New Zealand - Trout Hunting
Posted on 24 November 2016
New Zealand is where we come to realize our dreams; dreams of a place we all think only exist in movies.
Barry, Jason and I spent our first week on the North Island. Fishing was one of the main reasons three of us came to this gorgeous country for. We were advised to go for Tongariro River near Turangi instead of the famous Lake Taupo, which we all agreed was too big for us to cover any ground at all. The only drawback, at least for me, was that it was a fly-fishing only area, which meant that my spinning rods and reels shouldn’t wander off anywhere near the rocky banks.
We decided to go for it anyway as Jase and Baz got the skills for fly fishing; amateur, but skillful still! We headed to a local fly fishing tackle store to rent some waders and waterproof boots. We talked to a couple of nice blokes there and got some guidance on trout fishing, buying licenses and whatnot. They were friendly and more than happy to give us what we needed for the best prices along with some valuable advices we so needed.
This would be our first time fishing for trout, and fishing in New Zealand for that matter. We learnt that New Zealand fishing scene had more rules and regulations than we thought possible. Coming from Australia, the amount of rules Kiwi fishermen had to take in proved to be quite overwhelming to us all. We decided to go for it nonetheless. “We’re here now and nothing is going to stop us from getting our first trout” or at least that was what we thought.
The serene and picturesque of Tongariro River was simply mind-blowing. “It’s love at first sight” we shared the same observation. Should we even start fishing or should we just sit down on our asses all day, taking it all in before having to leave behind this stunning piece of heaven on earth the day after?
There were a couple of rapids here and there where water rushed downstream over rocky terrain, creating constant peaceful sound. Rocks, in all sizes and shapes, scattered everywhere. Treading through this rough stretch of land wasn’t so pleasant. Baz said he dreaded it a tad as his left foot had lost its feeling more than 36 years ago when he had a surgery done on his spinal cord. “I don’t complain”, he said nonetheless, “as I was lucky enough not to end up in a wheelchair like my doctor said I could have 6 months prior to then”. He was happy to be among such a beautiful place.
I just can’t be bored, being among this peaceful place.
After half an hour, my buddies started casting, hoping they were lucky enough to get on some trout. We could see them wandering about in the stream through the clearest of water. There were 6 or 7 of them trying hard to swim against the water stream. I wasn’t sure if they were struggling, or whether that was solely a method of hunting; waiting for food to flow by and snatching it, quick and easy meal!
I was never that into fly fishing and didn’t spend much time doing research on trout fishing. Jase, on the other hand, read a great deal about this specific sport. He wanted his first trout so badly. He’s mastered using spinning gear, in my opinion. But fly fishing hasn’t always been his forte. Yet the idea of catching his first rainbow trout by the classic fly fishing way motivated him to constantly give it his best. He lifted a random rock that was partly submerged to see what sort of food available in the stream. There were a few little grubs crawling about that crept me out and disinterested me straight away. He then picked out a fly that resembled these creatures and got down to business.
Boy what I wouldn’t trade for Jase’s patience! I was entirely worn out not long after having dragged myself through the cold water and layers of rocks underneath. Yet he went on and on, with a pack and a net on his back, covering a good 500 meter, casting at the same time. Now that I recall about that trip, I can’t remember seeing Jase sit down once for a break. If he wasn’t in the water eagerly casting, he would be trying to go through his fly boxes for some other options that he thought would offer him more chances of getting his first trout.
It came as no surprise to us that Jase finally got his first trout. Sitting 200m away from where he was when he hooked up, I could hear him yell out “I’m on!”