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A couple of days up in the High Country fly fishing

The weather forecast for the weekend was predicting gusty norwest winds, heavy cloud, patchy rain and cold temperatures. Not really the most appealing fishing weather, but, I had a High Country lake lined up I was pretty keen to tackle so I loaded up the bike and headed off regardless.

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Nearing the High Country, the hills were looking dark and wet
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Surprisingly, once I parked the bike up and threw on my backpack the sun poked its nose out
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First glimpse of the lake
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The hut for the two nights

Good weather followed me on foot all the way to the hut but almost as soon as I turned the doorknob the rain came pouring down, talk about timing! It was pretty much bang-on tea time so I raced up some chicken on rice, had a read of the hut book and then got an early night for the start in the morning .

Eagerly hitting the water in the morning I was surprised to see a fairly glassy lake. Optimistically thinking I could be in for some easy sight fishing was soon dismissed as the wind picked up just 15 minutes later. It certainly made sight fishing tough going, but fish were patrolling close to the banks so it wasn't too long before a few small browns were picked up with some exciting dry fly action.

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A surprising number of 2 to 3 pound browns were patrolling this edge
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As the sun periodically streamed out through gaps in clouds the insect action started to pick up. There was a huge variety of insects about, one of the reasons why I love February fishing and the dry fly action that can be had
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One of the many smaller browns picked up early on. Many dived into the weed beds putting tippet strength to the test working them back up
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At certain points I found relief from the brunt of the wind and was able to sight fish some of the shallower shelves. With heavy bush cover I had to resort to some creative casting though
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This beauty leaped a good metre out of the water while attacking my cicada!
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Both the sun and the wind came and went throughout the day. Every now and then when the sun was out and the wind was calm some exciting sight fishing was had
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Another brown sent on his way. In total six browns and one extremely feisty rainbow came to the net all on dry flies, nothing of substantial size but a really fun day anyway
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Back at the hut I was joined by a group of four, they were friendly bunch which made for some great conversation. Here they are preparing two trout for tea, the chap in the red hat had recently completed an epic trip on a C50 scooter of all things, covering thousands of kilometres in remote countries tackling many high altitude sub-zero Tibetan passes as he made his way to London
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The next morning was very calm, as I stalked the edges heading to a nearby river I picked up another two browns on dries, a great way to get the day started
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On the stretch of river lined up I had been told fish were few and far between this far up at this time of the season. I thought I'd chance it anyway since I was in the area, but unfortunately, the advice was correct. Even in the most pristine clear stable pools, bends and pockets not a fish was to be seen. I blind fished some likely water but it merely served as casting practise.
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The return trip back to the bike
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The ride back out was great and bumping into a number of adventure riders from both the South and North Island made for some good chinwags before heading home and wrapping up a successful and enjoyable trip