Well, some time ago I promised to post some trip reports of some of the fishing we get up to down here in NZ. I have to admit I don't take enough pix when fishing - so I often don't have a lot to back up the stories! But I took the camera on a recent trip to an area in the North Island between Taupo and Napier where my buddy Ross and I fished a small back country stream called the Waipunga for a morning only (unfortunately it was the last day of the trip and we had to head back to domesticity). The Waipunga is a tributary of the much larger Mohaka River. It here meanders through a tussock and scrub covered valley before dropping over a waterfall into a gorge. So the fishing is in two parts - the gorge where both browns and rainbows reside and access is very difficult - even though a road follows it for a good distance - and above the falls where there are only (sometimes very large) resident browns. We fished the upper part. You can see from some of the pictures that the banks are completely over-grown and in the most part bank fishing is nigh-on impossible. So the best method is to work your way very quietly up the stream bed - that is in most places either bedrock or clean gravel. The water is crystal-clear and the insect life very abundant. We left our waders behind and fished in boots and shorts (something we do quite a bit of here in summer - no snakes!) - but being April which is our Autumn, the water temperature was really cold so by the time we got out of the water our feet were practically numb. Have to re-think that strategy next time. Anyway, we found that each pool usually held one resident fish. We spooked one "trophy" size fish - easily 10 pound or more - before we even got a cast in, by crossing too close to him. Unbelievable, a fish that size in 12" of water about 10 feet wide! He's still there. We took turns fishing my 7' 6" Composite Developments 4 weight - using size 14-16 very lightly weighted nymphs - fishing to sighted fish. I love this style of fishing - it demands real accuracy and stealth and in my book if you can fool one of these fish into taking, then you've already won - landing one is an absolute bonus. I managed to land (and release) one beautifully coloured jack (picture attached). He was a mending fish - still with a bit of condition to put on, but would have weighed around the 3/12 to 4 pound mark if we had weighed him. I came upon him as I stalked quietly up-stream. He was only about 2 feet off the left bank in a very over-grown stretch, directly under low hanging braches coming from both sides, lying on the side of a gentle run in only 18" of water. I took my time and spent a few minutes very slowly moving to within about 20 feet of him , down stream and on the opposite side. Didn't dare move closer. I let out a few metres of line downstream, and put in a back-hand side cast under the branches and slightly up stream and into the middle of the run. Too far out, but he hadn't moved. Tried again - a little closer, but no interest. Really hard to avoid the foliage, and by now my hands were shaking from the adrenaline. I adjusted the line length, turned my body a little less square to the current, and put in another cast. This time the nymph dropped in about 6 feet above him and drifted slowly to within 6" of him - his body stiffened, he slowly turned opened his big jaws and took the fly! A few stong runs and some photos later and he was released. A beauty. He was the only fish landed that morning, but it didn't matter. It's a beautiful, unspoilled spot. And it was an absolute pleasure to fish in a place where there are no paths, and no signs of other fishermen at all. We'll be back in spring. On another note, I have just received my first pontoon boat - a Bucks Bags Bronco Extreme 11 - purchsed from Herndon Rods and shipped all the way to NZ from Boise Idaho! What a mission, but fantastic service from Tara at Herndon Rods (thanks!) and I am real tempted to look seriously at one of their handcrafted split bamboo rods - would be nice on the Waipunga! Anyway, I have adventures planned for that boat - so I'll try to remember the camera and will post a few stories. Cheers!