by Tony Orman
Some anglers cannot laugh at themselves and they take trout fishing far too seriously to the point of being competitive. This stern attitude seems more prevalent at Taupo. Frankly a competitive angler is a boor. They want to compete, score more than you do and will indulge in “put downs” not unlike sledging in cricket. You might liken them to their counterparts in cricket like, well remember Australians Shane Warne, Glen McGrath and the Kiwi Adam Parore, all constant and carping “sledgers”?
If you’re not into cricket, take my word for it.
I remember a couple of nights at Whakaipo Bay near Taupo when I encountered an expert, an immigrant from Europe who was also a well known figure in trout fishing circles. Why he’d written a book! But then so had I (“Trout with Nymph” ). So too did did Roger Douglas, Rob Muldoon and Richard Prebble – hardly good company. Undoubtedly my Whakaipo Bay “friend” was a good angler but he was vociferous and free with advice – whether you wanted it or not.
Even in the dark, his advice was constant. He took to criticising me. The slow sinker line I used was useless I was told. The trout were hard going, so perhaps his constant talking-down-to-me did his ego good? Perhaps he was God’s Gift to Trout Fishing? Perhaps he got verbally beaten by his wife and so turned on fellow anglers?
After 20 minutes I was getting fed up with his babbling. He had no fish. Nor did I. Then suddenly I had a take. I tightened into a solid fish and landed it.
“Ach! Lucky one!” he snorted derisively.
I was smiling. The Fishing Gods were having fun. I went back to fishing just daring to hope they’d reward me again. And they did. I landed a second rainbow of 2 kgs. I heard an audible grunt or was it a snarl from my “companion.” He hooked one but the Gods decreed he deserved to lose it. It got off.
Ten minutes later, I hooked another and I let the trout run, the fly reel’s ratchet music to my ears but harsh to the other. I landed the fine rainbow and my learned “friend” was sulky and stomped off, grumbling obscenities to himself.
Now that was a memorable night although I detest competitive fishing.
The Piscatorial Gods had taken the “mickey” out of the conceited fellow.
I remember fishing a small spring creek tributary of the Waikato with another nationally known angler who had written a book or two on trout fishing. I hadn’t fished for a few months due to work commitments and being in Wellington. My casting was rusty. But he was into the competition thing. He scoffed at my casting but at the end of the evening rise I had two browns although not big, and he had none for all his slick casting and sledging.
But now it’s no real big deal whether I score a few trout or even don’t. Catching a trout is not so important as just going out there