Fly-fishing naturally lends itself to the setting of goals, be it catching a trophy, catching ten fish in a day or catching a fish from a particular location. My personal goals always seem to involve size (insert inappropriate comment here), although there have been a couple of cursed rivers where, despite the fact that everyone else catches fish there, I never have. One of these is the Otukaikino Stream below Dickey’s road bridge, and the other is the Hutt River. It’s fair to say that both of these rivers get hammered, but I like to think a little voodoo magic is to blame for my lack of success. Well, I’m pleased to say that in the last month I have crossed both of these goals off my list.
A few weeks back Andrew sent me a text asking if I fancied going for a quick photo session down at the Otukaikino. The alternative was sitting on my ass and contemplating the rise of the Ottoman Empire, so of course I was keen! We got down there to find at least 2 other people fishing the 2km stretch of open water. Didn’t matter though, we were really just there to test out Andrew’s new camera (All credit to Andrew for the photos from this trip).
Took a few staged photos. I was really enjoying the casting, fishing a 5wt Lafontaine line on a 6wt Innovation (a motley pairing if ever there was one). Provided you employed strong hauls it actually cast a very nice line and was excellent for in close work, curve casts and mends. Kinda drifted into a nice little casting buzz before mentioning to Andrew ‘You know…I bet we catch something.’ It was said with very little sincerity, as numerous brief trips here had proved fruitless. Then…bang. Indicator drops. ‘Oh, must be some weed. Wait a minute… weed doesn’t fight back. You mean the stream actually holds fish??’ After a spirited fight from the wee fella I had this picture perfect brownie to the bank.
I spent the majority of last season chasing big fish, and compared to them this guy looked like livebait. Yet the satisfaction I derived from finally catching a fish in the Otukaikino was immense. It just proves that a fish doesn’t have to be big to be special. Jack 1, Voodoo 1.
Overcoming the second stage of the evil voodoo curse occurred just last Saturday. Rain bucketed down on Friday night, so I wasn’t particularly hopeful that we’d actually be going fishing the next morning. A quick text to Al at 6am was met with the reply ‘Yup, still keen. Rob’s going to take some photos.’ Good enough for me. The lower river was dirty, so we headed upwards in search of clear water. To my vague amazement we found it.
Swung some streamers through this deep pool and up over the lip for one spirited follow, but no hookup. Moving further upstream we came across a dark and brooding pool. Tannin stained water cascaded through boulders against a backdrop of native bush. Made for quite a picture. Pity Rob was fixated on the even more beautiful pool just below it. Well, I just had to throw a streamer through here. First cast, wham. Fish on. An early jump in the shadowed portion of the pool did nothing to clarify the size of the fish, but did everything to get my heart pumping. In typical dogged brownie fashion the fish was eventually brought to the bank. Well, it wasn’t a denizen of the deep.
Who says brownie’s don’t take gold beads? A primo condition brownie with golden flanks that we estimated at a bit over 4lbs. As with the Otukaikino fish, it wasn’t a monster… But I’d fished the Hutt quite a few times (admittedly before I had any clue what I was doing) and never caught a fish, so this was another special fish for me. Jack 2, Voodoo 0.
Just because I beat the voodoo on these two rivers doesn’t mean its over. The voodoo will be back, it’ll find another river to chuck a cheeky curse on, but for now I like to think I’ve got it beat.
So for this coming season I’ve got three goals that I’d like to achieve.
- Brownie over 10lbs
- Rainbow over 8lbs
- A rainbow from a spring creek
Like I said, most of my goals are about size. Last season I came painfully close to the 10lb mark, but couldn’t quite crack it. This season coming I’ve got a number of trips planned which are dedicated to knocking over this milestone. Fingers crossed.
As far as rainbows over 8lbs go, I’ve had several around the 6lb mark, but never anything bigger. I know they say beggars can’t be choosers, but I’d really love for it to come from a river. I’ve got a few spots lined up which I know have bows of that size, so here’s hoping.
The rainbow from a spring creek goal is, I suppose, a strange goal. I’ve just got this image in my mind of a small perfectly spotted rainbow nymphing in a slot in the weed. It’s not about size, not about numbers, not even about a particular location. It’s about fulfilling the image in my head.
So what’re your goals? Leave a comment, I’m curious to hear what sort of goals other people have. Also if you want to keep updated with new posts on the blog then join the Riverworks page on facebook or chuck your email address into the database.