“It’s 9:43am, high summer beneath a glass-like sky and there’s a dazzling sun on a pastoral, some might say bucolic, Southland river. The upstream breeze triggers the grey-green tussock to radiate in rippling undulations below the steepening scrubland of the valley’s sides. We’re in the middle, Jeff Tyser and I, mulling over myriad crystalline currents flowing towards us, dancing over rocks of burnt-orange, burgundy and slate. It’s the sentient swaying, some way above us, of a chestnut-colour flutter that has us transfixed. It seems to have a pulse. Any doubts dematerialise as the big brown tilts imperceptibly, elevating itself in the water column. Its spots now clearly defined, its flanks golden, it returns deep within the rhythmic blend.
“Parachute… just wanna shorten this dropper.” Jeff said.
After all, we had the time.
“Maybe right side?” I said.
“Ja…fed right again, seems all-right”.
Greased up, Jeff steps the few feet closer to the bank and backhands his leader out the guides. Flick-hinging into a short forward from the true right, he turns a slick last loop, unfurling the long leader to lay a delicately trembling fly above the brown’s lie, swiftly approaching the heart of the matter.”
Ben Pellegrini in his issue 17 story Head Water Fever, about the back country rivers of South Island, New Zealand.