as expected, i was up before the alarm this morning. a piece of bread in the toaster and then i saw the man himself through the hostel's window. there he stood, camoflauge fleece, sage hat, white beard and a big smile. hands shook, greetings exchanged and then we were off.
where do you start with a guy who's supposed to prepare you for four months of fishing in three days? i tried to ask as many questions as i could think of, in some sort of logical sequence, but they were often scattered and my mind often went blank as i daydreamed. Chappie's full of stories so there was rarely silence in the Rosie, the ruby Land Cruiser.
we drove over a branch of one river to find it quite off-color. we made our way down several farm roads, scattering cattle and sheep along the way, then drove into the middle of the main stem of this braided river. water there was high and a touch off color so we hit the road again on to a smaller stream.
i strung up my rod as we chatted and as i climbed into my waders for the first time Chappie said, "look behind you." i turned and just smiled. there, weaving in the current was a healthy brown trout, very actively feeding. 40 feet above this trout was another, acting similarly.
we went downstream for a few minutes to take a few test casts and so Chappie could gauge my casting. soon thereafter i was in position ready to sting one and then the other.
the short story is that it didn't take long before i had spooked them both. we spent the first half of the day walking slowly up this stream, Chappie in front and me in follow close behind as we stared down every pool and run looking for fish. we spotted two more in that stream by midday, one that was in a ridiculous location and i couldn't see it and the other was in a fairly easy location, casting wise but i couldn't see that one either. i put a dry on that one's head and spooked it on the 3rd cast.
after lunch, we made a quick jaunt to another river. this river was a little high and slightly off color but we were there so we went for it. Chappie spotted one fish that was holding steady in some fairly quick water. three or four casts with four different nymphs and then i finally got a good drift and saw that indicator hesitate. i stung that one for not even a split second and then he was gone. Chappie saw one more fish upstream cruise by and that was it. no fish today. see you tomorrow Chappie.
the scenery was decent: