Happiness - only real when shared?
Every two weeks my days off change. This time I am off Saturday and Sunday which I am usually not quite happy with, and after looking at the forecast, I gotta say “ufff”. Rain and strong winds for both days aren't really what you wish for but after receiving a package full of new gear I am too excited and I must go!
I wake up at 4:30 am on Saturday morning with a slight headache after trying my mate's home brew the previous night.
To my surprise the sky is clear so I am quickly out the door and driving towards my first destination. By the time I arrive to the spot the wind has picked up big time and I know this is going to be really challenging. Walking upstream I spot a few browns sitting tight to the river banks but with wind like this I am not able to make good enough presentations. Time for a game changer I think - so I take off the dry and tie on parsons glory with the idea of stripping it slowly in front of one of these browns. And it seems like the right choice because soon enough there is fish on! He fights quite strongly, making several runs trying to hide under weed beds and running towards the undercut bank, but shortly he is yielding to the net! I snap a few quick pictures and off he goes. The wind quickly turns into a strong gale bringing heavy rain and I know this day is over, so I head back home a bit disappointed but, well, what can you do?! Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
Waking up a few times through the night to the wind banging on the roof and sideways into the windows doesn’t give me much hope for a Sunday trip.
Getting up without the alarm, overcast skies,
a quick message to a friend asking how Mataura looks. I receive a quick reply stating: normal, not coloured, hot as and bit windy but not too much.
An hour later I am at my favourite spot, making it across the river straight to the little back water. I know he is there. Spooked him many times on my previous visits. It’s a small area, with water no more then 30 cm in depth, and there he is cruising in circles, gently sipping flies from the surface. Most other times I would set up my camera, but I don’t want to take the risk of spooking him by moving too much. I make my move every time he is not facing me, crawling meter by meter in high grass. Then comes the short cast, landing size #14 Adams a meter off the trout`s nose.
He comes slowly towards the fly, stopping probably two fingers in front of it taking a closer look. It feels like time stops for a few seconds but then he breaks the surface and lightly takes the fly. Fish on!
It does not take long to make the fish surrender to the net in shallow water like this…and despite my favourite quote being “happiness, only real when shared”, believe it or not I am filled with happiness. Not even a five minutes later it starts to pour down but I do not give up and walk to the next spot. Pretty much same situation, a backwater and even more shallow, another brown takes the fly but fights free within a few seconds.
The rain stops within half an hour, sky clears up, temperature rises rapidly and it turns into one of the best evenings I have had on the water this season. It becomes so peaceful, birds and crickets chirping, river steaming through the sun’s rays coming through the trees and trout rising everywhere. I finish the day with four more nice browns all on the dry. I already can’t wait to get out again - what about you?