After a pretty relaxed day on Friday with Celina on both the lake and the river, it was time to do a few longer stints with the lads. Maggot, Podge and Weasel had all travelled through to Pukawa for the weekend for a bit of fishing, swimming and drinking. The girls were all occupied with walks and coffee so we had a clear day on Saturday – after picking up licenses we were on the river by about 8:30am. Maggot had his new Taimer XT Rod and reel, Weasel was rigged up with my 8wt Sage and Podge was fishing a new Airflo Switch double-handed rod for the first time; I’d taken along my 5wt for pieces of water that looked decent enough for a 5wt.
After the pie Weasel decided to retire to the bach for some relaxation so Maggot, Podge and I headed down into Plank pool. No luck for Maggot, but Podge managed to pick up a fish in Bain pool (before fishing plank). He was also throwing snap-t casts into the bank of plank and managing to lure out a few beasts but they just wouldn’t take the wet fly he was using – even after several changes. We had about an hour left before our time ran out so moved up to Major Jones and Breakfast pools. I took Maggot down to Major Jones where he managed to hook into a tiddler, although a fish all the same it didn’t really test out his fishing skills. I managed to hook and quickly drop something in the shallows of Major Jones. Using the 5wt I fished the shallower water and slower runs, it made for a new interesting challenge on the Tongariro where I’m used to throwing the 8wt about. I needed to reduce the normal weight and get a little more stealthy with the casting.
I’d reached the end of the Major Jones pool and was taking a seat on a rock when I saw Podge getting a bit active on the bank of Breakfast pool. Soon enough I worked out he’d hooked into something a little larger than Maggots fish. So I watched from the other side of the river as he pulled the fish onto the bank and gave he a good smack on the head to take home for the smoker. Sounded like it was all pretty straight forward for Podge, good effort on the spey gear.
Sunday we took it pretty easy in the morningas we’d been hitting the beers pretty hard on Saturday evening. After a few hours swimming in the lake we decided upon an hour and a half on the river would be a good end to the weekend. The car took us up to Boulder Reach, where Podge started in the head of the pool with his Swtich rod and Maggot started in the bottom. I had a crack at the snap-t cast on Podges setup and it was definitely strange at first (using two hands and not really aerialising the line) but after a few bits of instruction I was casting it out across the reach. Podge had taken my 5wt and headed off upstream in search of pocket water. Apparently he found it and hooked a fish in it too…I looked up to see him with the rod above his head, heading downstream. I figured he could do with a hand to net the fish in the strong flow, so downed tools and gassed it upstream. Just as I put a foot in the water to get out to net the fish it broke off…! Gutted! It looked like a nice fish and had given up a good fight, We continued upstream fishing the rest of the water and eventually laying a few casts into Cliff pool – but no luck. Although it was pretty sweet being up there in the sun laying out the casts – a good end to the weekend.