Last weekend Matt and I headed into the upper Whanganui river with my buddy Tim for a few days of early season fishing. The plan was to fish liberally over three days and do a little bit of hunting in the morning and evenings and in the days leading up to our departure the weather forecast was actually on the improve, until we were about to head in on the Friday morning that is.
Don't you just love seeing heavy rain warnings for your area when doing a last weather check? Me niether.
Even worse is checking the state of the river in Taumaranui before you depart for the bush, not a good look. Regardless, by this stage we were committed and had a couple of plan b's should the fishing not pan out. So still feeling confident that we might just have a slightly coloured and high river to deal with we set forth with youthful optimisim and plenty of beer.
I think relentless is probably the best word to describe the rain we experienced over the next three days. With a couple of half hearted attempts at fishing here and there we were resigned to the fact we were going to have to find other means of entertainment.
First things to do was make sure the 22 was sighted in. Many a beer can died an honourable death that weekend. And a few eggs. And a lettuce.
The area where we were had plenty of deer to try and chase but in rain like this they tend to do the sensible thing and tuck up out of the way. We wasted a few hours here and there trying to track some down but to no avail apart from the one Tim almost walked into...
Plenty of theorising went down about where the fish might be sitting out of the flow, or when the river might drop or if the rain would ever stop. The town of Whanganui is currently cut off by flooding which may indicate how much water was gathering in the river.
Plan B, C & D.
A cosy fire made drying all the wet gear from failed hunting attempts nice and easy.
The games of Last Card were extensive and heated.
But probably the highlight of the trip and a once in a lifetime experience was the visit we had from our mate Pio the Whio. This part of the river has plenty of the endangered Blue Ducks living in the area and being spring there were quite a few young chicks around the place but Pio was a lone ranger with no parents in sight until he decided Matt was to be his new mother. Pio lived a dangerous life on Matt's heels for about three hours with the ever present danger of getting stood on if he wasn't careful. He even took a wee nap in Matts pocket for a bit before we had to leave him behind. It was a sad sight watching him try to chase and catch up with us as we were leaving. Fingers crossed he's still out there and back with his family or learning to fend for himself ok.
A brief break in the weather on the way out. Typical.
4WD and quad bike access makes for a fun trip in and out, especially after plenty of rain.
So in short, we went fishing but didn't fish but still had fun. I'm stilll waiting for this season to kick in for me with a couple of dud fishing attempts so far but that's the way spring goes I guess.