I’ve finally managed to find an internet connection after over 10 days of having nothing but mobile internet and even that was only on the odd occasion. It’s easy to forget just how largely rural and undeveloped most of New Zealand’s South Island is! The title says week one but this is really a recap of the last 10 days or so. It’s been a mix of chill out days, good days and frustrating days but that’s fly fishing for you!
After the last Fiordland trip I spent the next two days away from fishing rather just chilling out and having a bit of general banter with the guys I met up the river. I ended up travelling for a couple of days with Lasse, Ben, Jimmy, Karl and Eric. Day one was off to Milford Sound for a gander, an impressive drive and impressive scenery but it lacks the real awe factor when you have seen it before a few times… I still took plenty of photos mind you. Once Milford was checked off the list it was over to Queenstown for a bender, followed by cliff jumping the next day after much searching as I couldn’t remember where exactly it was located. I did have a good excuse though since the only previous time I had jumped them our group accessed the area by boat, not road! Last time I jumped I had a bit of liquid courage courtesy of James Speight’s, this time however was sober and it definitely puts a little apprehension in your mind before you jump. I’ll post up a video as soon as I get a more reliable internet connection. That night saw another bar visit and then I met up with another trout traveller Ben that morning. I met Ben on a previous trip and then in the bar in Te Anau and we had arranged to meet up to fish for the last couple days of his trip. Ben’s a fellow Scot living in Tasmania and has kindly offered to put me up if I want to fish over there (I’ll check flight prices right now and get them booked!!!) I was planning to meet up with Ronan Creane later that day for a fish and a beer so Ben and I shot off to fish a river for a couple hours before hand. There wasn’t too much to report, a couple of small fish caught and a few big ones spooked – I know where they live now though. Fishing the lake with Ronan was a laugh, I didn’t get anything, well, a follow and a couple of hits to the wooly bugger but Ronan had two, one to the bugger and one to the dry. Very interesting lake, lots of sandflats and shallow weedbeds, I could certainly spend some time there, that’s for sure. If you ever meet Ronan be sure to ask him to tell some stories, he’s got a good few and he’ll keep you entertained!
The following day Ben and I fished a river which was fairly hard going. We saw one fish feeding on the walk up, Ben got himself into position and cast over it. I was filming at this stage and proceeded to shout you need to cast another… and the fish came up and inhaled the fly! I was busy following another white object down the river, I don’t know what it was but it definitely wasn’t Ben’s fly. A nice fish landed, a bit skinny but a nice fish all the same.
Later in the day we found another fish but I won’t tell its story unless Ben wants to chime in, its probably best that remains under wraps!
It was a fairly slow day and like all slow days you feel a little despondent at the end of them, especially on the walk back so you can imagine how our spirits were lifted when we found a feeding fish in a slow section. It was just cruising along the bank periodically rising. I got into position not spooking the fish, peeled some line from the reel and was just about to cast when Ben shouted over, there’s two fish and they’re heading right for you! The fish I was targeting had chosen to chase a smaller fish and they were coming straight for me. You know how this ends 9 times out of 10, they saw me, spooked and that was the end of that chance. Fat luck. The next day I dropped Ben at Christchurch airport and picked up Craig. Everything worked like a well oiled machine if I do say so myself.
Adventures with Craig coming next!