Monday, October 26, 2009

some things that happened in the last few days:

so i rolled northwest out of Christchurch, through Hanmer Springs, over jacks pass into molesworth station. camped out there for the night here:

apparently i left the lights on because when i went to start the baby up the next day nothing happened. oops. after fishing, i flagged the next person i saw down as i had seen 5 vehicles in a day and a half, he jumped me, i made it back to Hanmer Springs, slept in the parking lot of a garage, had a man look at the van and inform me that the alternator blew when it was jumped. nice. so we charged the battery and i made it back to Christchurch. that was friday. now it's monday evening, monday was labor day, a holiday. the ultra-generous Vanderties let me borrow their van to take off for the weekend, so saturday late morning i headed south west through Geraldine. i camped for two nights south of Geraldine, and put in 3 days of fishing. now i'm back in Christchurch, at Chez Vandertie, and will check in with a garage tomorrow morn.

while in Molesworth, i fished one day on the river you named, Wilkie. i put in a solid 8 hours on this river and hooked two fish, in the same pool, in the course of about 20 minutes. both fish took me about halfway into my backing. i landed the first, it would go 5ish pounds (?) and i lost the second. the second was considerably bigger. the one i did land:
on saturday, i fished a pretty small river. i read about it in John Kent's book and he didn't say much about it, but as i was nearby and the other river i intended to fish was already being fished, i decided to give it a go, then camp at the first river and fish that the next day. i had walked through several good looking pools and not seen any fish, was questioning my fish spotting skills and fish populations when i spooked one. at another pool i thought i saw a fish, so i cast to it and spooked it. at least i was seeing them now.

at another pool, i spotted a fish. i approached carefully, and put maybe two good drifts over him and he took. as i said, this was a small river, so quarters were tight, lots of snags and undercut banks with bushes, etc. this fish took me upstream, into the bushes, below a bank and held. i thought he snagged me off. i waded into the middle of the stream, felt my way down the leader as far as i could and he was still there. i pulled him out of there, he went downstream and into another bank, under some roots. i tried to bully him out of that one but he would not and he broke me off. i'll take the loss on that one, but it sure felt good to find one, cast to it, hook it and do battle.

i walked back to the van, drove to another bridge on the same river and walked upstream. i went through several pools and found a very nice one. i stared at it for a long while, was about to move on when i spotted a nice fish. i backed off slowly, and prepared to cast. first fly i put several good drifts over him with no luck. changed flies, made some more decent casts, no luck. one more fly change and this time he took. and we danced. i kept this fish in the pool and we battled for a good ten minutes until finally he tired and i got him to the net. pete, this fish was for you. he would go at least 5 pounds. i tried to get the camera out for a photo but the fish would have none of that and slipped away. a great end to the day. here is the pool he came from:
next day i fished a much bigger river that ran through a gorgey-canyoney-valley. i had intended to fish this river the day before but i found a couple anglers finishing up their day when i got there. they were using spinning rods and fishing downstream. they said they had caught a few small fish, had a follow from a big fish, but they thought the water was a bit high. i figured giving this river a good afternoon/night rest would let the fish settle and the water to come down a bit. i was right.
i stung two small fish right off the bat. small as in a couple pounds. i was very happy with this and my day so far seemed in agreement with the mens' report yesterday. then i saw a very large fish. i fished to this one fish for close to an hour. i would scamper up a small cliff, spot the fish, cast to it 4 or 5 times with a fly, scamper up the bank to find it again, change flies, and repeat. i think i tried at least 8 flies to this fish and finally spooked it. this was frustrating. i saw another 5 large fish in this river and spooked every single one of them. i got one take on an adams but again pulled the fly right out of the fish's mouth. it was a somewhat frustrating day, but the scenery was amazing and watching these fish was pretty amazing as well. a very long walk back with a couple unsuccessful bushwacks, then a walk through a cow pasture with some testy cows made the day even longer. some cold Speights in the river awaited my return to the van.

this morning i drove to a branch of a river to find it high and off color. i found another smaller stream, rigged up and set off upstream. while the stream itself was small, the water was high and there was not much trout habitat. i walked a good ways upstream, seeing only a few pools and no fish, so reluctantly turned around to head back to the van and try another river.

i was at the exit point of the stream when i spotted a pool downstream. i eyed it for a moment and decided i would check it out before i left. i couldn't see any fish in it, but i decided to nymph it blind. to this point, i had yet to cast in this stream. no more than 8 casts into this pool, the indicator went down and the woo-woo-woo of a fish on the line came. i had to chase this fish downstream about 500 yards and finally got it to the net. a nice specimen. for reference, this net's opening is as almost as long as the distance from the tip of my middle finger to the back of my elbow. and that was my last cast on that stream. that fish:
i made one more stop before returning to christchurch:
fishing here felt like steelheading. the weather had turned and i decided to trek home. some other pics from the past few days:

in Molesworth:
i could throw a football over them mountains:

i applied for an analyst job at this bank, but they didn't have any openings:


  1. thank you for the fish jesse! it is greatly appreciated.

    saturday i fished for 12 hours and had one hit. it happened to be the biggest hit of my life, felt like a building fell on my plug :-)

  2. ps. the scenery looks decent out there. holy moly.

  3. Ha, I actually saw that Molesworth Station on Google Earth before you even mentioned it. People post pictures and they show up as little icons on the satelite image of the area. Bunch of people had stayed there. Sounds like an epic few days. Would have liked to have seen that Brown that was "significantly bigger" that got away; those are some beautiful fish! Hope you get that alternator straigtened out; a little research tells me they probably go from $150-$225 US. Keep us posted on how everything turns out. Nice post.

  4. that bank doesn't deserve such a beautiful mind, sir.

  5. maybe you can get a job at the bank doing valet parking

  6. just had a new alternator put into my car, it was 189 bucks.

    i hope that you get to have many more meetings with your backing.

  7. so you live in a van down by the river...

  8. I'm starting to think we have an alternator curse...

    I just power-read all your posts. Good god I miss you. Just set your blog on my bookmark tabs so I promise you I will not be slacking no more! Keep them coming. PS: The van is SICK.

    I bet you could use a massage. xo.