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Flood Damage!

December 26th, 2018 No comments

The river became fishable for the first time in 2 months. It was a gamble to go there but I took a chance on it because last years floods were bigger and did no damage. The difference with this years floods is that they’ve been so prolonged. At first glance the river looked okay so we walked an hour downstream to fish back. On arrival the river looked different. Straightened, pools and islands gone. I said to Philip that I thought I had made a mistake. Trout are very resilient to flooding but when a river changes course then fish have to be displaced. Where they end up is anyones guess. We saw a fish in the second pool which Philip hooked, raising our spirits. Then nothing. The river was unrecognisable. One of the best pools on the river had been all but destroyed. There was a small section that remained unchanged and in there were 2 or 3 trout which quickly spooked. We saw one other in the beat. We were through the whole section in a few hours and then retreated to plan B. A tributary which I hoped would not have been so badly affected by the floods. We saw a fish at the bridge which we didn’t get. Then not far up we saw another which we did get on a small nymph. There was another beside him so things were looking good but the river was obviously ravaged by floods. Uprooted trees strewn over vast areas of river plain. After a positive start the damage became more and more apparent and we saw no more fish. I was almost ready to pull the pin but thought we’d go another bit. I was looking for a great pool. Very stable so I expected it would still be there. It wasn’t! Blown out totally. We marched on, not keen on giving up just yet as stubbornness kicked in. One great pool that I had forgotten about was unchanged and we sighted 2 fish in it. If Philip hooked one, he was going to spook the other so we had to pick one. Philip got into position for the lead fish. A bow and arrow cast was the only option. Philip had never successfully used that cast before so was keen to make it work. A number of shots went in before the trout saw the worm fly. The take was hard to see for sure but I called the strike and the fish was on. A fish like that can really turn a day around. By then it was around 5pm so we decided it was a good time to call it a day. I was delighted with the result considering the state of the rivers. Three hooked, 2 landed and had a few other good opportunities. We happily walked back to the truck. Of course we had to see if the bridge fish was back out and as luck would have it, he was! Philip got into position and this time nailed the cast first time and got the fish. Three rainbows between 4 and 5 lbs for the day. A great day on any trout river but I won’t be rushing back; it was quite heartbreaking to see some of my favourite water ripped to bits. I’m not sure how long it’ll take those rivers to heal.

On a more positive note, I finally got back to Southland after flooded rivers kept me away for about 2 months. A few tough days just as the rivers cleared but then we had a few days where everything was right. As luck would have it I was fishing myself while guiding on 2 of those days. Very fulfilling fishing with a great fishing partner. He came through Sexyloops so he’d have to be! His SLHT is well and truly broken in.. Thanks, Alan..

Tight Lines All and a Happy New Year!

Ronan..