A Questionmark on the Map

After leaving the Wakaia River we headed for the mythical Oreti River to put our luck and skill combined to a test. Sadly, the angling pressure on Oreti river is so high that avoiding humans as well as avoiding artificial food seem to have become part of the trout’s natural behavior – Which is part of their nature, but it’s still not natural.

Hard fishing it is. Challenging as it may be, driving out in the middle of the night just to ram my way through a bunch of other fishermen for (maybe) a day of fishing isn’t my cup of tea.

And even if it was, my Corolla hasn’t really got the minerals for a destruction derby.

DSC_0015(View over the scenic valley of the Von River)

Instead we had to check out rivers such as Von where we didn’t see much fish around. After a glance at the calendar we kind of understood that the good stocks rainbows that run up for spawning in the winter probably would have made their way back to the lake by now. So once again, we left. We passed by Oreti once again and since there now was only two cars instead of three we decided to steal the top 100 meters of the stretch from whoever arrived there first. But the plunder didn’t bring much loot with it.

So once again, we swapped river and headed for the Mararoa. It would have been a delightful river if it wasn’t for the severe Didymo infestation – Every inch of the river is totally covered in that crap. After having a sweet kilo-sized rainbow raising well over 2 meters to grab my cicada both me and my companion Jacob decided to give it a go anyway. Sightfishing wasn’t really an option but some blind fishing in the fast flowing waters came with some results.


After a few hours on the river the sun was about to set so we headed for our fourth destination for the day: The south Mavora lake, where our plan was to first cast to rising fish at dusk, followed by an hour or two of dragging some mouse imitations across the surface.

It almost came with results for Jacob who had a crazed rainbow ravage both his fly and his tippet.

After fishing we just had to make up our minds – should we stay or should we go? We made the conclusion that the Oreti is too heavily fished and that the mystical stream for which we made a question mark on the map for seemed like a way much better bet, hence the decision of traveling to this highland stream named “Duckwing River”.

We arrived at the river around 10 am. No fishermen within reach for a pair of eyes, not even if we’re talking about the eyes of an eagle. Fish numbers were high and the sizes were way bigger than what is described in John Kents book. We spotted numerous fish in a stretch of only a kilometer. They were tricky, but it didn’t require more than one of these fish each to reach the maximum level of pleasure.

The first fish refused all of my offers, even the cicada, while using a 4x fluocarbon. I tried everything, part from one thing, and that was using my 1 year old 5x tippet that had been rotting in my backpack for a while. The fish was large, large enough to rip through a 5x nylon tippet without any effort whatsoever. But it had to be done. And finally, he ate that cicada like he’s been waiting for it all day. It jumped several times and I had to let it rush just as many times before I finally grabbed the tail and managed to keep her still for a photo.


My second largest brown ever…

After returning it, I found Jacob walking up the river towards me and after showing him the picture he started frothing at the mouth straight away.

So I putted all my effort in trying to help him find a nice fish. We looked for a while, spooked a few, but I finally got to wave at Jacob to make him come over. Teamwork were required for this one, I crawled up on a tussock hill to sight. When I saw the fish cruising in Jacobs direction I told him to put the fly out, and he dropped it at the perfect position within just a second. He rose two times to two real insects that were making a track for the trout to follow, a track that eventually made him end up gaping over Jacobs cicada.


Later, Jacob had a huge trout taking his fly but he made his way off the hook after a short drill.

And that was it for the Duckwing River to which we shortly are planning a return to.



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