Saturday, 4 February 2012

The Valley of Dreams.

As the fishing had been relatively difficult so far. Lewis suggested that it could be an idea to go and target a firm favourite river that he had fished in 2008 with good friend Alex Jardine (One of the founders of The Trout Trackers Project). This river was special and a place that the boys held close to there hearts as this river provided some of the best fishing that Alex and Lewis had ever experienced.

The river flowed through wide tussock farm land until breaking away from civilisation where it made its way deep in to the New Zealand Back Country. It was accessed by taking a 3 hours drive through a small dirt track that winded its way up high through a huge forest in Mauri territory. The kind of place that reminded you of films such as, 'The Wrong Turn or 'The Hills Have Eyes'. We found ourselves constantly telling each other' "Please don't breakdown".

Coming out the other end of the forest, there was a huge shy of relief. from there the road return to a tarmac surface and we followed the valley down to the small farming village
 where we parked up for the night to sleep before the big day ahead.

The next day we woke up early and things felt good. Driving a few kilometers down to a fishing access point we parked up and got ready to tackle up. Steve had suffered quite badly from lack of food and sleep and not to mention still dealing with jet lag. With that he decided to get a few more hours sleep.

Lewis carried on and went off upstream in search of a trout. A few hours went by and Lewis had managed to hook a fish or two but was unfortunate to loose both fish. It became apparent that even in the Gin-Clear water, the amount of glare on the surface of the water made fish spotting hard and having a friend to help spot and direct you on to your quarry was a key player in the success of catching fish.

By noon, Steve had managed to arise from his 5 star accommodation that Toyota had kindly provided and joined Lewis. Now having to sets of eyes made sighting a whole lot easier. Having the spotter viewing the fish from a height point such as the high banks up by the road side. It didn't take long before Lewis Guided steve onto a cruising Brown trout looking up in search of terrestrials (Land born insects blown on to the water from off the trees and scrubs in windy conditions). After a few rises from the fish Steve carefully presented the dry flies in sight of the trout and as sure as the fish took the naturals the trout slowly cruised over to the artificial and scooped it down.

                                              The Result Of A Carefully Presented Dry Fly.

                                      A Typical New Zealand Brown Trout In Pristine Condition.

                  Celebrating after a run around chasing an athletic New Zealand Rainbow Trout.

                                      Not A Huge Fish, But Certainly One Of The Fittest Fish.

                                       Surrounded by Green Hills and Stunning Surroundings.

From here the fishing just got better and better. Boosting the numbers, Lewis & Steve were now on a role catching many of the fish they sighted and getting a free work out from these hard fighting Trout that had us running up and down the river frantically, making 50-60 meter runs in one go, Boulder hopping from rock to rock trying to keep up with the fish so that they couldn't get their heads under a snag and break free. (pound for pound these fish were probably some of the hardest fighting trout we will ever come across).

This river had lived up to every word Lewis had hyped about it. And this is where the trip really began. But could this have set the bar to high for other rivers to live up to its reputation???

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