The Fish Of The Season competition has come to a close. We have had some truly great entries that weren’t included in the final list. Sadly we could only choose 5 and these are our picks.
So now’s the time to choose your favourite. Click on the image to have a closer look.
Voting closes Monday 21st of May at 7pm.
Best be going to sleep. V is good for the drive home but terrible when it’s 1.30am and you have work at 6.30. Have a great fishy weekend.
Ps. The dog burley is great. Didn’t see it until the fish was landed, must have put out a mean trail. The horiness of that alone and the amount of cops we saw are the best clues as to where we were.
Well well, another year down huh. I must admit that my fly fishing has been a little on the back burner over the last 2 weeks. This I am well aware of and have booked in for some serious trouting in the coming week. Come Wednesday I’ll be based in Taupo for a few days and with any luck there’ll be some good adventures to be had. In the meantime I’ve included some of my recent holiday exploits (some fresh water, some salt).
It all began with an epic harling and jigging trip on Xmas eve with Dad in Lake Taupo. We boated around 20 fish in short order, most of which were in great shape and had brilliant orange flesh. I know some of you guys may think it’s cheating but when it’s your first day off and the lake is dead flat the purist in me takes a back seat.
My next major milestone was dropping the engagement bomb on Christmas day (she said yes!). So the next day we went wandering up one of my favourite little streams in Hawkes Bay. I knew it would be a little prickly getting in but wasn’t prepared to endure an ear bashing after coming to a wall of blackberry that was near on impenetrable. We beat a retreat and raced back down the road to plan B. This river is also a favourite and it had been a few years since my last visit, from memory it fishes best when you’re up early and not compteting with the spinners! Needless to say all the fish were rather flighty and I didn’t fare to well. It was a nice day though and good to see the old stomping ground.
Over New Years a group of us booked out Leigh Fishing Lodge, bloody awesome spot and some of the best hosts I’ve encountered. Although it started raining the day we arrived Keith and Lynn were exceptional at making everything hassle free. I’d recommend them to anyone heading up those ways. Thankfully we made do with the conditions even if one of the nights rainfall was the heaviest they’d encountered in many years. The marine reserve at Goat Island is even better than I remember and a great example of marine conservation up close and personal.
After returning from Leigh we set upon the start of our new landscaping project, soon enough I got sick of the shovel and we shot up to Tapu where Tina’s Dad was staying. The weather was still topsy turvy so we bowled out early on Saturday ahead of the approaching storm that ripped the stern off the Rena. We nailed some good Snapper while hovering near the working mussel barges and got thrown around the boat a fair bit, not to mention the rain… oh yeah, it rained, what a surprise!
I also discovered there is such a thing as too much burley. While scraping with a Rat Kingi in the discharge mess I got so much crap on my braid it jammed in the top eye of my softbait rod. It was no wonder the telltale needed clearing once we started motoring back. It would be fair to say this is the closest I’ve come to shooting fish in a barrel.
That is just a quick summary of the Summer so far and with the weather on the improve I’m amping to go hit the Rivers. Come Wednesday the flyrod will be the main priority, of course after I’ve finished stage 2 of the landscaping!
I hope you’re all having a good break and squeezing in as much fishing as possible. Keep safe.
I had some unfinished business with a certain place on the side of Lake Tarawera. Two weeks ago I fished it quickly prior to an engagement party, needless to say I didn’t fare too well in the given hour. After hearing a few current reports of well conditioned fish being pulled out I was well and truly fevered.
The plan was quickly hatched with a mate and we set off through the rain to Rotorua. A quick stop at Hunting and Fishing to get Jeremy a new licence and some more info had us talking more smack than ever. The handbrake had barely engaged and I was out of the car. Waders on, jacket on, rods were assembled double time and so began a damn good fishing session.
Looking down on the spot it was super fishy. Overcast skies, patchy rain, getting dark shortly… Fly fishing porn some might say. I waded out near the drop off and stripped line from my reel. The first cast was ironed out and once the next one found its mark I relaxed into the zone. Tap, tap, WHACK! What, too soon! I was almost caught out as a silver pig belly flopped back into a hole in the water. This thing was determined to give me a hiding and in an instant the line came tight on the reel. A right scrap ensued and after a few attempts the Rainbow was coming over the lip.
It looked nice and juicy so decided that I’d keep one for the smoker. Fish from some of these Rotorua lakes have the best flesh and this was no exception. My new found habit of dropping fish when having photos taken was proven three times, thankfully over the grass this time. Part of the reason I’m smiling is due to the laughter.
Next up was Jeremy. We were yarning away and next thing his face lights up as the rod bucks down. This wasn’t the biggest fish but once again in bloody good nick, it fought well and gave him the run around near the weeds. Some quick snaps and it swam off, slightly confused.
By now the light had begun to change and while tucking into some sammies Jeremys rod tip goes again. Without hesitation he got to work and shortly later the tip sprang back up, fish gone. I think you can see the pain on his face in this photo.
On darkness my rig was changed to a floating line and small lumo doll fly. By this stage the lake had turned to glass and we were trying our best not to stir it up too much. It must have paid off because next thing I feel a very gentle knock, then nothing. Weed? Ten seconds later the knock is back followed by a familiar tug and we’re hooked up. This fish felt good but had limited fighting ability, it was walked to the bank and when the lights went on I realised why, obesity problems. This thing was the best conditioned fish I’d seen in a while. Unfortunately it had hoovered the fly deep and the demands from friends saw it knocked on the head also.
After a little more trying we decided to call it a night, content with all the events of the evening. Now I just need to sort some gear out for this weekends snapper mission in the Firth. Fingers are crossed they behave, my flyrod will be there for the ride.