September 22nd, 2008

The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
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The Joys of Fishing

By Mike Thomas, NZ

Chris and I had started off just upstream from the Tauranga Taupo road bridge and we had caught a few fish before we split up and I moved a bit further upstream. The river was in perfect nick, the weather was good and the breeze was light so the fishing should be good - and it was.

I moved into a small riffle with a depth of no more than 12 inches and flicked my Adams dry and small Bead head hares ear nymph upstream and across, it was hard to see even at a distance of only 20 feet as the sun sparkled beautifully of the rippling water but the takes on the dry were savage and unmissable even though none of the trout were more than 12 inches long. They just kept on hitting the fly - almost every cast had a take and the fish just seemed to be "un-spookable," fish after fish, all lovely colourful Rainbows, slashed at the fly and leapt clean out of the water before heading down from the riffle into the head of the pool proper. I drew them in to the edge for a quick unhooking, no net required and no need to lift them out of the water, just a quick twist on the hook and they were off into the deeper, darker water of the pool for a sulk.

It was a truly magical day, as I moved farther upstream to another lovely pool, a Kingfisher flashed past and a Grey Heron fished a back eddy, all picked out by the late summer sun, a camera could not have done justice to the light.

I decided to sit and watch the pool for a while before starting to fish, and I could clearly see two good trout, both around the 4lb mark and both feeding on drifting insects in the surface film. The water was clear enough to see every grain of the golden gravel bottom and every ripple of the sandy edges and those two trout were a sight to behold.

The water ran in at the head in a short joggle before flattening out into a glide with a bubble line running under the overhanging impossibly green ferns on the far bank. As I sat looking at the pool my view became misty and tears began to stream down my cheeks, it took me a couple of minutes to pull myself together as I sat there wondering what had caused such a reaction to a scene of such beauty.

I slowly realised that when my sister in law had died suddenly a couple of months previously I had been the one to be strong, I had to of course for my wife. Without realising it I had not grieved for her, I had in fact been angry with her for leaving her sister and her parents so suddenly and hurting them so much. I thought how stupid of me to be angry with her for daring to die suddenly!

I stood up, moved past the pool and left those two perfect trout still feeding; it was just too perfect a place to disturb so I moved on.

I fished the next riffle and hooked a lovely Rainbow on the first cast, as I drew her towards me to release her I realised that I may be getting growled at by the "black dog" but it was impossible not to smile and enjoy the splash of cold water in my face that she left me as a parting gift.

I sat again and admired the view upstream in the sunshine and realised that Life just doesn't get any better than sitting by a river watching a couple of trout lazily feeding and then choosing to fish, or not.

My anger at my Sister in law was gone and I was glad to see the back of it and partake of the Joys of fly-fishing.

All the best. ~ Mike.


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