The Cobb

There is no shortage of magnificent rivers of every kind in the Nelson/Tasman District, in fact it’s a brown trout paradise.  And we are on our way to one of those rivers, the Cobb. A blue, cloudless sky promises a great day and when we meet the couple joining us, everyone’s expectations are high. The drive over Takaka Hill and up the Takaka Valley is very scenic and soon after leaving the main road we enter Kahurangi National Park. Signs along the unsealed, narrow road lead to remnants of early settlement and mining activities and the beauty of the surrounding native forest is stunning. After an hour and a half we arrive at the saddle above the Cobb reservoir. In a distance we can see the Cobb River entering the head of the lake, surrounded by an impressive backdrop of high mountain peaks covered in fresh snow. Half an hour later we arrive at the road end and are surprised to find several cars already parked there. We try not to be too disappointed, but are prepared to find the river already occupied by other anglers.

A basic walking track leads up the valley and, following the advice of another fly fisherman, we decide to walk for at least an hour before we start looking for fish. The valley floor is covered in patches of native beech forest, scrub and grass land and everyone is enjoying the scenery. After a little more than an hour we can’t help ourselves any longer and walk down to the river and start searching for fish. Not long and the first big Brown trout is spotted. Getting it to take one of our flies is another story though and after many fly changes we move on. A ripple further up looks promising and is fished blind with a nymph. A chunky little rainbow cannot resist and is quickly released. Despite the river looking very promising we can only spot a couple more fish that day and don’t manage to catch much. Good company, a yummy riverside lunch and the sheer beauty of the place make more than up for the slow fishing and we can’t wait to be back. Not just because we see some very big fish on the way back to the car!

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