The duck season is just around the corner, and yesterday was the official mark up day where stakeholders are able to claim their spot by "pegging"/"marking"/"tagging", which involves nailing your stand claim to your spot by 10am on the given day. This in turn allows you to have first dibs on the spot on any given day, even if someone who is not the holder turns up prior to 7.30am, the legally tagged up hunter has first rights. After 07.30, any licensed holder is able to set up.
The previous year's stakeholder is able to tag his pond earlier than the allotted day and time, just as long as it is done on time.
Dad and I got down to the ponds early on Good Friday and found what we'd been told about; a crew has blocked our main dam with sand [mud] bags in the belief that the water flowing over the weir affects their water levels. As someone once said "... you're a special kind of stupid aint you?" but if they believe water flows uphill, then so be it. Blocking the weir wont affect the water levels 5kms away. Just another job to extract the bags and refill the hole they made.
We pushed ducks off the ponds as we travelled, clearing fallen willows and arriving at our recently constructed new maimai, which we painted and then wired up for dressing next weekend.
Having a good season or trip is all about the preparation, which is half the fun anyway. The Christmas Island trip is drawing closer, and between Coch and I we've tied over 400 flies. As a guy I know said to me "don't listen to people who fish Aitutaki when they scoff at how many flies you take, they don't know anything. You'll get dozens of shots a day and will lose flies hand over fist".
We've found the Tacky fly boxes to be excellent, tough and with silicone slots they have better holding grip than foam slots like C&F's.
Still a few slots to fill but the pressure's off with the backbone of the tying broken.
Things that still need doing:
1. Brush up the maimais
2. String up the nets for the boat
3. Get flylines, flats boots and drybag sorted for CXI
...... all this prep never ends.