Casting for the Elusive Mr Brown on Ruakituri River
“As we cut through the clouds in the small Bay Heliwork chopper, the sky opens to a stunning view of Hawkes Bay and the legendary Ruakituri River where the elusive ‘Mr Brown’ awaits with his own ideas of how the day will unfold,” Sherri Haigh writes for the Toronto Star.
“This fly fishing trip was arranged by John Dick who along with his wife Christine operate the magnificent Greenhill Lodge, a boutique luxury property that sits on 73 lush acres of farmland in the North Island.
“Pilot Matt Wilson negotiates a smooth landing on a small patch of grass next to a remote area of the river. There are a few sheep that scatter during our landing but no other sign of life.
“I figure this is a good time to remind him that I haven’t been fly fishing in years. I can cast a hula popper into a northern Ontario lake but catching bass is an entirely different kettle of fish than using a fly rod to land a trout especially while balancing on mossy rocks in a rushing river.
“The first cast is made and I am adjusting my footing while Morris is looking at me to make sure I am okay. We both look up just a little too late. A gigantic brown trout emerges. We open our mouths in awe and even the helicopter pilot who was watching from the shore is now on his feet.
“But ‘Mr Brown’ as I will call him spits out the fly before I can set the hook.
“Back at Greenhill, I regale the others guests with the day’s fishing adventure over some fabulous lamb and local New Zealand wine. While I feel great about the day’s adventure and the trout I did catch, I have convinced myself that Mr Brown had a purpose. He rose above the water to show me what I was missing. He was daring me to come back and try again.
“And so I shall Mr Brown!”
Original article by Sherri Haigh, Toronto Star, August 25, 2015.