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Ronan's report

Sunday March 23rd, 2008

I had a great trip up one of the South Island's famous rivers a couple of days ago. Everybody knows this river, or knows of it. Lots of people fish it, too. In fact, it seemed to me to be a pretty busy place over the couple of days I fished it. For one thing, there's a very high profile guiding operation that sort of treats it, more or less, as their property. We got permission from the run holder to stay in one of their huts up the river. The hut's guest book had a couple of entries complaining about how a helicopter dropped off anglers as close as 300 yards upstream of anglers fishing the river. We met up with some local boys who told of us more of the same. Apparently this is one of those places where public rights of access rubs up against what amounts to commercial 'capture' of a wild resource. People get pretty steamed up by this sort of crap behaviour, and rightly so. And it does nothing for the image of the commercial guide or his clients.

Not that any of this spoiled it for us. This is still a great wild river, after all. We saw planes and choppers flying up the river all right, but the only chopper that came near us swung wide of us after Ron politely waved him off so he wouldn't spook the fish we were after. But I reckon being jumped by a chopper full of anglers would get right up my nose if it ever happens to me. I really don't see how the normal protocols and etiquette of angling shouldn't apply right across the board - high paying guided anglers in thousand bucks and hour aircraft included. Frankly, if I were one of those guys in that chopper, I'd be pretty embarrassed, and would definitely say something about it to the guide.

Anyway, it worked out fine for us. We found a few fish, including some really nice ones. There were some other anglers at the lake head who came up by boat, but it seemed to me there was plenty of room for everyone if we all just acted like we weren't raised by wolves or something, and gave the other guy some room to enjoy himself..


Pic Of Day

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