The Tug is the Drug !! NZ

9 1/2 lb Brown !!!!

Mararoa River

Keeping warm watching TV in Rambo the night before the big day .

Following my last post after being forced off the Oreti by bad weather , we returned to South Mavora to give it another go . However temperature dropped rain fell and the wind blew we and we all clambered into Rambo to sit the night out , morning saw a slight improvement as the wind was unfavourable for the Oreti we decided to fish the Mararoa river which drains Mavora , we drove down the access road and dropped one veh we then drove 7 kms to another access point and started to fish upstream . Sighting fish was difficult due to the light and as the river was predominately riffle we were forced to blind fish likely water using dry fly indicators on 15` leaders 3x . Marty was soon into a 4 1//2 lb Rainbow , I was beaten up by large rainbow which screamed off into fast water and slipped the hook !! We then struggled to find fish and we walked 4kms without a fish . Had we not left the car at our exit point we would have turned back due to the impossibility to sight fish and lack of holding pools . We were forced to push on Marty on the right bank Josh & I on the left , we rounded a bend to find a pool !!! and quickly spotted fish , Martys position made it impossible for him and he was forced to make a detour away from the river to negotiate a steep bank , and find a way across to us as the river was pushing hard and lack of crossing points , Josh took first shot and a well executed first cast resulted in a good looking Brown which dived into rocks and broke free , other fish were cast to but all spooked !!
We were joined by Marty from upstream after a difficult crossing back to our bank , with news that he`d seen no sign of holding water we then pushed on upstream , cursing the light .
We where roughly a km from the veh when we found a small pool on a bend and slowed up , a fish was sighted at the head of the pool a small dark shape , I was on point and the shot was mine , the fish was small and as we where tired and it was getting late the boys were discussing buying beers as I was left to place my cast 30 ft , dry and nymph fell and drifted to the dark smudge a side current drew the dry into the bank away from the fish , it swung off station side on to us and looked at the dry and swung back unimpressed ! Spooked not sure another cast was taken and ignored , mutterings of spooked and movements to move on , I decided to change nymph , weighted sedge larvae was cast no movement , cast again no movement , I was loosing any hope , change fly one more time then we move , peering into my box of rapidly decreasing patterns I was drawn to a Hares ear that looked good with a bit of weight I`d tied over Xmas , Marty offered me a nymph from his box , I opted for mine , tired eyes made attaching the fly an age however the cast was made , did the dry slide under ??? I raised the rod and felt the tug of the fish , he moved up and back shaking his head in confusion , then made the short move to the fast water and he was away in the fast flowing current chased by two cowboys with nets and a hobbling Brit being dragged downstream , we were faced with no landing options , as I was down to 3x I was confident it would hold , and I gave it some onion and swung the fish in to Marty who was into his waist bravely struggling to stand and hold the submerged net the fish lowered and a scoop was made , Marty looked white as we all realised this was no 4 pounder !!
Fish was now upset and took off for real and we chase and the cowboys struggled to outrun the fish to get downstream and I was unceremoniously dragged along struggling to hold the weight in the strong current my six weight straining and bucking in my hands reel singing , the boys got ahead and Marty went in deep keen to net this fish straining to hold himself steady the fished moved on again using his bulk and size in the strong current , I held the fish back as strong as I dare and with straining rod and arm , Marty once more took position and I allowed the fish to drift back , the net was lifted and the prize was ours a team effort 9 1/2 pound Brown my best trout ever for all of us , photos taken hurriedly are brief gift was returned unharmed and swam away leaving us whooping and dancing on the bank , I owe these guys as I seriously no my chances of landing this fish alone were very low . Thanks guys , Fly fishing creates special bonds and its a brotherhood of special people and that moment will live in are memories for all time .
We walked out with thoughts of what we had experienced and celebrated later at The Moose Bar Te Anau .
We separated this morning and they drove North , you can check them out at
Hope you like the pics
Go chase it Mark !!!