Ok first things first. It's the same fish twice, I simply found I had more room on the image that I first thought. PODs are like that sometimes. There was another fish but he was a bit slabby.
Let's talk about boots. All the wading boots I've ever tried have been crap. They're fine if all you're doing is fishing beside the car, but for the sort of fishing we do here they just don't work. It's typical to walk anything between 10 and 20 miles in a day. For this you need a good boot manufactured by a boot manufacturer who specialises in making boots that fit your feet. You'll be climbing, boulder hopping, tramping. Wading is secondary.
The problem is that river crossings can be hairy. Many of them involve running with the flow. Sometimes they involve swimming. Especially if you fish gorges. Vibram hiking soles are no good on slippery rocks, in the same way that felt is no good for climbing out of gorges and can be lethal when dropping back in again.
So here's the best solution I've found so far: buy the best boots you can afford - mine are Meindl and cost 600 NZ dollars, with 2/3 of the front sole removed using a red hot knife straight out the fire, cut your felt soles to shape and then glue and screw the bastards in tight. Araldite Titan is a waterproof flexible glue perfect for the job. Make sure your screws aren't too long otherwise you'll be in for a nasty surprise. Studs are of absolutely no use for this kind of fishing and you'll probably end up breaking your leg, or worse.
It's a pity that we don't have wader sponsorship; I have some good ideas for gear that would actually be suitable for going hard. The two manufacturers we approached don't want your business. I suppose we'll just have to make this gear ourselves when we have some free capital. Wading products for serious anglers, unsuitable for the catalogue boys.
Anyway, back to the show. Didn't get into the gorge until 5pm - too busy answering your emails. I hooked seven, landed two. Now I know what you're thinking; you're thinking that's a bit crap, losing five fish, Paul must be losing his edge.
It happens, dude. Average size would have been around six pounds - the one in this POD is six and a half (took a #12 dry incidentally, first cast of course - this is New Zealand) - and the current was swift. There's submerged trees and branches, but where I lost most of my fish was in undercuts. I always try to go in after them but sometimes you just can't get there in time. One of the fish was probably a trophy.
Good spot this; I may fish it again later in the year. There'll be no point in fishing it again for the next three days - and besides I rarely fish the same stretch twice in one season.