Fresh water and salt water fly fishing in New Zealand and Australia. Brought to you by Riverworks waders, wading boots, vests, jackets, fly rods and reels.

Posts tagged “Wellington

Jack Kos – The top five…

What follows is a list of my favourite fish from the season. Not necessarily the biggest or the prettiest, but the most satisfying for one reason or another. In fact it has surprised me while constructing this list how many of the bigger fish have been left off. They’re certainly satisfying and look great in photos. But these are the fish I’ll remember.

5) Kicking off the list was a very solid rainbow taken on a tough day. To be honest any one of a number of fish could have filled this spot. The fish were feeding selectively on swimming mayflies and couldn’t be tempted by anything else. Once hooked this fish proceeded to take me for the ride of my life through the pool. There aren’t many stronger fish in the rivers than a football shaped rainbow.

4) This was a brown taken blind in a small stream. It was a strong fish and good looking to boot. Andrew snapped a great shot of it.

3) This fish was an unlikely conquest. Al and I left home at midday and rocked up to the river feeling relaxed. In a riffle at the tailout of the run I spotted a smudge moving upstream. I figure I had spooked it, but covered it anyway. It was with more than a little surprise that I watched a snout poke out of the water to take my klinkhammer. What followed was a very determined fight from a fit fish. Eventually Al secured it in the net and proceeded to snap a photo with a Canon P+S camera from the 1980s that he’d acquired for $2 that morning.

2) I was tossing up between these last two. My number two was also my biggest fish for the season, and my biggest rainbow ever by over a pound. It was a seriously good fish taken in atrocious conditions. It fought hard, if unspectacularly and I was unbelievably pleased to have caught it.

1)But my number 1 had the whole package. It was the total experience. Andrew S and I set off after work and headed north. By the time we pulled up at the stream I’d had 1/2 dozen beers (don’t worry, he was driving) and was in a merry mood. The weather was superb so we donned our jandals and set out for a streamside stroll. The first few fish were spooked in glorious fashion…followed by more…and more. It wasn’t until we came to a bend in the stream and spotted a fish rising 20metres further up that our hope grew. I was on point, so assumed the position. I didn’t dare approach too much more given the behaviour of the previous fish so it was going to be a long cast. The alcohol settled the nerves and the cast was perfect. I thoroughly enjoy the casting side of fly fishing, so a fish caught with a special cast is always that little bit more valuable to me. It’s vividly seared in my mind the sight of the golden fish rising vertically to intercept my fly. As I set the hook it absolutely erupted, tearing off upstream at some pace. In the water it had looked like a nice fish, maybe around 4lbs. After an absurdly strong fight, during which the pitfalls of wearing jandals fishing became apparent to Andrew and I (Andrew, I believe, still has the scars to prove it), a rather bigger than expected fish came to the net. The whole experience of catching this fish was topped off by its appearance. It was short, but incredibly round and heavy. In absolutely perfect condition with substantial giraffe like spots dotting its body. For me it was the fish of the season and one of the most satisfying and enjoyable fish I’ve ever caught.


Alex Broad – Season drawing to an end

Thats right, the 2011/2012 fishing season is nearly over.

For most of us we either stop fishing and start tying flies for the next season, head to winter spawning rivers and lakes that remain open or battle it out in the lower reaches of our favourite rivers.  I had realised I had been concentrating of salt water fly fishing this summer and hadn’t done enough trout fishing, so decided I needed to cram a bit of fishing in before the season closed.

Last weekend had me down at the local (Hutt River), after hooking into a beaut jack of around 4.5lb I was very quickly in trouble, he had run into the rocks under me and I could feel my leader on the rocks.  Determined not to loose this fish I ventured into the river to try and pull him out, it got deeper, and deeper, and a bad decision had me in water up to my neck doggy paddling across a short deep part, while holding the rod above my head, still firmly attached to the trout.  I landed him, but was rather wet and dejected, managing to drown a camera in the process, unfortunately no pictures for this reason.

This weekend, I had some time to kill on Sat morn, so thought Id have a quick look around some of the water that is due to close around Wellington.

It wasn’t long before I had spotted a fish feeding away, however he managed to disappear into the murky depths before I got a cast.  A few pools further up I had another fish in my sights, swaying gently in the current and feeding well, I tied on a special fly that rarely fails me.  A couple of casts to get the drift right and he swung over, the white flash of his mouth was the only indication I needed, I stuck hard before my indicator had a chance to move, fish on!  After a rather slow but dogged fight I had a nice conditioned jack in the net.

A few more pools and another fish was spotted, same rig cast and this time I had the cast perfect first time.  The fish swung, the mouth opened, the indicator dipped and I struck.  I was met with brief but solid resistance before the fly came screaming past my face.  The fish obviously disappeared into the heavy water not to be seen again.  Unfortunately that was it for the morning, another 1 fish day, but 1 fish is better than no fish, and going fishing is better than not going fishing.

Only a couple of weeks left in the season, Ill be making the most of it.


Alex Broad – Andrew Marshall made an awesome captain.

We had just returned from a week of saltwater fly fishing, I was going through all the photos and video footage, and it dawned on me that I didn’t have a single photo of Andrew Marshall holding a fish.  Now I thought this was weird, all the rest of us caught fish.  Turns out he was so determined to get everybody else onto fish before he had a crack, the fishing was super hard and we simply ran out of time before he got have a decent go at it.  What a good bugger.  Thanks Andrew, you made an awesome skipper, maybe next time someone else can drive the boat……

Andrew Marshall, Andrew Sturt and myself set off for an epic saltwater fly fishing adventure late one Saturday night.  The plan was to drive up the line to Tauranga, with Andrews Dad’s boat, for a week of chasing anything that swims in the sea on fly.  After a less than desirable start, auto sparky wired the brakes up wrong, we made it to Taupo, slept on the edge of the lake rather poorly, then pushed through to Tauranga in the morning.  Lucas came over from Hamilton that morning and before long we had the boat sorted, made friends with the local residents at the motor camp and had done a bit of exploring in the upper harbour close to our accommodation.  A rather lethargic afternoon followed with the consumption of a few brews and a good feed whipped up on the BBQ.

The next day, well, it rained.  But that didn’t stop us, we threw popper after popper at all the markers in the channels, nothing doing.  Off into the upper harbour, still a bit rough out wide, nothing doing up there either.  Finally back at the harbour entrance, kahawai working the surface.  We eased into it with a small one,

Then a bigger one,

It was just good to finally put a bend into a rod,

The next day was a cracker, out wide early, sea calm and glassy, not a kingie in any of Andrews spots.  This was to set the scene for the elusive kingie for the rest of the trip.  However before long we were greeted with a small school of Skippies moving through, in very very shallow water.  We weren’t used to the fast moving nature of the tuna and couldn’t connect.  New spot, still no kingies, few kahawai on the surface and huge schools of blue mao mao sipping.  These guys were hard work, very very fussy following tiny flies right to boat before turning away.  We gave up eventually and found another school of skippies working over a rise.  The sea was so calm and flat that  we struggled to get in front of the school and get close enough for a cast without them going down.  Kahawai were the consolation prize here,

Giving up on these guys we headed for the harbour, only for the wind to come up and us finding several small schools of skippies working the shallow water close to the harbour entrance.  This time we connected, the chopped up surface seemed to make all the difference.  A few landed on trolling gear, and just one landed on fly by lucas,

Several others were hooked on fly, but totally unprepared for how hard they run we lost them.  Mostly pulled hooks with the odd bust off,  the importance of having your flyline neatly coiled in the boat with no tangles became second nature.

The next day we had a crack at a few more skippies, again Lucas landing the only one on fly.

The rest of us either pulling hooks, busting tippets or hooking into “Tuna” for them to turn into Kahawai at the boat.  However, we had kept a handful of kahawai and a few skippies for something a little more adventurous.  It was SHARK TIME!

This has been a minor obsession of mine for a while, after I popped my couta cherry the next most logical step was to have a crack at something bigger with bigger teeth.  I had done my research and thought I had it dialed, Chum up, Mako’s turn up, tease, cast fly, set hook, hold on.  Sounds easy, however none of this went to plan.  We rigged up Andrews 14 weight, shooting head, running line, 500+ meters of backing all on a super grunty bluewater reel.  Heavy butt section in the leader, wire tippet section to a tube fly of my own design and a big dirty 9/0 long shank hook.

Chum went in, 10 mins later, Bronzy of around 2.5 – 3m turns up, fish frames pulled out so he didn’t eat them (think this was more of a nervous reaction on my behalf) and the shark spooks.  Right we know they are here, how the hell are we going to hook one then land it? Well we all fly by the seats of our pants, so we just figured we would worry about that when the time came.  The waiting game commenced,

A tide change and about an hour later we soon had several bronze whaler sharks circling the boat, building up confidence to come in to the chum.  Finally a little fella of around 100kg had a swipe at the fish frames, this seemed to signal to the rest of them “get into it!”  I was very very nearly not going to throw the cast, however the boys told me too, and I didn’t want to loose face.  So I manned up and started throwing a fly in the sharks general direction.

After a minor feeding frenzy off the back of the boat, no fish frames left for obvious reasons, our new mates were hunting round looking for more, another cast was made, the fly sunk slowly into the sharks line of sight, the angler (me) shaking like a leaf, was dead silent apart from “Lucas mate, can you please hang on to the back of my life jacket? I really don’t want to end up in there with them”  line tightens, I pull back, no effect, shark is off like a steam train, straight back towards the swimming beach he had just come from.  I get Andrew Marshall to tighten the drag for me, as all I can do at this stage is swear and hang on to what I think is a mediocre sized Bronze whaler, increase in drag has no effect, after a brief time of me+14 weight fly rod vs shark the line went slack.  The wind of shame ensued, thankfully the running line was still attached to the backing, more winding and the shooting head came through guides, more winding and the leader was visible, better still my wire tippet was still there, what happened? well I had some of that fancy knot able wire leader stuff, turns out its real hard to actually tie good enough knots in it cause it stretches like you wouldn’t believe.  Mental note: stick to normal single strand wire and haywire twists……….

We re rigged with a new fly of a new colour, the sharks were still hanging round, however they all came up to the fly for an inspection then denied it right off the ends of their noses.  Exciting stuff, sight fishing for 150kg sharks and having them refuse your presentation, kinda like back country fly fishing, only the fish is a damn sight bigger, there’s no way in hell you are wet wading and you definitely wont be posing with your catch.  This was enough shark action for me, still shaking like a leaf, cat had my tongue and the boys were ribbing the crap out of me.  I managed to get out “how big do you reckon that thing was?” The boys said this “It was the big one, I dont know, maybe 200kg, 180 – 200kg”

Trying to calm the nerves,

We don’t have any more shark pics, but there is some pretty crazy video footage to come……….

The next day was a ripper, so it was out wide to have a crack at a marlin.  This was what Andrew Marshall had come for, a crack at a Marlin on fly.

Sadly we couldn’t raise any to the lures, however we did find loads of skippies and practised our tease and switch on them trolling hookless tuna lures.  This was awesome fun but again hard to stay connected to the tuna.  Andrew Sturt had lost alot of skippies on fly by this stage and hadn’t landed one, his frustration showed with phrases like “Nows not a good time to tease me guys”.

Heading towards home we jigged over some pinnacles to try find some kings, Andrew Sturt managed to hook a couple of rats and land one,

14wt deployed again this time for kings, with no reaction.  Drift after drift we failed to raise anything on either the jigs or the fly despite the sounder showing good kingy sign.

Heading for home I spotted a school of tuna busting up, we get close, I throw a fly and it finds the mouth of a tuna, a long dogged fight and I finally manage to land my first tuna on fly, glad to get that monkey off my back.

The Andrews had a few casts, both hooking up but nothing landed.

Our last day on the water was a damp one, we packed up all our gear and checked out of the motor camp, one of the old timers who we had made friends with came to see us off in the morning with the warning “Be careful out there today guys, the weather man said there are going to be RAIN BOMBS!”

Back on the water and back to our favorite tuna grounds, it was lumpy, but we thought it was doable.  After plenty of attempts and a few false kahawai starts, Andrew Sturt was firmly hooked into a good skippy, a long scrap and finally it was netted, much to Andrews relief.

We tried our hardest to get Andrew Marshall hooked up, but it wasn’t to be his day.

Boat on trailer and we thought we were off, we soon noticed brake fluid leaking out of the reservoir on the trailer.  Off to the mechanics and they fixed it up real good.  We were off again Wellington bound we thought, only to stop at the gas station to find smoke pouring off one of the brakes on the trailer.  We spent the rest of the day figuring out what the problem was and how we were going to fix it or at least get the trailer back to the mechanics.  Finally we managed to jack 4 odd tonnes of boat and trailer up enough to remove the tire and offending brake caliper.  We hobbled back into to Tauranga to drop the trailer and boat off to the mechanic, he stayed open for us on a friday afternoon, what a good bugger, thanks heaps to the good dudes at Steve Long Automotive, we can highly recommend their service.

4 guys, close to 40 fishing rods, god only knows how many flies, lines and reels.  Not a single broken fly rod despite our best attempts, however there were many lost flies and busted leaders.  I was testing some new high end Riverworks Fly rods and reels.  What can I say, I put the hurt on the fish with the rods, the reels stopped them in their tracks, neither had any performance issues and I cast the set ups long and hard all day for 5 days.  The only issue was that I wind with my left hand, it was pretty funny watching the boys pick my rods, hook into a fish and reach for a handle that wasn’t there………Pretty sure I was the only one laughing.

So as I write this there is a boat still in Tauranga packed full of fishing gear that needs picking up, couldn’t really ask for a better excuse for round 2 now could we…………………….


Jack Kos – A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat

Just a quick one from me, in keeping with the duration of the trip.

 

Headed up country immediately after my Nana’s 80th birthday festivities drew to a close on Sunday. I had a special guest with me this time: dad.

 

After sorting out the lodgings we quickly hit the river, although the first hour or two was rather fruitless with few fish seen. As the light diminished the fishing increased. Things took a definite turn for the better when we came across a deep corner pool riddled with snags. At the head holding high in the column just off the lip was a golden shape. For the briefest moment I thought it was just another log, except logs don’t rise. I shimmied into position and put the perfect cast over it with a #14 parachute adams. And…nothing. And again…nothing. The third was slightly wayward, and met with similar determined resistance. A change of tactics was called for. Off with the dainty mayfly, on with a big ugly terrestrial. It only took one cast. A determined, if unspectacular, fight ensued with the most effort exerted keeping the fish from the countless snags. After a couple of dashes from the shallows the battle concluded with a stonking brown safely in the net.

 

A reason to smile.

 

I’m far from an elitist, but I’ll always value a fish on the dry just a little bit more.

 

The next wee while saw a few fish sighted, usually too late. Dad was unlucky not to rise a couple of fish that he covered well. Finally, with darkness well on its way we approached another corner pool with more than one impediment to casting. Dad opted out, so there I was standing up to my neck in grass watching (well really listening to) a fish rise just feet away. It was almost dapping, but it sure brought about results. This time the #14 para adams certainly wasn’t rejected. What the previous fight lacked in spectacle this one more than made up for in aerobatics. I think the fish spent more time in the air than the water. But the trusty #5 absorbed it all and the fish soon succumbed to the constant pressure.

 

Another superbly conditioned brown.

 

After that we retired for the night, got a filthy feed of chinese takeaways and returned to our room where we were embraced wholeheartedly by cold beer.

 

The next day saw an early start, which turned out to be well worthwhile as not 5 minutes after we started we noticed another angler 100 metres or so downstream of us. On about the fifth cast of the day Dad caught the fish of the day. In fact, barring one small model I picked up, it was the only fish of the day. It rose confidently to eat his cicada and burst downstream as soon as it felt the bite of steel. I had to employ some boot camp tactics to get dad chasing it as at one point there was over 30 metres of backing out. I’ve seen fish fight harder than this, but I’ve never seen them fight so one dimensionally. It just swam in one direction, downstream, for the duration of the fight. Once we’d caught up to it the netting was practically a formality.

 

Dad once again demonstrates his propensity to make 4lb fish look tiny.

 

This proved to be the only real highlight in what was otherwise a very quiet day. The trip home was interrupted only by a brief stop for kebabs and a briefer stop for coffee. Great to get out on the water with dad and catch a few fish!


Alex Broad – Wading Jacket follow up

Hi guys,

First of all thank you all for your help and suggestions for the new wading jacket.  We really appreciate our customers input.

It appears we definitely have 2 very separate camps here, 1 for the wading jacket similar to what is already on the market and 1 for the more compact, simple, packable shell.   All I have to do now is convince Rob to do 2 jackets so everyone has an option!

I received a few jacket designs, which were all really good and well thought out.  Here they are:

From Calum McKenzie, a keen young fisherman and outdoorsman:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Lisa McKenzie:

From Daren Gamble:

Thanks very much guys for all the effort you put in.

Everyone’s ideas have been taken into consideration and will form a check list to help us design a wading jacket for our customers.  The design process for this jacket will be blogged continuously and at every stage our readers will be included in the discussions and decisions relating to this.  We want you guys to see and be involved in everything from the concept right through to production.

Thanks again and keep an eye out next month for the initial concept sketches, we will need your votes!


Alex Broad – R Series Fly Reel, Part 2.

Couldn’t leave all the trout fishing brothers and sisters hanging out much longer, here are a few more details of the new “R Series” fly reels.

This reel has been the result of a long drawn out design process (well over 12 months), getting the balance of features and manufacture methods just right.

The aesthetics were inspired by the arrow head / dots we use in our Riverworks imagery, giving us a reel that looks a little different yet still retains its core look, feel and strength.

The R Series reel is machined from a solid billet of T6061 aluminium.  This alloy is commonly selected for use in heavy duty structures requiring good corrosion resistance, eg  truck and marine components, railroad cars, tank fittings, and high pressure applications.

R Series reels are Type 3 anodized, giving us the most durable wear and corrosion resistance available.  The Frame has been anodized matte black and the spool matte gun metal, producing an eye pleasing contrast look, without being too “blingy” for the South Islanders.

The prototype testing was awesome, we were seriously impressed.  This reel balances my rod perfectly and seems to have an uncanny knack of finding the fish (catching them is another story).  We have developed an “Orbit” cork and stainless drag, a combination of “brutal tippet snapping” stopping power and weight reduction to create a fantastic drag suited for all freshwater and light saltwater applications.  The “Orbit” drag is silky smooth with a nice click just to let your mates know your hooked up without being too ear piercing and annoying.

The large arbor spools reduce line memory and coiling, and also enable the angler to retrieve line quickly when that fish decides to run straight back at you!  The spools have been designed with a slight “V” which creates a little more room for backing as well as helping to align the line and backing on to the spool.

The reels will be available in 3 sizes, R1 = #3/4, R2 = #5/6 and R3 = #8/9.  While we don’t actually have the shipment in our hot little hands just yet, they are on the water and are expected to arrive very soon.

While this reel has been in development, another higher spec reel has also been developed.  However this one is way more technical so wont be ready for a while yet.  Expect a bomb to be dropped on the fly reel market this September…….


Alex Broad – Sneak preview

Here we go guys,

Riverworks is about to take possession of some very very hot reels………………

Just a wee teaser, more pics and details to come over the next day or 2.  Keep an eye out……..


Riverworks – Wading Jackets, help us out

With the end of 2011 drawing close its time to start looking ahead and revaluating the Riverworks product range for the 2012 – 2013 season.

The Tongariro wading jacket has served us well over the years. However, technology has changed and improved, new fabrics are available and styles and fashions are always evolving.  The Tongariro jacket is not dead! We are looking to create a new jacket to add to the range for the 2012 – 2013 season and we need your input!

While we fish as much as we can here at Riverworks and we use the gear we preach and sell, we aren’t everyone.  There’s nothing better than getting feedback and criticism from the people that are using our gear and making the purchasing decisions in the stores.

So here are a few questions to get the creative juices flowing in all your fish riddled brains:

What do you want in wading Jacket?

How can the Tongariro wading jacket be improved?

When do you wear a jacket, to stay warm? To stay dry? Both?

Do you wear a vest under or over your jacket? Or not at all when wearing a wading jacket?

What’s your style of fishing when wearing a wading jacket? Tongariro style? Rivermouth / rip? Back country? Multi day trips?

Do you see a market for a basic lightweight packable shell style jacket, tailored (short wading cut) for trout fishing?

How important is the length of a wading jacket? Should they be longer? Shorter?

What are the key features you look for in a wading jacket? Big pockets? Zingers? Fly patch? Water tight cuffs? Style?

What’s your colour preference? Does it really matter or influence your purchasing decision?

Is price an issue? Would you be prepared to spend more for a better jacket? Or is there a certain price point we should aim to hit?

Post a comment below with your suggestions, and hell, if you’re feeling artistic pinch the kids crayons and draw us a picture of your ideal jacket, email it through to me alex@evolveoutdoors.co.nz and if you don’t mind Ill even throw it up on the blog.

I might get in trouble giving the bosses stock away, but why don’t I run a little competition.  The 3 most creative designs sent in will receive a little something.  If it’s a really shit hot design I might even be able to persuade Rob to give away one of the new jackets to the winner……………..


Alex & Jack – The footage from the weekend

As promised, here is a bit of footage from our weekend.

Im pretty new to this whole video footage and editing thing, but it seems to have come together ok.  The fish aren’t huge, but it was a good day out in the bush.

Enjoy:


Alex Broad – S%!*s & Giggles

I wasn’t sure whether or not to post this video,

However after throwing it up on vimeo it was very quickly reblogged on a French fishing blog, and received over 150 hits in its first day and some very positive votes!

We were likened to Beavis and Butthead with all the giggling and praised with the down to earth style of fishing.

So here it is:

I have to add that after targeting wary brownies in clear water all season that this was a breath of fresh air, I haven’t had this much fun on a fly rod in a long time.  Perch are voracious feeders and will predate on just about anything, I tried to get them to eat a popper, they didn’t hesitate.  This has opened a new world of fly fishing up for me, popping for perch in “workups”.  Give it a hoon one day, you might be surprised just how much fun it is.


Alex Broad – Sunburn and Sea Sickness

Finally a break in the weather, a chance to get out wide for some saltwater action.

The forecast looked best for Sat arvo, so a few ph calls / txt messages and a plan was hatched.  The 4 of us hooned out to an offshore reef only to be greated with a very green looking sea, a large rolling swell and little to no wind.

A few drifts and several kahawai later, Andrew hooked into the first king for the season on the jig, not a big specimen, but was awesome to get on the board.

A few drifts and a few more kahawai later I was starting to feel pretty rough, As was Jacks mate Jeremy.  We decided a few more drifts and we would head back.  Well I lost the lunch I had just thrown down on the way out, and had set up a pretty good looking burley trail, when Jack hooked up.  We knew from the get go this fish was solid, I yelled statements of encouragement for Jack, something along the lines of “Rip its face off Jack!” and “Give him death boy!”.  Finally this king got a good solid run straight into the reef, busting Jack off.  We will be back!

Poor old Jeremy was looking pretty green by this stage, so we started heading back.  Half way there I spotted some birds working, and made Andrew investigate, I quickly set up a fly rod and gave it to Jeremy with the instructions of cast as far as you can, strip as fast as you can, don’t strike like a trout, just  pull the line to set the hook.  First cast, we watched the kahawai smash the fly, trout strike = no hook up, Jeremy knew instantly why it hadn’t worked, a couple more casts and after a solid strip strike he was hooked into a good kahawai.  It didn’t go quite as hard as they normally do, but Jeremy instantly forgot about the sea sickness.

A few more drifts and after plenty of refusals, these buggers were being fussy, we decided to pull the pin.  Now a new plan was hatched, one that involved Jacks BBQ and a few Beers.  Andrews BBQ skills and Jacks vast culinary expertise resulted in this:

A feed fit for 4 hungry fishermen, a great end to a really good start to what will hopefully be a summer filled with fishy goodness!


Alex Broad – Beer never tasted so good

Opening day 2011 was going to be a bit different this year.

Instead of my usual trip to the south island I decided to explore waters closer to home.  After talking to a few mates we had a posse together and a spot to check out.  We knew the river we had chosen held fish, but how many and what size was something we knew nothing about, further research revealed little insight.

Friday the 30th rolled around, the posse gathered at the supermarket, supplies obtained for 3 days, packs packed, and we were off.  5 hours later we arrived at our accommodation, blistered, bruised and to be honest absolutely buggered.

The extra kilos of amber gold we carried in was well worth the effort, something we rejoiced in upon our arrival.

We checked a few pools that evening, and found fish straight away, feeding hard and seemingly unaware of our presence.  Again we rejoiced with cold brews, the river held fish, and good numbers too!

A good feed put on the billy and off to bed in anticipation of what the next day might bring.

Up early and another epic meal was quickly prepared by our camp chef, Lucas.  Before long we were off, not far from our hut Lucas promptly hooked and landed the first fish of the season, unfortunately no grip and grin shot here as the fish seemed a little camera shy and released himself.

The next piece of decent holding water held 2 more fish, Aaron hooked and dropped one, Andrew hooked and landed his first fish of the season.

As the sun came up another fish was spotted feeding hard, Aaron was put on point and a good cast brought this fish up to his dry, the fish then went to town on us, he did eventually come to the net in a rather unorthodox manner, but we wont go there.

Lucas pulled another good fish out of a side braid,

And another from a nice pool,

By this time it was my turn, fish were spotted, I cast, fish spooked.  This went on for a while, with a couple of hooked and lost fish in the mix.  We almost swore that these fish had already been fished to, but the lack of human sign suggested otherwise, perhaps I just wasn’t on my “A” game, or the fish were just way to smart for me.

Mid arvo brought an interesting change in target species, while stalking quietly up a pool I heard Aarons rod drop, the bolt on his rifle being worked quickly, I looked up to see him racing across the river bed towards a small flat, he stopped, the rifle came up, BANG.  Pigs of various sizes and colours erupted from the bush edge.  The rifle was placed down and Aaron was racing around like a man possessed, finally a desperate dive had us in fits of laughter.  His cheeky grin appeared above the scrub with his prize in a tight grip, a wee black piglet.  The little bugger was trying desperately to free himself and Aarons fingers were quickly becoming worse for wear, so he was released for another day.

A short search in the bush and we found the first prize, a nice fat sow.  The picture shows just how happy he was with this one.  And before you ask, No it wasn’t the mum of the piglet, we saw mum running at full speed, she was much much larger!

Aaron and I caught up with Lucas and Andrew further upstream, a nice pool holding a few fish, Aaron and I spotted from the far bank, we called the cast, followed by the strike, Andrew quickly had the biggest fish of the day to the net.

The sun was setting, and we were a long way from the hut, so we bailed in double time, stopping to pick up our pork dinner.  Arriving back at the hut we were greeted by what looked like an entire tramping club.  You certainly get some funny looks carrying a pig and a fishing rod up to the hut.

Camp chef Lucas whipped up another culinary delight, quickly followed with some fine scotch.  Off to bed to try get to sleep before the snorers cranked up.  No luck there, we re payed the favor with some loud flatulence in the morning.

By this stage I was still skunked and getting rather upset about the issue, early morning Lucas and I went down stream to where we had spotted fish the first night, we had left these as a back up.  These fish were in another world, chasing each other round the pool and just generally ignoring our flies, eventually we managed to spook the lot.  It was here I cut my loses and decided I wasn’t going to get a fish this opening.

The walk out was much easier, our packs were substantially lighter and the rain that had just begun, kept us moving at a brisk pace.  After copping a heck of a lot of flack about “loosing my touch” and “Using all my mojo up on the Hutt river” we arrived at the bush edge.  One last ditch effort at a fish for opening.  I spotted a fish in close and set up.  He was moving around a lot and was hard to keep track of, he turned up at my feet, a short cast, a good take on the dry, some aggressive playing and a good net job by Aaron, I had a fish to the net finally.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy about catching a little fish.

Finally 4 wet, tired and sore anglers arrived at burger king, we smashed back a good feed and nailed it back to welly for the league.

An epic trip with good mates in NZ’s back country is something you can’t beat.  Already we have other trips planned for other areas of the forest park, and a very very different proposition for next years opening.  But you’ll have to wait till next year to see what that is.


Alex Broad – Pre Season Training

With opening day just a week away I decided I was in desperate need of some pre season training.  Its been a long winter with not a lot of fishing.

I had a bit of time to kill on Saturday so went for a drive down to my local, the Hutt river.  First fish spotted wouldn’t have a bar of anything, and he was only fish I found in the first run.  A pair of canoeists came down the river past me, so I decided my chances had just been blown in this stretch.

I re positioned upriver a bit to a favorite summer stretch.  I spotted an ok fish in the back of the pool, but decided to scope the rest of the pool out and come back to him.  2 more good looking fish were spotted on the opposite side at the head of the pool.  Battle plan hatched, and I was back down the bottom of the pool, hiding in flax bushes, timing casts with the wind so the fish wouldn’t see me casting.  A few good drifts, followed by a fly change had me hooked up to a scrappy 3.5lb jack.

After crossing through the run I snuck up to where I had seen the other fish.  The glare on the water stopped me from spotting the fish, so blind casting in the lie and slowly and methodically covering the water saw me hooked up to yet another jack, this fella was bang on 4lb.

Both Fish still a little skinny after spawning, but recovering well.  The hutt looks like it will be in very very good shape this coming season.  Fish are in good nick and the bug life looked really good.

Im off into the back country this weekend for some opening day action with other pro team members, Lucas and Andrew, no doubt this blog will be flooded with good reports of all of our opening day missions come Monday………….


Alex Broad – Closing day

I’ve been pretty slack this season.  I haven’t done any where near as much trout fishing as I’d hoped,  But I thought I might as well make an effort on the last day of the season.

Trout at the tail end of the season have always been a little hard for me, usually not interested in anything as they’ve got other things on their minds………..This time I had a special fly that Jack tied for me, not something to be showing your mates, it goes against everything traditionalists stand for.  I was confident I was gonna slay fish with it, after jack had told me several stories of how well this creation worked on the south island browns.  I tried it on closing day.  Jack, it spooks fish like nothing else, straight to plan B.

The day was awesome, no wind, bright and sunny, and the river was higher than usual but dropping and a beautiful clear emerald colour.  Last time we fished here we were second on water and it was impossible to catch a fish, this time we made sure we were the first there.

The first 2 fish wouldn’t have a bar of anything and both spooked on the second cast, the cast’s were good and presentation was good, I just guess some fish are much harder than others.

The next fish was sitting in a funny spot, Id seen him here before but never managed to get him to look at anything, my cast was a little off, but he moved a long way for the nymph, his mouth opened, his head turned and I came up tight, he fought hard in the fast water and I could feel my leader on rocks, I got the feeling he’s been through this before and knew a few tricks.  We managed to get him back into slack water and land him, a little slabby and scarred up quite badly, he still went a shade over 5lb.

Now it was Andrews turn.  Andrew has been taking me out on his boat saltwater fly fishing.  I found out he had never caught a brown trout before, so I was determined to pop that cherry.  We found one feeding deep, a couple drifts and no dice.  The fish started to become more active and started feeding the entire depth of the water column, we changed tactics and position to get a better drift and what do you know, before long Andrew was hooked up to a very active brownie who spent spent a lot of time in the air, Andrew was screaming like a school girl at a Justin Beiber gig.  After a good scrap I netted a nice brownie around 4lbs, Andrew was ecstatic to say the least, few grip and grin shots and he put him back for next year.

The next 2 fish behaved the same as the first 2, 2 casts and gone.  Then we spotted one feeding the width of the river, he was probably the most active fish Ive seen there, I guided Andrew into his location, as he false casted his nymph and indicator the fish came up and took a dry! he rose again and again, Andrew changed up his rig.  Andrews new dry and dropper combo did the trick after “several” good casts, and another good brownie of 4lb was netted.

That was the last fish spotted for the day, and what a day.  Andrew kept telling me it was his best days trout fishing yet.  I was happy to help get Andrew his first browns.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day really, maybe some bigger fish……….

I was testing a new prototype fly rod, an 8’6″ 5 weight, and what a honey of a rod!  I can’t wait for these to hit the market, my very expensive high end rod will be getting retired!  Keep an eye on the blog, we will keep you all updated with the design and testing of some new fly rods.


Alex Broad – Not fly fishing, but pretty sweet

I know its not fly fishing, but, I was recently invited out for a fish with local salt fly gun Andrew Marshall.

We were armed to the hilt with salt fly, jigging and trolling gear, unfortunately the weather didn’t allow for any salt flying, but we did get into some good Kingies on the jigs.

My first ever Kingie, around 11kg, not massive, but I was stoked to pop that cherry, the raw power of these fish is amazing!

Andrew landed a 15kg specimen, and another mate Brad got into a 23kg horse on some seriously light gear.

I dont imagine we’d have much luck trying to land these on fly rods, but we might be silly enough to try it one day…………………………

Andrew informs me there have been a few Albacore Tuna caught out wide, a great target for the fly rod, watch this space!


Jack Kos – A stream and a fish

Spent a day a couple of weeks back pottering around the Wellington backcountry with local guide Andrew Harding (www.brown-trout.co.nz). I’ve gotta say that I was immensely impressed with his knowledge of the area and would have no hesitation in recommending him if you’re looking for a guide in the lower North Island.

An early start and a long drive saw us heading for a remote wee stream in the backblocks. A decent walk delivered us to the good water. I’d barely begun prospecting up a run when Andrew mentioned that he may have seen a trout rise out of the corner of his eye. First cast over this area with a big rubber legged cicada saw a slow and deliberate rise from a good brownie. I hadn’t expected the action to be quite so instantaneous.

He immediately sought refuge under the toetoe, however some pretty serious pressure had him turned. After the initial spirited burst it was a foregone conclusion. Taking him downstream to an area of shallow gravel the fish allowed itself to be led into the waiting net.

A beautifully spotted brownie. It was my best North Island brownie this season, and was more than enough to make my day.

As is often the case after a promising start, the remainder of the day failed to deliver. We covered a lot of ground and saw several more fish, but none were actively feeding. Still, with a good fish in the bank I was happy just exploring new water. We concluded the day with pies and energy drinks at a dairy on the way home.


Jack Kos – Tikei Touring

Sorry I’ve been so slack with posting, unfortunately due to a rather irritating need to make money I’ve been working not fishing lately. Here’s a quick report from about a month back.

 

Having been couped up in work hearing about all the fantastic fishing everyone had been having I just needed to get out. It was a  2.5 hour drive and a 1 hour walk before I finally got my line wet. It wasn’t long before I hooked my first fish, a spritely bow of about a pound. However, as was to be the case with the majority of fish that day, it didn’t make it to the net. I’ve never had quite such a poor conversion rate. I think I probably hooked about 25 fish, landing just 9 of them. Running out of tippet and being forced to use a rather too old spare spool probably didn’t help.

 

Still I managed a few good fish. Nothing too big, just really fit rainbows. There was a roughly even split between double tungsten deep nymphing and free rising bow’s taken on a soft hackled emerger. Anyway, here are a couple of pictures from the day…

 

The view I awoke to…

There’s nothing quite like an enormous pool chocka full of free rising rainbows…

One taken on the walk back…

 

The flies that did the damage…

I’ve spent the last two weeks down south in Wanaka and Lumsden trying to get out fishing. The weather was somewhat against me and there were more wasted days than successful ones. There were a few good days in there though, mostly because of the top blokes I fished with rather than the fishing itself. That report’ll be up in a week or so.

 

Hope you’re all getting out there and catching a few!


Jack Kos – Something a little different…

No…this isn’t THE report. I’m still getting round to that. But don’t worry, the first installment will be out in a few days time.

 

I’d had a thoroughly frustrating day today, managing to blank on two of my favourite streams (one of them did not even contain a fish, although it did have huge bulldozer tracks directly up the river bank). So I jumped at the opportunity to get out with Andrew, a gun saltfly fisherman, on his boat. Today’s report comes in a totally different medium…. So sit back and enjoy the music of Joe Bonamassa while watching a couple of plonkers catch some fish…

 


Rob Wilson – Wellington Salt Water Fly

Alex and I have just been out for a quick flick in the harbour…