Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Trout, Trout, Pretty Little Trout…

So long as water moves, so long as fins press against it, so long as weather changes and man is fallible, fish will remain in some measure unpredictable. And so long as there is unpredictability, there will be luck, both good and bad.

Roderick Haig-Brown

Those with an affinity for fly-fishing already know what I am about to say, as secrets this good seldom remain hidden. You see, passionate people with knowledge of the sublime simply can’t bear to keep quiet; the pressure to share is overwhelming. Oh, they may try, and indeed try zealously. However, soon, their excitement overwhelms them, and they start to crack, telling first one, then another. Before long, people are talking, and the secret is out, flying free among the general public until it is a secret no more.

Occasionally however, there is some little quirk that protects a secret even after the world starts to talk. It could be anything really – timing, geography, a fluke of nature. These are the best secrets, the ones that last for generations, unspoiled by the modern world.

The secret is this: New Zealand is home to some of the best fly-fishing in the world.

Picture this: The river runs clear and cold. You crouch behind a boulder, the icy water numbing your lower legs. Oblivious to everything but the monster rainbow slowly finning 60 feet upstream, you silently stalk your fish. An eagle soars overhead, riding the thermals in this remote canyon, but you notice not. Three more steps and you will be in position to make the cast. Fighting to stay silent against the current, you move upstream, your eyes never wavering from your fish. You peel away some line, and begin your cast. The rod moves and your line floats away into the distance. One false cast. Then another. Then release, and your line flies through the air, your fly alighting gently on the water. A quick mend, and the fly is drifting naturally towards your hungry prey. With a powerful stroke of her tail, the rainbow launches upwards through the water column and into the air, taking your fly, your line, and your heart with her.

With more than 700 rivers and 200 lakes containing one of the most substantial wild trout populations in the world, New Zealand is a fly angler’s paradise. Of course, you knew that. The word has been out since the 1800s. Its only because New Zealand is insulated from the rest of the world by thousands of miles of open ocean, that it remains pristine to this day. The secret is out. Go fish New Zealand.

Enjoy the New Zealand Trout Fishing Photo Gallery.

Enjoy the Underwater Trout video.

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