Last week I wrote about snapping the tip of my Orvis Helios, the first time I have ever broken a rod. I replaced it with a New Zealand made Riverworks rod. It wasn't exactly cheap at NZ$150, but the cheapest I could find to keep me going while Orvis repair the Helios (Orvis has since said it will take up to six weeks to repair excluding shipping time - I really thought they could have returned it in a shorter time given my circumstances). Well, the replacement rod literally snapped in half today. I was threading the line through the eyes and pulled on the leader to bring the fly line through the tip, bending the rod in the process in very normal fashion, when it broke. I didn't even have to fall this time. I can't even boast it was broken on a large fish. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. On top of it all I had slept in my car the night before so that I could secure a beat on the upper Oreti, and even then arrived too late to secure the best of the two. Two old American codgers had been sitting in their car since before 7am to secure the better beat. The one in the driver's seat wound down his window, looked at me a little apologetically, and said "you gotta get here early if you want this beat". At least I had the second, even if my beat started from the car park and even after driver seat American told me I'd be lucky to see a fish in the first kilometre ("all the lazy fishermen fish your beat"). I watched as four other cars turned away from the car park after me, too late. It turned out to be a beat I wouldn't even get to fish. Two broken rods in one week. I reckon I am just about starting to build some serious credit in the good fortune stakes what with this second break.
I asked a local sheep farmer where the nearest tackle store was and he said Te Anau, 45 minutes drive away. I had to fork out another NZ$150 for a 9' 6wt Redington Path. A replacement for the replacement. At least this time Redington is a familiar brand and I'm hoping it lasts a little longer than the previous one. It casts OK but is perhaps a little under-lined with my 5wt line. I surely can't break three rods, can I? It's getting silly and just a little expensive!
Anyway, being in Te Anau brought back fond memories of my previous time here in 2010 when I fished the Eglinton for about half an hour and came away with a 4½lb rainbow. I made a swift decision to fish it again rather than waste an afternoon of great weather. I'm glad I did as I caught a 3lb rainbow after spotting it and it did a lot to lift my mood after the failed Oreti/broken rod debacle.
I'm hoping I will have better fortune and better things to write about as I continue my way through New Zealand. I do realise that the overarching tenor of my posts since arriving in New Zealand has been a little gloomy.