If you spend anytime on social media, you are probably familiar with that short 1 minute video of a fly fisherman catching a beautiful brown trout in a shallow, clear New Zealand creek. I reached out to the fly fisherman behind this short video that he has titled, “New Creek”to find out more. These are his words describing that outing and his successful result along with a few extra photos. The video is good by itself, motivation for anyone that picks up a fly rod- but the story makes it great.
“It all depends on the night before but if you play your cards right, you’ll find New Year’s Day is a pretty quiet time on the water as far as human traffic goes! So armed with Aspirin and fly rods we threw a dart at the map, got in the car and ended up an hour away from home. A place we named New Creek – one) because it was a new year and; two) because we had never seen it before. Exploring is magical. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose but it’s all in the adventure and it makes it so much more rewarding to explore places you’ve discovered yourself.
The first fish, some 200 feet from the car I almost stood on if it wasn’t for my eagle eyed wife and fly fishing partner in crime. Got some good eyes that lady!! I decide to pack a glass rod this trip in case the fish were small and I could have some fun with them. The Hardy glass rod “The Stream” is a very soft 7’ 3 weight that is a delight on small water. This fish looked to be 1 – 1.5 pounds as it darted around in a fast shoot of water feeding. A foam beetle is what I had tied on from the car so that’s what I tossed. It was the world’s tightest spot to cast and eventually a couple of tight roll casts got the fly up, and the fish was all over it. The hook went in and then all hell broke loose! The fish was 3 pounds plus of very angry buck rainbow that obviously lived right there in the stream, because it knew every undercut and proceeded to drag me through them one at a time. After some fancy foot work and the fish leading me around by the nose, it was in the bag and out for a swift release. Time to change rods!”
“After grabbing my new favourite, a Hardy Zephrus 9’ 5 weight and meeting back up with the wife and our dog Abel, who had just been given the pectoral fin by a healthy brown after a few fly changes we started working up the creek. A few more fish we cast to with no result and then a big bush camp where it looked like partiers had set up over Christmas – no wonder the fish were a little touchy! Further on up the creek and from the lower position of downstream I could see a fish’s head sticking out of the water every 10 seconds or so – this fish was on point.
A cunning plan unrolled as we got closer, and the closer we got the harder it all seemed to be. The fish was rising in 1.5 feet of water under the shade of overhanging willow trees. The plan was to slowly make my way up from behind, as the fish was rising in the top end of the pool, while staying low and still, but it swam almost right down next to me feeding in the bottom of the pool. I had a small willow tree to stand behind to block my profile from the fish’s eye, but it was also very much in my way. I knew Murphy’s Law would prevail at some stage if I found myself making too many casts. I had the beetle on that took the rainbow downstream, but as we made our way up I saw the very odd mayfly dun pop and the odd spinner dancing – time for a fly change before the attempt!
The last 30 years of fly fishing has taught me something that I’m constantly being dragged away from because it’s so easy to complicate – keep it simple! Simple is easy, surely we can make it harder for ourselves can’t we!! But simple was the call of the day so I tied on a tail and hackle fly, size 14, black in colour to silhouette against the shadows. I figured I needed two casts – one to get me up into the pool to check for distance and set me up while I wait for a time to present, and the second cast to make the final presentation. All the straight up and down casting practise in the world isn’t going to help you with this type of cast, so if you’re keen, practise in the trees at the local park. You’ll look like a nutter but only to people that don’t fly fish!
At the time of the first cast layout the fish was against the left bank, but I knew from previous rise patterns that it would soon be on the right side where I plan to make my presentation. Almost as soon as it landed the fish was there, so it was one more cast a little more to the left to get the fly in front of the fish (which was more of an up and under, get around the big dirty branch cast). Cast was placed and the rest is history!
Sure was a fun fish to catch and as they do, had me wrapped up in all sorts of undercuts and tree branches before hitting the net.”
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