March 5, 1996 --- Waitongataona River, South Island, New Zealand
Tuesday, March 5, 1996
It was a bluebird day, glorious sun, not much wind, lots of fun. Starts out interestingly when we run into a “no-access-this means you” sign on the lower river (below the jetty where “Ken” runs a jet-boat tour to the White Heron Colony). The light is great today; we see lots of fish (and I’m getting the hang of it; even see a couple before Bob!) My casting seems a bit better today, although still not ideal. In the end, I get 3 fish to the net/or maybe 4), one 5 lb’er at 22 1/2, couple more in the same ballpark. One dandy on classic dry fly scenario – Bob tosses in a rock, fish wails upstream like crazy; I get Bob to catch a fish 0 he won’t take the nymph so Bob lands the Adams Irrestible on his head a couple of times, the fish seems to get annoyed and comes up and attacks the bug! A beauty 6 lb’er as it turns out. Lots of action all day; I snap a fish off-I lose a good one when he spits the hook; I have close encounters with 6 or 8 others, and miss a bunch more. Oh, the interesting deal about the “no-access” sign is that we decide to walk in a few hundred metres and then cross the river – a half hour later the farmer (Mr Pament and his wife), on their tractor, pull up for a chat. He’s very friendly; problem is some guys were growing “a couple hundred thousand dollars” worth of marijuana. The cops raided the patch, the farmer was a suspect (altho cleared early on) and was therefore righteously suspicious of strange traffic. It’s smorg nite again – yeehaw! Pleasant nighttime stroll thru this tiny hamlet, remark again on the absence of people in this part of the country. Get Bob to show me how to tie a blood knot! Must also comment on the T.V. here – its channel one, two or three, but here on the West Coast we only get “one”!
Apparently up to 14 channels in Christchurch, but satellite dishes are non-existent as far s I can see, other than the KFC in Greymouth, no fast food stuff in evidence. Note: might consider getting the tippet dispenser unit with accompanying fishing bag; with eyelets for the tippet material (orvis?) – plus small backpack (ie. for the Crowsnest.) P.S. – re: the Bow River – apparently there may be a take out spot between Mackinnon’s and Carseland, called “Jantzen’s flats” (apparently just up from the walk-in spot)