Copperleigh Trout Cabin is located in the Dargle, in the shadow of Inhlosane. It is a tranquil, cosy cabin that is nestled on the waters edge of Mavela Dam (yes, it is one of the NFFC’s prime fly fishing dams).

Imagine the eagerness of someone who loves fishing and hasn’t had the time in the last, well, 12 months to get on that water and pursue some trout.

Yes that someone is me. Imagine my happiness when I found that the Cabin is absolutely delightful and is the perfect Midlands getaway for a weekend.

Great fishing with comfortable, cosy accommodation. What a winner!

I arrive just before sunset and just in time to catch the sun painting the dam in rose tinted hues. The frogs and crickets are giving full throttle to their calls and the birds are chittering as they nestle into the reeds for the evening. It is a full on National Geographic nature video being played out right in front of me. And it is quite spectacular.

Copperleigh Cabin

The cabin can sleep up to four, although it is ideal for a two person getaway. The main room sleeps two looks out over the deck onto the dam. The main room includes an en suite bathroom with shower, basin and toilet and heated towel racks. Yes, you heard me right 🙂 Who doesn’t love warm towels climbing out of the shower, especially in Winter.

Main room interior

Being mid Winter, you would think the cabin may be a little chilly right next to the water, but it is a cosy, snug haven while having all the benefits of the stunning view and natures choral displays.

Lounge interior

After getting some pre dinner snacks ready in the kitchen equipped with convection/microwave oven, induction plates, kettle, toaster, fridge and all the self catering goodies, I decided to do some fly fishing preparation.

Getting the float tube ready, tying leaders on, deciding what lines and what flies to use all continued while we discussed conditions and likely areas to find trout. This is all made easy with an ample porch which is your viewing deck for the dam and rising trout.

Fire pit lit

Once preparations were complete, it was time to light the fire and enjoy a fresh evening while relaxing. The fire pit is built with multiple functions in mind and is a handy spot to cook with the best views.

The area is also closed off so it is private and this also adds to the cosiness. It is quite a freeing experience to be able to sit under a sky full of stars and hear a jackal calling while all the night life goes on with its business. I think this is an ideal spot for couples to getaway and be in a tranquil, romantic environment.

Fly fishing

After a restful nights sleep, I quitely sip my coffee while going over my gear to get on the water nice and early. I am not so early that I will get the worm, but I am early enough to maybe get a fish on my line.

I get on my float tube and push out counting down the seconds. My trusty leaky waders don’t take long to do their bit. But it is the calm I am waiting for.

The calm that being out on the water with a fly rod in hand gives. Paying attention to minute details in nature around you and becoming immersed in that world for a while.

Mavela Dam is a really beautiful dam and is known for providing tough a hard fighting and tough breed of trout. The wind decides at this point to take matters into its hands and rolls out its blustery work. I seem to be getting very little action while bobbing up and down on the small waves making their way across the water.

I decide it is time to go in and get some lunch when I hook a fish and lose it within a minute. The amount of adrenalin that that one display generates is just frustrating. I clearly need to fish more often.

I decide to take on an afternoon session on the water. I am more determined than I am patient, but since the wind is dying a bit, I think it is worth the while.

I spend the afternoon floating around the weedbeds and reeds, changing fly occasionally and wondering why it is so quiet. The sun throws a spectacular show as it sets and I can’t help but admit defeat for the afternoon and smile as I kick my way back to the Cabin.

Sunset on Mavela

There is nothing like getting warm and clean again after being outdoors. The shower at the cabin provides an amazing hot stream of excellent pressure water. I know that seems like an odd thing to say, but I honestly dislike trying to fight to get the temperature of showers right and a sad dribble of water. If you are that person too, you will love the shower at Copperleigh Trout Cabin.

The next morning I am properly lazy and decide not to fish, but to lie in and relax watching the water and listening to the birds. That doesn’t deter my brother who is on the water looking for some action. His persistence is rewarded as he nets two healthy fish in a couple of hours and happily releases them to swim another day. His grin when he gets back to the Cabin tells a story in itself.

Trout caught

Copperleigh is a truly lovely find. To have a place where you can get away for a breath of fresh air and just be comfortable is such a treat.

If you want to get in touch with them, check out their website. They also have a larger cottage on the property which can sleep up to 8 people, which is perfect for family trips or a bunch of friends having a weekend away.

You can also find them on social media and keep up to date with what is happening on Facebook and Instagram.


This was a hosted stay. All opinions are as always, mine.

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