NZ 2011 started in Fairlie at about 6pm on Tuesday the 11th of October. Kevin Alexander and I went to a nearby lake and fished into darkness. Kevin had a couple at a stream mouth in shallow water, no joy for me. The following day was lazy but effective fishing. We drove up mystery river X and jumped out and sight fished the more likely pools. We had some decent fish and fishing without exerting too much energy.
Day 3 I fished alone. I tackled a gorge that I was never through before in medium to low water, which is pretty much ideal. You never know what you may encounter going through a gorge for the first time. I have scaled rock walls to get around bluffs, Swam while carrying a 15kg pack (which quickly at least doubles in weight) to get around bluffs I couldn’t climb, Climbed out of and then back into gorges over cliffs where swimming was not an option, Fallen over on rocks where a broken leg would be inconvenience. Oddly enough I never really fell in! The truth is however, fishing through a gorge is the pinnacle of NZ fishing for me. All day long stumbling, stalking, scrambling, climbing, casting, falling, catching, loosing, cursing and talking to myself. I do that a lot.
I had a superb day fishing for very difficult fish through 8kms of gorge. By the end of it I was bruised, battered and wrecked. My feet hurt, My right nee and left elbow were cut and bruised from a fall, my legs were stiff and my back hurt. This is all good pain. I enjoy it. Every “full on” day from now on will get easier as fitness improves. It’s been nearly 2 years since I had a tough day like this one and I want more!
6 out of 7 fish took a size 16 lightly weighted nymph attached to a size 14 tungsten and lead nymph by a 14″ dropper. I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that this is the best general method for NZ river trout. Better fish usually take the 16. Fish them 4-5 foot under an indicator or a dry.
Thats all for now… Ronan..