As a guide here in New Zealand I sometimes go on a
reconnaissance every once in a while out into the field
to find a few new waters that haven't been fished. Although
we've got our fair share of keen anglers here in New Zealand
there are still many unfished streams and lakes still waiting
for pioneers like myself to be discovered and accept the
A few weeks back on one such expedition south of
here (Christchurch) I made contact with an old school
friend who lives up in the high country and owns a massive
sheep station which by all accounts and looking at the map
had the potential for some very good fishing waters with
mountain streams and lakes that had very little or no road
access at all - untouched.
He was delighted to meet me again 20 years on from
schooldays and after an afternoon chat around the homestead
over coffee and homemade cakes, I suggested we could go
and have look for potential trout fishing spots. "The only way",
he said "is take the plane". So off and up we went like a couple
of barnstormers in the Cessna, zooming through the mountain
river valleys and hurtling over lakes with our eyes searching
frantically for any sign of a fish. Rather a daunting task and
hair-raising ride, which from the experience I now take my
hat off to the coast guards aerial surveillance crews.
Now I've seen some big trout in my time and you don't need
to be a rocket scientist to know that when you can clearly see
huge Brown trout in a lake that make a wake like a submarine
from the window of a wild ride in a plane, they are seriously
big fish. At least 25 pound plus big. We saw some long shadows
as we flashed by in some of the rivers too and I'll go in on foot
for a closer look at those long "shadows" sometime soon with
a big "Mrs. Simpson" lure in tow.
I've put the lakes on the agenda for any clients who'd like
to incorporate some big game fishing with fly fishing and
in the meantime I look upon that afternoon in the plane as
the art of fly fishing with a difference. Just in case for the
lakes, I've tied up a few "Twilight Beauty" patterns on size
6 hooks and it could well be the case here of these Brown
trout deciding who's doing the catching and releasing.
See you over here in
New Zealand some day for a cast.
~ John Knox