I open my eyes to the sound of hammering rain, or as a mate would say ‘high humidity’. So high in fact, that the high humidity was making its way through 3 tarps and the tent underneath, of which I am currently residing.
I turn on my headlamp just incase a waterfall really is coming through the other end of the tent. (I don’t remember pitching the tent next to one but you can never quite tell in the pitch black at 2 in the morning), and discover that there is no waterfall in the tent, but apparently there is one outside, and subsequently a river flowing through the tent. And while this would be fantastic if I was fishing, white water rafting, or Noah, I am not. On the plus side I have a new sleeping mat which is acting like a liferaft and is incidentally bright orange (should I have taken that as a sign when I purchased it?), so I drift back off to sleep as there is no where else to go anyway, and in reality I just don’t care enough to move even if I could.
The alarm starts screaming at 5.30, announcing the fact that I actually have to go outside and strike camp. As I stumbled through the tent door, my mate emerged from the depths of the pickup back like a hibernating bear thats been woken up two months early, and we dropped camp in record time.
We stop a little way down the road at a place that doesn’t have four inchs of mud for carpet, nor does it have a river flowing through it or a senic waterfall, and have some breakfast. We must be giving off a serial killer vibe as the tourists peak out at us and vanish back inside their vans. Or maybe it’s just the insesent rain with accompanying cloud creeping down the valley that didn’t thrill them. Who knows, and really, if it keeps everyone else off the river- do I really care? Actually, if I think about this more, maybe I should mooch around talking to myself, snapping at my shoulder, drooling into my flyvest, and generally looking like a raving lunatic. But only at the popular accommodation areas for flyfishers, so that should they see me later on the river I will be given more realestate to fish than the size of some third world nations……
We stop at the mighty T on the way back, on the off chance its still clear. It’s not. It’s brown, flowing bank to bank, and brawling its way down stream like a frieght train, but allegedly God loves a trier so we drive on a bit more and try again. Success, the little w is a goer, the catchment for this river is a lot smaller, so it’s still crystal clear and flowing like a little river should.
I would say our cunning plan has worked as we are the only ones in the carpark except for a gentleman the size of Andre the gaint, who appears to be suffering the after effects of maybe a touch too much of the the magic lawn clippings… He doesn’t appear to be in any condition to fish, or walk, or actually string two words together, but apprently he’s all good to drive……
I burst out of the car like a jack in the box, generally showering items like a dog shaking off fleas, and take off like a man posessed (at this stage I am giving justification to the tourists that shut themselves back in their campers). There is one big bend pool I didn’t quite get to yesterday, and I have a good feeling about it.
I walk along the track that winds its way up the river, passing through where I had fished yesterday. The local council in it’s infinate wisdom has decided to carry out what they allegedly call ” beatification of the track and riverbank”. Unfortunately the charm of this river is that it’s not often you can get a normal cast going. One stretch of the river had an apple tree that had taken root right on the edge of the stream, part of it hanging in the water. The last time I fished here there where 6 trout lined up behind the snag, and one feeding off the top under the overhanging branches, but now it’s no more.
I still have a snap shot in my mind of that day, as when I attempted to cast to said fish I discovered how deceptively clear water can be, and ended up not standing in two foot of water but flayling around in four…… I then proceded to line a few I hadn’t scared off, one of which happened to be the Usan Bolt of the fish world, who decided sprint training was in sesson and did laps up and down the run scaring off the remander of the trout. Ace. Lesson learnt.
Anyway I digress. I arrive at the final bend pool, rig up with the local set up, a 9ft leader, tungsten beadhead PT nymph, and an indicator at the beginning of the leader. I can see a nice sized rainbow feeding in 2ft of water mid stream, the first trout I have actually laid eyes on this trip, lazily darting side to side between the trailing clumps of weed in front of a fallen branch half submerged behind him. I cast out and let the line waterload at the end of the run before sending it up stream again, throwing mends in at the same time. Good casts for a change but no interest. I keep casting, 10 minutes goes by and I line him and he vanishes. Time to give him a break so I step back for a bit and enjoy the rain, the bush, and the fact I am the only one here. Even though the day before I hadn’t seen any fish, or even gotten a nibble fishing my way up here, best day ever. The water is so clear that I cannot even begin to describe it, the banks are covered in ferns of the greenest green, trees overhang, making tunnels that you could drive a small car through if in fact a car could float, there are riffles that flow into the perfect bend pools, and I don’t think I cast a single normal cast in here yesterday. Perfect.
After a while I ease up to the edge of the stream again, trying to catch sight of him. I know he’s still there, but I can’t make him out in the covering of weeds. Change of plan. This time I will cast way up stream of him and let the nymph roll down the main channel of current between the weeds, the only drama being is that I’m casting across another current between him and me, so I side cast up, mend the line and let it float through, 3rd drift, the indicator dips, I lift, he’s on.
It doesn’t get much better than that.