Blue Ribbon Umgeni

#BRU Restoring the Umgeni as a trout stream



A generous donation

How do you thank a man, who asks not to be named, and donates R10,000 to your cause?

He said we can just mention that he is a long standing member of the Natal Fly Fishers Club, who cares.  He has already paid over the money, and we are busy getting quotes from contractors to spend it.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Early 2016 efforts

Get inspired!




Anton & Alison

Anton and Alison Smith have undertaken to match the contribution from the sale of the book “Stippled Beauties” on a ‘Rand for Rand’ basis. In other words, for every Rand raised from the proceeds of the limited 1st edition book, they will contribute a further Rand !

All the money will go directly into the hiring of tree felling contractors to clear the upper Umgeni 0n Furth farm.

Anton & Alison

What a fantastic commitment!

Furth stream valley

These pictures show the work done by WWF in the hidden valley of the Furth stream. A lot of stems killed, lots of follow up work still to be done! It won’t look pretty for a while , but one should not underestimate how much work it took to get to this point.

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Furth farm

The work done by the NFFC has been on the farms Brigadoon and Furth.

Brigadoon was largely tackled in 2014. The more difficult “Furth” is being cleared in 2015/6. The goal for 2016 is to tackle the approx 1.9 kms marked in blue below.

last push outline

Steep/difficult areas on the south bank marked with circles are being skipped for now, and work is concentrated on the south bank, and only easier trees not requiring tractors, are picked out on the north bank.



There is not much on the internet about the WWF and what they are doing on the Umgeni. Here are the basics:

Continue reading “WWF”

Which organisation are we with?

The work on the upper Umgeni is being undertaken on farms that may or may not be signed up with the WWF stewardship program, and where the farmer may or may not be a member of the Dargle conservancy.  The spirit of the #BRU tag, is to recognise and promote all the good work done regardless  of membership or allegiance.

Continue reading “Which organisation are we with?”

Roll of honour

The hardcover limited edition of the book “Stippled Beauties” …a fundraiser for the #BRU initiative.

People who have bought the 1st edition book so far:

Continue reading “Roll of honour”

An interesting Study


We recently learned that the University of Stellenbosch is conducting research on the effect of wattle on the quality of river water.  Click here to read about that interesting project.



The Dargle conservancy is working on the Dargle Stream (a tributary of the Umgeni).  Please support them.  To donate R20, just sms “DONATE DARGLE” to the number 40580.

donate Dargle

Go on…its just twenty bucks!  Do it now!

Trout in the Umgeni

A photo essay.

What is the problem with Wattle?

Wattle infestation causes erosion, and depletion of insect and fish populations.

In this article, the negative affects of Black Wattle are explained in more detail.

Wattle trees (9 of 10)

#BRU gains momentum

In 2015, the work that had already started on the Umgeni, needed an identity. The #BRU concept was floated, in which all parties working to a common goal have an opportunity to be identified under a common banner, and in which the collective work gains momentum due to the weight of all who are pulling in the same direction.  Reda about that introduction here. 

brownie (1 of 1)

NFFC work parties

Having had four successful work parties The NFFC held two more in early 2016

Details of these can be found here.

cleanup Furth


#BRU stands for “Blue Ribbon Umgeni”

Among those active in clearing the Umgeni river are a small group of flyfishermen who enjoy the pursuit of trout in the waters of this river. These are amongst the most passionate conservationists tackling projects on the upper Umgeni.


Finishing strong in 2016


  • The WWF completes their fantastic work on the upper Umgeni in April 2016
  • The fundraising 1st edition copies of the book “Stippled beauties” should all be sold in 2016
  • The trees poisoned on the river, require cutting in 2016 before they go hard

These are the reasons why we plan to finish this project on a high note, finish “strong” in 2016




River of hope

The story of the Umgeni, its wattle infestation, and the hope and dreams of seeing it clean again.  An article in the local fly fishing magazine.

river of hope

2015 work party recce

2015 work party recce:

NFFC work parties:



3 years

On the 11th November 2013 the Natal Fly Fishers Club held a social event in Pietermartizburg. At that event, a lovely young lady was “working the room selling raffle tickets”.   A box of flies and a few other goodies were raffled. They raised about R1,700 that night to put towards clearing Alien plants on the Umgeni.

nffc (1 of 2)

I suppose that was the start of the #BRU initiative.  The NFFC side of the project is planned to culminate in 2016. It will have been a 3 year project.  We believe it needs an end date. A finish line. 2016 is the last year, as it is for WWF.  This has us “galvanised” to finish strongly. To finish well.

Do you want to be part of this in 2016?  Are you wondering what part you could play?

Drop a “one liner” to Andrew on truttablog “at” gmail “dot” com .



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