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A holiday fishing revival, of sorts...

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:14 pm
by icthusiast
I haven’t been much of a contributor to the forum in the last few years. Since moving to Hamilton in 2012 (and having a little bleat about my inability to find anything but 2lb rainbows) my fishing time has been pretty limited. In fact, in the last 12 months I’ve probably spent more hours on a golf course than on the water!

However, the first camping holiday in a couple of years has remedied that somewhat. Ten days in a camping ground by a river was just what was needed. I had free licence (if not enthusiastic encouragement) to get out of the tent early in the morning and not come back! Well, at least not until rest of the family had got their day properly under way – you know, not before 11am, and preferably later!

We were camped by a delightful lowland river that held a pretty good population of feisty rainbows. There were some lovely pools under the willows…


There were some good stony runs with exquisite eyes up each side; there were some challenging back waters and the occasional pocket or hole that held five or six fish, all feeding actively. The first time I came to the spot below there were at least four good fish under the little 'window' arrowed on the left and another good one under the seam arrowed on the right.


Fish landed ranged from 1.5lb to 5lb. I was obviously out of practice because I dropped plenty and had a few problems timing the strike when they took the Irresistible Wulff indicator. But well-conditioned fish in reasonably fast flowing water made for some exciting fishing. The best was this hard fighting rainbow of 5lb.


The most exciting aspect for me, from a fishing point of view, was the little spring creek which entered about an hour’s brisk walk up river from our campsite. Someone had told me about it when we first camped at this location a decade ago. I had found it that year at the end of a long day on the river and hadn’t had time to explore it further. I’m not sure if it can be accessed more easily than my long walk, but this year the fish did not seem to have seen an angler for a while: they were pretty forgiving as I put multiple casts over them.

The first fish I found was actively feeding subsurface and, occasionally, rising gently as it swung across its little hole behind a weedy drop off. I failed to entice it with a little dry and then an emerger pattern, so the next option was a little nymph. I decided to bite the bullet and try fishing without an indicator – not something I’ve attempted before. It all happened perfectly – the cast, the drift, the fish moving off its line, the flash of a white mouth, the set of the hook and then the tense fight as I tried to hold it from bolting downstream and under an over-hanging tree. I was very relieved it didn’t go as berserk as the fish in the main river and it was eventually brought to the net. A fantastic moment.

A second rainbow, a short way upstream, took a little Adams Irresistible after ignoring a range of nymphs. So much for cracking the code on the last one!

The last section of the day held two good fish. One was holding in an upstream position, fanning across a weedy drop off to a sandy bottom. The other was moving up and down the glide covering a bit more territory. I eventually managed a take from the second one on a nymph, but the hook pulled fairly quickly. That left the one upstream. A streamside tree prevented me getting too close, leaving me with a long cast – at least by my standards. I was fishing a solo #16 nymph – a favourite tie of my own. Again I responded as it moved off its line – too far back to see the white of its mouth – and was fortunate enough to tighten into a solid, 4.5lb brownie. (Incidentally the only brown I managed to land all holiday!)


It was time to head for home and I returned to the tent a very happy camper.

It’s a bit hard to tell, from Google Earth, how much fishable water there is. Hopefully there will be another day to find out the proper way!

Re: A holiday fishing revival, of sorts...

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:06 pm
by Boisker
Nice report mate, a great way to get back out fishing...
I've never really got golf, tried a few times but the bug didn't bite... It's always seemed like a good way to ruin a good walk, whereas fishing always the way to add to a great walk :D
I hope you get the chance to get out more

Re: A holiday fishing revival, of sorts...

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:15 am
by Wilki
Nice to hear from you Garth, good conditioned fish there and good to here you back at it :D
Look forward to hearing about you next trip to the spring creek and exploring further!!

Re: A holiday fishing revival, of sorts...

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:59 pm
by icthusiast
Boisker wrote:I've never really got golf, tried a few times but the bug didn't bite...
I have seen fly fishing and golf linked together quite frequently in magazine and online articles. I seem to remember Jerry Flay, who used to write "Idle thoughts of an idle editor" in the Fish and Game newsletter, linking the two once. I might make it the subject of a separate post!

I believe it was Mark Twain who described golf as a good walk spoiled. Winston Churchill, on the other hand, described golf as "...a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an ever smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose". Describes my recent experiences pretty well!! :-)