Back and into it...

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Posts: 42
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 11:41 pm

Back and into it...

Post by icthusiast » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:16 pm

Some of you may remember that just on three years ago I packed up, with my wife, and headed off to live and serve in South Africa for a time. That time has now come to an end and I'm back and into it...

We arrived back in NZ just in time to spend Christmas with our kids in Wellington and then headed off to Christchurch to catch up with wider family. Of course, I had traveled with a bit of gear and was keen to get back out on the water. It was great to be back in beautiful places but the only fish I managed to catch was with a lens!

One of Christchurch's many spring creeks...

...and what you might find there.

A fantastic Canterbury day: the single solid hook up and the subsequent bust off will linger long in the memory!!!

We are now back in the greater Wellington area and settled back on familiar turf. I have been enjoying catching up with one or two mates, visiting one or two old haunts and getting acquainted with one or two of the current residents.

A beautiful spot...

...and some more beautiful spots!

We had some amazing experiences and saw some wonderful sights in Africa but there's nothing quite like the glories of Aotearoa New Zealand!

Its stunning scenery is to be found everywhere, both above...

...and below the water.

Today's expedition, on a gloriously fine day, was to another familiar location. The first fish spotted was feeding actively, using a convenient rock as a chin rest. I was rigged with a small nymph and indicator but, as I approached with caution, it gently rose to suck down a floating morsel. I retreated to change to a small Adams Irresistible, which had already proved itself (with the fish above) a week or so earlier. I reminded myself to check my knots as I moved back into position and, eventually, relocated the target - it had abandoned its chin rest and was on the move a bit lower down the pool. It turned obligingly and as it came back up I managed to drop my fly into its window. The exquisitely slow and gentle take was followed, after a short pause, by the set of the hook,... a powerful surge in response to the unexpected tether... and then... sickening slackness as the recently checked knot failed the only test that really mattered!!! Aaaargh!!!

Of course one must be philosophical: one does not need to land a fish, it is the moment of deception that really counts.

Yeah right! Where's the next one?!!!

The next one was a little further up the pool. It cruised downstream out of the shadows - inspecting the lower end of its beat perhaps - and then sauntered back up towards the deeper part of the pool. My efforts to get a second Adams Irresistible into its path were frustrated by the variable breeze (and my inept casting!) and it disappeared into the shadows again. Never mind... I'll wait...

But it was a no show! Perhaps it has moved further up? I moved up, well back from the edge, and sure enough it was hovering over the shallows above the drop off into the pool. I stealthily crept into position for the cast and... it headed off downstream again! No problem,... I'll follow it down until it turns and have crack as it repeats its earlier saunter back upstream. Well, that was the plan, anyway...

But,... it just kept on going... drifted over to the far side of the pool... and disappeared under the shadowy bank. Patience... patience...

Sure enough, it reappeared but... hang on,... there are two of them... The slow motion game of chasing hustled one of them (presumably the one I had followed down) back upstream and the chaser disappeared back into the far shadows and,... what's that... a third fish with it!

I was going to follow the one back upstream,... but memories of this spot include fish coming out of the shadows to take a clumsily delivered 'cicada' pattern. To be fair there has been very little cicada song in this neck of the woods but there were a few out today and what self respecting fish could possibly refuse a big summer meal??

Out went the Black Foam Terrestrial... nothing! Get it a bit further over... and, yes... the tension rose as a sleek figure emerged out of the shadows and, with energy expenditure at an absolute minimum, slid towards my offering, slowly, ever so slowly, raised its upper jaw and unsuspectingly sucked in the hidden danger.

No dodgy knots this time. No suddenly slack line. The brief battle of wills: red muscle against orange flesh, flank and forked tail against rod and arm. There is no mistake this time. There was the net, the photograph, the release. Magic!



It's Waitangi day and the swimmers start to arrive and walk up through 'my' pool and on to the pools above. Never mind. I can head home satisfied with my moments alone in this paradise of bush, crystal clear water and obliging fish.

All the best

Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:30 pm

Re: Back and into it...

Post by Maniototoflyfisher » Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:11 am

Welcome home!! Keep those photo essays coming - maybe we could have a rule that if we don't provide at least one PE a season we're kicked off the forum 😜 - would make it a more interesting and busier forum - now, where's my camera......

Posts: 114
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 3:44 pm

Re: Back and into it...

Post by Jaapie » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:41 am

Welcome back Garth.

Glad you made it through time in Africa -
It's a different beauty, but probably not where you were doing your work.

Great photo's and narrative.

Erik Moller
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed May 14, 2014 8:03 am

Re: Back and into it...

Post by Erik Moller » Fri Feb 07, 2020 9:48 pm

Thanks for that icthusiast :)

Great to see a fishing report again.
Very good read, and a fine example of how you can write an interesting and entertaining report without mentioning river names or specific locations.

Good on you

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Location: Methven NZ

Re: Back and into it...

Post by Steve » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:03 am

Welcome back Garth! And thanks for the post!

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