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Thread: Outrageous but true stories...

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  1. #1
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    Default Outrageous but true stories...

    This isn't really one that got away cos he was never got in the first place and isn't a memorable catch either, but just a pretty cool event that Kevin and I witnessed on the Witte and I wrote about it for the latest edition of the Piscator. Since Pierre has been kind enough to give us a Stories section I thought you up-country dudes who don't get the Piscator might like to enjoy it too:

    I have found in my fishing exploits so far that there is plenty of room to be surprised. If you set out with low expectations, as most of us do when tackling the Witte, then it doesn’t take much to make an outing to this notorious river a success. It was with that in mind that my fishing buddy Kevin and I set out on a clear, warm December morning to break our Witte career blanks.

    On the long walk to the upper sections we were booked on, we discussed spending more time than usual watching the water before casting and our discipline was not tested when we arrived at the start of the beat. We aren’t really slack when it comes to taking our time to observe, but we wanted to exaggerate it this time.

    It paid off too because after spending a good while lazily tackling up we decided that Kevin would have the first cast. As he slowly got into a casting position a small brown rose in front of a protruding rock in the middle of the run. This was enough to get us both a bit over excited as seeing a fish feeding on the surface was a bonus. The fish took the dry fly just before it drifted onto the boulder, but Kevin missed the strike (early morning nerves I guess). It was evident that taking extra time and care would work in our favor and we stuck to it as we fished up.

    Further along we came to a beautiful large pool which was divided at the tail with an island of long grass. The island had a nice undercut on the right hand side, with a few large boulders on the left hand bank opposite about a metre or so away. Another large submerged rock broke the faster current in the middle of the tail channel and looked like a perfect lie to harbor a feeding fish. The pool opened up ahead of us with a steep solid rock face on the left.

    We fished the tail section carefully but with no joy, and continued to fish up the left hand side of the pool until Kevin froze in his tracks. The second fish of the day had been spotted, holding against the left bank, and quite deep. It didn’t take long for him to spot us and he shot across the pool to the safety of a deep crevice along the far bank. That seemed as good a time as ever to take a break so we climbed a bit higher up the face of rock to have a sandwich and a drink while watching the pool for more signs of fish.

    After a long while of sitting and observing, the same fish left his hiding place, swam across and took up a feeding position ahead of the island at the tail. We watched without moving for a while, and eventually he swam slowly back to the cover of the far bank. Interesting! We decided to just watch and learn and the fish repeated the act. Later we noticed a second fish in the narrowed tail channel doing the same thing. He would leave the cover of the island and take up a feeding position behind the submerged rock for a while before heading back to the undercut.

    It was during one of these feeding sessions that a small frog decided that the grass was greener on the bank, rather than on the island and made a jump for it. He hit the water halfway across the channel, and almost instantly propelled himself out of the water again aiming for the boulders on the bank. When I saw it jump back out the water I thought it would live to hop another day, but a split second after the frog came the trout, jumping clear of the water, taking the frog and beaching itself on the rocks on the bank. It flapped around and managed to get itself back into the water with the frog still in its mouth, and shot back to the undercut. I can only imagine the fright that the frog got when it hit the water and saw the trout waiting for it, and I imagine that he knew he was in a bit of a pickle, hence the instant exit to the bank.

    If seeing the earlier fish rising freely was a bonus, then this was the mother load and I had to have a bit of a timeout before continuing with the fishing – It was all getting a bit emotional out there.

    Things calmed down and the rest of the day went as had been expected, and we eventually stopped fishing and went back down to the pool to see what the rest of the show had to offer, but didn’t see either of the fish in the pool again. Walking back down to the car, we stopped at the beginning of the beat and this time Kevin did hook and land the small brown in front of the rock – a beautiful little guy all of 5 or 6 inches. He did some modeling for us and was set free to grow into one of those frog terrorizing browns like his older cousin a short way upstream.

    p.s - The little brownie Kev caught at the end of the day is the little brownie in my avatar. I wonder how he's doing two years later.
    p.p.s - I still haven't gotten rid of my frikken Witte river career blank.

    Anyone else got any seriously outrageous yet true stories?
    "So heres my point. Dont go and get your ego all out of proportion because you can tie a fly and catch a fish thats dumb enough to eat a car key.." - Louis Cahill - Gink and Gasoline

  2. #2
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    And scientists think that only a couple of crafty killer whales have learned how to beach themselves in pursuit of a meal...
    " Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian." -Dennis Wholey

  3. #3
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    Now that is a lovely story, so very typical of the Witte, where size definitely does not count. Well done Kevin and better luck next time Grant.
    "Innocence is a wild trout. But we humans, being complicated, have to pursue innocence in complex ways" - Datus Proper

  4. #4
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    A little incident that happened to me just recently in the middle of the Pacific.

    Corin my angling partner for week 2 arrived on the morning that 3 others were leaving. At lunch we said our goodbyes and decided to head out the lagoon into the ocean to chase some tuna - the wind was howling at a constant 20 knots. We stopped fishing just as the sun touched the horizon and started heading home when about 1.5km off shore, we ran out of fuel from one tank. Now understand that we're in a single engine longboat!

    The boat dude attached the second tank of fuel and proceeded to pull start the 40 yammie in order to get fuel circulated through the carb when the starter rope broke! By now it's well and truly dusk and light was fading fast. The wind was pumping and we could feel we were slowly drifting away from land. We removed the cowling and I managed to get about 3 inches of rope back through the feeder and re-attach another piece. The boat dude starts pulling again and breaks this rope too, only now it's broken right inside the fly wheel!

    Now we can't start the motor!

    Boat dude 1 quickly informs boat dude 2 to put the anchor out which he does. He throws it over the side, big splash then the worst silence I've heard for a long time. It wasn't attached to anything! He just threw the anchor overboard. I recall him rattling something off in Gilbertese which we later learned translated into 'we are now in danger'.

    We're now 2km offshore, it's dark, no-one knows where we are, we have no flares, no radio, no water, no life jackets, a single outboard with a bust starter rope, no anchor and we're in the lee of an island in the middle of the Pacific being blown out to sea.

    I haven't been this scared for a very long time! It was a terrible feeling.

    The guides decided to wrap some cloth around the back of the gaff, pour petrol over it and light it. We couldn't see a thing as there were no lights and these dudes were poring petrol into an open boat in a 20 knot wind, rocking back and forth in the ocean. When he eventually lit it, half the gaff was alight, covered in fuel. Corin and I took turns flashing our cameras in the general direction of the land hoping that someone would see us. The picture above was the last shot my camera managed to take, pointing in the direction of land before the battery died. It proved pointless because no one came.

    Teanaki the head guide said he could fix the engine but it would take time. With the cowliing off and the engine down, he dangled off the back of the boat in pitch darkness and proceded to remove each of the spark plugs one by one. They had a shortage of spark plugs on the island so he said he needed to clean them with a piece of single strand wire!!!

    We sat there, silent, wind blowing us further and further out to sea. I remember Corin asking Teanaki if there were sharks in these waters - I quickly said 'don't even think of it dude'

    I was concerned that Teanaki might drop something overbaord and then we'd be completely stuffed if we were still there in the morning. I suggested that we sat it out and waited until someone found us or till it got light but he replied 'what if we can't see land in the morning?'

    It was pitch black and operating by feel only he slowly removed one bolt at a time with a pair of pliers, and what seamed like ages, had managed to get the fly wheel cover off. He wrapped a piece of anchor rope around the exposed fly wheel after a couple of pulls, got the engine started.

    With the engine exposed we limped back into the lagoon at about 9:30pm when the engine stopped again. Luckily we were close to the shore and we drifted ashore and got off. The guide knew a friend close by who came and picked us up in his truck and took us back to the hotel - very shaken up from the experience. I never want to go through that again.

    This is the last pic that I took on my camera before the battery died.



    Apart from that little incident, it was an awesome trip and we had a great time.

    Here's a link to the full report with images, videos and story.

    Cheers
    Jono

  5. #5
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    Holy shit !!

    Jono, that must have been hectic man ! I can only imagine how you guys must have felt. And fixing an outboard motor with a pair of piers in the pitch dark and managing to get it running again ! Dude, you guys had someone looking out for you that night, that much I have no doubt.

  6. #6
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    Freak bru, now that is hectic! I fear to think what might have happened had a plug dropped overboard!
    All the more reason to only venture offshore with 2 engines!
    Thanks for the read
    " Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian." -Dennis Wholey

  7. #7
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    Thanks Jono
    Another unproductive morning. I promised myself just to have a quick look at the site this morning, but your story has blown it all apart. Hows those birds?
    The footage is great and a lovely entry for me into another unproductive morning. Looks like you guys had a blast. Keep it up
    Cheers
    Behold the fisherman. he riseth early in the morning and disturbeth the whole household. mighty are his preperations. he goes forth full of hope and when the day is ended, he returneth smelling of strong drink and the truth is not with him. originator unknown.

    my stuff.... http://www.flytalk.co.za/forum/album.php?u=824[/SIZE]

  8. #8
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    whoa, no that I would have not survived, system shutdown from stress and all

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