You couldn’t get a nicer picture on a chocolate box, folks. Here’s the adjoining villa at Tongariro Lodge this morning as we were starting to gear up for the day’s fishing. The mighty Tongariro River is about 20 metres away. Fly fishing awaits, for the first time here in 4 years, thanks to Covid lockdowns.
Phones off folks. We’re in the air, heading to Taupo for a week’s fly fishing on the famous Tongariro run. And Air New Zealand have been fantastic. Such a contrast to the nightmare of travelling with our former national carrier in recent years. We were travelling economy and the staff kept offering to help, the flights were all on time and even the customs helped out as we had a younger family. Loved it.
On October 27, 2020, the Australian Government announced fully-vaccinated Australians could travel overseas without first having to seek permission from the Department of Home Affairs. The next practical hurdle for overseas travel will be reciprocal quarantine-free arrivals in other countries, via vaccinated-only travel lanes, with Singapore apparently now head of the queue for Australians.
Hopefully, the same quarantine-free travel will apply mid-way through next year for Australians heading to British Columbia, where our family Flyfishing and adventure holiday has been booked – and deferred – for each of the past two years.
As I type, my beloved is in her nearby home office now, filling out the passport renewal forms for our kids by hand, after the Australian Governments’ automated passport renewal form decided (part-way between the first and second child’s form) that it no longer recognised our address, where I’ve lived for 40 years. We just hope the Commonwealth Government does better with the software needed for quarantine-free travel than it has with its Covid-safe software to date. Enough said on that one.
Before you read the Flyfishing story below, can I just reinforce the warning in there about the potential danger of wild foraged mushrooms? Don’t eat them unless you’ve been trained to recognise the subtle difference between a tasty morsel and a deadly fungus. My Dad had a doctorate in plant physiology and he used to take us wild mushroom foraging as kids, across the old diary paddocks dotting the Dulong Hills on the Sunshine Coast hinterland. And it was all great fun, getting up really early with Dad and heading off for long walks with his big plastic bucket, which we’d all help Dad to fill before we headed home and grilled the mushrooms for breakfast.
Dad should perhaps have paid more attention to the mushrooms we dropped in the bucket.
I recall one morning at Nambour Primary School when the blackboard and teacher began swirling across the front of the front of the classroom in paisley shapes and assorted shades of orange and purple. It was a magic morning for this little guy. And then came the rushing paramedics, the ambulance ride, the old rubber hose and the stomach pump, before the entire Black family were finally whisked away to share a big ward at the old Nambour Hospital.
It took Dad a fair while to live that one down at the local Rotary Club dinners and it put me off eating mushrooms for decades.
So, back to our lovely little picture story from Sage, via the adventures of Bri Dostie, a Maine Flyfishing Guide. It’s a tale of backwoods flyfishing and foraging which was no doubt enjoyed by all participants, except the two stocked trout which ended up on the menu.
Our story starts with Bri as a little girl, flyfishing with her Mum and her Grandfather.
During the long months of overlapping Covid lockdowns across all Australian states and the international lockdown to international travel, which is now stretching into years, one of the pleasures we freshwater fly fishermen living in the sub tropics miss the most is the opportunity to travel to some of the more beautiful places on the planet in our own region and overseas. These short breaks can restore our spirits for the rest of the working year and, while nature is nourishing our inner selves, they also provide the opportunity to cast a long fly line to rising trout on pristine inland waters. I miss it so much.
These newsletters from Sage allow us the opportunity to experience these forbidden pleasures through the eyes of others, if not ourselves and hopefully provide you, as well as me, some hope for the future. They cheer me and I hope they do the same for you. There’s lot more of them in the Recreational Research section.