Overview of Treeferns Trout Lodge

Contact us at Treeferns Trout Lodge,   Belfast,   Mpumalanga,   South Africa

Our contact numbers are :

Maria : (013) 256-9170

e.mail : info@treeferns.co.za

What follows is a brief overview of what you will find at Treeferns Trout Lodge and vicinity :

• View

The farm has the most beautiful panoramic views of rolling hills and valleys that the Eastern  Escarpment has to offer.  From the lookout point on the farm you can see the surrounding towns, Dullstroom, Machadodorp and Waterval Boven. Natural crystal clear spring water runs out  of the  earth and feeds twelve beautiful dams and then runs out into the valley with the most beautiful waterfalls and plant habitat that one has ever seen.

• Location

The farm Vlakfontein hosting  TREEFERNS TROUT LODGE is centrally situated in the Mpumalanga “trout triangle” between Belfast, Dullstroom, Machadodorp and Waterval Boven.

• Facilities

We have 7 self-catering chalets fully equipped and 13 crystal clear dams stocked every month with rainbow and brown trout, occasionally also golden trout, of which two are  trophy dams, a lapa for group use, entertainment hall, catering facilities, music, a kiosk with flyfishing equipment  and imperishables.

• Expansions

Plans are in place already to not only expand the accommodation units but also activities like weddings, clay target shooting, trail running, and high altitude training.


Realities of Fly Fishing


animated jumping trout

The most frequently asked  question in the business of fly fishing and trout fishing is : How is the fishing or how are the fish ?

Reality is that fly fishing for trout is an ever changing phenomenon which implies that the question is fully warranted !

In summary as a general rule,  trout and for that matter all fish behaviour is very much dependent on the weather. In summer weather patterns change rapidly between high and low pressure systems with temperature variations, wind, mist  and rain. This makes fishing in summer unpredictable. On the other hand, in winter the weather patterns stabilise and catching fish also tend to normalise.




However, anglers who really know how to fly fish for trout will sooner or later catch his or her fish, but patience is the name of the game.The same applies to other species of fish, viz. bass, yellow fish, and carp. Fact is that trout flourish in cool water, and they are much more lively in cold conditions. They are hatched in cool or refrigerated conditions, and therefore adjust much better in cooler environments when released in rivers and still waters. Trout become lethargic in warm waters, tend to rise for oxygen, and scourged by the sun which is fatal. Ideal water temperatures for trout are 10 – 15 degrees which are rare in summer.


Gerhard Jute 1.8 kg, dam 4


Our catch cards tell the same story : “old hands” in the game know when and where  to fish, and after scanning the insect live on the water, what flies to use. It is all about the phases of the moon and air pressure. Trout feel changes in air pressure much sooner as can be observed.

What it says is “the early bird catches the bird” (fish). In warm weather one should be at the waters before daybreak until 08h00 at the latest; in winter a little later. Cool cloudy and misty conditions are ideal. Just mind heavy weather with lighting.

In Mpumalanga fly  fishing pick up from Easter every year and last till August-September, but keep in mind this is also the spawning season. This all adds up to more challenging fishing which the serious angler love.

We stock monthly except January and February, as these two months are bad for fishing : water temperatures are high and oxygen levels low which adversely effect fish behaviour.  Catch-and-release (CAR) in such circumstances is very risky. Many anglers still don’t know how to successfully release fish with fatalities prevalent. Adding  the pressure to our dams is that they are  over stocked rather than under stocked.


Garmin, visse 008

Treeferns Trout Lodge is one of the preferred fly fishing venues in Mpumalanga, even in South Africa, for the experienced angler. However, if the fish does not take your fly that particular day, you most likely won’t catch a fish anywhere.

In short, you won’t know if you don’t try !


Frequently asked questions

The FAQ of Flyfishing at Treeferns Trout Lodge


The most frequently asked questions (FAQ) about flyfishing at Treeferns Trout Lodge are :-

• is flyfishing only permitted ?

•  what imitations to use ?

•   is  catch-and-release (CAR)  permitted ?

•   what are the sizes of fish stocked ?

•   is float tubing  allowed ?

•   is wading  allowed. ?

• how is the fishing ?

Flyfishing only.

Only flyfishing with barbless hooks is allowed.



In general the most successful flies are the woolly buggers (olive and black), DDD dry, White Death, Hamils Killer, Walkers, Mrs Simpson, Red Eye Damsel, White cats whisker. As the weather is always a determining variable we will update this section regularly. ( See also "Fishing Strategies" under "Flyfishing").


Catch-and-release (CAR).

We not only allow CAR, but we encourage it, "live and let live", but according to the golden rules of releasing fish. However, flyfishers are becoming more and more convinced that CAR makes flyfishing much more difficult, because some memory remains. We also believe that Treeferns trout fishing is becoming increasingly challenging, and we have not been able to find another explanation for it.  See also Post on Catch and Release. Good luck !


Sizes of fish stocked.

We can only stock what is available. We have a standing order with Katrinasrust for the best fish available, which varies between 1 and 2 kg. An average of 1 kg is normal. Sometimes bigger fish are ordered to satisfy trophy hunters. When stocks are running low, we have smaller fish delivered, and occasionally fingerlings for growing in a separate pool or cages.


Are float tubes allowed ?

The answer is yes. However, the dams are not big, 1 hectare being the largest, but because some are difficult to access because of weeds, we actually recommend float tubing, but at own risk.


Is wading allowed ?

Again we have no objection to that but also at own risk. In some dams the drop is quite sudden into the original flow of water.

How is the Fishing ?
Put in another way, "are there any fish ?" All I can say to this is : We cannot afford to neglect the main attraction of Treeferns Trout Lodge. We have worked hard on our reputation as an excellent flyfishing venue. Previously we stocked sporadically on feedback from anglers, but it was too inaccurate. We now have  a standing order to stock every month the best we can get. Our supplier, Katrinasrust, always tries to meet our requirements. Further, there are still fish left when the next load arrive, which in fact means that we are rather over-stocked than under-stocked. The picture below shows rises shortly after feedback that stocks were in short supply.



Happy flyfishing !



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