The Adventures of Fletcher Quill

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New Zealand Fly Fishing

My good friends Dr. Mike Martin and his equally astute fly fishing wife & partner Karen have Fly fished many of the worlds premier waters. Last year it was off or rather down to New Zealand for a tour of the areas best trout haunts. Dr. Mike is Senior Biologist for California Fish & Game Department. This chap has more talents then Madonna, he and his beloved Karen are quite serious addicts when it comes to trout. They arrived at the
Sportsmen lodge on the Tongariro River, owners Ivan & Judy Nobilo can be reached at 0-7-386-8150. The accommodations are reasonable, less then fifty a night and well maintained.

The in the know fly shop there is "The Sporting Shop" Phone 07-386-8996 for the latest water reports. Dr. Mike is more Hemingwayish then he owns up to as evidenced in his following recollections. "Good as it gets" Dr. Mike Martin on The Turangi-Taupo River New Zealand
There are two gorgeous streams which tributary to Lake Taupo near turangi (By California standards) The mighty Tongoriro and the smaller, delicate Tauranga- Taupo. One is fished blind with large river steel head tactics. The other smaller stream has holding water, clear waters, where fish are spotted.

On the first day we went to the Tauranga- Taupo... nobody was fishing the bar riffle into the lake. Drove downstream about two kms, walked about 600 yards of river and spotted two nice fish 8-10 pound class - so the juices ( and the wine ) were flowing. There was a real stiff wind blowing, so that was a worry. Off to bed with visions of silvery "Bows" in our heads! " Early that day they got this advise from locals.

There are fish in the rivers in some numbers, but the rivers down because of El Nino "But a good guy can catch a nice fish". On the next day fishing Lonely and the Groin tributaries was like fishing the dam Trinity River in Mid - Winter! - Got the casting down, with a five weight Sage and fast sink tip, using florescent egg fly (others were using PTs and Hares Ear patterns). Flogged the water for about five hours without a bump. Home for afternoon tea

The next afternoon all hell broke loose, we went back to where we spotted the two good fish at Taurangi-Taupo. No dice for first two hours, wind was ferocious. We had to cast down wind, down stream or sail it near river banks, a real challenge. We spooked about 7 nice trout, no one else fishing but us.

Twenty minutes before Sunset working the run near where our car was parked and thinking this is about where we spotted the good fish. Well since it was light and so flat (had my clear lenses on). Said to myself - I'll just float this baby over to where that fish was the day before and see what happens? Strike indicator on surface (Have to use special Lake Taupo indicators which are bushy and very strange) Strike indicator stops! Hook up. FISH ON! I'm yelling and hooting - Karen is 200 yards down stream and making tracks toward me like I'm on fire. This is a seriously nice trout - I'm stoked.

This is nirvana- and well worth the swim across the Pacific. This genetic cousin of mine from California is wilder and feistier then I remember my last Owens River Rainbow. He reels off 30 yards and starts on the backing. Then does a 180 and decides upstream is better. I get him calmed down and he comes to me with little further fight in about ten minutes. I then gently remove hook and ease him back into the ice cold waters. Back to the lodge for venison and a delightful New Zealand Pinot Blanc."

The area fished is unspoiled and too pretty (see photo ) Another quality fly fishing experience can be had on Mohaka River - cabins are rustic, but well kept - contact Riverland Outback Adventure, RD2 Napier, NZ: Phone (06)834-9756 or Lake Waikaremoana in the Urewaera National Park (64) 6837-3803. By the size of these fish and the many varied waters, this sounds like a grand adventure. The good news is its not very expensive, check it out.

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