Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Spring Creeks and the Village of Light

The hang over from Wildfoods Festival was not too bad due to the beer restrictions. Before leaving the camp for fishing, I remembered that I had a white/yellow courier parcel in the car. I totally forgot to mention that I picked that parcel at the Post-Shop in Ross as we were there a few days ago. At the Post-Shop, actually the ‘supermarket’ (as on many rural supermarkets there was a sing on that ‘for sale’) of the village. The lady was a little bit irritated by this ‘general delivery parcel’ that she did receive. It would have been better to call them in advance and prepare them. With happy expectations to unpack that parcel I was sitting in the grass (or what was left over from the dry summer). Inside the parcel was the long awaited second lens that had some technical issues. The beloved Canon 17-55 / 2,8 unfortunately it is not of the sturdy L-series, though being close to that price range. Yea - the set of lenses was complete again! The two lenses that had to be replace up to now (I hope no more follow!) were ordered via Smifu I can just say: one of the best mail order services I had in the last years. Very competitive price, fast and reliable shipping to wired addresses and friendly conversation - just perfect!

We went to fish a spring creek close by. Just by luck it seemed I did choose the best of three alternatives, best suited to fish together. The old farmer we asked for permission and access was a real character, the years of hard work had left clear signs. Thanks to him were soon at the creeks mouth. As it turned out a real beauty of a creek. After a while we came to some stretch of many spooky fish. This was again a good place to study trout’s reaction on the ESPT nymph and again it was very interesting as most of the trout did pretty much charge for the fly on the first cast in the hot point of the trout’s vision. Even semi-spooked fish could be attracted and hooked. Most of the fish were taken by this or the other magic nymph, the wee black one. All fish were around 4lbs.

In some places the going was tough due to long lines of thick blackberries. Too bad that they were not yet ripe. Ines tried a few casts but the fish where not cooperative and Tobias did pretty much hate the kraxe on that day. After some hours we split and Ines and Tobias went back to a pool from the start, I fished some more meters upstream. Nice structure, very good water but tough fishing. I did not fish precisely and patently enough for that creek. Going back to the lower pool we realized that pretty much all fish were totally spooked being fished over by me before. No surprise though.

The next day all of us had a bad hangover, it was less the bottle of red and the very long writing session till early in the next day, but the very bad sleep Tobias had. He was pretty much crying all over the campground and more or less constantly every hour. His chewing devices are currently installed and that causes him some pain. At least after that night pretty much the whole campground new us.

Ines preferred a relaxed day at the campground and I headed off to two other creeks. The first was pretty much floating cow poo. Still there were catchable fish in, but it was not nice. Caught some and missed some. In some parts the creek was close to standing in others with nice structure and flow. I finished it after around two hours to give the other creek a try. Access was granted from a retired farmer that had an awful beautiful house, garden and a daughter of the same kind. His argument to keep everything pretty: then my children come often and visit. I went to the creek, all the way down to the mouth at the main river of that area. The lowest kilometer without any sign of life, but after less than two hundred meters of stable creek structure I saw the first decent trout. It gave a good fight tucking hard for the undercut banks, fit and healthy, but I was lucky as it came to the net. A real 5,75 lbs. beauty of brown trout. And what happens if you use the watertight Patagonia back pack as a floating tripod (!) with the 10-22 lens and do not set the lens to 10mm due to the excitement of the moment can be seen on the picture: only the fish is on the picture and the fisherman is not. Luckily the unstable floating tripod did not capsize...

The interesting fact was that this was the single relevant fish of the whole stretch of around 2 kilometers I walked or fished. It is so overwhelming rewarding to accomplish the catch of the only fish in such a creek! (The last sentence is ironical and just mimics what sometimes could be read in the net) Back out I gave the friendly farmer a feedback, as his brother used to fish that creek (no, the intention was just that not to see the daughter again).

West Coast spring creek fishing can be quiet good and challenging. A nice change from the medium sized rainforest rivers that are the essence of NZ fishing. More compact backyard stile fishing. Sometimes matching the hatch, sometimes attracting fish by various different flies. Stealth, precise fishing, a good first cast are the keys. The selection of creeks of that trip was oriented more or less on the main stream creeks that are pretty much well known and on accessibility for us three. No real exploration was done based on maps, only one less known creek was identified by reading the landscape and the map. I did experience the difference between fishing behind somebody (as mentioned this was by intention) and fishing fresh water for cooperative fish. This trip provided the first spring creeks I ever fished in NZ (one exception a pretty hammered creek close to QT).

This night we had some salmon with a nice white, to give us power for the next days leg towards Greymouth. Greymouth: too hot Café that made Tobias cry, some totally over-cooked pasta lunch, a parking ticket of 21$ that I paid right after that at the council, groceries and the village sign leaving Greymouth. We drove up the Grey Valley towards Reefton. Still in Greymouth I fixed a cottage that I found in the net and that was available.

Arriving in Reefton we were pretty much overwhelmed by the cottage: large dining/living are, real fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms and perfectly situated just steps away from the village center. At that point we did not yet know how long we would be bound to Reefton. Reefton the village of light!