12/31/2010 05:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Catching My First Fish in Taupo

I've only been fishing once in my life. It was while I was exploring the southern islands of Thailand. My friends and I had rented a boat to explore the nearby national park and its islands. For lunch, our Thai captain went out to catch fish. He asked if some of us wanted to come and I volunteered.

Fishing in Thailand is done the old fashioned way -- a hook attached to line thrown in the water. Our lunch bit while I was holding the line. It was awesome.

While I was backpacking through New Zealand, I was convinced to go trout fishing in Taupo. I had a completely different experience. Instead of line fishing in an open long boat, we went fishing with a modern sonar equipped boat, a surly but hilarious captain, and high tech rods.

Launching out into the lake after a good lunch, we went searching for trout. Our hunt didn't go to well though. In fact, it didn't go at all. After our captain used some high tech equipment and weights to drop the lines 120 feet below the surface, we cruised around waiting our first bit, each of us picking a line to use. Then we waited longer. And longer. Eventually, getting bored and grabbing a few beers, we went to the top deck and took in the view.

And what a view it was. I loved traveling Taupo. It is my favorite place in New Zealand. The area is absolutely stunning. The town is on the country's largest lake and from it you can see Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings and Mount Tongariro. You can hike both in one of the greatest one day hikes in the entire world. I loved Taupo and loved even more sitting out on the lake cruising around, taking in the sun, watching the other boats, and marveling at the mountains in the distance.

We had rented the boat for two hours and the more time passed, the less it seemed like we would catch anything. Our captain was getting more aggravated, cursing, and swearing about how he hated going back empty. But soon we had a pull on one of the lines. Then another. Two fish in a shot period of time.

And one of those fish was my fishing pole. It was time to catch the second fish in my life! Except, I had no idea what to do.

"How do I reel it in?" I asked.

"No silly questions!" The captain yelled. "You reel it in by turning the wheel!" He said pointing angrily at the rod. He clearly didn't know how to deal with newbies. Or maybe he was just surly all the time.

But soon I began reeling in my fish. It didn't put up much of a fight and pretty soon I had it. My friend also reeled in his fish and soon we had a might feast. Driving back into port, our captain was all smiles and happy we had caught something, even if they weren't the biggest trout out there. It was an exciting day on the lake, the sun was shining, and the air was crisp. Despite the surliness of our captain, he was hilarious and made good conversation.

Taupo, New Zealand was an amazing place. I highly recommend it if you visit New Zealand. Even if fishing isn't your thing, you can do a lot of hiking, trekking, and relaxing in Taupo. There is even a hot springs.