What a year it has been. The Taupo Trout are in fantastic condition and I am really excited about next years Winter Run, it will be the best for many many years. Unfortunately for me, my guiding that this year was going to launch full time, has been flat lined for good. I had many things in place that would have got me through Winter and come this Summer season, it would have been my busiest ever. The fall I had in March put a huge dent in this plan as I tore my ACL, tore one of my patella ligaments, tore my cartilage and gave the head of my femur a huge bruise. All in all it was pretty crappy for the Winter. I was fairly skeptical about getting back into the Summer season which meant my guiding was over. Along came Alex! Being a personal trainer he helped me get back the strength in my leg and gave me the confidence to be out there. I knew that if I blew it out while on the water I had someone to get help and or carry me out. Things progressed and I was getting pretty excited about the prospect of guiding once again, I was able to push myself fairly hard. That is until last week I had been made an appointment with a Physio Therapist and unbeknown to me was scheduled for a strength test. This apparently is where they load you up with as much weight as you can possibly push to see if it is as strong as your other limb. So with NO warm up this dick head who is supposed to be a professional pushed my knee to the point where it Blew out. I have been left with a knee that is pretty much rooted, all within 10 minutes. My guiding career is officially over. It took me 9 months to get it to the stage it was last week and all that has been ruined. I’m fairly disappointed!!
So I’ll keep the web site going with reports when I can and hopefully bring in a few things to help income, ( this has already been planned) but as I say the guiding is finished for the foreseeable future. I would like to thank the many clients I have, who supported my Guiding over the years. I have made some great friends. These people are the reason I stayed in it for so long and their encouragement and positiveness was inspiring. Please keep in touch. I may not guide again but I will still be here to tell you where the fish are. Thank you my friends.
This little story was hatched before the Physio.
I have a River that I found a few years back. It is not for the faint hearted as the terrain is fairly hard going and there are one or two crossings that would deter most anglers. I have always had success on this river and the further you get up, the better the fishing gets. last year while guiding in January I had a huge cloud burst happen above us, it flooded the river and we had a pretty scarey experience getting out. It was a good learning curve and I made a promise to myself that if it ever happened again I would camp it out and not risk the walk out. I sent Alex in there a few months back to have a look knowing he would push himself and get further up than I had ever been. He had a great day but got to an impassible section. He tried to go high to get past but had a scary moment and so decided to give it up. It is always best to stay low when trying to get around something unless the climb is safe. So with my knee well and truly on the mend I felt confident we could get up there for me to take a look. At the very least we would catch a few good trout in the process. If we did manage to get past this gorge (and apparently it was only a small section) we would be in Virgin territory and that is what I am all about.
The weather played a part in this once again when we arrived at the river it was slightly high. This was not good as some of the crossings are difficult in these conditions. The good news was that the day was meant to be hot with no rain. This river fishes best with a little volume and especially when dropping, so we got our freak on and trudged happily up the valley with mixed expectations.
The lower part of the river was fairly barren of trout, we were expecting this as it does get fished. We moved quickly up stream and before we knew it the odd trout started to appear. At one stage we were perched on top of a huge boulder twenty feet above the water trying to get a HUGE brown to take. Alex was doing his best to get a difficult drift through but this beast of a fish was a smart bugger and really didn’t want a bar of us. We sat down and had some lunch in the sun and planned out attack from a different angle. Alex was still up as he had spotted the fish but after another dozen refusals I got impatient and took his place. I had on my Blue Hairy Reaper, this little nymph has taken more trout for me this season than any other in my box. First drift and a good rainbow that we hadn’t seen came out and slammed the Nymph. I actually missed the strike as I was still looking at the Brown Trout. Alex was hoping up and down from one foot to the other yelling strike strike strike! This little 4 pounder went nuts! Oh crap we hooked one, that wasn’t meant to happen as we were twenty feet up a rock and I couldn’t get into the water, hmmm didn’t really think about this too much. After about 5 minutes of tooing and froing , (spell check loved those two words) the decision was made to strip off and jump in. The water was deep so I wouldn’t land badly, then swim down to a bank on the other side of the river and land it there, if it was still on. I climbed down as far as I could then took the plunge. When I came up the trout was still tugging away, I waded out, played it for another minute then landed it. Oh yeah baby that’s what it is all about. I had enough adrenaline pumping through me for twenty Shane’s and could not get the smile off my face for ages.
Then we got to the impassible bit. I could see the only way past was to swim it. If we got to the other side then we could hang onto the wall and claw our way along to a small ledge, where we could haul ourselves up. The water was swift and deep but there were no hidden logs of undercut banks to get stuck in. The worst thing that could happen is we drift down twenty feet into shallow water and get out wet. Its all about risk management and this was pretty low risk. That being said I sent Alex across first We had big black plastic bags to put our gear into and rope to throw across to drag these over with. It was actually a lot easier than we thought and 30 minutes later we were on out way into water that had probably never been fished in its lifetime. Then the Heavens opened up
If I was paranoid about being caught out on this river before, then that was triple fold now as we were about 7 km up and had gone through 4 gorge sections. There was time for one more trout. I spotted a nice rainbow on a shallow ledge easily cruising back and forth picking up food. My first cast was perfect, (well what did you expect), it glided over, opened its Gob and sucked my Reaper in. I lifted the rod and this thing went NUTS!! It tore around the river like a ballistic missile out of control, leaping five times and nearly beaching itself. I had no control over this for the first 20 seconds as I bought line in and then had to quickly release it as it tore off down stream. It was a brilliant fight and one that I will remember for a very long time. Unfortunately the rain was constant by this stage and so we high tailed it back down stream. The rain held off and we got out without any dramas. We have a plan to get back up there in February, (if I can ) as we have unfinished business up there.
I intend to get my knee sorted as fishing is my life and I refuse to give it up before I am ready. I will never again be told to do something I am dubious about by any medical practitioner, as apparently some of them are CRAP and know Jack $#@%.
Please have a safe Christmas and I look forward to bringing you new reports next year.