Just a quick pic to ram home why Alex, Andrew S and Andrew M should be planning a trip North… While you boys are wrapping up the end of season, I’m wrapping up warm. The calibre of these lake side fish are very impressive and the fish below is testament.
Matt, Jeez and I fished a Rotorua lake last night and while we got skunked we did witness this fine specimen caught next to us. To be fair, it was a quiet night and this was confirmed by the ranger out patrolling the usual hot spots.
If that doesn’t spur you 3 on then there’s something wrong with you.
My season started off in good fashion but things certainly went quiet after Christmas for a few different reasons. However along with Alex, Lucas and Andrew Marshall a lot of time and money was focused on the saltwater side of things and we had some success in that department.
At the start of the season Joel and I headed up the line to spend a few days paddling around on Lake O to try and satisfy the winter trout fishing cravings and bend some rods. We put in a lot of hours and a lot of energy over the three days we fished and were rewarded by the fish gods with quite a few fish landed. The typical Lake O bows were full of life and extremely strong. On one of the afternoons we jumped on a mates boat and I was able to snag this beautiful fish who ran me through all his tricks before finally accepting his fate.
Although this fish wasn’t a particularly big one, or in fact two, they are fish I will remember for a long time. The day after I caught the bigger one above, we awoke to torrential rain. Our friends had arrived in the comfort of their warm dry truck and were out on the water as we woke up. We crawled out of tent and had breakfast and got ready in the rain. Soggy and tiered we rowed out up to the top of our drift. Or friends on the boat had had no luck so spirits were fairly low. First cast I hooked into a decent fish and as I turned around to brag I saw that Joel had also hooked up. The guys on the boat must have been spewing and so we had a great laugh as we played them. These fish were pretty special to me because I remember thinking at the time that even though I was cold, wet and tiered, there was no place I would rather be in the world. (photos looking back at each other)
Back at home a few weeks later I headed out with the old man for an afternoon fish after work. The weather was looking great and there had been a good rise in the river temperature so we were keen as mustard to get over the hill and see what we could find. Sure enough not long after we arrived the hatch commenced, as did the evening rise. I was trying to make sure Dad picked up the first fish as he hadn’t heard his reel zing in quite a while, so he was on point. Luck just wasn’t going his way that day with a couple of false hook ups and a couple of fussy feeders. We came up to a favorite pool and there was a fish feeding like a maniac up in the eye. Dad had to re-rig and insisted that I try for him. Murphies law being the way it is, first cast he slurped down my offering. Feeling somewhat guilty that I had stolen an easy fish that Dad would have had for sure, I put the hurt on him and lent back hard on the rod. I hadn’t seen any part of the fish at this stage apart from his nose so I was surprised he was so strong. None the less I kept dragging him up to the net and was dumfounded when I lifted him out of the water. Unfortunately the image doesn’t really do this fish justice as the flash bounced back off him. He was covered in the most beautiful red and brown markings and fat as a house across the back. If I had any idea of what sort of fish he was there’s no way I would have put that much weight on him with my little sz16 emerger and 4lb leader. Thankfully luck was on my side.
A week or two later we jumped on a plane and headed down south for our annual, high country opening pilgrimage. On the first day of our six day trip we headed out and chased a few browns around in the morning. Later that afternoon it was off to the rainbow spot to see what we could see. I had been fishing in a favorite spot for only about ten minutes when there was a heavy splash out in front of me just within casting distance. Although I couldn’t see the fish I just tossed out my fly as far as I could in the direction of the rise. A couple of aggressive twitches and jerks and the line came tight. Just as the browny from earlier I never saw this fish until it reached the net. This one however I knew was a solid fish, It made a few good runs but it just felt heavy. I was ecstatic to land what would be my heaviest trout for the season and a new personal best. For the rest of the trip I had a big grin on my face.
As Alex mentioned in his post, February this year we headed North to chase down Tuna, Sharks and Kingies on the fly. As it played out we spent much of our time trying to land Tuna. I emphasize the word LAND as these things are in a league of their own. Although they don’t look that imposing to the uninformed, these things are bullets. They are built of 100% muscle and are stream lined to be exceedingly fast through the water. After spending the trip hooking up and loosing fish due to broken leaders and poorly seated hooks I finally managed to land this guy at the end of the trip. I can honestly say I have never been so relieved to land a fish in all my life. I can’t wait for round two next year.
It was a slow season for me this year trout wise; however the salt water side of things was not too bad at all.
Early in the season Jack and I did an overnight mission into the Tararua’s, the river was nice and clear and the fish were feeding. We only managed to hook into a handful of fish, none of which was particularly large, however near the end of the day I managed to hook into this wee gem. A true pocket rocket, I’ve never been worked so hard by such a small fish before. Jack did a bang up job of snapping the pic for me too, great shot.
I have a mild affliction, I collect and use old school film cameras, there’s something about it for me, and sometimes you pick up a sweet piece of equipment for next to nothing that whips the pants of any digital camera. I had picked up an old Olympus pocket camera and decided to head out for a fish and give it a test. Threw some black and white film in it and took off for the river. I was greeted by a mayfly hatch of epic proportions and free rising trout, which for a change took normal dry flies instead of some sort of size 20 emerger. I quickly secured several fish in short succession, if I remember correctly 3 fish in 3 casts. They were all small scrappers, but this photo I managed to snap really portrays what the evening was like for me, on my own, fading light and a few fat little trout to keep me company.
Cicada’s really get me going in the summer, there’s nothing better than seeing that brownies nose break the surface and swallow your big ugly foam and rubber concoctions. This fish was another pulled from my local, the Hutt River. He was lying pretty doggo on a lip in some rough water; I could barely make out a smudge that would sway to the side occasionally. After a few casts he decided it was time to have a closer inspection, I hit him hard and he jumped and went ballistic for a bit then slogged it out slowly like most brownies tend to do. A nice solid fish from very very public water on a brand new cicada pattern I was testing. Can’t get much better.
In February we got a syndicate together and headed north for a week of salt water fly fishing out of Tauranga. The first couple of days were spent trying to find Kingies, which just weren’t anywhere to be found, on the surface or down deep, but we kept ourselves amused with Kahawai. By this stage we had basically figured out it was Kahawai or Skippies, as schools of Skippies kept busting up around us then disappearing. We figured them out pretty quickly, but what took a little longer was figuring out how to control yourself and one of these wee barrels of muscle on a fly rod. I was testing a new Riverworks concept rod and reel in a 9 weight, this performed flawlessly, but getting used to the sheer power these small fish had was something different. Busted leaders and pulled hooks had us “green horns” getting pretty frustrated. But we conquered a few, and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had on a fly rod.
Before we left on our trip of the year I had laid down some requests, a Kingie on fly, a Tuna on fly and a Shark on fly, well I had ticked the Tuna box, the Kingie box just wasn’t going to get ticked, which left the Shark. I had come prepared with knot able wire, some 9/0 hooks and some chum style tube flies. We set up the heavy gear and proceeded to chum up with Kahawai and Skippys. The idea was to get some Makos in close to the boat, throw a cast and hope they liked the look of the fly, then hold on. The Makos never arrived but the Bronzies did. After circling the boat for a while they built up confidence and smashed our chum hanging from a float. Several casts were made, hoping the smaller fish would take the fly. It’s not often you want the small one to take a fly. Instead big brother mouthed the fly for a bit then took off with the 9/0 firmly imbedded, all I could do was hold on and take the inevitable spanking like a man. After Mr Bronze Whaler had taken the shooting head, running line and a lot of backing the line went slack. I was gutted but relieved at the same time, after all what the hell was I going to do with a very large pissed off shark at the side of the boat? My “awesome knot able wire” had untied itself. I was shaking like a haunted shit house, but amped to have been attached to such a large fish on a fly rod. This is screen grab from the video footage we shot, me bending a 14wt rod and a shark of around 180kg doing his best to spool an ultra heavy duty salt water reel with the drag cranked up. While no sharks were landed, this memory will be forever ingrained deeply in my mind. Perhaps a moment of stupidity? Or perhaps just trying to push the boundaries? I’ll be back to hit them up again that’s for sure.
Riverworks is proud to announce the introduction of Frog Hair to our range of products. Frog Hair leader materials and accessories are at the forefront of technology and are undoubtedly the next generation in fish deception. Super tough materials, thinner diameters, and smarter accessories mean better results. We have been putting the gear through it’s paces in the field and everyone is very impressed with the results.
Frog Hair products will be on shelves in the next few months. We will be offering a large array of different tapered leaders, fluorocarbon, strike indicators and much more.
Frog Hair Tippet and Leader material is superior because our material is subjected to GAMMA’s propriety process. The process produces a material that offers exacting tolerances, super high tensile and knot strength and up to two times the suppleness and shock resistance compared to all other brands of tippets and leaders. For the angler, Frog Hair provides a more natural presentation with more hook-ups and a line that generates maximum fish fighting capabilities. Frog Hair Products are truly your new, competitive advantage.
Frog Hair FC is an ultra high molecular weight PVDF fluorocarbon made using GAMMA’s exclusive processing technology. Unlike other fluorocarbon monofilaments that are very rigid and stiff, Frog Hair FC is processed to increase the flexibility of the material and provide up to two times the suppleness of other typical fluorocarbon monofilaments. The added suppleness compliments the refractive qualities of fluorocarbon to deliver the most stealthy, drag-free presentation possible and increase your catch rate
w/Perfection Loop –
Frog Hair FC High Performance Fluorocarbon tapered leaders have a stiffer butt section to optimize the energy transfer from the fly line and a supple tippet that offers superior knot strength, incredible toughness, and built-in shock resistance to deliver a more stealthy, drag-free presentation compared to other fluorocarbon tapered leaders.
The extra long taper section (over 60% of the leader length) is engineered to combine with the heavier, high density fluorocarbon and provide an optimal weight distribution along the length of the leader for exceptional roll out and a more powerful turnover.
Ultimate Indicators are designed for reuse after each application. Utilizing separate retainers, these indicators can be used time and time again. Attractive package contains 3 individual indicators, 1 high visibility orange and 2 in the two-tone configuration.
These are merely a few of the products on offer from the Frog Hair Range. To Check out the full range and find more details on sizes and weights available please check out the Frog Hair Website.
Frog Hair – a product soon to be supplied by Riverworks.
It took me a while to come around to the stuff, but I’m there now. This is how it happened…
Some time during the middle of the fishing season Rob sent me some new tapered leaders and tippet material to try out.
I was a bit dubious to begin with. When it comes to my set up there are two main things I need to have absolute faith in. Hooks, and tippet. You can get by with a less than perfect rod, but I won’t compromise when it comes to the hooks and tippet I use, for obvious reasons.
So this stuff shows up in a courier package, I divvied it up and gave Jack his share. From there it sat in my vest for a while… Even though Rob was keen for us to try it out and get back to him with the results, I wasn’t quite ready just yet.
I’d been using the same brand for a few years now. I had, and still have, absolute faith in it. I can count on one hand the amount of times it has failed on a fish. It takes a lot for me to move away from that.
The first time I used Frog Hair was on a day when jack and I were in the High Country chasing big fish. The fish were as spooky as anything you have ever come across and we were having a tough time. Just before lunch we spotted another fish, and I made the call to change things up a bit and tied some 4x (6lb) Frog Hair on as tippet material.
The cast landed as it should, and to mine and Jack’s surprise the fish actually took the fly. Unfortunately when I struck the line came shooting back at me… an inspection revealed the line had snapped. At that point in time I was none too happy, and the Frog Hair went back into the vest for a while after that.
A few weeks later and we were in the deep south. Again I was fishing with Jack, and again the fish were playing hard to get. This time it was Jack who decided to take the plunge. He tied on the mighty Frog Hair in an attempt to get the result which had so far eluded us for the day. This time around the Frog Hair proved a success… the first fish took the fly, put up one hell of a fight, and was successfully landed…. with a wind knot in the tippet to boot!
With my confidence restored I replaced my leader and tippet with Frog Hair and we both went on to have a pretty successful day. The fish we caught were as hard fighting as you can expect to find anywhere, so the line was well tested. I’ll even own up to discovering a wind knot in my line after I landed a fish later in the day.
I used Frog Hair for the remainder of the season without any issues. I’ll have no problem using it from now on… we got off to a rough start, but now I’m a believer.
Keep an eye out for this magic string in your local tackle shop. It shouldn’t be too far away. here are some photos of some of the fish we’ve caught on Frog Hair so far. (You may have seen these fish already)