The last time I nearly ran over a couple of wallabies, here in New Zealand, I thought I had imagined them and I immediately went saltwater flyfishing. But no! There really are wallabies here in New Zealand. They swam over from Australia in 1953. And so it came as no surprise that I managed to photograph one tonight. I'm quite sure you'll be amazed with the clarity of this image, as am I.
I started off fishing a flat that I normally fish a couple of times each season and landed eleven fish between two and four pounds. I thought I was on for twenty despite the waves - you can spot fish in waves, but it's hard because you only get glimses through each wave - on the other hand they obviously can't see you too well either - although it's challenging to make a parachute cast without spooking the fish.
I love close quarter fishing. To be within a rod length of the fish, wishing you weren't and desperately trying to disappear, while executing as quick and accurate cast as you can make, with the minimum of movement and then the torture - yes torture! - while the fish makes up his mind. I don't know if the fish is really making up his mind or not, but I do know one thing - my jaw locks at these moments. I know my jaw locks because it hurts at the end of an intense day. But that's fishing.
So anyway I thought I was on for a twenty fish flat, but then the bastard wind blew up and churned the water dirty... so I went upwind.
Upwind it was even stronger than before and I could barely stand up, let alone cast, but I tried anyway. One fish out of 6 inches of water. You've got to be on the button when they're so shallow.
I gave up the flats and went to a sheltered valley where I'd always expected big fish but never tried. It looks like big fish water. It's deep, which means big fish. It's cold - big fish. It's difficult to access - big fish. In short this place has big fish written all over it.
I caught three small fish. Small in this case being under two pounds, and believe me, that's small here.
So much for big fish.
Back to the truck and off to one of my usual camp spots - good for a night chuck at three a.m. Picked up one which I hooked in the tail - not an easy thing to do, as you know.
And then I hooked a dead branch on a tree, which I pulled down with a piece of rope to get my flies back.
Interesting meal tonight - must remember to buy food - mainly chillies left, which I'm sure I'll regret tomorrow.