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Andrew Hearne – The power of purple!

Don’t underestimate it!

Jack likes wearing it, I like fishing it.


Earlier this year I was fishing with a mate Lionel. We walked about and hour and a half into our destination river, with a fair portion of the walk following a tributary.  As you can tell by the pictures, the conditions were less than ideal.

On the way in we found the tributary to be very high and milky. Not good, but we had come this far and decided to push on to the main river anyway in the hope that it would be fishable.

Along the way we miraculously saw a fish holding right against the near edge. In fact Jack had told me of this fish after seeing it there a week or two earlier.

Lionel set up his rod and climbed down to try and catch the fish. After several fly changes the fish eventually disappeared off into the milky torrent out of sight, and we carried on down to the main river.

Unfortunately the main river wasn’t a happening thing. If the light had been better we would have managed, but it was very overcast and we were both of the opinion that the better option would be to bug out and try to find some cleaner water nearby.

We came to where the fish was on the way down, and saw that it was back holding in it’s original position. This time I fished for it, after Lionel refused and threatened to throw a stone at it if I didn’t.

At first I tried a big terrestrial, followed by a few other nymphs and dry flies. None of which prompted a response.

Just as I was close to throwing a rock at the fish myself, I decided to try a purple double bunny I had tied a few months earlier. The bunny drifted past and the fish got angry. It looked for all money like the fish had just tried to kill my streamer, however it missed the target. The next drift produced a similar response from the fish, although a little more subdued.

At that point I changed to a black version of the same fly. No reaction. Changes to other streamers also proved to be unsuccessful. They got no reaction from this fish at all.

I decided that it was time for some purple power again. Once again, the first time the purple bunny went past the fish it tried to kill it. A couple more drifts with similar results and I decided to try a different approach.

I crept along the bank to a few metres upstream of where the fish held. I cast out into the current and let the bunny swing right in front of the fishes nose. It didn’t hesitate and absolutely smashed the purple creation that was invading it’s personal space. I was surprised to say the least, but I remembered to set the hook and after a very short battle Lionel lifted a net full of Brown Trout.



A great fish caught against the odds

Neither of us could really believe what had just happened. I’d come very close to giving up on that fish on more than one occasion.

It just goes to show… you never really know.

The next video clip will be posted soon. Keep an eye out for it!

5 responses

  1. I only asked because the lure looks black in the photo. 😉

    Just came back from a short 90 minute stint – didn’t see a single fish. Winter…. 😦

    June 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm

  2. Purple all the way. He hated it and wanted it dead!

    June 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

  3. Did he hit black or purple?

    June 18, 2011 at 9:24 am

  4. Craig Somerville of Castabroad

    Thanks Andrew.
    Yep Purple is def the way fwd this time of year. It reminds me of a general salmon fly fishing rule in Scotland where you match the seasons with the colour of the fly. In early spring we use green and yellow, then as the months warm so do the colours with orange, reds, then as the season tails we go dark reds, purples and black. There are a few exceptions but this seems to be the rule here I am noticing especially for streamer fishing. Interestig though, you said the fish “tried to kill it” (the purple fly), atlantic salmon are not feeding in the rivers they are just very aggressive and that “Kill It” mentallity may be related to seasonal colour choice both here and there.
    Not much purple worn in Scotland though, sorry Jack, though Billy Connelley had a purple beard once!

    June 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

    • Dundee

      Awsome guys as always that vid was mint took ages for me to get it loaded but was worth the wait.
      Must be bloody cold water if yas where tights lol.
      Will send ya an email Andrew of some backcountry water in the North Island and feel free too
      share the pics if ya want.

      June 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm

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