Thursday, February 07, 2013
Feeling the need to go stand in some water and wave a stick around for few hours. Perhaps this weekend. The weather has been depressingly nice the last few days, but things have been too hectic for an afternoon aquatic foray on my part. But, it sounds like the LM has been very good the last few days...I'll probably go to Livingston if that's the case as I often make poor decisions when ti comes to choosing where to spend my day!
NZ is creeping back around in the head. Was thinking about the last day I fished there last March.
The trip, overall, was a complete disappointment in terms of the catching. So much so that even I was starting to lose it. Nights were spent rustling around on cheap sheets and muttering to myself about the shit day behind me in an ambien induced stupor. The waking moments were consistently disappointing as the rat tat tat of rain on crappy metal roofs was the typical greeting from the world.
So, on the last day of the trip, I decided to splurge and get a chopper to take me in and drop me off way back in the middle of nowhere. The rivers had been dirty the day before and most of the dirt roads were impassable that day. If I were to have a good day fishing, it was either going to require a chopper ride or several hours of driving into questionable destinations. I had had some bad luck the day before which will make for a great chapter someday.
I called the chopper and arranged to meet him at a farmer's field. I got there, waited, no chopper. No cell service either. I waited. Finally found a farmer and asked him where the chopper usually meets people...he had just gotten out of the shower and really didn't care. But, he did call the pilot for me. Turns out that the hangar was actually back 45 minutes or so...I drove right past it. Being a good KIWI dude though, he came out and picked me up and dropped me off up where I wanted to go. I remember a certain ominous tone to his crackling words as he slowed, circled, and pointed to a hut. That was to be my "plan b" if they didn't show to pick me up in the event that the weather turned. No big deal, it was just a few minutes from the drop-off point and off I went.
The next 8 hours of my life were everything that I hoped for, except that the fishing sucked. Alone and comfortable, I slowly worked my way up bend after bend of beautiful trout water. All but one small, ratty 3 pounder, refused everything I showed them. How many? Dozens. I spent well over an hour fishing to one fish that was feeding so hard you could almost hear him crunching the bugs! He never spooked and never ate my flies. That was fishing in NZ for me in 2012.
As the sun started to slip behind the peaks, the wind settled and the sand flies came to see me. Our arranged meeting time had come and gone and I realized that my plan b for the night was about 20+ miles away. I packed it up and started trotting back through the river and gravel bars.
I heard the chopper just a few minutes later and sighed with relief when he circled and landed. We joked about the day over the microphone and I admired all the empty .223 casings on the floor and deer, pig, and goat blood on the pilot's feet. He had had a busy day, and I had found peace. I don't think that I'll ever forget that day as it was one in which rejection was not only accepted, but expected, and I needed no excuses to make me feel good about the day.
Looking back up the river, as we headed out, I thought to myself how lucky I have been to live this life and came to appreciate that Hope is more than just a river in NZ.