It’s been an interesting few days, that’s for sure. Here’s the opening image, I’ll let you have a guess to see if you know where this is going…
In the past 3 days I’ve fished three different rivers, all of completely different character. The first was a deep, slow moving, peat stained water where I had to cast to rising fish as my guide. The second was a fast flowing river, coming through a gorge, with a mix of pools so deep you couldn’t see the bottom and nice runs and glides. The water here was fairly clear but not clear enough to spot fish successfully when at water level. Today’s river was crystal clear, flowing over a rock and stone bed and winding it’s way through grazing country. Tomorrow I may fish one of its gorges.
Now here’s the problem. In these three days there’s only been one fish landed. What?! I know, it’s a fairly abysmal record and I’m slightly ashamed to post it on the web but I feel I have to as I’m sure there’s a common problem (and no, it’s not me!) Day one I rose about 20 fish to a beetle pattern, of these I missed 2 and the rest were hooked and lost or felt weight on the strike and then nothing. These were mainly small fish in the region of 1.5lb to 3lb at a max I would say. Day 2 had some bigger fish and this time I had exactly the same scenario with 6 fish being hooked and lost within the first 4 seconds on the fight. The only difference here was I was using a cicada pattern instead.
The only thing I can find in common is that the two flies used are shop bought flies, from different shops I may add but they seem to have the same common flaw – the hook gape is far too small for the size of the fly. It didn’t occur to me until I sat down after both these disappointing days but this may explain why the hookhold appears to have been so poor. Moral of the story – tie your own! I certainly doubt if I’ll bother with shop bought flies again, I might be doing myself out of any promotions or deals in the future but hey this experience is enough for me to want perfect function everytime. One lost fish is too many when it needn’t happen. I don’t usually bother with shop bought flies but I had a couple in my box and my tying was a little behind on creating the stocks, guess what I’m doing tomorrow morning?!
Anyway enough ranting. Today’s fishing was bloody hard. Gorgeous, clear water river and about 5 or 6 big fish spotted. One was probably the longest trout I’ve seen in NZ, about the length of my arm! Hard to guess the weight but it was huge. Had my jaw dropping. The fish were so spooky though, more so than any I have seen. I did see footprints beside the river so I just wonder how long before me someone had fished it. I didn’t even manage a cast at a single fish. The two I had a crack at, I got myself into position without spooking them, ready to cast from about 40′ below and slightly off to the side when they turned downstream to chase something only to spot me and then bolt off…typical! The other fish were spooked before I could get near them. Very tempted to go back tomorrow, I met a few anglers about the fish for the evening further up so I may try and get above them and give it a crack. I reckon the average size of the fish today was 5-6lbs with a few certainly bigger, one much bigger. The biggest dilemma now is I have so many options of where to fish, what a problem to have eh?
The weather forecast is for the high pressure, blue skies and sunshine to continue for another week. Ahhhh.