After a long 2011 of saving and fantasizing about fly fishing in crystal clear water for large Brown Trout. The time has finally come. Lewis & Steve packed their bags to the Max and headed out on a long plane journey to the other end of the world.
Arriving in Auckland International airport 18th January at 3pm New Zealand time, Jet lagged but hungry to go in search of a nearby river to fish, the guys started to ask around for local knowledge.
But as much as fishing sounded like a great plan. We had to be practical and realistic. So it was over to one of the local car hire centers to find the cheapest reliable run around to set sail on our journey's. (Not that 'Cheap' and 'Reliable' are two words that can be used lightly when associated with vehicles now a days).
After a careful look we compromised with the dealer and drove off in our luxury 1997 Toyota Corolla sports car.
Leaving Auckland pretty much immediately and heading down to the more remote areas towards Lake Rotorua. Lewis knew of a small stream where it was possible to see and catch what every Freshwater fly fishermen dream of, A 'Wild Trophy Trout'. The stream was a narrow, over grown, tea stained river that meandered its way through the township out in to woodland pastoral land, but was well known to the locals as a hot spot to catch double figured trout, both brown trout and rainbow trout. With a ratio of 70% Browns and 30% rainbows this highly regarded stream seemed like the perfect opportunity to seek out a trophy to start the trip off with a bang.
Wading our way up through the thick undergrowth trying to spot our quarry, we stumbled across a feeding brownie that was sat just below a fallen down tree trunk. Just as we had expected these fish weren't stupid. Making life as safe as possible for themselves by positioning themselves close to a nearby bolt hole or snag to make a quick escape from any predators or the enthusiastic Fly angler. Lewis suggested to Steve that he should try for this fish as this was Steve's first time in New Zealand so it would be a great high if he could hook a large brown as the first fish.
But Steve refused as he could see that the only point of entry was to lower himself into the deep pit below him, and as he was wearing chesty's this could be a problem if the water was to exceed the height of his waders. Whereby Lewis refused to believe that the water was that deep. So Lewis went for it. Lowing himself down off the bank, it was to his surprise when he dropped into the pit and his head was just about bobbing on the surface. Steve just laughed and said 'I told you' as Lewis was gasping at the coldness of the water as he tough wet wading would be a clever idea. But then again the surprises and the unknown are what makes fishing such a great thing.
And to top it off Lewis only went and hooked the smallest fish in the river (unseen to us) barely making half a pound the little rainbow swam irraticly around the pool and spook the brown trout he had originally intended on hooking. Great start :-D
After a few hours of spooking countless numbers of big trout that had been hiding under the banks and unhooking small rainbows that seemed to be the only fish willing to communicate with us we called it a day. But even though we didn't catch the fish we were intending to catch, it was still enjoyable and nice to see such a good head of big fish.