His father wrote: Hi Ross, The magic TRM hat works on perch as well as trout!! He did it all apart from unhooking it. I had a huge proud dad moment.
Felix has no idea of the problems he created. While having a cup of tea with some other TRM inmates they started asking for more info about the scribe’s history, demanding full info on my own fishing history? They claimed that as we had misled them and they had endured TRM reports for the last 12 years, they had every right to insist on knowing more of my inexperience (?) and lack of qualifications to write about it.
They even threatened to interview me on a TRM inmates interview!
Fair enough Trev and Paddy – so here goes: (apologies for the grainy iPad images from the old photo album)
We used a cunning strategy. As I could not cast the line far enough we had to fish in pairs with one kid carrying the line out over the railway bridge to drop it into the stronger current, for the other to wind in, then swopping over. It was slow and physical but remarkably successful too.
A few times we hooked into something much bigger than kawhai that took all our line and gear. There was no way we could hold on to them. We think they were salmon? Kids imagination? I wonder…
Then – as indicated above on left – in summer 1958/59 I graduated to snapper in Paremata Harbour – near Pauatahanui. For these we had our own secret technique. Some old rock weirs had been formed out on the point of the tidal flats near Pauatahanui Harbour. The rocky beds were from an unsuccessful attempt many years before to establish oyster beds. There were not enough oysters for a feed but just enough little oysters to use for ‘ground bait’. So we would sneak out at low tide and crush a couple of oysters so that their oily scent would leak out as the tide came in. Soon after we would see the tell-tale signs of snapper tails waving at us as they tried to suck the oysters off the rocks. It was probably illegal but, as kids, we knew no rules – we just caught fish any way we could. So there you are.
The 1963 image of mass inshore slaughter (above right for Graham Carter?) may also have been illegal as we were not aware of any fishery regulations on minimum catch? Original photo was taken somewhere in the Queen Charlotte Sounds.
The first photo evidence of my graduation to the gentle art of trout fishing was definitely illegal. Army training in 1967 – a Vietnam training exercise, living off the land in a water catchment region where fishing and shooting were not allowed. But as the CO was due for lunch we enjoyed bbq trout entree with venison back steaks for main course. The trout would have been caught on a hand line as well… I hope the statute of limitations should protect me from a fine fifty years later?
So there you are. All that noble family history should satisfy the critics? Hopefully the images confirm the gradual development into a purist angler?
But to be brutally honest, these TRM Daily Reports started out as a commercial blog trawling for new guests – aka inmates. OK? Their preparation keeps me out of the laundry and saves costs on motel advertising and are far more effective.
At the same time it is necessary to try to compensate for my lack of knowledge, by describing the overall serious fly fishing business in a lighter humorous manner, to keep wannabe TRM inmates amused and entertained by witty repartee? The response was outstanding considering my limited computer ability. Most of the reports are pinched from other blogs or facebooks or from inmates’ experiences. The most important lesson from anglers over the last decade is that the most contented and successful are not concerned about catching trout.
These fortunate anglers are more caught up in the enthralling river environment as the best antidote to traffic jams and city stress and family survival struggles. The number of fish landed is very secondary to just being there.
These historic photos have been cleverly selected in chronological order to show what trout fishing is really all about in the end – the eventual discovery of the 100% pure river environment found only by exploring new places to fish… such as above on the Clinton River in Fiordland in 1987.
Not forgetting the delightful people we share the wilderness with who make it exceptionally memorable too… OK?
TRM would love to show some other images of your first fish too. Send them in with your story…