2008-01-24. Waitomo. Day Eight.

Today I woke up and had a coffee, undid the trailers from the vans, and got a ride from Holly, an Aussie, to the end of Ngatapuwae Road where I walked solo into the bush in search of Moakurua Stream at 8.30am. I found a track to the left today however did not take it because there was no stick across it. An hour and a half later I end up on the stream after climbing to nearly 100-feet, and then back down to 250-feet. I found a wild goat skull on the track and was taunted by thousands of Cicada’s on my tramp to the creek. The bush off of the trail is thick and feature to some serious gorges and valleys that drop off quickly.

The creek is a freestone and had very clear water in it. It meandered nicely however the water was very low. I was wading in my trainers which made the freestones very difficult to navigate, I slipped and fell more than once with hundreds of scrambles to stay on my feet.

This creek had fish in it and indeed they were much larger than the fish in Waitomo Stream. I had with me a four-weight however the bulk of the fish in this stream would require a six or eight weight, which I have back at the Marae.

The fish in this creek were very spaced out. Some runs would have one fish others none. The browns were as big as my forearm and larger with the rainbows being as big as my arms, they were indeed steelhead sized.

I managed to hook-up with one brown on a #12 tungsten bead head pheasant tail. The fish was a rocket and managed to head upstream with my entire leader. My leader was not knotted to my fly line, it was poked and glued in. it is a huge bummer.

Flipping over rocks reveiled to me a few types of mayfly nymphs, they appeared similar to Ephermerella Subvaria/Rotunda and Baetis Vagans, however I am sure that they were a different species entirely, and a few types of caddis that were a grey-ish brown tan color versus Minnesota’s typical green.

I managed to walk a few km’s up stream before falling and feeling like I did some damage to my hip. I figured I would have a two-and-a-half to three hour walk back to the Marae so I headed back around 1pm in order to get back in time for dinner.

The hike back took me 2 hours and 45 minutes. On my walk back I placed my rod in my pack in order to make for an easier hike out. I saw more fish on the hike downstream than I did upstream. this included a pair of Bows that were well over twenty inches in length. I watched them cruise a run for a bit, stacked my rod together and managed one cast at the larger of the two before spooking them into nothing. No worries though, there is no way that I would’ve been able to land these fish with my four-weight. I did not take any photos of the fish on this stream because for the majority of them it was one look at them and they vanished. This stream’s trout truly only offer one opportunity, whether it be a look or a bad cast.

I managed to find a sleeping wild goat on the trail. I took a few snapshots before it woke up. I hey-awwed at it and the thing took off like a black streak into the bush. It moved really fast. Must be the worlds fastest wild goat.

We had burritos for dinner. After dinner we set out to do some bouldering with some local guides. We got a nail through our tire and had to change the flat. We did make it to the bouldering field in time to have a few climbs. I went back to the guides house without the rest of the group and had a rum and cranberry with a surf kayaker named Terry. His flatmate, Ryan, was our groups guide during our blackwater rafting trip last week.

I got a ride to the bar for a pint but found that Curly raised his prices from $3.30NZD a beer to $4.60NZD so I got a 6-pack to go and walked up the hill to the Marae in the rain alone.

Click on the image below to see the photos from the day.