Went out last night with a couple of mates from one of the local stores, these guys have been slaying a small Wellington stream this season, taunting me with tales of epic mayfly and caddis hatches. I just had to see what they were on about, and it was a good excuse to dust off the 3wt.
First pool Joel pulled this out on his secret caddis fly.
Few pools further up we had all separated, I persevered with a random riser and pulled this wee fat jack out on a caddis imitation.
Further up Joel managed to be denied by a couple, lost a couple more and landed a wee fatty. By this stage it was dark and I had a beetle buzz past my ear. We could hear a riser on the far bank, so tied on my mongrel Foam beetle. A few casts later, after a loud sloppy rise and I had this on.
The beetles are on!
Recently I was coaxed into a bit of a roadie to see my grand parents up in Tauranga….there had to be some fishing involved somewhere………….
After doing the good grandson thing I left a day early to catch up with a good mate in rototua and hopefully manage to catch a fish or two.
Rotorua has alluded me in the past, I have never managed to catch a fish there, My fishing buddy Lucas is a bit of a tinny bugger and even if I copy exactly what he’s doing, he catches fish and I dont.
It was a super bright sunny day and we decided Te Wairoa stream mouth would probably be a good bet, we arrived and there were smelt everywhere! after a few hours casting and retrieving we hadn’t even had a touch, so moved down to the orchard, where I promtly spooked a good one cruising the drop off. I got bored pretty quickly and went for a wee wander, soon after a good looking fish was chasing my fly just on the drop off, I saw the white of his mouth and struck, fish on! Few minutes later a good rainbow was landed. Needless to say I was stoked, finally after many attempts I popped the rotos cherry!
Just got back. What a trip. You’ll be getting a full run down and then some in a wee while I’m sure. I won’t say much for now…just that you should check in regularly – you don’t wanna miss these ones.
See you all in just under two weeks! It’s going to be a fantastic trip. The one thing neither of us are looking forward to is the food. We went and did some shopping…and it looks like our diet for the next 2 weeks will be dried food and canned food…with the occasional decent meal in the evenings where we can find it. Oh well, the fishing should more than make up for it. We’ll be fishing some fantastic rivers so here’s hoping the trout play ball. Hope you all get out for a fish in the not to distant future!
I’ve been unusually altruistic of late. The last couple of times I’ve been fishing the day’s aims had nothing to do with me catching a fish. Today’s goal was to get Ryan a new PB, preferably over 5lbs. Well I’m pleased to say we succeeded…twice.
Preparations began the night before. I knew it was going to be a big day, so heaps of food was required.
Sausage, avocado and cheese. They were remarkably hard to finish.
It had to be an early start, after all it was going to be a big day. Picked Ryan up at 5am and hit the road with a vengeance. A long drive followed by an equally long walk saw us arrive to a slightly swollen and coloured river. I was nervous. Thankfully all nerves were quashed when less than 10 metres from where we set up our kit a fish rose and took off the surface. Righto Ryan, no pressure. And what do you know… first cast of the day in a river renowned for fickle fish and the tinny bastard hooks up. The fish fought pretty damn hard, but eventually it succumbed to the pressure and I got the net underneath it. Not a moment too soon either, as the fly pinged out as it thrashed around in the net.
A new PB. Strangely dense fish this one, we had to check the reading on the net several times before we believed it.
Who’s lookin’ at ya?
A little further upstream I had a rise to my blowfly humpy from a very nice fish, but sadly the strike didn’t stick. This was to be a bit of a theme for the day, as I hooked four to land only one. Ryan on the other hand had two strikes and two fish. A little further upstream we came across a long segment of broken water. I said something about skipping it and walking further up to Ryan, and almost immediately spotted a fish. It examined practically every fly in the box, before finally taking a deviant variation of the secret fly in some very heavy water. Ryan did well to control this fish, as the water was little more than a succession of rapids. Following a fairly aggressive netting job by myself this fellow was in the net…
Despite looking bigger than the first fish it in fact weighed less. Still above the desired 5lb mark though.
By this stage I was pretty pleased with how Ryan had fared, so thought I’d better actually catch a fish myself (the three hooked and lost fish were just practise sessions…honest). I spotted a great fish sitting just behind a large pale piece of bedrock. As I waited for Ryan to retie his tippets and catch up I watched the fish. Rise. Rise. Rise. Ah, a small klinkhammer should do the job. And it did. For the 3 seconds that the fish was hooked. Oh well… About 20 metres further upstream feeding in a pocket behind a large rock was what appeared to be a fairly average looking fish. Wrong. Second drift past it with the mighty blowfly humpy and it came over to slurp it in. What then proceeded was a fantastic aerial display really informing me just how far from average this fish was. Bastard, this really put the nerves up as I’d already lost 3 fish that day. However this time the hooks held (finally!!) and I managed to guide a cracker brownie into the waiting net.
Relief at finally catching a fish. Not a bad fish either….
Yeah, I was pretty pleased with this one.
That proved to be it on the fish front. We had a lot more chances, but by that stage the wind had come up and the spirit had dampened. We’d got what we wanted from the trip. It was a longer walk back than we’d thought, and it was two utterly exhausted lads that finally reached the car. A quick stop on the way home for a big burger and chips (plus the obligatory red bull…), and then finally home. The couch has rarely felt so inviting.
This’ll be my last post for a couple of weeks. No, not because I have exams or can’t go fishing or anything like that. Rather the opposite. On Wednesday Andrew and myself embark upon a 10 day odyssey chasing big browns around the south island. We have a vague idea as to where we’ll end up, but it’s all weather dependent. One thing is for sure…it’s going to be a big one. If I get a chance to upload a few photos from an internet cafe while we’re on the trip then I’ll do so, otherwise look out for some great reports once the trip is over.
Dry flies and rainbows go together like bbq’s and beer: they could be made for each other.
I thought Wednesday would be a hard day to beat, but in terms of sheer enjoyment and satisfaction I think today took the cake. A few weeks back Andrew and I had offered to take Thomas, a keen young fisherman, out for a days fishing. Well today that day came about. Thomas has done a lot of spin fishing, but this was to be his first big fly fishing trip. It started off in classic fashion with me scoffing as many weetbix as I could stomach on four hours of alcohol induced sleep, before dashing off to pick up the others.
We got the river and were astonished to see no-one else there.
Turns out there was probably good reason. Our first choice was very borderline fishable, but we persevered for a few hours. The river yielded two mighty trophies for us though.
Andrew snared this behemoth…
Before I trumped him with this monster…
We’d had enough of that spot, so ate some kai and motored onwards to our next port of call. It didn’t take long…
Guess where we started…
Thomas’ biggest to date on a fly rod. It rolled back to take my bionic bug in classic rainbow fashion, and once hooked I handed over the reins.
Not much further up we spotted another fish. Andrew chucked his big Royal Wulff up, and the fish moved a good few feet to hoover it in. Once again, Thomas did the honours. Really good fight from this big bow.
Tom’s last fish came from a very stubborn fish, which I eventually snared with a wee woolly bugger. We took the opportunity to teach him how to play fish on the fly rod, showing him how to guide them into the slacker water.
Rainbows in heavy water, good times.
He played it well, and yet another rainbow fell to the young fella.
Andrew then proceeded to do what I thought to be impossible. He missed four strikes on one fish. By the end of it it had ceased to be frustrating and had simply become hilarious. Somehow I don’t think he agreed with me. However karma was to get its own back on me. We’d crossed some pretty heavy flows that day, so it was fitting that I would fall flat on my ass crossing a shallow braid. As soon as I felt myself falling I flung my rod up in the air and cradled Andrew’s precious camera. If there can be such thing as a coordinated fall on your ass then this was it.
The rod still worked though, as this wee bow will attest to. They just couldn’t get enough of our big dries.
That was it for the day. We stopped off on the way back for pies before dropping Thomas home. It was a fantastic day, despite the frustrating start. Watching Thomas chasing a big bow downstream at full pace was priceless, as was his smile when we finally got it in the net. Both Andrew and I agreed that it was a hell of a lot more fun than catching the fish ourselves!
Couple of days rest for me before a wee trip out with Ryan on Monday.