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Andrew Hearne – the fish, the wedding, and the little cow.


A few months ago I was informed that Saturday 3rd December was the date set for my sisters wedding in Nelson. No sweat, I’d leave Christchurch on the Thursday, and have a day spare on the Friday before the wedding the next day.

I had to take care of a couple of things first thing on Friday, but after lunch I cunningly suggested an afternoon drive – to a river of all places.What better way to prepare for your sister’s wedding than by looking for a fish or two! Besides, I had just received my new Evolve Tussock XTI boots, I needed to test them out.

After a reasonable drive along a shingle road and a near death experience with an out of control four wheel drive coming the other way, we came to a picnic area. Off we went for a wander down to the water and after a bit of looking I spotted a fish hugging the bottom just out from where we stood on the stones. That was all the prompting I needed to race back to the car and set up my gear. I rigged it up with a Royal Wulff indicator and a brown Caddis nymph with a copper bead as the dropper.

I came up to where I had seen the fish and I couldn’t see it any more. I was worried I had spooked it, but I stood and looked for a while until I spotted it again cruising up along the bottom from downstream. It was pretty deep where the fish was holding, so I threw a cast a reasonable way above the fish which landed in a pile , hoping the nymph would sink quickly.

The first few went untouched, so i moved slightly up and tried another one slightly further into the fast water. I watched as the indicator dry flaoted downstream and when it was directly over the fish I saw it open its mouth. The indicator didn’t move, but I lifted the rod and it was fish on.

It wasn’t very big, but it was a scrapper. It went a bit mental before I managed to get it safely into the net.

When I showed this next picture to my three and a half year old nephew Cameron, he asked me why I had a “Cheeky face” I guess I can’t argue with that.

It wasn’t the biggest fish ever, but I really enjoyed catching this one.

One fish seen for one fish caught. That was fine by me, so we headed back to my sister’s place.

The next day I was charged with the responsibility of driving one of the wedding cars – a 196o something Chevrolet Caprice… I didn’t have a problem with that at all… but I never considered the possibility of the steering wheel being on the wrong side. I’d never driven anything with the steering wheel on the left, so I had a practise run in the morning. It turned out to be pretty easy in the end and I managed to get us all there safely later that afternoon.

The wedding went smoothly and the next day was spent catching up with a few mates before heading back home on Monday after lunch. There had been a lot of rain fall on Sunday, and all of the rivers we passed on the way home were either very high or in flood. Not a good sign for my scheduled two days of fishing starting the next day… but more on that later.

On the way through I needed to make a pit stop at Murchison. There was a friendly wee calf in a small paddock next to the road across from where we stopped. I’m pretty sure it was keen to eat my arm.

I’ll try and get another trip report up in the next couple of days. I’m back to work for a few days again starting tomorrow, then I’m off to Auckland for the Foo Fighters concert next week. I have a few more days off after I come back, so hopefully the weather allows me to get out for some more fishing.

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