View Full Version : An email to a friend , Going back 8 or 9 years

01-23-2011, 01:17 AM
Hi, I hope your life is grande , and a bit fishy at times.
I had a superb trip last week. My friend Wayne and I drove up to the roadside hut where the trail begins, on Tuesday morning. Luckily he wanted to leave late ( 8.00a.m.), because I was behind with my tying, and that gave me an extra hour or so to catch up. ( fresh flies work better ! ). One rear retread decided to commit suicide about halfway there, that delayed us for a short time at the tourist town fitting a replacement , ( I actually have two spares, but in my wisdom, didn`t bring the second one ), otherwise an uneventful trip. Wayne is nearly finished a P.H.D., so we had some pretty serious intellectual conversations over the week, mostly relating to character assassinations, deviant sexual practices, and vulgar bodily functions, not to mention the up coming war, environmental concerns, and politics. All in all it was shaping up as a normal week long fishing trip, minus any booze.
The walk in was long enough , about the end of the third hour, my decrepit body started to complain under the strain of a 30kg load, fortunately the Lake was only another hour of mostly flat walking. The meanest part of the trip ,climbing the Pass, was done in pleasant overcast and cooling drizzle, otherwise during the entire 5 day trip, the weather was PERFECT, with only light winds. The scenery up there is great, typical rough grazing, with patches of Beech, scree and rocky bluffs under snow on the highest peaks. We set up camp , one tent each, in a glade over looking the Lake. This sheltered position has been our choice on several other trips, and over time various items have been secretly stowed in the Beech forest, mostly when Wayne has been in on Fish and Game business by 4.w.d. As it had been 4 years since my last visit I could not find the extra fuel I left, but Wayne did recover a full bottle of Red Wine, that had evaded capture for four years, very nice too ! We tested the waters of the Lake late in the afternoon, several typical 1 to 2 lb. browns came in, during a rushed recognisance of the north end, not as naive as one would expect in such a remote location either. Sleep came easy that night , although I suffered some sciatica discomfort after the effects of exhaustion wore off. That load had reorganised my lumbar region
Day two saw the dynamic duo slit up , Wayne , who really only fishes about twice a year and does it quite well incidentally, choosing the Lake, while the fish-hog went for glory in the River.The access point on the river divides up what is the better part of the water in two , about a good greedy days worth in either direction. I went up. My overly bushy cicada cost me the first fish, then it was a long time to the next undisturbed fish. This day there was no action, bug wise and the trout keep in under the overhangs, or lay in low energy spots away from the classic lies, making finding fish , as opposed to fish finding me, difficult. Two fish broke cover under my feet, one settling quickly, a function of regular cattle disturbances I assume, and was taken on a short downstream drift about 10 casts later, definitely not according to the Text Book on back country trout, who`s complaining about compliant behaviour, 7.25 lb. Onwards to more typical luck, a fish off the high bank not doing much, so I slid down behind him, there was one little piece of matagouri hanging over the water at this spot,and you guessed it , another fish moved out from under it. One closely inspected drift of the cicada, and the lower fish slowly and infuriatingly swam up and spooked my target.On his new lie across the river he ( probably a she on reflection ) became even more picky and left town after I made a few choice offers. Upstream I failed on two more sensitive sitters, each cast and each new fly increasing the suspicion level until the big dark shapes slowly moved to invisible places. Heading down I met the " she" fish again, this time a 3 metre dash for the same nymph rejected earlier, some how the mouth hook-up ended up as a foul about 10 seconds later . 5 pools downstream I lasso netted a 9lb.+ dream fish as it snaked down another shallow riffle.The long extending net was invaluable , I could not force these fish anywhere on the 5x tippet I used, the only chance of netting them was by getting ahead as they slid down shallow riffles, or plan B throw the net over the top of them like a lasso, either way the extra reach of this net was essential. Back at the first fish of the day another two takes, no connection, you couldn`t say that fish didn`t give me a chance. Then I found the other fish in that pool ,disturbed earlier. One non connection on the bushy Cicada ( I figured it out a bit later , slow but I caught on eventually ), then a hook up on a # 16 nymph. Imagine a hook that size in a big bony 8lb fish gob, need I say more, brief . A beautiful and philosophical walk back to the lake for a couple of normal fish in the dramatic late afternoon light, and a pleasant evening at camp, but more broken sleep
Day three, Wayne choose to climb a small mountain , and only lake-fished late in the day, with success. Meanwhile the by-now psychotic fish-hog, was in need of more big trutta fixes. Sneaking along the high banks on the way downstream I disturbed 3 reasonable sized wild pigs.I could have easily shot any of them as they stood and watched me from the edge of the bush line only 25 metres away. Obviously there hasn`t been much warfare between man and pig in that area .Forget the pigs , a nice fish is seen over the bank nearby. One cast of the trimmer cicada later, and the connection is secured.Some serious manoeuvring occurs and dreams turn to reality, the heaviest trout of my fish crazed life, just over 9.5lb. The day sort of went typically, some fish were too smart ( or the angler was too stupid ), and some were not. A 6.5 fouled from a backwater (bloody sardines ! ), a 7.25 slab, disturbed but quickly settled, taken from just above with a downstream nymph. 8lb of perfection on a parachute, a backwater sipper, a similar 6.5lb. piece of perfection from another backwater , and finally a feisty 5lb. sea run fish that just gave me arseholes on a #16 nymph. That almost made up for a much larger fish that pulled off the same tiny nymph earlier in the day, ( I must tie some small bodied nymphs on larger gape hooks) .At this point I reached a balance between, lust and satisfaction and just walked by about the last kilometre of water , climbed out of the valley of dreams for the last time , and sort of floated along the track back to camp.That night sleeping more soundly ,I missed our first possum raid. They came in from the north about 2 a.m. licked the shit out of my cup, the one you gave me last weekend, did some pukey messy stuff on my light weight bread board, tipped out a pot of water that had been left to cool for the next days milk powder, and ran off with the detergent bottle, which, according to Wayne, who did wake up and chase off the intruders twice, they then proceed to chew up from a safe distance.So that's why Wayne put HIS gear away each night,(slow but I caught on eventually), at least he told me about the cup before my morning coffee ritual.
Day four was lake fishing day for the Duo, I went clockwise he went anti-clockwise. A tough start with dead calm and lots of shadow, plenty of fish cruising the edges, mostly taking midge. Slowly I put up a decent score, (it was my intention this day to get a NUMBER of fish ) on the midge at first, then I just got rejected every way I went. A green Cicada hit the drink , lasted 5 seconds ( slow but I caught on eventually) mystery solved. From then on and right through the hot calm afternoon the fish committed suicide regularly , that's despite the surface water being luke warm . Put my now very trim deer hair cicada away for the final time at 5.00 pm, 21 residents traumatised, another lousy day in paradise !
Day five. Pack and prepare to suffer the climb out. Say good-bye to the bush robin that followed our every move in camp each day, while Wayne catches a keeper for carrying out. Then it is the walk out . Just about at the first serious climb and I decide Wayne`s 3 hour solo exit record can stay unchallenged, all I want to do is actually make it.Well I did of course, but I really struggled up the steep part of the pass, one zig and half a zag at a time.Coming down the other side nearer to the car and a cookie time cookie in the glove box it all came right again. the first sight of those pylons and you have hit civilisation and an undisturbed car, that actually starts. It seems weird to be inside a moving vehicle , sitting on a padded seat. The Tourist Town was packed full of culture shockers.' Hey you suckers, get a life, I`ve just been to heaven for five days !! '.