Rule #1 of Photography

We all have heard various rules of photography such as don’t shoot into the sun, compose on the thirds, watch for distracting background elements etc. However, I think the first rule of photography should be :

“DON’T LEAVE YOUR CAMERA BEHIND”

After fishing rivers around the Lake Taupo district, my mate Roy and myself stayed a couple of extra days to explore around Rotorua.  During the day we checked out various tourist spots. The distinctive Hydrogen Sulpide smell certainly takes a bit to get used to. However the geothermal activity is just astounding!! Apart from the tourist spots where you can see geysers, bubbling mud and multi-coloured pools there are so many spots around Rotorua where the lake edge is bubbling and steam is venting in parks and even out of the gutter where roadworks are being carried out!

At night we tried our luck for trout in Lake Rotorua. It is reported that the lake has one of the highest populations of trout in New Zealand. Apparently in summer the water temperature often gets to warm for the trout so they seek respite in the cooler currents of spring-fed streams that empty into the lake. Advice from the local tackle store said that you would need to wade out some 100-200m from shore. Even here the fish are able to take advantage of the subtle temperature changes. I thought that carrying a backpack that far out into the water then trying to wrestle with a rod a camera and a flash would be a recipe for disaster…

As we left the unit at the caravan park I joke to Roy about leaving the camera behind would almost guarantee that we would catch a big fish. When we arrived at the stream mouth there were about half a dozen other locals, all lined up fishing a largish pool that marked the junction of the stream and the lake. There were also considerable numbers of sizable fish jumping, just to add to the excitement.

It certainly is a different fly fishing experience to cast smelt (baitfish) patterns in the dark. After losing a few fish Roy lands a very respectable brown. I am not sure why, but I keep losing fish by snapping my leader. Each time you curse because you have snagged the bottom, but then the bottom suddenly takes off. These are very hefty fish indeed!

Finally I stay connect to a very solid fish. Roy tells me to hurry up and land it, but at this point it is still stripping line off at an alarming rate. A local offers to help land the fish, as neither of us has a net. The fish is huge and almost does not fit in the net. In old terms it is 12lb – a double-figure fish. Generally a fish this big is regarded as  a “trophy fish” and you get it taxidermied and hang it on your wall. However, I have no intention of killing such a fine fish and the only thing I would like to hang on my wall is a great photo.

Dang – No DSLR!

Luckily I have my iPhone, so at least a get a “record” shot, but not a great shot.

We end up having a brilliant session, with several monsters lost and some “smaller” 4lbers landed

Ah well – I guess next time I will have my good camera with me…

Mark’s personal best – a 12lb brown trout

Roy’s 7lb brown trout

 

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