Looking back over the posts on this blog, I see I often said things like “Last push” and “finishing it off” . In reality, we kept finding more to do. The upside of that was that we had the money to do it.

Sure there were competing needs, and deciding where to spend the money was a head scratcher…we always wanted best bang for our buck, but there was some cash.

Now, as at the end of winter 2020, the cash from the Roy Ward Fund of the Natal Fly Fishers Club is spent! We spent the last R39,000 removing logs and logjams from 1.5 kms of the upper river on the farm Sheardown. The task was completed admirably by our contractor, and the river is looking magnificent.

The Blue Ribbon Umgeni initiative enters the maintenance phase.

Going forward, the contribution of the fly fishers will be determined by fundraising to the Roy Ward Fund. The likelihood is that the extent of that will, at best, enable routine annual maintenance….cutting saplings and spraying bramble on the main river channel. This is commendable and important work and will require ongoing dedication and determination to uphold the practice.

In the interim, Andrew Fowler has taken this river restoration thing a step further, with the launch of Upland River Conservation. That entity looks to catchment-wide land practices, tributary remediation, and other aspects way beyond the ambit of a fishing club.

So, if you are interested, follow that link above, and support “Upland Rivers”. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook and watch the next chapter in this story.

For now, this Blue Ribbon Umgeni blog will remain online as a record of what we achieved between 2013 and 2020. Its been a wild ride, and much has been achieved. To everyone who supported this in every way:

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!