I’m just back from my annual trip based out of Turangi in NZ’s North Island. About midway through the week we’d had another good day on the famous Tongariro River (FlyStream magazine issue 2) landing 8 wonderful rainbows. So, feeling smug, we – my brother David, nephew Jamie and I – knocked off early and went to the Turangi pub for dinner. Guide Andrew Burden (02 79648802) was there and, as happens on such occasions, the talk soon turned to fishing and in turn, an invitation to take us up a local river.
We met at gentleman’s hours a few mornings later, rearing to go. We arrived soon after at a “small” NZ river which barely rates on either the maps or the fishing books. Within the first few minutes as we waded up a long straight stretch, fish were visible and a fly cast carefully in front would see a big trout move position slightly and take. Andrew appeared unimpressed, however, and we couldn’t work out why.
Half an hour’s walk, and the nature of the river changed to snaking this way and that, with pools, runs and drop-offs in abundance. Heaven!
We were casting relatively heavy tungsten bead-head nymphs with an extra large split shot for good measure, then different coloured Globugs on the point. Didn’t the fish want ‘em! These rainbows were crackers too; strong, deep, broad, perfect tails, silver sides – everything a flyfisher could wish for.
Gear was stretched and tested. Our stamina was stretched and tested. On the way back, it was hard not to flip a fly into the pools for good measure and there were still trout ready to play the catch-and-release game. I lost count of how many fish were landed, but it was in the dozens. A week later and I have barely recovered… Thanks Andrew!