Andrew Hearne – Cheers to the freakin’ weekend!
Last night I got back home from a long weekend over on the West Coast. It was interesting.
I certainly learned some stuff.
- When bush bashing over a gorge it is probably a good idea to pack your polaroids away instead of having them on your head
- Trying to find where you dropped your polaroids in the bush is very difficult / frustrating
- It’s really hard to see into the water without Polaroids
- Always take a spare pair of polaroids with you fishing
- Petrol is more expensive on the Coast
- It is possible for a tree to grow relatively well while collared by a 44 gallon drum
- Sparrows are capable of biting harder than you’d think
That won’t make a lot of sense at this stage, but I’ll try and explain most of it.
Firstly, I decided on Friday night while I was eating my McDonalds that I would try and conquer a gorge the next morning in an attempt to get to the promised land beyond. I was excited by the prospect of fishing a new piece of water which had the potential for some good fishing.
The next morning I woke early and soon after that I was on my way. I arrived at the end of the road at what I thought was the perfect time. I got my gear together and started walking…
After an hour and a half I decided to set my gear up since I was at a nice looking pool. It was overcast, but all was good. There were no fish in that pool. Never mind, I carried on upstream. Soon after that I got to a small gorge. I climbed up and over it through the bush and when I got to the top I felt for my Polaroids. They weren’t there.
I had put them on my head after they began to fog up from all the walking I was doing. Unfortunately they had come off at some stage and I didn’t feel them fall. I retraced my steps back to where I knew I had them last and searched carefully. Still no cigar. Hopefully I would find them on my way back.
I carried on for a couple more hours after this, I didn’t see a single thing and I even managed to fall in the river. After a while I just turned around and left. I made it all the way back to the car without finding my glasses… if anyone is fishing the Coast at any stage and finds a pair of brown Oakley polaroids… well done.
I went back to the bach with my tail firmly between my legs and had a big feed to ease the pain. Sunday saw us heading out for breakfast in the seething metropolis of Greymouth, followed by a search for some replacement polaroids, and then not much for the rest of the day. For the record, finding appropriate fishing polaroids in Greymouth on a Sunday is something you should try to avoid at all costs. I found some at the petrol station in the end, stunning things they are. You’ll see a photo of them soon…
Monday was the day we were to return home, but before that there were some fish to be caught… somewhere.
On the way to the river it became apparent that fuel is rather more expensive than in other parts of the country – as mentioned earlier. This is what I mean…
Definitely more expensive than most places.
Anyway, we didn’t get gas there. I needed all my limbs to aid in my attempt at conquering the wild fish of the West Coast.
We arrived at the river to find it was looking as good as ever. It was probably running slightly higher than I was used to, but it was very clean.
I must mention that I was short on time, so I fished in a rather reckless manner. I just tried to cover as much water as I could in the shortest time possible.
The first run soon yielded victim number 1…
At last, a fish.
I spotted another fish further up the run, which I also hooked briefly before it freed itself. After that it was speed spotting at its finest. I managed to see a couple, but didn’t catch them. The next fish came from a piece of fast water fished blind.
Soon after that and number 3 came along. There was a nice looking piece of structured water running down next to a large boulder. It was the only good looking water around so I cast into it and got the reward.
They were all a bit on the skinny side. But they were willing, which was the most important thing as far as I was concerned.
I briefly hooked a fish further upstream which felt considerably more solid than the ones I’d caught. When it came free I verbalised my disappointment to the world.
It was time to head back to the car soon after. We needed to get back to the bach and tidy it up before going home…
On the way back I noticed a large tree growing out of a 44 gallon drum. I’m not sure about you guys, but I’ve certainly never seen this before…
After the distraction of the tree we carried on. We were nearly at the car, and about to cross a small creek when I spotted a fish. It was holding in the eye of a small pool. Actually, the entire stream was very small.
It responded angrily to my fly plopping into the water upstream of it and wasted no time racing forwards to smash the invader. I responded in kind by setting the hook and initiating what was to become the contest of the day.
This fish just wouldn’t give up. I consider myself to be reasonably proficient at landing fish quickly… however this one didn’t want to play the game. Eventually it came in, and I saw it had a hunched back, just like quasimodo. The hunch certainly didn’t hinder performance though, maybe it just made him angrier? Whatever it was, this freak fought hard that’s for sure.
On the way home we stopped at Arthurs Pass for ice cream. If you haven’t had ice creasm from there… you should. They are huge.
I’m back to work tomorrow… no more fishing for me until Monday! Until next time….