We sat around the fireplace on Saturday night. Andy had brought his mate Connor, and Connor's girlfriend around to Karl's place, where Tim, Jase, Karl and I were staying. The Black Piranha was snugged up in her crate. Each of us had fished different areas of the river during the day, and with the exception of Jase each of us had been 'jumped' on the river (anglers entering the water ahead of an angler already fishing up or down) or subjected to lack of etiquette during the day, and we were regaling.
But still, it was an awesome day, with fish hooked, caught, lost or landed. At one point I'd run into Tim and Karl on the track who were accompanied by Grieg who I'd not seen for years and Brent who I'd not met before, when wandering down the track came Andy and his mate Charles who again I'd not met before. Charles is married to legendary fly angler April Vokey and is a mean angler in his own right. We all carried spey rods and it was quite a wee gathering! I'd noticed in the car park that my truck had a flat tyre developing and didn't think much of it other than I'd need to change the tyre before changing locations.
I'd been at the bottom of the run I was fishing when Jase had called me and told me that he'd had a big brown smack his fly and not hook up and I was on my way up to see him when the gathering of long rodders had occurred.
That morning we'd started off early enough to be the second car into the Blue Pool car park and shortly after a van rolled in and 2 young guys got out. I wandered down to the river where Layla deposited herself at the head of the lower pool run, which is pretty neat swinging water. The first bloke who had arrived before us was landing a fish on nymphing gear in the upper pool as I started down. Soon one of the van guys came down (I'll call him blondie) and asked what my intentions were so I said "Yup I'm fishing the run down". Shortly after, he and his mate came down from the car park and disappeared behind the bushes. They re-appeared at the bottom of the run and began to rig nymphing gear. My heart began to beat faster and my blood pressure rose... especially when blondie approached the water half way down the run I was already fishing. I called out "hey bro, I'm fishing that water!" and again when he seemed to not hear. The second time he got the message and scuttled off with his mate. I set about my work and soon had a massive hit that caused the reel to shriek and a good sized fish cart-wheeled across the water before the hook was thrown. I soon had a few more hits and hookups and landed some really nice fish.
After the call from Jase I wandered up and crossed the tail of the Sand Pool to work my way down to my mate. He showed me some photos of a massive brown that he'd come across and we made our way back across and up to the Reef Pool for a fish. Soon I landed another fish that I called for a brown as it simply shook its head, but then a recently spawned but still silver rainbow appeared and was banked.
|Dog's day out|
Jase took off downstream and I moved down shortly to find him talking with Andy & Charles in the Blue Pool tail. Andy and I sat on the bank as Jase and Charles swapped gear and began blasting out casts, it was great to watch! It was nearing midday as we returned to the car park where my now fully flat tyre was replaced after a bit of fiddling and some assistance from the lads.
The rest of the day was pleasant as we wandered the almost deserted middle river. Late afternoon found me in one of our favourite pools where I managed to pull 5 fish in the head before Jase joined me and soon landed a big bugger of his own. I manahed a few more hits and 2 further fish as the sun dropped, and as the air cooled and we decided that a full unbroken day on the river was done.
Later that evening we'd eaten goose burgers and fries before being joined by Andy & Connor to watch the rugby. Our comparison of rude bastard notes left me feeling not so bad - Tim for example had a guy walk in on him and stand pretty much halfway between him and where he was casting to! Karl had had something similar happen and Andy just shook his head as he recounted his experience. With 2 visiting angling clubs plus a town full of guys with rods there was bound to be some pressure on the pools.
Early the following morning I was pretty careful on the drive back to town as my spare tyre isn't exactly laden with tread and it was raining. At the tyre repair shop the guy asked if I had any enemies? "Why?" I asked..."because there were 2 screws and a nail in that tyre". Yup, those bastards in the property maintenance van who'd tried to jump me had left some presents in the tyre for me.....