In pursuit of Weza
The Complete Fly Fisherman|Jan/Feb/Mar 2021
Sean I'Ons relates how it took 40 years for a story of a fishery and the people he got to know along the way to come full circle.
Sean I'Ons

This story has taken all of 40 years to incubate to a point where, with reflection on events that took place over the years, there is actually a story. The events were so erratic that by themselves they were relatively inconsequential; however, I recently came to the realisation that a dream I once had was finally fulfilled. Other circumstances that are of a tragic nature makes reflection on the events more meaningful, as without crossing paths with two special people, these events would not have taken place and left this dream unfulfilled.

This story starts in 1974 when our family purchased a tract of land in the Harding region of KZN. The contrast of this luscious green environment compared to where I had grown up in the Kalahari was immense. My interest in fishing and hunting led me to focus on the various opportunities available in the mountains and rivers, and I questioned everyone I met on these topics. Round about 1977, I found a copy of Angling Adventures in South Africa by JH Yates, which had belonged to my grandfather, and somewhere in this book some reference is made to the small-stream trout fishing that was available in the rivers and streams on the slopes of the Ngele mountains and flowing through the Weza forest. This forest is roughly 20km from our farm and this trinket of valuable information lodged permanently in my memory. Weza itself is such a small, isolated and unique section of South Africa that most have no idea of its existence. How and whoever stocked these streams with trout is a mystery to me and I would dearly love to know the history on that.

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