Coast a tonic for quake weary
How can one talk about fishing when many Christchurch anglers have been up to their knees or worse in an earthquake disaster?
The truth is, if it were not for the media, people outside the immediate environs of Christchurch would have little knowledge or comprehension of the disaster that has befallen the citizens of that fair city. The exceptional efforts made under very trying circumstances by newspapers, radio, TV, and the many forms of digital media, have been central to spreading the word on the horrendous devastation and loss of life.
Communities outside Christchurch have experienced only limited disruption – and some anglers will indeed be out fishing as you read this.
Relief work will continue for some time, but later anglers from outside the immediate area might consider support for their unfortunate counterparts.
I would like to see South Island angling clubs connect with the various Christchurch angling clubs to establish a network of ongoing support to fellow anglers. It’s at times such as this that the power of networking really comes to the fore.
Just offering to take someone who has lost everything away for an afternoon to the Rakaia, Waimakariri, or Hurunui rivers, or to a fishing club activity or meeting, could be the little bit of relaxation so desperately needed.
We should remember that many of the enthusiastic Christchurch anglers we know have had their lives shattered. The last thing on their mind will be the smashed fishing gear or any thought of rest and recuperation. They will need time out.
And so, I ask anglers everywhere to check on their counterparts in Christchurch and be a stable friend in the manner you would appreciate if the roles were reversed.
Anglers outside of Christchurch will face nothing more disastrous than discoloured rivers and spooked trout. On today’s scale of things these are only minor frustrations.
But frustrations they are, and that’s when I tend to turn to the scenic beauty of the area to let that stimulate my passion for the great outdoors. I believe most anglers feel likewise about the scenery in which they fish and so, today I would encourage anglers not knee deep in the disaster to consider the West Coast as the tranquil spot for their next fishing expedition and, if possible, include a Christchurch angler in your group.
The West Coast is New Zealand’s true wilderness fishery. It offers fishing opportunities not seen elsewhere in New Zealand.
This is the heart of steep bush terrain, where a wrong turning can add hours to a long walk back to the car and where birdlife, native bush and beautiful fishing holes are always within sight. Perhaps the most under-utilised fishery in the South Island, the West Coast offers lake, stream and river fishing that’s magnificent by any standards, and best of all, you’ll seldom see another angler on the water!
From sub-tropical Karamea to picturesque Haast, the West Coast provides breathtaking scenery. Don’t be fooled by the density of riverbank bush. It can be difficult to traverse, but most anglers wear wading boots and take any available short-cut within the stream bed.
Highways usually cross streams at the narrowest or most convenient point, and on the West Coast this often means there is little to enthuse about at the highway. But a kilometre upstream or downstream the water is often perfect for trout angling. Mixing piscatorial pleasure into the day is a survival technique Christchurch anglers could benefit from right now.