I tried, unsuccessfully, to make contact with Mark before heading that way earlier this week. The weather was a bit dodgy so I only stayed a couple of nights. In that time I restricted myself to the obvious and easily accessible water, but it certainly warrants another visit, some time...Matty D tells me i can trust ya so here is my big fish water spot when you are heading that way. It is public acsess but you very rearly see anyone there so if you could just keep it under your hat please
Go to goggle earth punch in....[DELETED]. A little village with the [DELETED] rive r(my summer base). It has fish up to 9lbs but they are very cunning.
Mark (Sick of Sinkers)
I arrived and set up camp mid afternoon, with just enough time to walk down the road for twenty minutes or so and fish back up to the campsite in the late afternoon sun. I have to confess that stretch didn't seem very promising. I only spotted one fish, in the first pool I came to, and although it was very actively feeding, it steadfastly refused to even inspect my varied offerings.
The best thing was that it appeared to be unspookable - it just kept moving around its territory feeding deep, feeding just under the surface and occasionally making delicate sips from the top. My favourite general terrestrial pattern was completely ignored, a wee deer hair emerger was completely ignored, a variety of nymphs made no discernible impact whatsoever. In the end I left him to it and decided to look for new challenges further on. Alas, none were to be found and I arrived back at my tent a little perplexed!
Next day the weather was overcast and a bit threatening: there had been light rain on the tent in the night. I set off down the road again, this time walking almost to the road end to open up a full day's fishing back up to where I had got in the night before. The river alternated between long shallow glides and languid, mirror surfaced, pools, occasionally ruffled by the intermittent upstream breeze. It wasn't long before I started spotting fish. They fell into three categories: those which spotted me about the same time I spotted them - gone; those which allowed me the privilege of making one cast before they disappeared in similar fashion; and those which obligingly hung around (like the one the night before) feeding actively but seemingly oblivious to anything I drifted past them. I was seriously disappointed that they were not looking up for terrestrials, despite the deafening racket created by the local cicada population.
Here's one spotted but not spooked and not cast to. Any suggestions on how to fish to that?
Success eventually came with my usual little nymph fished without an indicator. I'm sure it was a perfect illustration of the principle that presentation is more important than pattern. While I have confidence in my little nymph it was also completely ignored until I managed (perhaps with the unwitting assistance of the breeze) to land it with a bit of slack line to enable a natural drift.
Over a stretch of about 5km I spotted 20+ fish, some of which appeared truly prodigious. In the end I only managed to deceive and land two: one of 6lb and this one of 5.5lb.
I arrived back at the tent late afternoon as the sun showers that had threatened all day began to thicken. In spite of the threat I went for a walk up one of the two tributaries that entered near my camp site. It was beautiful water, which reminded me of some of my favourite Wellington region streams. Unfortunately, it appeared to be barren and, as its gorgy nature became more and more difficult, I bailed out and headed back to the tent to put my feet up.
The weather forecast had indicated a greater risk of rain as the week progressed. There was more rain that night and I was tempted simply to pack up next morning and head home. While I was having breakfast things cleared enough for me to decide to have a look up the other tributary, this one on the true left. A beautiful stream with deep pools enclosed under a bush canopy, it too reminded me of previous haunts. This time there was the added bonus of fish!
Approaching the tail of one pool there was a lovely fish swinging gently mid pool feeding actively on nymphs. Again, as the cicadas were in high chorus, I couldn't resist trying my favourite terrestrial pattern one more time. Again, it was ignored!
What did become evident, however, was that there were two fish in the pool. One slightly further upstream and nearer the rock wall defining the pool. It rose gently to take something off the surface. Perhaps a little Adams Irresistible might do the trick? Alas, it too proved completely resistible! Back to the nymph.
I settled down to change my fly and by the time I looked up again the first fish had disappeared! Ah, well, there's still one to tempt!
I'm just a beginner at fishing nymphs without an indicator, having only attempted it for the first time this season. I haven't yet learned to judge the drift of my fly with any confidence. So, after one cast, when that fish did make a little move left and when the movement of jaws indicated something had been intercepted, it wasn't with any real conviction that I lifted my rod tip. But the line pulled up taught and it turned out my little nymph was neatly embedded right in the tip of the top jaw. Another dogged fight ended with a good fish of 6lb subdued, photographed and returned to fight another day.
Progressing up that stream got more and more difficult and, already wet from wading the tail of a couple of pools, I decided to call it a day. I headed back to the tent, quite satisfied, and packed up for the return home.
Perhaps next time I'll.....