I was up super early yesterday morning, had a quick look at the flow for the Whanganui River due to all the rain the day before and made the call to John that we should go ahead with the guide. This was a birthday present for his son Malcolm who had just taken up the fine art of fly fishing and was yet to land his first trout on the fly rod.
The day dawned cold, overcast and a little windy. Due to the fact that Malcolm is part of the Taupo Quad crew and is a demon the bikes we decided to travel into the river via a “slightly”technical track instead of the easy going 42nd Traverse. I hadn’t done anything like this on the quads for some time and was really looking forward to it. These things are brilliant fun and the adrenaline gets you going for the days fishing ahead. It took us a little longer to get onto the river but it was well worth the time spent and it gave me something to look forward to on the way out.
The first pool we came to Malcolm showed me what he had. For someone who had only just taken this up his skill with the rod was very surprising. I have on loan from Nate of Feather Merchants the Axiom 5#, I loaded this up with a Teeny 6# line and it really worked well. There was a little bit of a breeze coming from downstream and yet it managed to cut through this with ease and threw a perfect line. This is certainly a great small stream rod and I FULLY recommend it to anyone looking for this sort of weapon. It was here in this pool that Malcolm landed his first trout on the fly rod!
I haven’t tackled this section so far this season and had high expectations in trout numbers. It is a bouldery deep section and some big trout lurk in there. We were dealt to viciously in one pool by two trout in two casts, both screaming off downstream before we had any chance to control them, I didn’t even have enough time to un hook my net!
It is also a perfect section for spotting trout and casting to them, (thank you Mr Nick Foster, I thoroughly enjoy this sport). If you have never tried this then the Whanganui is a perfect place to give it a go. In the hotter months it will be even better as they start to take off the surface.
I was a little disappointed with the overall condition of the trout, they have obviously had a hell of a winter in there and due to the extra cold spells we are having are struggling to gain condition. Once the hatches take off these trout will pack on the weight. What it does mean for now though is that they are hungry and will snap at anything drifted past them. I quite quickly lost count of the hook ups but it had to be in the high twenties, not bad for a days fishing.
Part of the joy with this river is the scenery. I love just stopping and taking it all in. Although I try and capture it with my camera it never really does the place justice. To appreciate it you need to experience it yourself. We saw deer and goats yesterday and some type of giant bird that sounded prehistoric up in a big tree. I tried to get a picture of them but the sun and the angle was not in my favour. Whatever they were I have never seen them!!!!!
Malcolm at one stage hooked this feisty Jack. It had come up and had a good look at our indicator giving us some excitement but then glided away. We must have put though 40 drifts trying to entice it back. I changed the flies over, slid the indicator down, (you need to try these) and wham first cast!! This beast of a trout spent more time in the air than it did in the water and I mean in the air!!! Look at the photo.
So there you have it another great day in a fabulous place. The quad trip out was fantastic fun as the rain had made the track muddy and my bike skills needed to be super sharp. Love these things you need to give them a go.