I have been in New Zealand for around 9 weeks now, you would be forgiven for asking what took me so long to catch my first trout…. the reasons are varied and abundant but can probably be summed up with a simple “been bogged down by uni work!” Also the fact that it is winter and sometimes the weather doesn’t quite play ball the way I’d like it too.
A number of weeks ago I had one half hearted trip to a stocked reservoir near where I am living but it was more just a nice walk than anything. Stocked fishing is not where my heart lies and it was a bright sunny day on a reservoir with high banks….. ok, ok I realise I am just making excuses now!
On with the real story! Last week saw the mid semester break at uni and I travelled around the South Island with 3 other friends, we basically drove around the coast of the island taking in as many sights and activities as possible. The highlights of the trip for me was without question doing a bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge and obviously the fishing success!
Bungy jumping is really great fun, if you get the opportunity – do it! A few days after our visit to Queenstown, which also saw a trip on the Shotover Jet – another excellent experience incidentally, we arrived at some lakes in the Southland region. I don’t want to name any places specifically regardless of how well known they may or may not be, just to be sure not to open the potential for abuse of information on the web. The lakes provided lovely scenery, a great campsite, an interesting experience with a roaring campfire with snow on the ground and finally some excellent fishing.
The weather that greeted us as we tried to fish was driving rain and gale force winds. I setup with a #9wt rod and sinking line and it was still a formidable effort to get a nice cast out. I tackled up with a smallish zonker styled streamer and proceeded to work the water where the river entered the lake. I worked around the drop off and 3rd cast I was into my first wild rainbow! What a lovely fish, not a biggy but it put up one heck of a fight even if it was a bit one sided on the #9wt! This fish was taken for the pot and was absolutely delicious, baked in butter and a wee bit salt and pepper.
Later in the day I decided to fish a different section where I managed to pick up a further two rainbows, a smaller one and my biggest trout to date; 3lbs of pure wild rainbow! A gorgeous looking fish, the photo does not do its colours justice. He put up some fight, taking a good number of minutes to land.
It was nice to get into my first fish in New Zealand and also tick wild rainbows off my to do list – I wonder what the next fishing adventure will be? I am thinking of a lake much close to home this weekend.
A wee taster pic from the delights we were treated to: