I have just finished an amazing four day guide with an English gentleman by the name of Dan. I guided him a few years ago and he was back for more. Since our last guide I have found some really good water and as he is a fit bugger, he was all good to walk some miles. My main concern for the four days I had him, was the weather! In short it has been a crap summer and the rivers have changed time and time again. The Cicadas have been drowning in their holes and really haven’t had a fair go at all. I had so many contingency plans up my sleeve, it was not funny.
The first day saw us on a great little stream I have private access to. It is a stony bed and has a few tight little gorges that you have to pick your way through. The fishing can be fabulous though and the effort is always well rewarded. This stream has fish up to 5 pounds with the average being in the high 4 pound mark! They love the dry fly and there is nothing better in Trout Fishing than watching a fish turn, rise and gobble down a Cicada imitation, it really doesn’t get any better! So as we were working our way upstream I mentioned that this river would not be a good one to be caught out on, if it flooded. Well about two hours later and 7 Km up the river we had a massive cloud burst that came down so hard we were drenched before coats could be put on and then it got even heavier! Within ten minutes the crystal clear stream had turned into a mess with almost no depth visibility. I had called it and we were on our way out going like the clappers, we had to make two crossings that had been deep and tricky and we needed to get there before they became un passable, or we were going to be spending a very cold wet night in the bush. The first one was the worst and I knew straight away it was too deep for a dry crossing and so I explained to Dan what was about to go down (us). Instead of looking worried or upset, he had a bloody grin from ear to ear. I dropped in off the rock and because of my back pac, I floated the 10 feet down stream to shallower water where I stood up and said “your turn””. without hesitation Dan dropped in and because he had a wading belt on, he floated down to me without getting too wet at all. The rain had stopped by this stage and although there was NO visibility at all for footing, I knew the crossings and so we managed to get out un scathed Closest crappiest thing Id ever encountered on a river and not one I intend to have happen again. Man were we shagged when we got back to the vehicle.
The next day was a bit of a worry due to the high water levels on some of my rivers, so I choose a little spring fed creek and we hopped in and walked up slowly, spotting the trout and casting to them. This was great fun and with Dans ability to put a dry fly on a twenty cent coin, at 60 feet, accuracy was not an issue. We had a blast on this day and we dropped some damn good fish. They used every dirty trick I have seen and a few new ones I didn’t know about. One of them literally tied poor old Dan up in his own line as it went through his legs and around him twice. It then took off down a straight and busted us off before we could untangle . Great laugh on that one. The day was hot and clear!
The next day was on the Quads. Dan holds the most trout hooked and landed for this river being the grand total of 22. This trip he sucked the trout were taking the piss out of him!! Now that being said, he landed the biggest two of the day, a 7 pound Brownie that put up one of the meanest, longest fights I have ever seen and a 6 pound Rainbow that smashed the dry fly off the surface, the second it landed.It was a beat I hadn’t done for a little while and so was nice to see the water again. Man are there some Blue ducks on this river!!!
Yesterday was our last day and I had a special river in mind. I had checked the water flows for the area and they had dropped enough for us to do the crossings we needed. I hadn’t seen this river this season but had fished it late last season and it was in great nic. The first crossing was a massive effort but that was good as it would have finished most anglers off at that point alone. It had at some stage in the past 6 months, a terrible flood go through it and the whole river had changed course in half a dozen places, taking out great water but opening up some other stuff as well. We picked up good hard fighting 3 pounders all the way through the lower and middle section but the upper stuff has been flattened and all the pools filled in. This picture shows the force that had gone down through here with huge logs sitting on top of HUGE boulders. It was a good day and we had some fun spotting and fishing to some pretty hungry trout.
I have two rest days and then am out again for a few more, if the weather holds. It looks like more wind and rain in the forcast but by the looks of it the South island and lower North are going to get it the most. Be safe on the rivers, never take them for granted and always wear a wading belt!!