Devan van d. Merwe
Who introduced you to fly fishing?
My Dad. He said that he will buy me my first Fly rod if I can catch a fish bigger than a Coke can on his little 4wt. I was 6 years old and kept the fish and the coke can until he fetched me a few hours later.
Can you tell us a little about your home waters and the fish you pursue there?
Growing up in the middle of a coal mining community , I always had to travel far to get to good water.When I got my first 18 speed mountain bike , I would strap my rod (2 pc) to the bike and cycle to the nearest river. Catching Largemouth Bass , Yellow fish , Carp and whatever else swims. I have spent 4 years guiding on the mighty Zambezi river or fantastic Tiger fish.The system holds an impressive population of Bream species that can get up to 14lbs.Local streams and lakes in South africa holds great trout , but the real deal is in the Seychelles where we target , Giant Trevally , Milkfish , Trigger fish , Permit , Wahoo , Tuna , Sailfish and as many Bonefish as you can wish for. Seychelles has a phenomenal diversity and they all fall for a well presented fly.
What's the height of the season for you? What time of year is your personal favorite?
The best time would be all the way from October to end of May.
What are your favorite travel destinations? What's on the bucket list?
I have been very fortunate to travel and fish some of the worlds greatest fly friendly destinations. Zambia , Zimbabwe , Botswana , Namibia , Seychelles , Russia , Slovenia , Romania , Bolivia , Cuba , Finland. My dream is to fish Mongolia and Argentina.
What you like most about Thomas and Thomas rods? Which rods do you fish?
The key to the future success of T&T is the team and the passion behind it. I have always been a true believer in T&T. We have caught some incredible fish on the rods and they have been put through the hardest of environments. We are pulling GT's for over 7 years on the same rod.
What's your current go-to fly?
Top Water - NYAP ( Not your Average Popper) Streamer - Flaming Lamborghini Pillow Talk
Other than fly tackle, what piece of gear do you find indispensable?
A good Leatherman , Good Sunnies
My favorite thing about guiding is:
Making a call and it works. I love teaching people and see them enjoy the results of their efforts. The most important thing to me is that it doesn't matter who you are in the world and how big your bank account is, once we are on the water together we have the same goal.I love it when guests shake your hand at the end of the day and sy,''this was the best day of my life''
From the angler’s point of view, what do you see as the main value of going on a guided trip?
If a guide conducts a safe , professional and entertaining day on the water with a few fish in between and teaches you about local traditions , conservation and general history about the fish or the area , it make s a big difference.
What can new fisherman expect to get out of a guided trip? My favorite thing to teach a client is ...
Improving on casting skills. learning fish behavior and reading water. How to handle fish. Take good photographs Practicing catch and release
What's your ideal lunch when on the water? What do you actually pack?
The Alphonse tradition: Muesli bar Ham & Cheese Spicy Beef strips Fruits of the day Cakes of the day ( Chocolate chip Muffin) Tortilla wrap x 2 Ice cold water , Fruit juice or Coke to get the sugar levels steady. When im guiding I have some Jelly babies or something sweet throughout the day.
What fly fishing blogs/magazines do you read regularly?
The complete Flyfisherman The Drake Magazine This is Fly
When I'm not fishing you'll find me:
Preparing a fishing trip with friends. Spending time in the African Savannah Family time - Usually it involves fishing. Thinking about fishing Tying flies