I was lucky enough to have the day free on closing day of the back country rivers and streams so decided to hike into a favorite small tributary stream for the day. The days forecast was for snow lowering to 600m with sleet and showers off on and on throughout the day ! After an hour of walking I arrived at the confluence pool and proceeded to scan the water spotting 4 large fish all holding deep but moving around feeding , a double beaded Manics Brown Hooligan #12 nymph was tied on with an unweighted #16 flashback Hare and Copper trailing behind it. I targeted the back fish first hoping to hook it and then keep it down the back of the pool as to not disturb the other fish , giving me another shot at the fish at the head of the pool. My plan worked and after a 4 casts I had hooked the very back fish and was doing my best to keep it from charging upstream and through the pool disturbing the other fish. A few acrobatic jumps followed by a couple of blistering runs saw me reaching for my net and gently sliding it under a solid 4lb Rainbow jack . I continued upstream and managed another couple of good rainbow trout to the net , I didn't see many brown trout which surprised me as there were usually reasonable numbers of them present in this tributary at this time of year and especially after the big fresh we had just received, perhaps many of them had already run up from the lake and were well up in the headwaters of the stream.
It was getting late in the day and I had decided to make it around the next bend and fish a pool that always held a fish or two, the pool has a high bank that has some thick vegetation on one side but it allows you too see into the whole pool whilst still keeping relatively well concealed. As soon as I peered over into the pool I saw a large smudge working the drop off of where the main river flowed in. I tied on a Dores Mr Glister and cast it well ahead of the drop off and stripped in to the pool slightly to the left of the fish , the fish took no notice ! I cast it again this time more to the right, I let the streamer sink a little deeper this time before I began to strip it back through the current . This time the fish darted to the right and smashed the streamer as soon as I felt the weight of the fish I tightened up and set the hook on what was to be a big rainbow far bigger than any other I had encountered over the previous years in this wee tributary !
9lbs of hard fighting rainbow ! a very well conditioned late season hen was landed after a fairly torrid battle ,one which saw my gear and tippet really put to the test. I love this time of year fly fishing as you never know what is going to turn up in the smallest of streams. After a quick photo of what was to be my last fish for the 2015/16 fly fishing season I decided it was time to head back to my truck, the usually long walk out of this wee stream seemed to fly by after my fantastic last fling in the South Island back country !
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding your NZ Fly Fishing Adventure for the upcoming 2016/17 season,I'd be only to happy to help plan your Fly Fish New Zealand trip of a life time !