I must say, 2014 is looking good. I've been out twice already, which is close to my total number of trips out in 2013! Gregor has moved into a "big bed" and now occupies the bottom bunk in his sister's room (their room now). The two of them have been asking for some time to share, so that has finally come about and I get my man cave back. So, I tied up a generic soft hackle (hare body, fine gold wire rib, peacock herl thorax, a feather from the underside of a cock ringneck pheasant for the hackle; size 14), took my 3 weight, and off I went. The Wairoa is a small stream, lots of riffles and runs, a few short pools, and some nice slow glides as well. The water can get very cloudy and muddy after a rain, and never runs super clear, but it was pretty good today. Water was a bit low, but not bone dry. This time of year the weeds start growing (there's a lot of farm run off into this stream, so lots of fertilizer gets into the water and when the water gets low and warmish, the undergrowth takes off), and you can see some in the photos. Anyway,the fish are typically pretty small in this river. Fish and game haven't stocked it in years, or so I've been told, so the fish are a self sustaining population.
Anyway, I fished a section that I've fished many times, a nice series of riffles and pools, and wasn't having much luck when just after noon, I finally hooked this one on the fly I tied this morning! Nice! It put up a great fight, took to the air a few times, pulled line, etc. When I got it to hand, I realised this was probably the best conditioned fish I've ever seen in this river. It was around 10 inches, and fat like a football!
I headed back to the car around 2 to finally have my lunch (tomato and blue cheese sandwich - I made the blue cheese and it was very tasty). I debated whether or not to just pack up, but decided since there was a new section accessible, I would go down and have a few casts. So, lunch box on the bank, and a few casts later, I was into a 2nd good sized fish (for this river). Took the same fly, and while it wasn't as fat, it was about 30 cm (12 inches) long. And, as the rain started to sprinkle, I figured that was a good time to call it a day. While two fish may not seem a lot, in this stream not getting skunked is a good day and getting two fish that actually can put up a fight is unheard of! Was a lot of fun.