Wednesday, October 31, 2007



Fly-fishing the Manganui a te Ao

Hanging gardens and steep canyon walls. Deep pools and bubbling cascades. Clear turquoise water. Clear skies and perfect temperatures. Big, beautiful fish.

We celebrated Chris’ birthday a few days early with a guided fly-fishing trip. We hired a guide named John Somervell who specializes in back country trips. It was awesome. We fished the Manganui a te Ao River. To the Maori the name means “Big River of the World”. The entire landscape was amazing and the view seemed to get better around every corner. We had the river (and the fish) to ourselves. John patiently and thoughtfully guided us up the river. He was the perfect compliment to our setting – a seasoned guide with a passion for the outdoors. I’m sure we were very spoiled and we’re very pleased to have shared the day with him.
We caught wild rainbow and brown trout – there are no stocked fish in this area. Ranging from 2-4 lbs, Chris and I caught the biggest trout since we’ve been casting a line. I learned quite a bit throughout the day about how to handle bigger fish.
The most unexpected part of the day was what I felt when I returned the fish to the water. It was rather surreal – holding the fish in the water, cradled in my hands. At the very moment the fish swam away, I felt a real connection with my surrounding environment.
I think it’s what we call “in the moment”…

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