Okay, it may be a stretch to describe the new issue of FlyStream as ‘art’, but the story goes like this. After respective busy weeks – mine finishing the magazine, brother Mark dealing with something that contained the word ‘audit’ – we both decided that a bit of fishing was in order.
There was nothing to recommend yesterday evening in terms of conditions. The fishing around here for the last fortnight hasn’t been anything special. Max and I worked hard for a single trout landed last week at Tullaroop, although Amac and his dad did catch a couple of beauties yesterday morning at Wendouree. As for the immediate conditions, it looked as if the best Mark and I could hope for was to pick the gap in the radar between the afternoon rainband, and the soon to arrive cold front and snow. Anyway, you know how it is – sometimes you just need to go fishing.
So we did, heading to one of the Millbrook lakes we hadn’t visited for a while. The sky was dark and forbidding when we arrived, but the rain had stopped and the wind had briefly died out, so much of the lake had glassed off. It didn’t take long to spot the smelters; first a few nervous shimmers from the scattered schools of finger-sized galaxias, then the odd explosion as the trout ripped through them. Like smelters everywhere, these weren’t easy fish to trip up. I covered the first three disturbances persistently for no result. Then Mark saw a patch of galaxias boiling on the surface, and landed his fly in the middle of them. A few slow strips and a bow-wave took off after his slim, dark Woolly Bugger. He lifted the rod with a smooth hang and the water exploded. A ridiculously fat 6 pound maiden rainbow then went berserk, as big maiden rainbows are inclined to do.
My fish was less dramatic…at first. A few short, almost lazy casts in the area where I’d seen a trout smelting earlier, then a soft take and what felt like the weight of a good though not great trout. Then it ‘grew’ as a few minutes went by and the fish decided it didn’t particularly like being pulled around – this delayed reaction being a common theme in many of my battles with very big browns. Many minutes later I slid the net under a stonker. After writing about smelters in the newly-released issue of FlyStream magazine, it did seem somehow fitting that the very first trout I caught after the mag’s release was a smelter, and a cracker. Well it makes a good story anyway…
Other good stories in issue 7 include Max Caruso’s love affair with the big brown trout residing in the north of the South Island, and what he’s learnt about catching them. Nick Taransky has a thoughtful and entertaining piece about fishing pressure and its impacts depending on the water in question. Read this one if you’re planning to go fishing on Queens Birthday Weekend, Easter or Christmas/ New Year. Josh Hutchins has a great little yarn about the circle of life and helping teenagers catch a lifelong flyfishing bug, while Micah Adams takes us to some breathtaking streams and scenery in Colorado. Regular columnist Craig Coltman offers a nymph that will be perfect for when the season reopens and the streams are a bit high & murky, Jim Allen admits to being a fly-a-holic, and Haysie shares his thoughts on choosing dry flies and fishing them to advantage. Enjoy!