Fly fish for smallmouth yellow fish

Fly fish for smallmouth yellowfish and other species on the Gouritz River in the Klein Karoo.

Highlights include:

  • Learn the tips and techniques for sight fishing for yellowfish on fly from premier guide, Henkie Altena.
  • Fish on an unspoilt river with healthy fish stocks and next to no human disturbance.
  • Try to catch and release smallmouth yellowfish, carp and bass in one trip.


Gouritz Yellowfish Safari Details

The Venue

Our venue for our Gouritz yellowfishing trip is Vaalhoek – a unique conservancy with almost no fishing pressure. This remote and breathtakingly beautiful region sees very little people and even less fly fishermen. Healthy populations of Smallmouth Yellowfish are targeted on fly in the Gouritz River with traditional Yellowfish tactics. The remoteness and the peace and quiet makes this a great weekend getaway for a group of fly fishing friends. Swap stories of the day’s fishing beneath the Klein Karoo stars while Henkie and his team prepares the evening’s grub and ties up flies for the next day’s adventure.

Getting to Vaalhoek:

Vaalhoek Nature Reserve is an approximately 4h30 drive from Cape Town, and a 5h30 drive from Port Elizabeth.



Camp Set Up: The camp set up in mobile safari style whereby each guest is accommodated in his or her own 3m x 3m bow tent equipped with stretchers, mattresses and bedding.

Ablutions: The camp makes use of shared ablution blocks that come with toilets and hot water showers.

Dining & food: Dining is beneath the stars and a fully functional bush kitchen is set up for the duration of the safari providing good quality wholesome meals. Drinks can be purchased from the nearby bar.



Safari Dates

This fishing safari is 4 nights, 5 days - running between November and June each year (no set dates!).

Group size: Minimum 4 - maximum 8 anglers.


Fishing Styles

Fly Fishing: Henkie and the guides will cover the basics for targeting yellows and walk the banks and spots between the anglers to offer assistance and advice on the conditions, flies and retrieves etc. Our fishing here is done strictly with fly and the correct rigs and equipment can be verified before the booking.

Flies: A selection of flies will be tied as a demonstration in camp and the reasons why Henkie finds them effective will be covered as well. Guests are welcome to bring their own fly tying kits as well.


Targeted Fish Species

Vaalhoek on the Gouritz River offers a number of species that respond to the fly but our Gouritz Grand Slam consists of the smallmouth yellowfish, the carp and the smallmouth bass.

Each species offers its own challenges and requires different tactics although a well presented fly on quiet water will certainly catch the attention of most species in the system.

The smallmouth yellowfish population here is very healthy with consistent catches of good sized fish the norm for these waters.

garden route fishing safari

Cost for this safari:

R1250 per person per night 

Includes: Accommodation, all meals, catering, guiding and fishing

Excludes: Drinks, linen and fishing tackle

Ready to go fly fishing for yellows?

Send us an email with your preferred dates and number of people to reserve your spot

Feedback from past Gouritz River Safari Guests

GrantWebster_flyfishing for yellows

"What a great trip! It really has been a very special experience taking us to some of the most diverse areas in SA. Henkie and Ian have been great, from setting up camp, cooking, giving info etc...[] The potential at Vaalhoek is limitless with lots more water to explore!"

Fly fish for Yellows, South Africa