No margin for error
Stalking fish in the gin clear wilderness rivers of New Zealand is as challenging as it gets in the world of fly fishing for trout and that’s why I do it.
Firstly, you have to find your target and to do this you will need good eyes. This takes a lot of practice especially in fast water. At times you have to take your time and scan the water thoroughly, if you make a mistake and spook a fish you have not seen there is a good chance he will run upstream and spook another further up and so it goes on like a chain reaction. In general once you have found your fish you will have somewhere between one and three presentations before the fish will spook.
The first presentation is usually your best chance of a hook up and you need to choose your fly carefully depending on the type of water the fish is holding in. A fish sipping in the tail of a pool with slow-moving water is probably going to want something small and a fish holding deep in fast water is going to need something heavy to get down to it. There are many factors to take into consideration with fly choice and it is a critical part of the equation.
On very rare occasions, the fish can be lenient to an unprepared fly fisherman.
If your fly choice is good and your presentation is perfect there is every chance of a good result. If you make a poor fly choice or presentation, this may incur a refusal at best. At worst it may be all over. At times they can be a little forgiving and give you a second or third chance but those occasions are rare.
Whatever the outcome it’s a beautiful visual experience. If everything is perfect, you may have landed a fish of a lifetime, which is pretty cool. If you have made an error somewhere in the procedures, the fish will let you know and will spook and that is pretty cool too!
Testing your skills against those beautiful wild creatures in their home territory is very challenging and that’s why I do it. I am a very lucky man. As a Professional New Zealand wilderness fly fishing guide I get to do it more often than most!
From Hooké Magazine – Edition N.01