March 6, 1996 --- Waitongataona River, South Island, New Zealand
Wednesday, March 6, 1996
The weather today is, if anything, even nicer than yesterday. We head further down the river, a 45 min – 1 hour walk down from the “No Access” sign. Seems to be fish everywhere today. Sort of lose count, but get maybe ½ dozen into the net, all good fish in the 5 lb. range. Note: “black” (diseased) fish are spotted from time to time, as are flounders! I snap off (!) probably the biggest fish of the day, another one saws me off in the weeds, yet another one spits the hook, and there are close encounters with several more, plus the usual group of uncooperative or spooked customers. In fact I have a hit (and miss) on the last cast of the trip. Bob drops me off at the Jade Court in Hokatika, best room yet. Watch a little cricket on TV. Bob will arrange for net with scales, I’m going to send him a framed print of “the monster.” Overall reaction to the trip at this stage is extremely positive; it’s been pretty much everything I expected. Big bonus is the lack of people – ie. in 3 days on the Waitonga the only other fishermen we see are a guy in a kayak who did “some trolling”, 2 other vehicles obviously used by fishermen (but we don’t see them), and the only footprints in the sand are ours. Technical note – line/leader connection: nail knot butt material to line; bloodknot leader to that. Also: the 6 little pockets inside the orvis vest are designed for tippet spools! Some good NZ dry flies: Black Humpy, Adams Irrestible.