Time: 3:00PM – 5:00PM
Location: Thirty minutes from the carpark.
After we departed from the Routeburn River, Nick headed back toward Glenorchy to the Diamond River carpark. Nick described the Diamond as a spring creek, and it did in fact display spring creek characteristics. It flowed consistently between high banks, and thick aquatic vegetation lined the riverbed. The water projected a deep green color similar to the Pennsylvania spring creeks that I grew up near rather than the blue aqua shade of other New Zealand streams such as the just vacated Routeburn.
While I fished sporadically during the remaining two hours of my guided fishing day, Nick was mainly preparing me for a solo trip on Wednesday. He told me that under more advantageous conditions, fish rose frequently and consequently were fairly easy to spot. On Tuesday late afternoon, however, the wind was brutal, the air temperature was oppressive, and six fishermen had just pounded the area. We knew this because we passed them on their way back to the carpark.
Nick demonstrated how to cast across the stream to the opposite bank and then walk downstream with the pace of the current to enable a long drag free drift. This step was followed by a surface swing, and then he walked back upstream while extending the rod out over the stream as far as possible. The last tactic was to feed out line to create a nice downstream presentation along the bank. It was readily obvious to me that this cycle created several long drag free drifts along each bank, and typically those areas are the home of large brown trout. I was sold. I practiced this technique a few times and managed a refusal over a light colored shelf on one circuit.
Within the last thirty minutes I shot some long casts to the far bank, and as I shuffled through the grass, the fly drifted fifteen feet when a large mouth appeared. I paused, and just as Nick shouted “set”, I reacted and felt the momentary weight of the hook catching the lip of a decent fish. Alas that was the best I could on the Diamond River, but the two hours whet my appetite for a return visit on Wednesday.