I had just got off the phone with my niece having discovered that her partner and her sister’s partner are both into fishing.” Yowza, “I said to my friend, Mike, we are going fishing! I was in NZ in Wanaka at the time. Wanaka is in the South Island west of Queenstown. It was mid December and I was about to meet up with my family in Cromwell, for a family wedding. Cromwell is on Lake Dunstan, and the beautiful Clutha river flows into the Dunstan there. I really, really like fishing and although I am not, at least not yet, a fly fisherwoman, I have spent many years fishing with rod and reel in and around the Blue Ridge area of West Virginia, where I live.
The morning of the wedding dawned and the men, my niece’s partners picked me up at 0630 or so. It was chilly and the skies were clear. We drove out to the main highway looking for a likely place to fish. The men had their gear with them and I had a camera. No, no fishing gear for Sue. That’s OK I thought, this time I may get a couple of fly fishing lessons at least. We had arranged this just the night before and I had not as yet had time to get my own gear. Graeme followed a road in the direction of the water and we found ourselves going through rabbit world. There were thousands of them and pretty strong fencing to keep them off the local farm and home properties. Their burrows dotted the hills and they are seriously everywhere. We carefully locked the gates after ourselves and drove towards the water.
After some maneuvering over a twisting, narrow back road, we parked at a flat spot where the bank allowed easy access to the river. The men donned their waders and fishing gear, checked their rods and lines and waded out into the chilly waters. I watched, furious at myself for not buying some fishing gear and a license in Wanaka, when I first heard I would get the chance to fish. Oh well what can a girl do, but make the best of things. So I walked around had a look downstream, watched the men fishing and took photographs. Oh and I did get a couple of fly fishing lessons from Graeme.
The sweetness of a spot like the edge of Lake Dunstan is it is so beautiful and there are very few people around. Many lovely mountains rise out of the distant shoreline with colors of browns and beige, the sun is rising to the east and the early morning light pops the green of the trees. The birds are busy singing and that light is just lovely for taking photographs.
The second time we went out the women were with us, including my 2 nieces and a grandniece and we were geared up. We had visited the local fishing and sports gear store in Cromwell and bought expandable rods, Shimano Raider, line and some very nice reels, Shimano Cazna, by brand. They may not be the most expensive rods and reels,but they were decent and had a decent sensitivity to them. With a great tip from a local fisherman, we found a good spot and I, dear readers, caught a good sized trout. That spot was down river from where we had been on the Saturday and we had to wade out. The mud was the kind you sunk into a bit so it was challenging. The exciting part of it was the Clutha flowed pretty fast into the Dunstan on our side of the waterway. The water there was blue deep and fast flowing and that is where I caught my trout. Only one, and I was the first to land one!
It was a lovely day, the men caught lots of large New Zealand trout and we had a wonderful time. My grandniece is excited to go fishing again and so are my nieces and I, indeed, am looking to seeing all the pictures of those days. I will share them with you as soon as I get them uploaded, but just now I don’t have enough space on this computer to load up all my NZ photos.
I miss my New Zealand family and friends so much and here’s a big shout out to you all!! Here’s a toast to all you who love fishing and love the outdoors!