Chris Dore es uno de los guías mejor considerados de Nueva Zelanda. He tenido la suerte de compartir con él varias jornadas de pesca, comprobando que esa fama es bien merecida. Ahora que por aquellos lares la temporada acaba de empezar, Chris acaba de publicar un corto texto orientativo para pescadores viajeros. Me ha dado permiso para traducirlo, así que aquí está.
Plop! The big brown immediately turns itself and heads toward my little nymph; although not in a hurry, it shows some evident bad intent. A whitish blink from its mouth marks the instant in which the fish stops where —I suspect— my imitation is. When softly tightening the line I activate a mechanism that, at once, gets the fish performing some acrobatics a couple of meters above the water. After the big splash I feel that there is nothing pulling on the end of the line anymore. I smile, though; doubts about our election of this tiny spring creek —nothing but a very short and thin line on a map in a phone— dissipate themselves immediately.
It is not an easy question, and —who knows—, years ago, my answer would have been different. What I think now is that a top guide is that one who is able of turning a bad catching day into a good fishing session. It is all about the experience, and —in my book— that experience is about finding beauty and learning something in the process.
“A top guide is that one who is able of turning a bad catching day into a good fishing session”
At last! A long and deep pool of gin clear water! After a very long, sweaty hike upstream, where the river looked much more suitable for whitewater sports than for fishing, this was a really relieving view. I started scanning the water in the tail slowly progressing upstream. Nothing. I was close to the head of the pool when I saw the fish: a big brown trout patrolling the slow water in the far bank, lazily taking bites from the full of debris surface
That above is a common question in fly fishing forums. So common that, in fact, it is the title of a thread I read recently. And the most usual reply to that question goes along these lines: “Most fish are taken within 35 feet.”
But, what happens when the fish are active 20+ meters away? Do you pack all gear and get back home?
Plop! La gran trucha vuelve la cabeza de inmediato y se dirige hacia mi pequeña ninfa; sin prisa pero con evidente determinación. Un destello blanquecino de la boca señala el instante en el que el pez se detiene donde —intuyo— se encuentra mi imitación. Al templar la línea activo un mecanismo que, al instante, pone al pez a hacer acrobacias a un par de metros sobre el agua. Tras el salpicón, de inmediato siento que ya no hay nada tirando al otro lado de la línea. Sin embargo sonrío. Las dudas sobre nuestra elección, a puro ojo, de este diminuto spring creek —no más que una corta y delgadísima línea en el mapa— ya se han disipado.
It happened again yesterday. While having a wine with some friends it was mentioned that I like fishing, and even travel far away to practice it.
—Fishing? —said somebody—. It is so boring!
When people hear the word “fishing” what invariably comes to their mind is some guy sitting at the sea shore, listening to some football match in the radio while waiting for hours for any sign of life in the rod planted in front of him. Trying to explain that the fly fishing approach is exactly the opposite, is normally a waste of time.
What I will do from now on is to keep in my phone this video I shot of my mate Álvaro G. Santillán, to prove that fly fishing can be truly spectacular. Amazing job by an outstanding fisher. Will it succeed in showing all those laypersons that in fly fishing there is no time to get bored?
It was a week ago that we got back home from our fishing trip to New Zealand. Time to browse through thousands of pictures, delete a lot of them and keep the good ones, while savouring the memories that each photo brings back. Also time to reply some emails, messages and phone calls. A question is prevalent: how is the fishing over there?
Visiting New Zealand is in the dreams of every fly fisher. Traveling there for the first time doesn’t relieve the itch. In fact, you can’t wait to get back!
Not an easy feat, to be honest, as money and spare time are hurdles difficult to overcome.
But, when more than a year ago I received an invitation from Chris Dore for some fishing in the South Island, I decided that it was time to jump those hurdles. So almost two years after my first trip to the sight-fishing paradise, I was there again.
“If you ask fly fishing guides what is the one thing that they would like their clients to be able to do better in order to catch more fish, the answer is not that they could tie better flies, tie better knots or owned better equipment. It is resoundingly that they should cast better. If you ask fly casting instructors what is the one thing that they wish that their clients would do better, the answer is not that they read more books, watch more videos or even that they have more lessons (although that can help!). It is that they practice more.”