September 4th, 2000
The Premiere OnLine Magazine for the Fly Fishing Enthusiast.
This is where our readers tell their stories . . .
The Incomplete Angler
By Steve Allard, New Zealand (aka salmo)
More than 20 years ago I was on my honeymoon , driving over the
Tongariro river bridge in Turangi south of Taupo. I saw walking
across the bridge a young Maori lad of about 10 or 12 carrying a
rather large rainbow trout. I thought to myself, if he can do it
so can I. So began a passion for the Gentle Art Of The Angle.
Next day I paid a visit (the first of many) to a tackle shop in Taupo.
I walked out of the shop with a beaming smile on my face albeit somewhat
poorer. New rod and line and a handful of flies I returned to my new
wife at the camp and announced that a new fish killer had entered the
realms of angling. The loving new bride responded; "I suppose you are
going to spend the rest of our married life wasting money on this damned
fishing thing." What she managed to achieve here was to very rapidly
deflate my ego. "Bugger you," I said, "I am going fishing." What I
learned that first afternoon was that I did not have a clue as to
what I was doing.
Next morning, back I went into Taupo to find a bookshop. I found
a book Called Trout on the Tongariro, which had all
the information, needed to catch that elusive trout. I still have
and read this book today. That first afternoon I taught myself to
cast a line, well actually I managed to drop a bunch of fly line
on the water in front of me. (sometimes). Next morning, after a
very exciting (I was on my honeymoon) but sleepless night I set
off for the river. The river is called The Tauranga Taupo and has
since become one of my very favourite rivers. I blundered my way
up to my knees in a pool and watched 3 trout (rainbows I think)
scatter. This is great I thought, this river is full of fish just
ready for my line. Not realizing what I had done I proceeded to
thrash the water and work up a fairly good lather on the surface.
Naturally there were no fish to be seen now within screaming
distance but I was not to be deterred. I had seen this little
kid with a fish and was not going to be outdone.
Two hours later, maybe longer, I was still riveted to the same spot
flailing at the water. I had actually figured by now that one did
not have to really cast the line, one only had to drop some on the
water and let the current do the rest. The line stopped and then
began to move off at a strange angle to the current, "What the hell
is going on here," I said to no one in particular. I began to draw
some line in to find the snag and lo and behold it was pulled out
of my hand. I think I was using around a 12lb leader with maybe a
20 lb shock tippet but after an enormous battle of around 30 seconds
I had beached my first trout. This beautiful specimen of the water
was about 30 inches long, sparkling silver sides, with a dull black
back. I promptly found the largest rock, which I could comfortably
hold and proceeded to beat the living daylights out of my pride
I returned to the camp and new wife proud as hell with my achievement.
I stormed into the tent to display the item of my pride. As you can
well imagine the response was not what a proud angler likes to hear.
Not even "a well done dear."
"What do you expect ME to do with that smelly thing?" was the greeting
received. Thoroughly deflated I went over to the tin shed and dutifully
and lovingly cleaned MY first fish. Fish cleaned I returned to the tent
to find the cooking gear, telling my "darling" when I return you will
be surprised at how delectable this tasty morsel will be. On my return
to the tent I placed this pale white mush on 2 plates and prepared
myself for the taste event of the century. We had one taste and decided
mutually to consign the rest to the bin. It was a very long, quiet
drive to the take away shop. ~ Steve Allard
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