Andrew Hearne – One more bend…
Not long to go now. It’s less than two weeks until the 1st of October. I hope to wake up on Opening Day in a hut far, far away. By then it will be well and truly time for some fresh material to write about!
As long as the weather plays it’s part then this is very much on the cards. Here’s hoping we don’t have a repeat of last years downpour!
This post is about another trip from last season. It is from a day when I went further upstream than I ever had before… hence the title.
My apologies for the lack of photos to go with all the words… I was by myself this day and the camera only came out for fish.
Some of you may remember when in June I wrote about a trip I did to the Nelson area when it rained heavily for most of the time we were fishing? Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you read that or not…
The day after I got back, I woke up the next day to some fine weather and thought I might as well make use it. So I went fishing again.
When I arrived at the river the valley was in full sunshine and no wind. I’d just had a couple of days fishing in what was at times torrential rain, so the weather on this day was a welcome change.
I stopped off at a point where I had fished a couple of times before. I only fished a short stretch but saw two fish in this time. One of them spooked before I could even put anything in front of it, and the other one I hooked briefly before it spat the hook midway through some aerobatics.
After this I decided to head up further and start fishing where I would usually finish a day, out of curiosity as much as anything else.
I caught a fish in the first place I fished… I love it when this happens. I always say that for me fishing isn’t just about catching fish, it’s all about being out and about etc… but lets face it. Catching a fish is infinitely better than not catching one. If I go home at the end of a day having caught a fish, I’m usually a happy man.
After this I wandered happily along the river in the knowledge that regardless of what happened for the rest of the day, I wouldn’t have blanked. That made the fact that I was entering unchartered territory easier too.
Although therer were no clouds or wind, the late season light made spotting far more difficult than it had been only a month or so earlier. I searched run after run without finding anything. I seriously started to wonder if the fishing had run out by now, but pushed on for a bit longer.
After what felt like forever of not seeing anything I came to a nice looking run which was partially shaded in the late afternoon light. I cautiously crept along the true right bank and spotted a really good looking fish holding on the far side of the main current. My heart sped up as I moved into position. I remember shaking as I cast, the flies landed where they were supposed to, and for all I can recall I was probably holding my breath after this as I waited to see what happened.
It seems as though this thing was meant to be… the fish took and my hook connected. My suspicions it was a big fish were confirmed immediately as it erupted from the water in a shower of spray. I could see it had a hefty hump on it’s shoulder and a big jaw.
When it landed back into the water it took off upstream at high speed and went into the rapids at the top of the run. I followed it as quickly as I could and kept the line as short as possible. It went hard into the bank, still in the fast water – I leant on it hard but it wouldn’t move to start with. I changed the rod angle a few times and eventually it started coming towards me. Once I had it turned I managed to draw it closer to safety reassonably quickly and soon had it in the shallows.
I positioned myself in a place where I could net it quickly. I didn’t want this one getting a second chance at freedom!
I left it in the water while I quickly set up my camera. I had recently purchased a wireless shutter release remote. It proved to be well worth having on this day!
I caught some great fish last season, but for me this was the pick of them. I can’t wait for these next couple of weeks to pass so I can get back out there to try and catch some more.