A Long and Winding Dusty Road

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Location: Wanganui NZ

A Long and Winding Dusty Road

Post by Whio » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:06 pm

The following are some thoughts I've started putting together for a little project of personal short stories. I trust it will bring a smile for you.

A long hot summer and a ten year-old boy is given a very pre-loved cream fibreglass spinning rod and an even more pre-loved reel from a visiting great-uncle. A small tobacco tin contained a few discarded salmon lures and thus the adventure of a life-long passion for trout hunting was born.

Not long after this event another generous uncle organised a journey into the backblocks of Taihape. The car and caravan were duly packed with necessities for the trip. The destination, a farm bordering the Moawhango River. Uncle had been a roadman in the area some thirty years previously. He had stories of clearing slips armed only with a shovel and being chased by an irate landowner during an illegal hunting escapade.
Leaving the main highway at Taihape, the seemingly endless journey on the dusty, corrugated, snake-like road began. These were the early 1970’s, before commissioning of the Tongariro power scheme saw the Moawhango and other streams diverted with a resulting decimation of fragile fisheries.

After what seemed an eternity the farm was located, caravan parked next to the woolshed and old acquaintances renewed. So began a daily ritual of early rising to walk the dusty road to a steep farm track that led down to the river itself. Only a few hundred metres of water were accessible but this did little to dampen a boy’s imagination and enthusiasm to tame a wild fish among the overhanging willows. The water appeared dark and swift. Just the sort of place any self-respecting trout would chose to hide. However, it was a situation where no amount of enthusiasm was ever going to compensate for a lack of knowledge and skill. Each visit to the hallowed river concluded with the same fruitless result.

Then Uncle announced we were to head off to the fabled Rangitikei River for a day’s fishing to chase fierce, line breaking rainbows of unbelievable proportions. Another long and dusty road trip that seemed to take an eternity ensued. Finally the car drew to a halt next to a bridge over the hallowed Rangitikei. With spinning rods assembled we headed off upstream following a willow lined bank. At one point a small spring tumbled down a six-foot bank into the main river and there where the two waters mixed sat a huge brown trout, probably about four pounds, enjoying the cool spring water inflow. Never one to miss an opportunity, uncle spied a long, dry willow branch that terminated with a convenient fork. Quietly and ever so slowly he lowered the forked end down to the water directly above the quarry. With a sharp jab the fish was pinned to the river bed and began thrashing wildly. All too soon its bid for freedom was won as it darted off to the safety of deeper waters.

Spurred on by the excitement of seeing such a fish, we made our way to a gravel beach where a shallow run emptied into a deep turquoise pool at the base of a high cliff. With spinning gear in hand we began lobbing small green and gold Veltic spinners into the head of the pool. Then bang, my line tightened, there was a splash as the fish erupted from the water on the far side of the pool. With heart pounding and no understanding of what to do next I tried winding the fish to the bank. My heart sank, as the preloved reel revealed just how preloved it was. The worn gears bound tightly under the load and panic set in. Nothing for it but to start walking back up the beach, dragging all 12 inches of fish to the bank. I could see the small rainbow, now flapping on the stones at the water’s edge. Placing the rod to the ground I raced to retrieve the prize, only to see it disappear with a splash as I made it to the riverside. My heart sunk, devastated at the loss of my first trout. The scene replayed over and over as my mind devised plans of what to do next time to overcome the misgivings of that tired, preloved reel. I never did get the chance to try those plans but the experience did motivate me to save my hard earned paper-round money to buy the latest Diawa spinning reel.

Some of my life I spend fly fishing, the rest I just waste!

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Location: Wellington

Re: A Long and Winding Dusty Road

Post by OneHairyArm » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:08 pm

Nice Dave,

Where it all began huh?


"If you want to catch beasts you don't see everyday.
You have to go places quite out of the way.
You have to go places others can't get to.
You have to get cold, and you have to get wet, too" Dr Seuss.

Sick of Sinkers
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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:43 pm

Re: A Long and Winding Dusty Road

Post by Sick of Sinkers » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:02 am

lol..... come on my friend tell the truth, did you travel there and back by horse and cart :D :D :D :D

12"............ about the size you were hauling out one after another at my spot our last meeting :D and could you have a female present as a witness please next time.....so we know its a genuine 12" :D :D :D :D :D

right im running late now to busy on here poking the shit, im outa here off for a veni hunt :D

Lincoln Tayler
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Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:17 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: A Long and Winding Dusty Road

Post by Lincoln Tayler » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:36 am

You have talent! Great article!

Junior contributor of onlinecasinoguide.co.nz

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