The wildness of Lake Naverone tames GERO LILLEIKE, who also took all the pictures
I stumble to my feet in the dark, my senses fixed on the faint hint of day. A hanging mist shifts in all directions on a glassy lake. The morning rise beckons me into action. Will Lake Naverone reveal the fish lurking in her waters today? Perhaps …
I grab my fly rod, head for the boat, and stroke off into the calm. I cast my line out into the mist and the hunt is on. Silence, peace and mountains surround me.
It’s no secret that the Drakensberg and surrounds hold some of the most exquisite fly fishing waters in South Africa. Lake Naverone in the Southern Drakensberg near Underberg, is but one such wonderfully scenic place.
With self-catering cottages along its banks, Lake Naverone is a perfect hideaway for fly fisherman and their families. If your fishing luck runs out, head for the hills, where the wilds will tame you. A must-do hike in the area is the Three Pools Hike, but make sure you have a permit and a map.
Our map-reading skills were lacking somewhat, but we went in search anyway. We struck off at noon with a cloudless sky overhead and autumn leaves under foot. High on a ridge, Eland grazed in the sun. As we walked further, a sudden distinct bark echoed through the valley. Baboon.
We spotted the troop cavorting on the hillside, while a large male locked his eyes on us two trespassers below. We never found the Three Pools that day …
Back in the boat, the mist rose in the fresh morning glow. My fly kissed the water, my mind willing a take with each retrieve. Hours passed.
Then came the first nibble. The tip of my rod twitched but my strike was futile. The mountains watched over me as I cast, and cast some more, until darkness blinded my sight.
It was not to be. And for now, the trout swim free.