Jack Kos – Daytrippin’ the backcountry
I’ve been unusually altruistic of late. The last couple of times I’ve been fishing the day’s aims had nothing to do with me catching a fish. Today’s goal was to get Ryan a new PB, preferably over 5lbs. Well I’m pleased to say we succeeded…twice.
Preparations began the night before. I knew it was going to be a big day, so heaps of food was required.
Sausage, avocado and cheese. They were remarkably hard to finish.
It had to be an early start, after all it was going to be a big day. Picked Ryan up at 5am and hit the road with a vengeance. A long drive followed by an equally long walk saw us arrive to a slightly swollen and coloured river. I was nervous. Thankfully all nerves were quashed when less than 10 metres from where we set up our kit a fish rose and took off the surface. Righto Ryan, no pressure. And what do you know… first cast of the day in a river renowned for fickle fish and the tinny bastard hooks up. The fish fought pretty damn hard, but eventually it succumbed to the pressure and I got the net underneath it. Not a moment too soon either, as the fly pinged out as it thrashed around in the net.
A new PB. Strangely dense fish this one, we had to check the reading on the net several times before we believed it.
Who’s lookin’ at ya?
A little further upstream I had a rise to my blowfly humpy from a very nice fish, but sadly the strike didn’t stick. This was to be a bit of a theme for the day, as I hooked four to land only one. Ryan on the other hand had two strikes and two fish. A little further upstream we came across a long segment of broken water. I said something about skipping it and walking further up to Ryan, and almost immediately spotted a fish. It examined practically every fly in the box, before finally taking a deviant variation of the secret fly in some very heavy water. Ryan did well to control this fish, as the water was little more than a succession of rapids. Following a fairly aggressive netting job by myself this fellow was in the net…
Despite looking bigger than the first fish it in fact weighed less. Still above the desired 5lb mark though.
By this stage I was pretty pleased with how Ryan had fared, so thought I’d better actually catch a fish myself (the three hooked and lost fish were just practise sessions…honest). I spotted a great fish sitting just behind a large pale piece of bedrock. As I waited for Ryan to retie his tippets and catch up I watched the fish. Rise. Rise. Rise. Ah, a small klinkhammer should do the job. And it did. For the 3 seconds that the fish was hooked. Oh well… About 20 metres further upstream feeding in a pocket behind a large rock was what appeared to be a fairly average looking fish. Wrong. Second drift past it with the mighty blowfly humpy and it came over to slurp it in. What then proceeded was a fantastic aerial display really informing me just how far from average this fish was. Bastard, this really put the nerves up as I’d already lost 3 fish that day. However this time the hooks held (finally!!) and I managed to guide a cracker brownie into the waiting net.
Relief at finally catching a fish. Not a bad fish either….
Yeah, I was pretty pleased with this one.
That proved to be it on the fish front. We had a lot more chances, but by that stage the wind had come up and the spirit had dampened. We’d got what we wanted from the trip. It was a longer walk back than we’d thought, and it was two utterly exhausted lads that finally reached the car. A quick stop on the way home for a big burger and chips (plus the obligatory red bull…), and then finally home. The couch has rarely felt so inviting.
This’ll be my last post for a couple of weeks. No, not because I have exams or can’t go fishing or anything like that. Rather the opposite. On Wednesday Andrew and myself embark upon a 10 day odyssey chasing big browns around the south island. We have a vague idea as to where we’ll end up, but it’s all weather dependent. One thing is for sure…it’s going to be a big one. If I get a chance to upload a few photos from an internet cafe while we’re on the trip then I’ll do so, otherwise look out for some great reports once the trip is over.