QFFC had an interesting and productive 2013. We started the year with dams between 70 and 80% full and as the year draws to an end we have some dams below 40% and others around 50%. We are grateful for the rain that has fallen over the past three weeks which has no doubt soaked away and future rainfalls should start running off into the dams.
we can now see that the decision to reduce our number of dams stocked from 17 to 11 was a wise one. Apart from being able to be more intentional with our stocking program from a cost and number of fish stocked point of view, we have less landowners to pander to.
there has been a definate pick up in member fishing activity during the year after 2012 when we thought we were stocking for ghost members. Apart from our gathering, there were very few catch returns received. Either members have got slack about reporting their catches or the pick up may be due to the fact that we have approximately 7 new members that joined the club during the year and their enthusiasm has resulted in this increased activity.
it is a fact that early in ones fishing career we cannot wait to fill in the catch returns at the various venues to impress but as time goes by one becomes blasé and there is nothing left to prove. The sheer enjoyment of catching or not catching is enough but one of the challeges we face, strangely enough, is to get members to actually complete catch returns after their sessions. I know that the reasons given are normally that fatigue overtakes the fisherman and needs to get home to a warm bed [wife] and that the last act of completing the return would delay him to the extent that the bed/wife may have turned cold by that time.
we would be grateful if anyone present has any suggestions to remedy the situation. One suggestion is that members sms their catches to the relevant records officer which is not only easier for the fishermen but also can be easily stored on record to be colated to assist in a very practical way with preparing for future stocking programs. With the drought not yet entirely broken your committee will decide when or if to stock at all this year. It all depends on dam levels and landowner usage.
it would be a pity if we did not stock this year as we will feel the negative effects in a few years time.
still of concern is the fact that the turnout for the agm’s are poor and there seems to be a lack of availability among members to serve on the committee. Suggestions would be welcome in this regard.
our 2013 gathering in july was supported by 25 fishermen and women with a record number of fish caught, namely 238 and a total of 98. 83 metres of fish laid mouth to tail.
an interesting statistic is that at least 60- 70 %of fish caught were cockfish and this was repeated during member outings subsequently. These fish, between 28cm and 4 kgs are from our 2009 to 2012 stocking which originated from three different sources namely martin davies at rhodes, martin and johnny morgan in the winterberg and linsklip. The largest fish caught during the year was a fish of 5. 5 kg’s in peter cloetes dam.
membership increased by 7 during the year and it is pleasing to see a lot of interest from the younger ages and members need to encourage this. We are currently 60 paid up members.
on the 2nd nov 2013 i attended the fosaf agm at gubu dam in stutterheim and whilst fosaf is still vibrant and ver y active, the dark cloud of eradication has once again raised its ugly head but rest assured that fosaf is doing everything possible to engage with the authorities and avert a disaster. They are doing this on a number of fronts and if anyone wishes to see the report they can obtain it from the chairman.
in order to maximise our potential as a club ans sustain our core function which is to enjoy and grow the privilege of flyfishing for trout we need to do five things. actively identify and recruit new members and youngsters  somehow find new blood for the committee  support fosaf in its efforts to combat the threat of eradication of trout in all of south africas waters.  ensure that our catch records are obtained and accurately analysed each year so that data can be used for future stocking programmes.  stay more in touch with our landowners.
thanks to the committee for your support during the year especially over the gathering period. A special thanks to gerda that has to put up with us at the meetings and keep the minutes rolling out.
may your lines always be tight, your beermugs always be full and your wives always be happy!
andre naude-chairman qffc