Back a couple of months as the New Zealand summer meandered into autumn, I got an invitation that many anglers dream about.
"Do you want to join us on a helicopter fly-in to the high country above Taupo, (central North Island of New Zealand)?" asked Pam, bless her!
Despite my morbid fear of helicopters after some very dodgy experiences in my time in the army, I hesitated for about half-a-heartbeat, and blurted out "Yes! Please."
The day arrived and of course there was low cloud with drizzly rain, and every chance the flight would be cancelled. But no, the weather over the range was supposed to be fine and clear.
The fly-in revealed the crystal-clear headwaters of the river we were to fish. It was fairly Summer low, with shallow runs dropping into pools where the river turned in an apparently never ending series of bends. All framed by high country tussock, right up to the mostly steep banks, dropping near to, or vertically into the water. Beautiful!
Out of the helicopter on a small clearing in the high tussock, we rigged up the rods, and that’s when things got a bit tense. Steve, our guide, and a good mate of mine saw the fly I was about to tie on, and launched into a frank and meaningful critique of "that hideous beast". Full story