Before we say anything about the trip we need to say THANK YOU to our friend and personal bush mechanic DEVAN KIRKER! Cheers for all the hard work and your company! GOOD TIMES!
DAY BY DAY story of our OPENING TRIP followed by PHOTOGRAPHY! Happy season everyone!
Sunny with no wind and definitely some good fish in the river. A quick recon the day before revealed that there were more fish than the previous year. With the Hut to ourselves and no other fisherman around, we knew we were pretty lucky. After two quick re-rigs the first fish was hooked and lost but it was a good sign as it was feeding like crazy. Walking amongst the high tussock mountains following the meandering river, we were hopeful, but we never expected to see that many fish, let alone catch them. Just a perfect start of the season.
Score Board : Chris: 6, Jakub: 5 Walked: 20km
Expecting the weather to change we headed out of the mountains to fish a big rolling river, but we should not have worried too much because it ended up being a warm and still day in the foothills. Even-though the fish were hard to spot, a well placed fly brought rainbows and browns to the net. A spinner fall later in day saw fish rising and some dry fly action was an unexpected delight.
Score Board : Chris: 4, Jakub: 2 Walked: 10km
Watching the morning Fiordland clouds quickly move on over breakfast, we knew we had no time to waste so we hurried down to the river. There is never any guaranties but when we saw there were no other fisherman around....I gave Chris a HIGH FIVE and we legged it through beautiful Fiordland beech forest to an amazing and challenging river. I fished this river a few times and thought I knew a thing or two about catching these big spooky trout, but by the end of a long 11 hr session, I had only landed one, whilst Chris bagged 3. My confidence was taking a bit of battering not helped by Chris pointing out he had caught twice as many fish as me by the end of day 3!!!!...By consolation, all my fish thus far had been caught on the first cast.
Score Board : Chris: 3, Jakub: 1 Walked: 16km
Topping up on gas in town and picking up a key to a locked gate was the plan of the morning. Always the optimist, I was expecting a good day one this lovely river, but I can only describe today's fishing as sensational! Big fat browns all in superb condition. After landing 4 fish I felt in the zone and clawed back the lead Chris had on me, but with two fish from a beautiful run, he was back in a game. The next couple hours we both landed a few more fish and just felt good for each other. Being at the hut with the fire going, whiskey in hand, two thoughts came to mind, we can`t wait until tomorrow and damn this whiskey tastes fine.
Score Board : Chris: 4, Jakub: 5 Walked: 12km
Waking up deep in the backcountry we did not have to worry about a thing. Hot beans on toast and cup of coffee got us going but really it was the prospect of another fantastic day that saw us make a beeline to the river. We only visit this little stream once a year early in the season and every time we are surprised to find the a fish in a same place and this year was no exception. Catching them though always proves a challenge. We usually spot about 6 fish the whole day, but it`s not really just about the fishing. It`s a beautiful place, gin clear river, awesome hut in the middle of nowhere, the fishing just makes it the perfect destination.
Score Board : Chris: 2, Jakub: 3 Walked: 17km
It`s 5 am. and Chris is already running around as he is in charge of getting us to the river which I have never fished before. We knew it`s a popular place so we wanted to be there by sun up. Getting to our destination it looked like it was going to be a hard day with cloud cover and low light, but within an 1/2 hour the sun broke through the clouds and we started to spot the big browns that this river is well known for. What followed Chris and myself may have dreamt of, but rarely experienced in reality...the fishing was red hot. Catching 1 or two fish in this river is considered a good day, but we somehow managed to pull out 9. All prime condition browns averaging 7 pounds.
Score Board : Chris: 3, Jakub: 6 Walked: 12km
An hour walk saw us in the backcountry and fishing amongst the tussock fringed with beech forest and mountains towering in every direction. It was another sunny day with no wind and plenty of big browns!!! Just when we though the fishing could not get any better today proved us thankfully wrong. We've fished 100's of days, had 100's of epic adventures, but this day on the river rates as my all time most memorable day. Just prefect, I won't try to describe it!!! With sore feet, sore knees but clear minds we head home a day early, completely satisfied.
Score Board : Chris: 6, Jakub: 8 Walked: 24km
TOTAL SCORE BOARD : Chris: 28, Jakub: 30 TOTAL FISH: 58 Walked: 101km Driven: 835km