All the rain that fell on us over the past week, didn’t really amount to too much when it came to flooding out the rivers. Yes they rose, but they didn’t get too high. There should be some fresh run trout in all the local Taupo rivers at the moment. The Tauranga Taupo and Tongariro would be well worth a go!
I had some pressure put on me a few days ago with a guide that I had been looking forward to for some months. I regularly guide a gentleman from Canada, normally for a few days. This time however he was on a very tight work schedule and we could only fit him in for one day only. As it turned out it was the Monday. Saturday and Sunday blew and rained consistently and had me pacing around the house stressing out, as I kept an eye on all the river levels I monitor. I wanted to take John into the back country and as I watched and listened to the wind and rain on Sunday night my apprehension for what I was going to see on Monday morning grew.
I got up made a coffee and came straight down to my computer to check the levels, Gaahhhhh, although things weren’t hideous, there had been enough rain to blow out most of the rivers, if we were to fish any back country water it would have to be spring fed, as these colour up the least. I had a few in mind and made the decision to fish a stream close to Taupo in case it was un fishable and we could return quickly to the Waitahanui or the Hinemaiaia. All the way there I was freaking out and wondering if it would pay off. The weather was clearing fast, with a stiff breeze and there was big patches of blue sky. The wind would not be too much of a problem as small casts were needed and it was pretty sheltered anyway. I was more concerned about the water level!
As soon as we got to the river I jumped out and looked at it. I was Sooooooooo relieved to see it very fishable and I knew the further up we drove, the clearer it would get. We stopped the car at the beginning of our beat and geared up. John loves to fish with a 5# and is a very masterful caster, we were going to use a small Nymphing set up with a sliding indicator and standard tapered fluro leader, however I was hoping for some bug action as this piece of water lends itself to it. We waded up the river quietly and when I could I would take to the bank and look ahead to spot anything fishy shaped. It was on one of these occasions that I spotted a huge shape in deeper water on the true right, about thirty meters up from where John was carefully wading. I gave him an excited version of where it was and how big it looked while crouching on hands and knees. Part of the reason I enjoy Johns company on the water is his equal enthusiasm when we spot a good trout, he was like a kid in a candy shop, with a smile from ear to ear . We adjusted the indicator for maximum strike effectiveness and decided to use a slightly bigger bead head nymph to get down that little bit quicker, the point fly stayed the same, being a variation of the Hairy Reaper.
John crept up very slowly till he was well within casting distance, then keeping a low profile he roll cast downstream, about ten meters of line. As it straightened up he looked back upstream to where the trout was lying and with a simple water load laid the line out perfectly, with the dropper about 2 meters in front of the trout. You never know what a trout is going to do and that is part of the excitement, however in this case there was no hesitation. It moved across the current a half foot and rose in the water column. Its mouth opened, (which I clearly saw) and at the same time the indicator got pulled under. John tightened on the line and with that our fish came to the surface and tail walked across the pool in a brilliant display of power. It then proceeded to charge up stream and around the bend, (small tight stream). John raced up stripping in line and putting his rod hard down to his left to try and stop his line slicing into the bank. I hopped up and down giving instructions . Then his line went slack! Most anglers sigh at this stage and think the fish has gotten off, when half the time it is just coming straight back at you. Thank God this was the case, the only problem was it went straight back between Johns legs!! With a squawk more reminiscent of a chicken laying an egg, rather than a Canadian Mounty John hopped back over the line and tried in vain to tighten up on it. I’d given up on instructions and literally fell into the river, (not my most elegant of river entrances) to try and net this beast before it could Hog tie John any further. I managed to get the net under it, just as John pulled up tight. Wow what a beauty! At just over 7.5 pounds this was the biggest Brown from this stream so far and in amazing condition. We took some quick pics and then released it. The smile said it all, right choice, right river and man was I pleased