Opening day 2013/2014

The eagerly anticipated opening day finally arrived, you beauty! Recent rain meant many of the nearby rivers were running high and dirty plus with another front due to drop more rain, the initial week long opening day trip was put on hold and switched for a quick day trip up a local river. I know this river well and the headwaters quickly clear after rain, it just meant covering 7 km on the hooves to get up to water clear enough for sight fishing.

The river was running high and reasonably coloured in the lower section

I encountered this rather boisterous Weka, this was the first time I have ever had a Weka try and attack me. It didn't take long to figure out why, I heard a few peeps from the nearby bushes so it was just mother Weka bravely doing her duty

On the way up I had a nosy up a couple of small tributaries

Finally, after laying down some miles on the hooves I arrived at some beautiful clear water

It wasn't too long before the first fish was spotted along this great looking stretch of water. First cast and we were in business but this was short lived as it tore off downstream and busted me off on some boulders

Although this is a really stunning piece of water and the fish size and condition are fantastic, the numbers are very low meaning there is often a lot of walking between opportunities. The next opportunity that did come along however was the hook-up that made my day. This fish, handsdown, put up the longest and most energetic fight I have ever experienced. I was run up and down stream, bank to bank and all over the show. Finally after numerous plunges into deep swift water trying to keep the tippet away from the boulders the fish came to the net about 100 metres downstream; stoked!

The third opportunity of the day along this stretch started off in textbook fashion but a mistimed strike soon sorted that

As the day was nearing the time I had to start thinking about turning back and starting the 10 km return hike home, I located another fish within the cluster of boulders midstream (above). It looked all too easy at first glance but there was a labyrinth of currents and no matter what angle, approach or cast I used I simply couldn't deliver a drag free fly in front of the fish’s feeding channel. Even a hefty bucket cast with the heaviest bomber I had was swept away by the currents. Being content with the day I simply let him be, had a bite to eat and a quick snooze in the sun to recharge the batteries for the return trip. It was nice to periodically glance over to watch the fish swinging and feeding in the current. Eventually I packed up and started the journey home, with all the walking involved I had limited fishing time and only encountered 4 opportunities however I had an absolutely brilliant day, a great start to the fishing season.

Author of this article: ADVGD(366)