I ventured upstreams from the rivers confluence with the Maruia. I didn’t know anything about it. But it was just big enough to hold trout, if i’m lucky i would probably be able to snagg a juvenile fish or something to lift the curse of no-fish.
The river took me through a series of thick bush and forced me to climb over a pile of fallen trees. I finally reached a vantage point from were i could overlook that section of the river. It had a wierd character and half of the water were covered with trees and branches, making the playing of a big brown on the edge of impossible.
I stood for a few minutes, looking out for movement. And just as i was about to jump down to continue my journey, a ghostly shadow that i thought of as vegetation, appeared to be a monstrous trout. The trouts position would take a journey around and across the river followed by the perfect cast, which, in case of a strike, would require really strong knots as i would have to drag the fish away from the bundle of branches and fallen trees.
The journey was made, i waded out in the almost cripplingly chilled water and aimed my cast. To my big surprise i made that perfect cast straight away. But i’ve learned that it’s never the perfect casts that come with a delivery, for some reason. And this one didn’t. As i couldn’t see the fish from were i was standing i had to rely on the indicator that didn’t take the journey down under the surface which i was hoping for.
After that the fly had drifted out of the trouts little lounge i tried two more times. One cast was semi-perfect and the other one ended up in one of the many branches from the fallen trees. I then went back to the vantage point and the trout was nowhere to be seen. Spooked?
I continued my journey upstreams and as i got past the series of debris the river turned out to be the perfect tributary that i was looking for.
But the trout, dark, golden coloured, was mysterious. They all hanged out in the edges of the deep dark pools were they could be seen hovering like ghosts near the bottom, occasionally rising halfway for a snack. And as i tried at a certain trout which size could be somewhere betweend 3 and 5 kilos i realised that 14 feet tippet was just not enough for this river. The trout got spooked as the line gently landed a meter behind and above him.
This trout however, i’d return to over and over until the day comes when he’s the one making a mistake, rather than me.
Now, i currently reside in Reefton and it’s been two weeks since my last catch. Two days ago i was fishing the Waitahu River with 4 missed trout whereas one at trophy size. It’s a shame regarding i’ve spent well over 30 hours on the rivers during the last two weeks without a single one in the net. After a series premature strikes, tangling and throwing rocks at trouts refusing my offers while screaming ”you spoiled bastard”, i decided to go back to the Rahu in the pouring rain. For two days i drove 100 k’s in the rain just to get my fix. Yesterday with no results as usual. But this very day i got what i’ve been dragging my balls over a endless desert of broken glass for.
I tried the pool as usual were the trout was residing, but he refused my offers like a boss before deciding to get spooked for just no reason.
I went to the next hole where i know two nice trout is hanging out. One was calmly feeding close to the bank up infront of me. After having it refusing half of my arsenal, i finally selected a size 18 stonefly. The fly landed perfectly and the fish made its mistake as i could see the indicator go down like titanic. But he was obviously not the only one making mistakes today. Premature strike, again, sigh.
I decided to go to my car to read a book for a few hours before making another attempt. I was telling myself over and over:
”Do not fucking stretch the line before the fish stops moving”
I was angry, almost furious. On the way back i decided to check out the first pool again to see if i could see the fish i spooked thirty minutes ago, but nah.
Anyhow, i decided to check out the current outside the pool now when i didn’t have to worry about spooking fish. With trained eyes i could glance through the rain and see a big, moving shade in the current. I just had got an approval of my selection of nymph so i went straight for it. As there was no chance of getting behind the trout i had to make a swing from a awkward angle. I finally managed to get the fly out properly and i’m telling you, i wet my pants from the inside straight away when i saw the kraken rise to check out my indicator for a good 3 seconds before sucking it in. And thank god that was a barbed dry fly indicator. Parachute Adams.
Waiting 2-3 seconds had never been harder. But i did, thanks to the words still echoing in my head.
”Do not fucking stretch the line straight away”
The trout, properly hooked, went straight down back into the deep. At first it felt like pulling a boulder out of a washingmachine. My heart was pounding and i was breathing heavily as i could finally feel that i was pulling nothing but a really nice trout out of the deep pool.
After two attempts of netting it i realised that this fellow jack just wouldn’t fit in the net. So i threw it away and went in to grab the fish with my hands. A steady grip around the tail and i instantly folded the fish like a big baby as i rushed to the shore in order to secure the catch.
And i cheered so hard that anyone within 1 kilometre would question my sanity.
Yes it’s the biggest one so far!
If i would have landed any of the other fish, not to mention the trout i missed just 10 minutes before this one i would never have gone back to where this fish resides and therefore never would i have caught it.
Sometimes, it seems, the universe drags you towards something epic, whatever you miss out on, something greater may be coming your way – so be patient.