But there's that thing about using 'new' patterns. Your mate has caught hundreds of fish on them, but still that little nagging doubt nibbles at your brain. Can I catch with them? (I mean, of course I can but I don't know that yet).
Another early start. SWMBO is getting used to me waking before the alarm goes, before 4am. Dog is fed. Porridge. Coffee. Into the truck. Dog gets extra sleep on the back seat. We arrive in T town and head straight to the river. Encouraging sign #1, no one else is at the car park. Gear assembled. Brisk walk to the crossing. A chilly wind whips clouds across the sky. Even though its spring now, a system they are calling "the mole from the pole" drags cold air up and across NZ. Layla hunts the scrub and chases down duck scent at the river crossing, where I drag her across to avoid her spilling downstream through the next holding lie. At the entry point she rolls in the sand. On with the leech. I start with an olive body orange bead on an Ahrex #4 barbless. Short line first, swing through the gut. Lengthen to swing the first of the holding lie, nothing, try different drifts (fly side on, or tail on) by mending. I'm almost into the prime water and am swinging into slack current in front of a snag, giving the fly action with rod movement when the fish hits. Airborne, spray flying I glimpse silver as the fish cartwheels towards the bank then runs at me. I'm reeling fast but there's slack in the system and inevitably the hook pulls. Hmm. A few swings later but into the broad choppy part of the run and the line shudders. This time I clearly see a large jack fish, coloured from a few days in the river, take to the air. He jumps and jumps and throws the hook. Too much rod pressure? Apart from another bump, the rest of the run gave nothing up. Telling the dog to stay I jumped in the river to cross the deep channel to a gravel bed below a snag, from where a long cast dropped into deep (snaggy) water under the bank covers the tail out.
Fish hang in the gentler tail out. The water was pretty clear, after the recent rain I'd expected more colour. When the cloud receded, the sun beamed down, not really ideal conditions. The water deepened as the shingle bed fanned out, but from this point coverage of the holding water peaks. The rod shuddered and a fish ran upstream - fast. I stripped running line to maintain control as the fish streaked past me, aiming at the snag upstream. With line on the reel I gave it a bit of jandel and forced her downstream. On the #3 every fight is epic and this one is no different.
Calling Layla to join me on a bar midstream, I swung what could be great holding water if not for the presence of a mess of snags. We worked our way downstream but there were no further rewards. The wind blustered and made casting difficult. At the truck we ate lunch. Layla scoffed some biscuits while I tackled a couple of kransky sausages.
Overlooking the river from the road bridge I watched half a dozen guys hammer arguably the most productive pool on the river. Its a pool not to be missed if you enjoy company!
I decided to spend a couple of hours in the 'town pools;. Arriving at the car park we found a disgusting sight. Well to me, not so much to Layla who was immediately interested - the remains of a skinned and cleaned sheep.
I'll never understand the mentality of some cretins. The Lodge Run was unoccupied so I swung the bucket at the top and then the tail out. No hits.
The Cnut was occupied but to my surprise the Stumpy was devoid of angers. But not of fish! Its such great holding water and the fish will lie both sides of the pool, which spills right to left past a mass of drowned timber. It duly gave up a number of hits through its full length, the leech getting plenty of attention.
|Representative example. Leech in mouth.|
I called it at 3pm, feeling quite chilled in the legs. Leech fly - tested and approved.