Over the last week me and my cousins Justin and Connor have been camping and exploring amazing areas all over southern New Zealand. My two cousins are new to fly fishing but are thoroughly enjoying themselves and furthermore picking up a thing or two from me and learning a new craft. Need less to say they are getting their butts kicked by these big hard to hold cunning New Zealand trout. But what a great place to cast your first fly rod!
Three of us are traveling in a small camper van and it gets cozy from time to time. Its always important to clean while you go and keep the van organized so you know where things are at all times. We did a pretty decent shop the other day and walked out with 200 $ worth of porridge, raisins, brown sugar, instant noodles, canned chicken, tuna, tomato sauce, rice, lentils, peanuts, and various stir-fry and curry mixes to make any meal flavorful. So in the van we have all of our personal gear in one area and all other group gear has a spot. Some people don’t really like young people “freedom camping” in this country and will express their distaste in us while were making lunch or simply throwing the frisbee around. People automatically assume the worst. Also camp sites are hard to find and sometimes you have to sneak around and try to sleep for free. Small bananas for us veterans.
About five years ago when I first came to New Zealand my friend Marty Manoni and I were given a bit of information from a random good guy in a gear shop. He said go past the bridge hang a right walk 100 steps hang a left so on and so forth and start casting into that riffle at 9 pm sharp. Well five years ago we did just that and I caught a huge rainbow on a dry fly who smashed my fly with authority and took me downstream fast.
The other day I wanted to find that spot again and eventually did after studying a few maps and referring to a few old pictures. When I got to this spot I was so excited expecting the same results as five years prior.
When I stood in the riffle I remembered back five years and the next thought I had was a quote from Henry David Thoreau that goes, “Time is but a stream I go fishing in.” And then I started thinking that everything will be all good forever and ever and ever as long as I have good people in my life and also fly fishing. After a few more thoughts and alot more casts I made my way to the top of the riffle and dropped the fly in that spot right at the contrast between the fast and slow water in the top of the diamond like seam a riffle makes and immediately hooked up to a hefty rainbow who started jumping every which way. While this was happening a boat of kooky onlookers passed and I can remember them staring at me in aw. About five seconds later the fish disappeared from my line but not from my memory. The sun started to set, I waded back to the bank to begin our routine of finding camp, cooking, telling stories, and finally bed.
– Josh Gallivan