Coastlines: Poerua perambulations

Net result

Lake Poerua was flat calm and so began a rather weird day.

Another boat was already there, so we started in a corner we rarely explore. We saw fish in the edge waters, but they were flighty. Even with good presentation, they rocketed out to deeper water.

We began to think it was skunk time but decided to keep trying. What is the definition of doing the same thing over and over? Changing flies seemed to work. Fish came onto the fly but didn’t take—was this to be the pattern of the day?

It was nice to be in an environment amongst the trees, with their feet in the clean, clear water where trout could be readily sighted. Then I latched onto one and, when closer to the boat, the fly was plainly visible outside its mouth. Uh! Weird. The thing had somehow lassoed itself with the leader, so was played carefully, until it got away.

Then I had the bright idea to have lunch. When all else fails, break out the sarnies and the tricky devils emerge while you’re diverted by comestibles. They didn’t, but after refreshments, we slowly fished into familiar territory previously good to us.

Then it began to get tricky. Late winter, early spring storms had driven flotsam and jetsam into where we were, plus the trees not driven anywhere, were still keen to take our flies. Watch yer back, cast, ugh, too late. Wonderful hookups on kahikatea, kowhai, beech, flax, clumps of reeds and the remnants of a 1953 Humber 80.

Matey got onto a fish and had an awful job quelling its enthusiasm and he noted, “I’m glad no one is filming this.”

Eventually, he got his first of the day. Maybe the conditions had changed in our favour or perhaps it was the location and while we still scared the tripe out of skittish fish, we began to get more strikes. I got one that spat the dummy, then hit another and this creature got busy with moves straight out of a knitting pattern book. It went into snags underwater, then had the temerity to go right around a tree. I became a tree hugger as I got Matey to put the boat against the trunk, which I embraced and passed the rod back to myself to free the line. Next, it went through the tentacles of a long dead sunken log.

Got the thing under control, then moved onto a spot where Matey said, “There could be something mooching in those shadows over there.”

Bang, he was right, and I said, “It’s not big.”

I was wrong, as it put up a very determined fight for 10 minutes before I got it into the net. Then it was Matey’s turn for a very good fish and eventually I netted it but, horrors, the net burst its bottom. He quickly suggested I roll it up when it’s back ‘in’ the net. That worked, so with two five pounders each, plus our threes, it was a successful end to our weird and wonderful day.

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