A while back Hamilton Anglers Club held a trip in Taumaranui to fish the well regarded waters surrounding this region. I was fortunate enough to pick up a spot and jump in on the action. Matt, his partner Sophie and I bowled down the line after work on Friday and got into the camp dining room just as the others were about to start 2nds for the nights meal. The shit talking was already in abundance and somehow amongst this we arranged our beats for the following day.
Our sleeping quarters were on the better side of not too bad – pretty warm and no rocks in the mattresses. This ensured a well needed rest and sleep in until 7am. Porridge and fresh coffee were devoured and in short order we were on our way. The camp ground at Taumaranui is so close to the river we could hear it. A quick check to see if the rain over the last few days had affected it heralded smiles all round.
We headed South and straight to the beat that is fast becoming one of my new favourites. No cars in the car park and we were straight into it, in fact so quick I popped out of the bush and stared directly at a trout. I had the honours and thought my new R2 reel couldn’t be blessed better – I was wrong. Somehow in the slightly murky water it picked us up and slipped the cordon. All 3 of us fished through the likely spots and started to question ourselves…
With the sun still low and at our backs we edged upwards. I left Sophie and her coach to explore the next pool. A decent brown feed in a bypass but the sun and positioning of myself made it impossible to fire one out to it. Hugging a tree I attempted a few lack lustre shots at it. No joy. Another fish metres up and the same result. Bugger this, I pushed on and tried a stretch with better angles.
Sure enough the tactic worked and soon after I had a fight on my hands. If you want a scrap these fish pack some serious grunt and will push you around like you were Beth Hekes bitch. Even the little tackers go like stink. I’ve since been advised the 8wt is a better option at times!We had more club members coming along and they headed up further. Sophie and Matt caught up and we tried another pool before we called lunch and turned back to the Truck. A quick drive and we had the best tailgate Ham and Cheese rolls in town at our new location. From here we walked to a spot that was recommended by a fellow member.
This resulted in a nice wee brown and another flighty ‘bow. One of those pools that has major holding promise and massive summer terrestrial potential. As Sophie was feeling rather ill by now – seems the flu was doing the rounds of a few others to – we decided to head closer to the camp grounds. We jumped back in the ride and floored it back to the Whanganui. This stretch gets a hammering but for some reason just keeps on keepin on.
As funny as it seems there were fish at each end of this rainbow. It was touching the bank on our side so this is where we started. Soon enough Sophie had a fish to the net then promptly had a much deserved sleep next to some (a lot of) sheep shit. I was just up river and at times we had double hook ups culminating in some unsavoury words yelled from Matt as he dropped “the brown of the trip”. He was having a rough day but was a stellar guide to Sophie.
That night we all regrouped and tallied our days efforts. I was pretty chuffed with my days total hooking 9 and landing 9, not every day you nail a 100% strike rate. 31 fish landed by 10 anglers, biggest brown was 3.3lb to Craig and a 4.25 lb rainbow went to Steve. There were a few stories of trophys lost so it’s good to know they’re about. We all piled into the Taumaranui RSA courtesy van and went to watch the first Ireland v ABs game. Talk about being on the set for Once Were Warriors x Boy movies, what a hard case bunch of local characters. Once back at the camp we set about solving the worlds fishing problems over some reds and a good blue.
The next morning dawned pretty much the same, foggy and threatening to drizzle. Perfect if you ask me. The rivers were still clearing and we decided to put Sophie onto some fish from where we finished up the night before.
After scoring a handful more fish each we started the drive home. Matt had a lovely King Country stream to try that fed the Whanganui. We dropped in near a country sports ground and set to work. In the second pool a slight twitch had the indicator struck at and I was away.
This Jack was a feisty little bastard. It only took 3 attempts with the self timer while he splashed water all over the show, including the lens! Sophie “tag and released” a beauty brown and soon after we turned back to the truck to push up further. This section had the lovely setting of native bush blended with farmland. We made friends with the huge local Fantail population – at times 3 would be cheekily perched on your rod.
Matt spied a good fish gobbling away in the tea-stained water and crashed down the bank while we peered over the cliff to spot for him. After ironing out the drift it moved sideways to intercept. Then all hell broke lose as it found the closest log to hide under. It happened to be right by Matt and he tried in vain to stop it but to no avail. A flash of colour and it snapped free.That was to be it for the weekend. Bloody good fishing in some familiar water and exploring some virgin water – good times. There were no stand out flies although a Hot UV spot did help. Anything from a H & C, Pheasant Tail or small Olive Naturals were being picked up in the grubby water.
It has rained nicely over the last few days and coupled with the cold snap last week the Winter fishing around these ways should be sparking up even more so. A quick look at reports suggest the Tongariro was around 50 cumecs and highly fishable.
As I have a few things on over the next few weeks I’m going to sneak off for a fish this Friday. Here’s hoping for a cold, miserable dark night.
I’ve also been busy at the vice making flies and hope to post up a new Green Caddis that will be ripper for the Tongariro this Winter. Stay tuned, stay warm.
June 19, 2012 | Categories: Fly Tying, Gear, Musings, Trip Reports, Uncategorized | Tags: anglers club, Back country, Brown Trout, Fly fishing gear, Fly Fishing New Zealand, Fly tying, Lucas Allen, Matt MacCallum, New Zealand Fly Fishing, Nymph, Rainbow Trout, Riverworks Lifestyle | Leave a comment
A mate of mine Eddie Fraker has started a fly fishing film company Striking Image Productions check it out!
Hello again, sorry for the absence.
Well I figured after many quick after work fishing trips there must be something worth reporting on by now. To be honest, I’m still in a state of shock and am still found reminiscing about the good ol saltfly trip we did a few weeks back (click here incase you haven’t read it yet). It seems there’s another saltfly trip brewing but we won’t go there just yet…
My latest forays have been somewhat quick and almost rushed. With all the weather situations (bombs) that we are experiencing this summer the options to go trouting have been limited for me. Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve had my share and what lies beneath is a sum up for February.
The start of the month was frantic with family and weddings although I did sneak a trip into the Ngongotaha after hearing so many Cicadas I couldn’t control myself. What I found was a load of scrappy little rainbows that seemed to climb all over most offerings, except the Cicada pattern, go figure! There were a few heart stopping moments as they came up for a look only to then snap at the dropper.
There were a few decent browns basking in the calm waters and this one was kind enough to let me crane style cast a big Royal Wulff right onto its schnoz. It sat there for a long time just staring while I repeatedly told it to eat my fly. A change to a black wooly bugger saw it snap out in fury, the fly bouncing off its lips and frustrating the crap out of me.
After the Sister in laws wedding I ended up in Tauranga with the boys for our saltfly trip. It was bloody fantastic. I may have commented that trout fishing was dull in comparison, sorry I got a little carried away. Watching Alex pack himself and reassuring him enough to cast at some hungry sharks was priceless. There is video footage out there, it just needs voicing over to remove cuss words and girly squeals.
Back to the local waters I ventured to the Mangatutu one rainy (surprise) evening with a new found fisho. Matt and I had been promising each other a trip and finally we connected. There must have been some serious karma stacked up between us because we had a ball. Fish just seemed to throw themselves at us, all within plain sight of the truck. The rain and rising river had the trout feeding hard and it didn’t seem to matter what we did.
Which brings us to Tuesday just gone. I repaid the driving duties by taking us over to Rotorua and showed Matt a few spots that have done ok for me lately. Sure enough we saw good fish within a few minutes and did our best to disrupt them from their activities. They were super spooky and hard to hook, either bolting off to alert their mates or lying doggo with mouths firmly shut.
Finally on our way back to the car we managed a feisty little brown on the dry that had a death wish. The big’uns stayed deep in the pool and dispersed once the little fulla tore the place up. You’ll have to believe me Matt was holding a fish, it just pulled the ghosty real quick when the camera came out.Since then I’ve read a report stating there are massive browns cruising where we fished that night. Given the full moon pattern and still night we blanked but have dedicated a night very soon to go have another crack, can’t wait.
With all the weather halting some plans I have spent time at the bench and have a few flies to show for my troubles. Some reworked, some new ones and also restocking the classics. I’m certain to give them all a going over in the next few weeks.
That’s about it for now. While finishing this blog I saw a clip on Nightline with William Trubridge campaigning for the Hectors Dolphin, looks pretty interesting. Wonder how they’d go on the fly, just kidding.
March 8, 2012 | Categories: Fly Tying, Musings, Trip Reports, Uncategorized | Tags: Big Trout, Brown Trout, Fly Fishing New Zealand, Fly tying, Lucas Allen, New Zealand Fly Fishing, Rainbow Trout, Riverworks Lifestyle, Trophy trout | 2 Comments
I’ve just returned from a few days in the South. I had a pretty good time with a few of the boys away in the bush chasing fish. There will be more on that in the next couple of days or so… watch this space!
In the meantime I thought I had better keep my word and reveal the biggest, baddest nymph ever!
Remember this fish?
This is the fly which did the job.
And this one…
There it is. The big purple Stonefly. I saw them tied like this a few years ago in a magazine and I’ve been tying them like it ever since. I used to limit myself to the smaller sizes but in recent times I have become a big fan of the larger model.
God knows why they take it, it isn’t exactly natural. I’ve had takes from both Browns and Rainbows though, so there must be something in it.
The recipe for this wee piece of magic is;
Hook: Tiemco 200R
Thread: Black – whatever size you are comfortable with using.
Underbody: 0.35mm lead wire
Tail & legs: Purple goose biots
Abdomen & Thorax: Purple dubbing – abdomen is overlaid with clear flexi body
Wingcases: Black flexi body or thin skin
Antenna: rubber legs
I tie it pretty heavy. I start by binding the length of the hook shank with thread. Cut a strip of flexi body and angle off one end. Tie it in right at the back by the angled bit.
Then I tie in a length of lead wire along each side to widen the profile. I follow up by wrapping lead from one end of the shank to the other, covering the two pieces you’ve just tied down.
By the time you’ve done this it should be feeling pretty heavy.
The next thing to do is start dubbing the body. I use some purple stuff which is quite bright and sparkly – these flies require quite a lot and I’ve nearly run out…
When you get to about where you think the tail should be, stop dubbing and tie in a goose biot on either side of the shank. After that resume dubbing to about half way along the shank. That’s about where I start the thorax.
Now is the time to wrap the flexi body over the dubbing. Bring it forward and position it so the tail sits naturally. This can take a bit of practice, but you’ll get there.
Tie it off when you reach the end of the dubbing and trim what you don’t need.
I tie in a strip of black flexi body or thin skin with a V snipped out of it at the rear of the wingcase. Once this is in place, tie in the first 2 legs. Then you can tie another bit of the black stuff down and start dubbing the thorax. At about halfway, bring the black stuff over and tie it down. Tie in another couple of legs, and repeat the process for the front half of the thorax. After you’ve tied the front section down you can finish off by tying in the last 2 legs and a couple of rubber legs poking forward as antenna.
Whip finish it, and it should look pretty good.
It isn’t the easiest fly on earth to tie, but it can be done. I use these for when I need to get a nymph deeper than usual. It seems to work.
Well as you read this it has officially ticked over to Summer. After a typically unsettled Autumn it is good to feel some warmth in the air and with this brings a lot of anticipation.
Over the last month or so I have had a fishing session or 3, managing several good bins of Snapper and another tale of the big one that got away, damn it! The next few weeks are going to be a blur as I’m helping a mate with some building as well as my normal 9 to 5. After that I have a decent block of time off to do the Kiwi Summer thing, thankfully I won’t be far away from the water in most destinations. Stay posted on the blog over the holidays, it will light up in the next few months. There’s even a rather ambitious plan being formulated for the middle of February with a few of the Team…
A while back I locked in a Flyfishing trip with the old man, so this Sunday I’m escaping the Waikato and we’re meeting up in Rotorua. In preparation for the trip I got out the vice, a parcel had arrived from Rod & Reel and this helped get the sweat shop cranking. After getting in the Summer mood with a reggae mixtape and some beer I had a selection of flies tied up and ready to thrash over the next few weeks.
The Lumo Cormorant will be one of my flies of choice for Stream mouths while night fishing the cooler outflows as the Lake temps increase over Summer. Some of the fishing can be red hot when big numbers of Fish congregate to chase smelt and seek the cooler water.
I always keep these at hand for when you’ve tried and tried on a fish and somehow haven’t spooked it! The small amount of pearl tinsel gives it life and the Hi Viz post makes it a little easier to spot. Try not to grease the body up or it won’t drop through the surface film, just keep it to the hackle. The slow motion sips can almost be painful…
…Then compare the takes on these terrestrials, more of a snap than a sip. A true sign of quality New Zealand Summer fishing is being deafened by a million or so chirps from Cicadas all at once. Tie these on strong, quality hooks, it’s worth it.
Now for the Salt! The harbours around New Zealand will be loaded with predatory fish looking for morsels so I tweaked the Clouser to get a bit more contrast and movement in the water. The colour schemes were based roughly around popular softbait patterns.
The Rod & Reel package included some awesome SF flash blend. Can’t wait to spy some Kingis in the burley trail or around the markers. My mates have been jigging them up nearer the surface so it’s only a matter of time until they become more prolific.
Don’t knock Pink! I copped shit for fishing it while on a stag party once, the Kingi shut them up pretty quick. If anyone wants more detailed tying instructions just drop a message and I’ll try best to point you in the right direction.
Well that wraps up this blog, the next one should have pictures of trout after this Sundays session.
Good luck out there and have fun.
November 30, 2011 | Categories: Fly Tying, Musings | Tags: Back country, Big Fish, Dry Fly, Fly Fishing New Zealand, Lucas Allen, New Zealand Fly Fishing, Rainbow Trout, Riverworks Lifestyle, Sight Fishing | 2 Comments
This is what happens when you are waiting for summer…
Tied this today for when the whitebait are running. This should work on a few of the saltwater species like Kahawai, Trevally and Skipjack and maybe even a trout or two as well. Probably not the most time effective fly to tie but was a bit of fun any way.
Hook: Gamakatsu SP11 2/0
Wing: White Craft Fur Plus
Flash: Crystal Flash but anything pearl will do
Head: Clear Cure Goo (Like epoxy but sets with UV light)
Next will be a school of whitebait.
I promised last week to share a pattern I recently created. “Dubbed” The BB it was planned with durability in mind and also a touch of subtle X factor appeal. Oh, and some hot UV orange! The tying list below can be tweaked to your liking.
Hook: Black Magic B12/B16
Tungsten Bead: Black (sized to suit)
Thread: Orange UV thread
Lead: 1.5 wraps 0.010 from mid hook to head (nothing near tail)
Tail: Black Fluoro Fibre
Rib: Gold ultra wire
Body: Fine Black dubbing
Thorax: 2/3 Black Seal 1/3 UV dub (roughly chopped and hand blended)
Legs: Tan Zebra Legs
I found a few things that improved the tying of this fly. Cut the fluorofibre on a harsh angle prior to tying in (this keeps the tail from being too blunt in appearance). The body dub needs to be fine and tight to make a slender back end. Dub the Seals fur blend using a dubbing rope (makes for a nice secure hairy finish) then brush it out once tied in. Seals fur is wonderful for trapping tiny air bubbles, giving sparkle and life to flies. Also the Orange UV hotspots should be even and close bound.
I noticed that using the dubbing rope method also allowed the Orange UV thread to show through more than single strand methods when viewed under black light. This will make your fly stand out from the crowd, especially on the Tongariro during the peak spawning runs.
Speaking of which, it seems all the crew are going to be in Turangi next weekend. I’ll have to put The BB through it’s paces. Here’s hoping for a good dose of rain this time next week, sounds like the river is somewhat reminiscent of distilled spirits currently.
Well I’d better get back to the vice. Glowies are low and the Caddis need attention, you know the drill.
PS. Alex, I’ve got the reservations at Turangi Pie Shop sorted.
August 24, 2011 | Categories: Fly Tying | Tags: Alex Broad, Back country, Backcountry, Big Fish, Big Trout, Brown, Brown Trout, Fishing, Fly, Fly Fishing, Fly fishing gear, Fly Fishing New Zealand, Fly tying, New Zealand, New Zealand Fly Fishing, New Zealand Fly Fishing Guide, North Canterbury, Nymph, Rainbow, Rainbow Trout, River, Riverworks, Riverworks Lifestyle, Sight Fishing, Tongariro, Trophy, Trophy trout, Trout, Turangi, vests, waders | 1 Comment