" I think that's a fish between those two white rocks just on the other side of the main current. It hasn't moved but it's the right shape. If it is a trout it's bloody big… was that just a flash of white as it opened its mouth? I think it was.
Because of the depth, jeez it must be 7 or 8 feet deep down there, we'll extend the indicator out to around 8 feet and get you to cast perhaps 20 feet above to get the fly to sink down to the right depth. And at that depth we won't need to worry about lining the fish , the priority is to just get the fly well above … You'll need to cast from the lower bank but beware of the Matagouri behind in your backcast. Not easy but there is a lot of room vertically above all that brush" ….
….." That's about 3 feet to the left and you'll want about another 10 feet upstream. Be aware of drag setting in when getting away from the main current so try and err back to the right. Let it drift well past and try again. "
" That's a better cast but you're still short. Add another 5 feet next time."
" Good cast. Watch this one, stripping… stripping ….. keep stripping , he's coming off the bottom . HE ATE IT ! "
Wow, the 2019-2020 season will go down as unforgettable for many reasons.
We endured continuous heavy rains throughout November, had a major flood at the start of February and then what ensued from March onwards that abruptly not only shut me but the whole country down is something unprecedented in my lifetime.
BUT, we did get to go out and chase some of the biggest trout we've ever seen and that was excitement and sport of the absolute highest order.
Yes the forecast mice infestation did eventuate and it was widespread. Whereas in the past the NZ Government funded eradication programs have been very successful in eliminating rodents , this past season the results were variable. Not so good for the native birds but the trout thrived from the late night offerings as the mice swam across rivers en mass to source new feed areas.
Mice eating trout do suffer from Gluttony. It may be a deadly sin and perhaps a moniker unwelcome by most, but without a doubt they are gluttons and thankfully for anglers that offers us the opportunity to target them with the chance to catch a fish of a lifetime. Whether or not that actually occurs has a lot to do with the day, the angler and what the fish are doing but the approach itself is consistent. Where the angler and guide must be at their best, no room for error, a super stealthy approach, knots perfect and fly choices considered and then considered again.
Still vivid in my mind from one day mid summer are the images of a very very large double digit Brown coming to within an inch of a dry fly before refusing it. We then hooked another further into the head of the run that broke the surface, displaying its full girth before the hook simply pulled free. It was larger than the first and all of a sudden in quick succession we were faced with what could have been, x 2.
But putting things into perspective I later got this email from one of the anglers. "Sure appreciated that day I got to fish with you on the …… river. Thanks for giving me a shot at a monster! " .
It's a great reminder to me to never underestimate the value of the pursuit itself. It's not totally dependent on how many or how big the trout is. It's actually the whole experience, from the expectations and excitement before you even arrive in NZ right through to the memories you get to leave with and everything in between. That's what really matters.
Many of the fish this past season were in outstanding condition and their fights as impressive as I've ever seen. Rainbows in the 5-8 pound range that just tore line from reels were abundant and Browns in bigger proportions that displayed just jaw dropping and enduring strength. These were less abundant but they were there for those willing to accept the limited offerings for the chance to tangle with a true behemoth. It certainly was a season for the ages.
Looking forward to the coming Season
Though Covid is still present worldwide, this pandemic will come to an end and what better way to enjoy international travel again than with a trip across the ditch to chase some wild trout with me. The officials are suggesting a target to open the Trans Tasman border in September which would be a real lifeline to my business.
By offering "No Deposit Required for Bookings" you can book with confidence knowing your money is not at risk.
From past experience there will be a carryover of the large trout from this past season into next and in all likelihood with only NZ and Australian anglers permitted to be here it will be something akin to being back in the 1980's, but without neoprene waders. It's worth serious consideration for those even remotely thinking of a trip to NZ , as this scenario is unlikely to repeat.
For those interested I've currently availability in most months . I'd love to see you over here.