TOPS Kamberg Festival 2024

You can’t help but unwind and relax as you arrive at the TOPS Kamberg Trout festival. The magnificent backdrop of the Giant greets you as you descend into the Valley and the warm country hospitaity makes you believe you belong. And, nothing quite compares to the atmosphere on opening night, rekindling old friendships, embibing a litttle and embelishing on the memories of past fly fishing exploits…..the truth should never get in the way of a great fishing story!
140 fly fishers were celebrating a long weekend in prime Trout territory!
The Brown Trout have been resident in this catchment since the turn of the century and as elsuive as this fish can be, they certainly made an appearance this last weekend, largely due to the inclement weather.
Up until 9am, in the first session, the waters looked almost ideal, but anyone consulting a barometer would have predicted the Southerly that charged through the countryside, making the rest of the day almost unfishable. Yet, those that were up at early bells still managed to tally 109 fish and the few that braved the adverse conditions netted a further 58 Trout in session two.
Michael Stroh set an early benchmark with a 62cm, 7lb Rainbow from Lake Zonk showcasing what was waiting for people who perservered. The happy chatter that evening was all about the speckled golden hue of our signature species of the Kamberg.
What fly was doing the damage is never easy to discern, not just because of an anglers reluctance to give away their winning recipe but interpreting the garbled fly speak of this sport would  bend the mind of any linguist. Boobies, Buggers and Nymph’s are not search words you enter lightly into google. But, what did echo as a consensus, was the water temerature having triggered that spawning behavior on many dams.
Day two opened with welcome calm and fly fishers made hay with another 114 good sized Trout being recorded by 62 rods. Lunch is always a festive affair at the traditional Kamberg braai at the Farmers Hall, with the added entertainment of the TFO casting competition won by team ‘Haul Em In’ , giving them a week at Sterkies, compliments of WildFly Travel.
Predictably rod pressure dictates the final session is the most challenging fishing, yet 30 anglers still racked up another 53 fish, with John Larter recording the biggest Brown Trout of 53 cm in the eleventh hour.
The bounty of prizes, compliments of WildFly Outfitters / Hardy / Xplorer / Greys / RIO and Horizon to name but a few, had everyone hoping they’d walk away with an armful. The title of Top fly fisher was bestowed on Gerrit Van Heerdan for his 12 Trout measured and Tammy Price earned the deserved award as the leading lady. It was a count out for the top three teams, each on 19 Trout, but Team Jammies and the Trout Stalkers were eventually pipped by the Xplorer team who were crowned 2024 TOPS KTF champions.
But the real accolades go to the Kamberg ladies for their incredible work behind the scenes keeping every angler so well fed and the lads behind the pub who never let a glass go empty. It’s a huge thanks to the festival comittee led by Steve Edkins and supported by Aspen Spies as well as to the entire Kamberg community for making this fundraising event possible.

Trout fishing might be why you get a pink ticket to this weekend, but all who attend would agree that it’s really about the time you get to spend making new memories in the beautiful Kamberg Valley.

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