I was born and bred on the East coast of South Africa, I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb holding a fishing rod.. ( sorry Mom ), and have gotten more obsessed with anything that swims as the years have gone by… I was fortunate to grow up in a small town on the South African east coast.. with a warm water ocean on my doorstep, and a coastline of Sugarcane farms, every one of the home to a bass pond of some kind, and the mountain streams and lakes of the Drakensberg about a 2 hour drive away.
My late father was a big fisherman, and was the kind of legend who nurtured my fishing obsession from a young age, always happy to have me tagging along at every opportunity, be it fishing the surf zones, chasing bass on farm ponds, or rowing me around mountain lakes.
We discovered flyfishing when I was about 4 years old, and subsequently flytying a year or two later. Being the local veterinarian , my old man was never short on quality flytying material. From chasing trout, we ventured on to chasing Bass, then saltwater with the fly.
My folks loved to travel, and get the family out into far-away remote places, as a fishing obsessed kid, I could not have been more blessed as I was exposed to a huge variety of water and species from a young age, all over southern Africa.
At 18 I shipped out to the University of Life, which just happened to be on Grand Cayman in the Caribbean.. 5 years of “Study” saw me chasing fish pretty much everyday. Bonefish, Tarpon, Snapper, Tuna, Wahoo - whatever swam, I chased it.
I’ve been back in South Africa for 14 years now, moving down to Cape Town where my real job has me running a production Company with my sister, with every spare thought, moment and cent spent chasing fish. I’ve been lucky enough that working like a lunatic at times has afforded me the opportunities to chase fish in some pretty incredible place - Seychelles Outer Atolls, St.Brandons, Oman, Madagascar and all over Southern Africa.
3 years ago I came across Epic Flyrods on a social media post.. at the time I was looking for something new in my flyfishing… and there was a lot of talk about the resurgence of Glass rods, and my interest was piqued. I’d recently found a new addiction, chasing Carp on fly and discovered a fishery on my doorstep in Cape Town that had big, super skittish, super picky Carp in a crystal clear river and this was my excuse for investing in ANOTHER rod. My Epic 686 landed a week or so later, and I spent a few evenings building her up from a kit. The first morning out with the rod changed my view on flyfishing, something at that stage I didn’t think possible, and I have been in love with my Epic’s ever since.
On top of the incredible products, what I found at Epic was an ethos I didn’t even realize was lacking in the flyfishing world. Being a smalltown boy, I was, and still am, blown away by the family feel that Epic operates on, the love and thought that goes into the products, the service they are able to provide from across the other side of the world, and their ability to get me closer to the core of flyfishing, the cast, through their products is amazing… I love to fish.. and I am not a purist fly angler, I fish “heathen” tackle , throwing big poppers and giant stickbaits for GT’s, Tuna and other beast, I’ll even throw a bait in some cases. But my first choice, is always a fly rod, be that painting dries on the surface of the tiny local creeks for small wild rainbows, plonking bugs in the path of skittish mudbones, slinging Clousers in spring time inlets for big Smallmouth Bass, punching shrimp and crab patterns across a tropical flat for Bones and Triggers, or ripping a big Semper or Brushfly as fast as I can ahead of a big GT, it's always going to be a fly rod I want in my hand, an Epic Fly rod.
If you want an eyefull of some of the best fish images around take a look at Andre's Instagram, give him a follow and say "Gidday" from us! https://www.instagram.com/nepptuna/
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What's in the box? The guys over at MidCurrent film the unboxing on one of our Fly Rod Building kits - the 476 FastGlass Fly rod building kit in this case.