With the end of my annual leave fast approaching and the majority of time spent with the family or in the garden it was time to hit the water. I departed Gisborne at 5am arriving at the Rubicon River around 7.30am where I met a friend eager to try his hand at fly fishing. We fished the upper sections around the power station with no success.
The summer flow meant most pools were nothing more than a trickle so we headed back closer to Tumbling Waters where the water was flowing fast and clear.
The next 90 minutes was spent wading up the river giving tips to my novice companion. I could almost hear John Waters voice resonating in my ears as I was delivering my unqualified advice (“keep your arm in a straight line”, “don’t go too far back on your back cast”, “get your elbow higher”). Another fishless session so I took an early lunch as my friend departed. As luck would have it I returned to the water and immediately saw rising fish. I went to my trusted Humpy and began working the likely spots and within an hour I landed my first fish of the day (and of the year). A lovely brown trout around 1lb sitting at the head of a pool smashed my fly.
In the next 4 hours I landed another brown while missing 3 others and was satisfied with my 40% conversion rate as I headed back to the car for dinner. Being a creature of habit I decided to fish the same section of river as before and it didn’t take too long before I reached the pool where I’d caught my earlier fish. I tied on a Royal Wulff which was engulfed by a brown and before I knew it I’d caught 2 browns from the same pool 5 hours apart.
It was nearing 7pm and I wanted to make the most of the remaining daylight so I pressed on. The Royal Wulff was looking a little tired so I went to a Madam X type pattern which bought immediate results, another brown which was under a pound.
Just before 8pm as the sun was starting to set I picked up another small brown and enjoyed the view of the Cathedral Ranges. 8.30pm rolled around and I started the walk back to the car enjoying the view and a great days fishing. On the walk back I reached the pool where I’d picked up 2 earlier fish and it crossed my mind could there be a 3rd? With a fading light I ignored the whole run and went straight to the head of the pool and bang, another brown. As I netted the fish all I could do was laugh and smile at a great day out on the Rubicon.
Final tally: 6 browns landed, 5 missed.
Flies: Royal Wulff, Humpy’s, Hoppers, Madam X, various attractors & stimulators
Enjoyment Level: 10/10