We had heard through the grapevine about a River in the North Island where people had been catching good numbers of trout averaging between 4-7lbs both rainbows & Browns.
It was said that on a good day it was possible to catch 20+ fish in a session, depending on if the river had received high levels of fishing pressure or not.
We arrived at a car parking area close to bridge that crossed over the river and had a quick glance. The river was clear, fast with some deep pools, but full of promise. There wasn't any visible entry point where we could climb down to access the river as the bridge stood below a small gauge. So Steve and I decided to take a 10 minute walk down a narrow forest pathway created by conservation workers.
Pushing and fighting our way through the undergrowth we emerged out onto a glass surfaced pool. We could tell that the pool had to be at least 20 feet deep and as we were here to stalk the fish we decided to turn a blind eye to the pool and head further upstream. We approached a section of bouldery water where large stones had created a series of back-eddies in the water, that looked very fishy.
Sneaking up along the bank edge I spotted a large brown trout moving side to side taking small nymph's just under the surface. I pointed the fish out to Steve and he prepared his flies ready to take that all important first cast. With an accurate presentation, Steve's fly landed in a seam to the left of the trout where the fish had favoured his attention. With this the fish lifted up in the water and sipped down the cicada imitation.
With a nicely timed strike, the fish rocketed into the fast water and stripped all the flyline off the reel as Steve tried to follow him down river. After a hard 10 minute scrap, the fish found its way into the pan of the net and boy what a fish. An immaculate conditioned Brown Trout.
After covering a few hundred meters and Steve was constantly telling Lewis to slow down due to the 4 trout he had managed to spook by racing up the river (A sense of over enthusiasm). They slowed down the pace and stubbled across A large flash mid river. It was a Rainbow trout feeding frantically. The Rainbow had a bright pink translucent stripe down its latteral line making it clearly visible. It was moving all over the place taking anything in its path.
Lewis dropped back downstream in order to not grab the fishes attention and made his way out into the river to get in line with the fish. He cast up into the seam where the fish was feeding with no response. He tried a few more casts incase the trout had not seen the flies drifting pass it, but still nothing.
Steve mentioned to me that it could be worth changing the flies as the trout may not like what he had seen and also to not educate the trout by seeing the same flies come past him so many times. With this Lewis said, "Just on more cast". This cast must have just landed in a spot where it caught the fishes eye, because the Rainbow shot up to the surface and nailed the large cicada imitation clean off the top.
To this Lewis shouted with joy and battled with the fine trout. Once netted I took the fish out the net for a quick picture and man did this trout look amazing. The colours on this fish looked like something out of a painting. It was one of those Rainbow that we had only seen from watching 'New Zealand - The Source' DVD that we had spent early 2011 fantasizing over. But this was now the real deal.
Even though we only caught a few more fish after this, it had been every bit worth visiting this river as the fish we caught were insane. Good fishing...