Wednesday 2nd March; 27 degrees – Strong NW


The day did not start promising…standing on the balcony of the apartment, looking out over the East Coast, a gale of a wind was blowing in. It certainly wasn’t the idyllic day I’d pictured for my first day on the river in a long time, but of course it wasn’t going to deter me – I’d have happily fished a flooded river at this stage! So I took the TFO Axiom 5wt out of it’s tube, grabbed my vest and headed out the door with a map of the Tutaekuri. While I was hoping that a 40 minute drive up into the hills may reveal a calmer day, it definitely was not the case. Arriving at a farm in the upper Tutaekuri, I had a quick chat to the farmer there and he open up the gate so I could head down and park the car by the river (always good to see farmers that are happy to have fisherman gain access through their land).

The balcony was taking a hammering in the wind
Upon arrival at the river I was quick to realise that the wind was tunnelling down the river valley, pain in the arse, was all I could think. Still I rigged up the Axiom with a weight Hare and Copper with a smaller pheasant tail coming off the dropper. The first five minutes were spent getting the casting arm back into action – surprisingly it didn’t take long before it all felt normal again. I started to make my way up river, casting to likely runs of braided water and throwing nymphs through slower, deeper pools. Fair to say that it was pretty hard going just to get the flies extended out and landing on the water where you wanted them, even shortening my leader didn’t help terribly much, So far I’d not hit any strikes or even sighted a fish.

Geared up for the wind?

 

Sun shining, looking downstream on the Tutaekuri

I continued up river, this time changing to a terrestrial, hoping that the fish could be induced up to the surface to take a bug that had been blown into the water. While I had high hopes, presenting the dry accurately and softly into the wind was quite a challenge. Further up river I spooked a couple of fish siting in the shallows – not lies that would normally hold fish so either the fish were having a bad day or I wasn’t used to the way of the Tutaekuri. After reverting back to a set of weighted nymphs to try and straighten out the leader into the wind, I fished through a few more deeper pools before deciding that today was not my day! At one point my hat went flying down river in the wind which kicked off a mad dash to grab it – in the end successfully.

Looking upstream into the wind tunnel!

So now, the next day, I sit here in the sun typing out the blog after having rigged up my rod with a dry emerger, prepared for a light session this afternoon on the Ngaruroro river. The wind has calmed down a lot, but unfortunately I’ve managed to contract a cold so will be taking it easy today in hope for a full day on the river tomorrow. Tha air is warm, the wind is down…fingers crossed today the fish are rising!

Ready for today, without the wind!

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