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Winding Up The 2011/2012 Season

With the 2011/2012 fishing season coming to a close it was time to squeeze in one last trip. The trip was split into two halves, the first was with a couple of the lads from the Fishermans Loft and the second was solo fishing up some West Coast rivers. With the bike packed and ready to go the trip was kicked off with a nine hour adventure ride through back roads to arrive at a batch on the West Coast.

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At some stages throughout the day the weather was a little intimidating but thankfully I was looked after with dry weather the entire day
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One of the last places for a looksee before reaching the batch was the old Blackwater gold mining township on the West Coast. You can ride along the original town roads which are spotted with information boards, photographs and the remnants of historic buildings. Very interesting place, certainly worth a look, Waiuta Road - Blackwater Gold Mine Relics

Let the fishing begin...

After catching up with everyone at the batch, some tucker and a good nights sleep we were off to tackle some browns. The weather was overcast but calm and warm, perfect conditions for the float tube. The day brought mixed results for everyone proving to be a little tougher fishing than normal, four nice browns made their way into my net so I was pretty happy with day one.

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A bit of a giveaway on the location
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It was great weather for float tubing over the shallows
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Day two...

I'm not that much of a drinker so a few too many beers had me feeling a little dusty in the morning, the relaxed start was certainly welcomed. After brekkie we again headed off to the same area as the day before. Once Scott had finished winging because he spilt his only V drink we hit the water and began the day's fishing :) Again the results were fairly mixed, the fish seemed to be surprisingly wary which we put down to the pressure the lake would have received with the string of good weather over the last month, especially with the school holidays. I had a tough time with the glare and missed a few good opportunities however I managed to net two fish that day, both were just shy of five pounds and fought like freight trains, great fun!

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Day 3

It was a humorous and enjoyable two days with the Fishermans Loft lads but as day three rolled around it was time for me to part ways and head off to camp-out and fish a couple of West Coast rivers. Back roads made up the majority of the route where possible and the weather made for a great days riding.

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Day 4

The weather was forecast to be fairly average for day four so I was absolutely stoked to see clear blue skies and not a breath of wind. I have fished this river before and normally see a reasonable number of medium-sized browns however this time the water appeared to be completely void of fish. After walking 2 1/2 km without seeing even one measly fish I was heavily debating turning around and fishing a different stretch of water, but, I knew there was a very nice pool 3 1/2 km up so I pushed on. As I carefully approached the pool I was relieved to see two fish out feeding, things got even better when one of them slurped up a nymph that barely had time to break the water's surface. As the day progressed I walked a further 4 km upstream and saw only two more (highly spooky) fish of which neither wanted to play ball with me. Mental note, not the best river for late season fishing.

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Peering into the pool that held the two browns
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Not a trophy by any means but a good nick 3 1/2 lb that fought well for its size
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Day 5

Luck was going my way, the weather on day five was once again warm, calm and boosting plenty of sun to aid in spotting. With late season low clear water conditions the fishing was tough, very tough, but perseverance and a ridiculously long leader resulted in two stunning 6 lb+ browns that both packed a punch. What a way to finish up the 2012 season, absolutely stoked!

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The inside bend where the fish below was feeding
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An absolute beauty of a brown, plump and in superb condition
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Another great nick brown that put up a valiant fight
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After packing up the bike it was time to head home and plan for the upcoming season...