Thursday, November 6, 2008

3 Weight Rod vs 4 Pound Trout

2 weeks ago I invited a couple of boys to go fishing. Like me, they are new to the area and very keen on the outdoors especially hunting. The day they arrived on their new farm they surprised their parents by arriving back to the house with a large brown trout. After a quick scout around the farm they were attracted by a little stream that ran through their property. Being winter the trout were up the side creeks. There on the edge of the stream sat a trout oblivious to the fact that two keen boys armed with a .22 rifle were about to make him their next meal. Of course in N.Z. high country folklore there are always stories of hungry hunters shooting trout for their dinners. It's far from a regular pastime and usually reserved for desperate times. I was keen to show them an alternative way to catch a trout.
It was a pleasure to take these boys up the same river and show them how to fly fish. Within minutes I was hooked into a solid brownie that was ripping line off the reel. I quickly handed the rod over to the youngest boy, then he passed it to his brother. Unfortunately my knot to the dropper wasn't tied well and the line broke when the fish began to roll and flop around near the bank.
Later in the day on a backwater a number of good fish were seen cruising the sandy bays on their feeding beats. We got into a good position near the edge of the backwater, the youngest boy flicked out a size 18 pheasant tail nymph. The first fish just stopped and sat there looking at us as if to say ," I know you're there, he he." Along came another fish, a hungrier looking fish. He watched carefully as it moved across the sand and grabbed the fly. I had shown him earlier in the day how to lift the rod and set the hook. He executed the strike perfectly sending the fish racing across the backwater and under a large willow. The 4 weight rod buckled under the pressure of the fish as the reel screamed. The battle had begun. This delicate Tenryu Basic Master #3 I'd bought in Japan was really getting a work out. A little rod attached to a big fish. Applying pressure just wasn't an option and at times the fish felt lost to the tangles below the willow. Luckily we could still feel the trout shaking his head. I'm happy to say that after a little help and advice about keeping the rod tip up, he managed to land a beautiful brown trout. I enjoyed the chance to take these boys out and show them another way to catch a trout. Their parents invited me to stay for a fantastic venison roast dinner, wild meat, wild trout and wild early season weather. The section of river I chose to fish I discovered later had been fished twice since opening day, once by some very capable anglers and a guide with a client. The fish were a little sensitive to say the least. One big brownie came up and bumped my mayfly dry with its nose to check its suspicions. It didn't take and then took off shortly after. It was a fascinating thing to see, especially 3 weeks after opening day.

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