In my November 2014 blog post, I discussed the mouse plague that this region was likely to experience over the season.
Well, it happened!
It wasn’t the massive mice and rat plague we’ve seen in previous seasons (1999/2000, for example) but on certain rivers in the Nelson/Marlborough region there were mice simply everywhere. The browns feasted on these tasty, furry morsels and grew . . . and grew.
Four pound browns became 6 lb footballs and, before you know it, 6 lb browns were ballooning into 8 or 9 lb giants. This was our “biggest” season ever; we had more browns hit the “magical” 10 lb+ mark than in any previous season.
But it isn’t all about 10 lb+ fish. Interestingly, in other streams with no evidence of mice infestation the browns were in very good shape too, with the majority of fish caught being in excellent condition.
It was a season that saw all our lodge records broken. A mild winter and the advantage of bonus rodent protein resulted in unbelievable fishing with more than 20 browns tipping the scales over the magical 10 lb mark landed.
Meg Gordon from Australia landed a 12.5 lb brown – the largest ever landed in our 12 years of operation.
On one memorable occasion in mid-February, our guests had a HUGE day landing many, many fish, including the following that weighed in over 7lb : 1 x 7.5lb, 1 x 9lb, 2 x 9.5 lb, one 10 lb trophy and an enormous 12 lb brown.
Barry and Cathy Beck had a sensational day here in early February with Cathy landing a 10lb trophy. Then, within minutes, Barry landed an 11.5 lb monster.
Wayne and Vicki from Melbourne had a sensation day’s fishing by any measure. They landed a total of seven wild browns, quite an achievement in this region.
However, the truly impressive statistics are in the sizes of the trout they caught: Vicki landed two browns weighing in at an impressive 6.5 lb and a stunning 8.75 lb.
Wayne had an absolute blinder of a day, landing three browns weighing 6.25 lb, 8.5 lb and 9 lb, before capping it off with a massive 11 lb wild New Zealand brown – clearly the fishing day of a lifetime.
These are just a few of the wonderful fishing successes from this past season.
The really good news is that most, if not all, of these trophies will still be trophies next season. With a mild winter forecast, the signs are good that they’ll hold their condition.