the terraced lawns to the water. You won’t easily find so much space anywhere else.
There are proper metal stairs down to the water where a willow tree provides shade. And as mentioned at night there is a floodlight which lights up the whole fishing area.
It truly is one of the most comfortable fishing accommodations we’ve been to on the Vaal River, you almost feel guilty to be staying there.
Great fishing despite the river flow which was unlucky. This is a really wide part of the river with massive fish. The accommodation was first class, you won’t get much better.