Posts Tagged ‘NZ Trout fishing’

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!

Lucky days

The drive from Wairoa north of Hawke Bay to Murupara is arguably one of the most scenic in the country. Also the road through the Urewera National Park is unsealed for many kilometers, it is suitable for conventional cars. Rivers, creeks, native forest and of course beautiful Lake Waikaremoana are all features of a special journey.

On arrival at Aniwhenua Lodge near Murupara we were welcomed by Luna, a cheeky ostrich peeking through the window of our cottage. Our hosts Graeme and Joan Ryder quickly set us up with the latest information about the river conditions and the fishing and off we went. With the main rivers, the Rangitaiki and the Whirinaki, running pretty high and dirty, we had a ball fishing small tributaries of the Rangitaiki River for the next 9 days. We caught some very nice Brown and Rainbow trout on our 5 weight rods set up with 2 nymphs. The fish were aggressive and after trying natural patterns as a point fly without much success, we used small egg patterns (#14 or 16) with good results.

The Horomanga, a small river flowing through a very narrow, beautiful valley usually gets a good run of fish from Lake Aniwhenua. And the Horomanga has the added bonus of a basic track following its banks. Because of the thick, impenetrable vegetation along many of the rivers with black berry and gorse playing havoc with waders, the only way of getting up and down a river is usually in the river itself. So after many hours of fishing, a track makes walking back much easier and quicker than having to wade all the way back in the water.

The fishing was great and being on our own on the water most of the time was even better. But even good things come to an end and winter will hopefully see a lot more fish coming up the rivers and doing their thing.

We are already looking forward to being back in summer. Aniwhenua Lodge is definitely a great place to be with so many backcountry rivers and Lake Aniwhenua right at its doorstep.