The Eternal Optimist Number Three

The Eternal Optimist Number Three.  

The third missing fly in the fly box.

If  I remember correctly it was a long walk from the road to find this hidden spring creek. Tucked away in the back blocks of Canterbury, New Zealand.   A classic trout hide out.     Just imagining what was under the over hanging tussocks could bring on a brain fizz.


The first few drifts along perfect hiding spots had no response.   What’s going on?   I moved up a bit and spot a tail poking out of the shadows at the edge of a tussock.


 When fishing in tight water I often have the fly rod resting on my shouldered and the line and leader trailing in the water directly behind me.  This lets me make the forward up shoot cast with no tangles or backcast problems.   It also lets me check the distance to the target, all at the same time, and then the next forward cast is the presentation cast. 


This being done well still did not draw the fish out.  Change of fly required  and no second cast as some are prone to do thinking the fish missed seeing the fly.   This is NZ fishing, they see bloody every thing.  Oh!  did I mention the leader and tippet is 14 foot long making sure the fish only sees the fly.   The first fly presented was a beetle and no response, the next fly a #16 Stimulator.    That tail is still sticking out of the shadow, all good to go.   Presentation cast in the right spot, and as the drifting fly moves along the tussock a large blue black head emerges.   The body attached looks about 2 feet long.   If this fish eats the fly I could well be in a world of pain.     As casual as you like the head comes through the surface, mouth open and the fly is engulfed.  He is big.   Strike slow flashes through my mind no brain fizz now.   The hook is set and the water boils, whats he going to do?  Dive under the tussock, perhaps come down stream and go between my legs or even up stream?  Yes!  like a Nuclear Sub at full speed and in a matter of seconds he is out of sight up stream and round the corner with the fly line peeling off the reel in a blur.    I start running up the stream after him trying to get some line back on the reel,  no hope he is still taking line.   Then as suddenly as it started it stopped he has dived under a tussock to hide.    I wade forward winding line back onto the reel as I go.    I get about two bends up stream winding in 30 meters and then see the join of the fly line to leader.    It’s  just short of a tussock and the leader is disappearing up along the undercut bank.   Taking hold of the leader I slide my hand along searching for the tippet knot, or the fish.    Best visit this spot again.           I  need more Royal Stimulators  from


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