For those of you that know me, I've had the opportunity to fly fish some great places over the past 10 or so years. I've been a little thin on quality time on the water over the past year or so, but I still very much enjoy the time I spend on the water. I've caught plenty of fish, but I was really looking forward to going for some trophy sized trout in New Zealand. When I booked my guide, Craig from www.dreamtrout.com, I told him that I didn't want to go fish with 20 others and catch small trout. I told him my preference would be a small to medium stream sight-fishing to trophy sized fish. It's a risky request-there are plenty of places here to go catch fish, but experiencing a special place and fish is what I was after.
I woke up to a sky full of darkness………there wasn't a patch of sun anywhere! No worries, it's fishing time! I'd talked my guide into picking me up at 7:30 instead of his normal 8…..I was keen to fish. Turns out our stream was about 1 hour away including a quick stop for a fishing license. We got to the stream and it was exactly as I had imaged. New Zealand is a big place with not many people. And the Taupo region is LOADED with perfect trout waters. I seriously think there hadn't been anyone fishing the stream we fished in weeks. My guide said he'd only done 6 days on the water over the past 4 years.
It immediately became apparent this was going to be a challenging day. The river was maybe 15 feet wide at the most and much bank growth. We bushwacked through the brush and fell into the stream. Stalked up to the first hole and there sits a beautiful brown. We stalked the best possible location for a cast and my rusty technique was about to be put to the test. First cast…..near perfect….but not close enough. I swear, it was barely a foot short of perfect and the lunker took off. Ah, it was gonna be an interesting day! Craig had warned me that if we saw 15 fish all day it would be a good day. They are big fish and tend to chase of the smaller ones. We'll, I'd missed one of the 15. Moving one………
So it went….finding, stalking, casting. Took about 3 hours before I hooked up with a beautiful 'bow that weighed 5 pounds on Craig's scale. That one fish was all that I came for! The day proceeded about the same. Tough terrain, very selective fish, tons of missed opportunities, and a few more nice fish. Ended the day with 3 in the net and a couple more that have sore gums. What a day!