As Paige mentioned already, I have this new infatuation with fishing. Not sure how I got it but it is there. I have been fishing about ten times in Tassie and since the beginning of it ALL have acquired a fishing rod and a small tackle box. I would have more but Paige reminds me how ridiculous I am everyday.
After I broke down our rough guide Brent (as I usually do) at Lake Brunner, he showed me a few fishing techniques. Being able to learn the art was awesome. I’ll never forget the feel of a bite. When my first fish put up a fight I slowly reeled him in and pull back until he started to tire out. By the way, Paige didn’t mention that my fish was larger than hers… but anyway…
I knew that all the fish we caught in Lake Brunner might have been some beginners luck or maybe it was owed to the expertise of Brent. Once we got to Lake Wanaka I still needed to give it a shot on my own. Paige and I had a nice NZ day planned in Wanaka: we would go up and hike the Mt Aspiring glacier and go fishing in the river to catch dinner. The hike to the glacier was one of the most beautiful natural sites I have ever seen. What really struck me was the avalanche potential; if there was an earthquake we would be screwed.
The first spot we pulled into after our hike was a remote river that had a very strong current due to the wind. I am not sure if trout can deal with the currents or not (Brent didn’t mention that) but our map showed a fish and I was going to give it a go no matter what. I get in the waist deep water and make sure I don’t get rolled over. My first casts are not that great and just flop to the bottom of the river. I am using my new Tassie devil lure (thanks Brent) and am careful not to lose it or snag it. I finally get the hang of the current and my cast and I get some great motion from the devil as it skims off the surface of the river with its current. You can feel the lure through the rod and it just feels right. I look over to Paige as she sits and writes on the computer with a smile. I realize, we are in New Zealand, there are mountains all around us and I am fishing this awesome river in flip flops and boardshorts.
I cast the rod a couple more times and lose the tassie devil: SHIT! I forgot to tie the correct knot. Rookie mistake. I got a bit discouraged so Paige and I move on to the next spot. There was a little bridge on the way to the river mouth with another ‘fish and game sign’, so we pull over. Within 5 minutes I yell, “Paige I got a bite”. I am super excited and start to reel her in; there isn’t much of a fight so I am not expecting much. Sure enough it was a little baby rainbow trout. She was a pretty little thing but too small for us. I struggle to get the hook but eventually let her go. I fish a bit longer and continue to see little guys but nothing worth taking home. So no dinner but a great adventure and now it was time to get some fish at the store.
New Zealand was an amazing place to visit with some of the most stunning scenic backdrops I have ever seen. We drove a lot but I didn’t mind it because it was just so pleasant to see the island change color, shape, and form. There are so many memories that we will take from this trip: playing darts our first night drinking great NZ beers, buying lobster on the side of the road, trying to find places to stay when we were tired and hungry, sitting on our private deck of our resort hotel, riding awesome trails in Wanaka, and fishing like a fiend. It was such a dynamic trip and we are very grateful for that.