So I finally entered the dry and warm Central Otago Barrens to begin picking fruit. It’s one of the warmest areas of New Zealand during summer and the coldest during winter.
The area is pretty much characterized by dried out naked hills covered in little ball-shaped tussock pads which are the only whisper and movement when the fresh-dry alpine wind is blowing. Due to its dry character, it sure doesn’t feel like the kind of place where fruit would like grow. But a number of small streams flow down the hills in the area, not to mention the gigantic Clutha River that comes roaring down the valley and they’re all dammed for irrigation and hydro-power. Humans have infested the only true life that is here to be found.
Luckily for me, trout tend to be resilient and still roam these disturbed waters. There are a number of lakes and a few spots down the Clutha where I would go after work to fool a little-knowing fish. The best part is that the Teviot River has got its mouth just about five minutes away from where I live so that I can check the waters condition before take-off.
The Teviot River is a small, shallow river with dark brown but yet so clear water. Spotting its dark golden brown inhabitants is straight up impossible. Or they would have been if it wasn’t for their morbid hunger after poor insects that end up on the surface in their desperate search for some precious humidity.
One day after work I drove my car far up the hills to fish the lower upper reaches of this river. The river was just like a classic Scandinavian alpine stream. No sightfishing, either blind nymphing the likely trout holdouts and/or casting a dry out to rises are the options. And as darkness came falling down just slowly, the splashing was heard everywhere as the gluttonous trout consumed their evening snack.
The trout doesn’t grow big, but they are beautiful and healthy – small fish are usually dressed up better than the big! I guess I’m just pretty spoiled now after over ten months of fishing trout in New Zealand because when I think about it, these fish are not bad at all.
(A claw from a freshwater crayfish came out of its bum)
This is like what I’ll have to get used to when I get back home anyways. I’m happy I loved it; it was a different NZ flyfishing experience. At dark I landed one that were a bit bigger than this one, it was all covered in beautiful red and black spots as if it’s golden brown texture wasn’t enough.
I can’t wait till I’m over and done with working now. But it saddens me when I think of the fact that it just started. But a day will come when I drive out of here with a reloaded bank account.
The plan now is to go up to Lake Onslow and Teviot River every fine evening possible.
Reports will hopefully follow.