Plan B

Plan B

When I was at school I lived a few hundred metres from the river, THE river, as it was the only one I fished. Planning an outing was easy run across the paddocks, or bike down to the bridge to check the water conditions. If it was clear it would be a fly-fishing day if it was coloured it would be a worm fishing day. Simple. Now it is not so simple most of my favourite waters are more than an hour’s drive away even though river levels can be checked on regional council websites. A sudden thunder shower can cause the river to rise or gale can make fishing impossible.  Websites for river conditions and weather reports help tip the odds in favour of a good day on the water but it always pays to have a plan B.  If there are other rivers nearby, they may still be fishable and lakes and dams are fishable most of the time.  I can recall a couple of occasions when having a plan B turned potential disasters into memorable days.

The first was on the Maniototo, what started as pleasant day on the river quickly deteriorated when a cold downstream wind blew up accompanied with icy showers which lay as snow on the surrounding hills. Luckily I knew there was a dam sheltered by a stand of pine tree was just a few minutes’ drive away. The resulting fishing was fantastic, and I caught some of the biggest and best brown trout I have ever caught.

On another occasion I arrived at Wyndham on the Mataura to fin the river very dirty although it was not very high. The main river was unfishable with the fly but there was small weedy backwater near the bridge. As I stood looking down on it from the bridge, I saw a trout swim over the weeds quickly followed by another one.  I tackled up and caught 4 fish from that backwater but that still left several hours in which to find fish.  I had crossed a small stream as I drove to the Mataura and had noticed it was low and clear. I headed in that direction hoping that it had not risen since I saw it.  Luckily it was still low and clear, and I managed to catch several nice trout from it.

Other plan Bs come in the form of which technique you use to catch fish.  Quite often we get to the water with a preconceived idea of what method we will employ to catch fish. If this plan does not work after giving it a good try, we need to do something different some prior thought given to the problem gives a better chance of making the right decision resulting in catching some fish.

It might even pay to have a plan C as well, but if you have too many alternatives, it could result in paralysis by analysis.