Family, Friends and Fly Fishing… The West of Ireland!

July 9th, 2017 No comments

GURTEEN POINT..

I think the last time I wrote my blog about my visit to Ireland I was a year late and therefor on time. Well, I’ve done it again! Right on time! It was fun looking over these photos from last year. The main memory that came back was just how difficult the fishing was, but it’s more about catching up with friends and family anyway (not to sound defeatist!). There were some exceptions though. The first day on the water was with Nigel. I’ve spent many happy days fishing around the points, bays and islands off Roundstone so I was delighted to be back out there. So many memories from this part of the ocean from parties on the islands (Shlackfest), to almost not making it home from stormy seas, to great fishing, to huge pods of dolphins, diving and snorkelling, searching for surf, the list goes on and on.. Anyway, Nigel and I hunted around over some usual haunts and some not so usual. We started hitting fish in about 20 foot of water in a sheltered bay at the back of Gurteen Point. Nigel was casting with spin gear and I was using the di7. Both worked.. Most fish were around the 2lb mark but we had a good number of fish around the 5. These fish fight hard and taste good! The icing on the cake for the day was a visit from 3 separate pods of Bottlenose Dolphins. These were captivating to watch and we cruised around with them for about an hour before heading back to Roundstone for a few pints. It’s very hard to top a day like that!

BILBERRY FOR PIKE

Dad and I had a few days on the water together but to be honest, there wasn’t a hell of a lot to report from our days afloat. The most enjoyable day out we had, Conor also came along. Pike were the target species. As bad luck would have it there were trout rising everywhere and we had no trout gear. The pike were very hard to move that day. Usually its the other way around! We fished multiple spots, moving all the time in search of fish. We moved and lost an occasional fish but it was slow. After a long dry spell, Conor, who has not fished much, hooked into a pike and immediately started reeling in with the drag locked up. I tried to loosen it but couldn’t get there fast enough.. the strain on the gear seemed to be beyond its limits. The rapala hit the top eye and then Conor hauled it over the gunnels, nylon pinging like a guitar string. I don’t know how something didn’t give! That was the only fish we landed so Conor for the win! I may well go back in a few weeks for another round, hopefully with the same team!

CORRIB WITH BADGER AND JOHN

As luck would have it, Badger was in Ireland while I was home! We agreed to meet up for a fish. Badger met John and I in Oughterard and we hit for the water. We worked hard all day for John’s one fish. I got nothing, Badger got a perch. There’s no point talking about the fishing because I have so little to say, but the craic was good! John knows Badger from his time in NZ, as do I so the 3 of us fishing in Ireland together was fantastic experience. Great craic and banter all day even if the fishing was pretty shite. Corrib was hard work last August!

CALLOW LAKES

Shane and I went to fish Callow lakes in Mayo on an exploratory mission. They’re beautiful lakes nestled in verdant woodland with plenty shallows and weed beds. Perfect trout habitat. We got a tip that it was a very underrated fishery. We gave it hell! We fished both lakes hard all day. Shane stayed on the floater while I fished a number of depths from floater to di7 in an attempt to learn as much as I could about the lake in one day. I think we landed 8 but they were small, much smaller than in the report which mentioned good numbers of fish from .75lb to 2lbs which is a nice average size on an Irish lake. I doubt the best fish made .75lbs, but who knows, we may just have picked the wrong day. It’s not fair to judge a lake from one visit. I’m fishing for long enough not to worry about poor fishing or a blank day. Persistence pays off! It’s always just a matter of time until your next great day!

LOUGH INAGH

Shortly after the “great day” came on Lough Inagh. I love to fish this lake. It’s one of my favourite lakes on earth (I may have mentioned that before!). The wind was howling and the rain was pouring down but I had the whole place to myself. I only fished the top where the best chance of a salmon was. I picked up a few decent browns and seatrout early on before hooking into solid grilse behind the island in the afternoon. I just managed a quick snap with the 10 second timer before she went back. The fishing slowed down after that so I went in at about 5 and had a pint at the lodge beside the fire, very happy with my lot. Colin joined me for one while. Thomas behind the bar had a  few wise cracks as he usually does. It’s always great to write your name into the salmon book! Great reports from Inagh so far this season so I hope it continues into August.. Check out this clip about the lake starring Colin Folan and Joe Creane. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6HIx_zBVqM

TO WRAP UP..

So the fishing was tough, that’s for sure but there were still plenty great moments and that’s what fishing is. Yes, we enjoy the whole thing the but the highs are what we remember… or is it? Maybe it is the whole thing we remember and enjoy? I need to think about this. When I think back about a days fishing I remember it as a whole and not so much the moments.. hmmm.. Is it about the moments or the whole day??? Can I say both? I think I can! No, I got it.. During the day it’s all about the moments, afterwards, thinking back, its about the whole thing! Rambling there, sorry about that.. Where was I.. Yes, plenty great moments! Great moments with fish, friends, family and general craic that I only get at home!

Tight lines all! Big trip coming up.. Malaysia, Ireland, USA, Azores, Portugal. I’ll have 4 fly rods.

Ronan..

For guiding enquiries in NZ next season see my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com or email me ronan@sexyloops.com

Earthquake Fly Fishing!

July 3rd, 2017 No comments

I can’t believe almost a month has passed since my last blog! Time is flying by. It’s been a great month! June is a good time for me to take on some woodworking projects. I started one last June and finished it this June. A writing desk for Iza, but it just might become a fly tying bench for me!! The boat has also taken some of my time but I have not made as much progress as expected. It’s ready for fibreglassing now. Lots of painting preparation has been done and some timber work since my last blog. The engine arrived. It has certainly had a previous life or two in salt water but hopefully she’ll fair us well. There’s lots still to do, but once the fibreglass work is done progress will begin again in earnest.

Yesterday Brayden and myself hit the water for a float. I have done very little fishing in the last month, only 3 or 4 pretty poor days, so it was really great to get out for a solid mission. The day started with a 6.5lber and the action continued all day. Blind and sight fishing accounted for fish with streamers, eggs and nymphs. To my delight, about half of the 14 fish we landed were silver fresh run fish.

Early in the day while afloat we heard a rumble. Like thunder but not quite. By the time my brain figured out “earthquake” we could feel the pulses coming through the water and the boat. We wondered how this might affect the fishing. It didn’t.. They continued to confidently eat our flies. We did find one fish flopping around on the bank. He had tried to navigate up the skinniest piece of water imaginable and beached himself, maybe due to the earthquake. He was going nowhere! It was his lucky day. I picked him up off the didymo (which cushioned him as he flopped around) and brought him to the main river. He took off, relieved no doubt! We noticed some sign of gravel and mud broken away from the banks as we drifted down river. We also witnessed some mini avalanches. An interesting dynamic to add to a days fishing!

I’m off out now to practice my shots for snakehead! I’ll be in Malaysia with Paul in less than 2 weeks. Can’t feckin wait!

Tight Lines..

Ronan.

If you’d like to book me as your fly fishing guide in NZ next season, check out my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com or email me ronan@sexyloops.com 

Daltona Restoration Project…

June 7th, 2017 No comments

I’d say it was about 13 years ago Kevin and I were out for a few pints in The Fairlie Countryman’s Club. The craic was good talking about all sorts, including me getting electrocuted and blown up in Arrowtown one night, a tale that still emerges from time to time, but that’s a story for another day! There was a young fella there, (my age at the time!) he was saying he had a boat in his yard and he wanted it gone. He was telling us in passing, not trying to sell it. I suggested that we pop around to see it. Kevin was dubious but I figured nothing ventured nothing gained. We finished our pints and went for a look. I loved it and I’m pretty sure Kevin did too even though he had a fear of deep water. The engine didn’t work but we could fix that. The hull was perfect and trailer was well built and strong. He asked for 500, I had 400 in cash which I offered him and the deal was done. I was elated, a whole new approach to NZ fly-fishing had begun! I think it was quite late in that years NZ trip. While I was at home saving for the next trip Kevin got the engine fixed. The boat lived with Kevin in Fairlie but we used it for multiple missions around the South Island. For years we had pretty much trouble free boating. In it’s latter years, around the time she moved form Fairlie to Cromwell to live with me, she became more and more of a liability. Breakdowns were common but I could usually get her going again. Fuses replaced with tin foil, the pull cord regularly manually wound around the fly wheel to pull start it when the battery died or corrosion stopped the flow of electricity, the leatherman out to dissemble the control box to re-attatch the throttle cable. I think my favourite on the spot repair was while out with Mike Wilkinson. He begrudgingly gave me a fresh tapered leader to tie one of the coils back together. I not sure but I think he’s over it now! Funny enough, the tapered leader is still there. I’d say around that time the lid was on as much as it was off. About this time 3 years ago I was out on Dunstan using Daltona to gather drift wood for the fire. She was well loaded up and the engine was straining. It slowed down and died. I got her going again an hour later, Kevin and I got her onto the trailer but shortly after the engine ceased. We made the best of what we had and we weren’t afraid to push the boat out. Now it’s time to fix her up! Kevin and I have been working on her a fair bit lately. One thing I learned from the renovations so far is just how well built she is. I guess she had to be; she was a racing boat one time with a 70 on the back. The timber has, for the most part, not rotted at all. The few rotten bits I have removed and replaced. I removed much the fibreglass floor to allow the ply subfloor to dry. I cut a test hole to check the integrity of the ply floor. It’s perfect! I’m surprised the trapped damp didn’t rot the ply (marine or otherwise) but it didn’t. She’ll get a new fibreglass floor once the ply has dried out completely. We have a 40HP 1988 Suzuki 2 stroke on the way, she’ll get new steering, paint job, everything!! Even the trailer will get some TLC hopefully.. Watch this space! Progress will be documented right here. Sign up for the blog at the top right of the page if you have not done so already!

Tassie Sean is now living near Invercargill. He and his partner have moved over from Darwin. We caught up over the last couple of days with two fantastic float trips down local rivers. 20 fish over 2 days is a great result, especially for the month of June. The majority of fish landed were fresh run silver bars, all from 1 to 4.5lbs. We’ll get out for a fish again before I head to Malaysia in mid July.

Next season is beginning to fill up so if you’re planning a trip and thinking about hiring me as your guide, don’t delay with your booking! Contact me on ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines everyone!!

Ronan..

 

 

 

 

“I’m only wishing to go a-fishing; For this the month of May was made”

May 31st, 2017 No comments

What is it that excites me so much about the month of May? I’ve had to think about this! There are a few reasons. One of them is that its relatively new to me. In my ten years (pre 2011) when I came to NZ from Ireland every season, I was always home by the end of April, so May was unknown to me. In October 2011 I moved out here full time taking up a job as a joiner. In May, just like every other month I only had the weekends to fish. I enjoyed the month of May then of course, but it’s only now that I have lots of time on my hands that I can really explore, search and learn; just like I did during my early years exploring NZ. So thats part of it! It’s new, exciting and fun. It’s more than that though. Fishing for migrating fish in May is challenging. To do well you need to be able to cast heavy flies on long leaders or heavily weighted fly-lines (around here at least!). You need to be able to see your fly in you minds eye and know what it’s doing and where it is. Sometimes it’s sight fishing, sometimes it’s blind and it’s frequently into deep water. Migrating fish move around a lot on their lies. Sometimes to take a fly but often jostling for position or to chase out another fish. They do feed, but as the month progresses they gear more towards spawning. However, with accurate casting; putting the fly in just the right place and making it swim / drift correctly you can still induce a take. So, it’s the challenge? Yes, but possibly even more than the challenge and the realisation that it’s still new to me, is that it’s so much about the big, beautiful migrating fish. When these fish run they are in their absolute prime! Full of condition and energy for the months ahead. Who wouldn’t want to catch fish like this?! On certain rivers in May there is a real chance of a big fish. Sometimes well into double figures and these fish only appear in May. I predominantly target browns all season long but in May I turn my attention to rainbows. Last May I realised just what a great species they are. Hooking into a big rainbow and listening to that tail slap before the first run is simply exhilarating! One more thing.. This is my down time after my guiding season. I’m relaxed, I have nothing to do only fish, I’m in holiday mode! So I think I know now. It’s new and exciting, its challenging, it’s about enjoying big, powerful, beautiful rainbows and some browns, I’m on holiday! Why wouldn’t I love it.. Sorry if I just bored the feck out you with that but I wanted to know for myself.

May has been a great month to catch up with friends. I made lots of use of my drift boat taking Fraser, Wesley (see you next season!), Guy, Tom and Jeff out in it.  It’s been such a new lease of life and a great way to explore rivers and lakes. The pics below tell the story as they do!! Tassie Sean will be up for a visit soon too. That should be fun whatever we get up to. I’m hoping for new waves of fish migrating up some of the rivers which are still open through winter. When they’re fresh in they take really well, still piling on the pounds. bring on the next wave because the first run are now stale and not really taking the fly anymore…

Finally, to finish off what was probably the most enjoyable month of the season for me, we returned to The Bay of Pigs. Just like before the fishing was slow, Tom and Jeff saw one fish from the boat. I managed to drag out one brute of 15lbs from the shore. A long leader and a weighted streamer fished about 3 feet down did the trick. The take was a gentle one before I came up tight!

The next thing on my agenda is to practice my shots for my upcoming trip to Malaysia. I need to get good at that before I leave, or as Paul says, I’ll spend the first week not catching any fish.

I’m available to guide until mid July. Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines All!!!

Ronan..

PERSONAL FISHING GALLERY

GUIDING GALLERY

The Bay of Pigs!

May 11th, 2017 No comments

Lake Benmore from the boat was the plan. We arrived late because I slept in. The lake was blowing a gale! We drove towards the boat ramp, not too happy about our impending soaking while driving the boat back through the heavy wave to get to the mouth of the Ahuriri. I turned the truck around thinking we could use a different (much closer) access to launch the boat, but a sign clearly stated that no power boats were allowed.. so we turned around again and went back towards the boat ramp.. then we changed our minds altogether in favour of some exploration… I had never fished our chosen lake from a boat and only skimmed the surface from the shore so this was new for both of us. We searched lots of likely water and did quite a bit of drifting with limited success before drifting into one very good weedy bay. We moved about 10 browns to streamers landing a couple. The exploration continued. We checked out all sorts of water; all with potential for different times of year. Then one bay got our attention. We figured there would be a chance of a big trout because fish from the canals could get in. Soon after starting we spotted a monster brown beside the boat. He calmly drifted away and out of sight. Multiple drifts produced nothing and we didn’t see any more. Jeff had a huge streamer on which I was expecting to be eaten at any moment but it wasn’t. I was using a clear intermediate and Jeff was on a floater, both with weighted streamers. I decided to change to the di7 rig. Almost immediately, I was into a solid fish.. I hoped it was a brute but the short head shakes gave his size away. A good fish though and I kept it for dinner. A few drifts later a solid thump from the deep. I had counted the line down so I knew I was well below the surface. Jeff saw the flank and knew it was a big rainbow. I was well armed with my 8wt tcx and 13.5lb tippet. He fought hard and heavily before Jeff put the brute in his net. We chose Jeff’s net for the boat because of its long handle, never thinking it only went to 14lbs! We’ve both seen a few very big fish from the canals and we agreed the fish was not less than 20lbs and not more than 25lbs. Jeff named the bay “The Bay of Pigs”. Apt indeed. Our exploration day certainly paid off! It’s funny how fishing days transpire sometimes..

In other news, the Clutha is fishing okay. I think it will improve when (if) it rises. Much of the water I did well in last winter is too low now but there are new areas for me to explore. The power companies release huge amounts of water from Lake Hawea on a regular basis but the water is short-lived and not there for long enough for fish to move into certain ares, or so it seems.. I’ve also had a look at some other rivers which are open until the end of May around these parts, but with limited success. The potential is there though. All my personal fishing seems to be exploratory. Guiding is a little different. I had a great wilderness heli mission with Jesse & Kaisa recently. We saw about 15 and had 4 or 5 eat the fly. That day also included one of the most intense fish fights of my guiding so far! It included the fish going through a snag with me following to get it out, me falling in the river and drowning Jesse’s iphone which was safely (oops!) in my top wader pocket, the fish going through my legs mid stream and just madness in general, all in the 200m battle.. by some miracle we got the fish in the net… where the hook fell out! A fantail landed on the rod at the beginning of the fight. They say this is good luck. Maybe it is!

The next 3 days I’ll be out with Tim Kempton. I’m just off the vice after tying 30 flies.. I have a plan – sort of!!

Tight lines..

Ronan..

For bookings and information contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

 

GUIDING GALLERY

In the Merry Month of May…

May 3rd, 2017 No comments

April has been a fabulous month! I had lots of time to fish myself but was also kept pretty busy guiding. The fishing was excellent! With terrestrial insects still locked into trout brains and magnificent mayfly hatches to boot, most of the activity was on the surface. It’s rare that I’ll fish with a single dry but I did a lot this April, both for myself and my clients. Cicada’s, blowflies and mayflies were the leaders of the pack. April sees the most consistent and reliable mayfly hatches of the year in these parts. For the last 2 – 3 weeks of April, the main hatch kicked of at 2.40 every afternoon on a number of rivers from Omarama to Invercargill. The dry-fly action during the hatch was simply as good as it gets and the best for many years by all accounts. It was most welcome after the constant onslaught of wind and rain brought by the early and middle parts of the season. Summer lasted ten days!

Earlier in April, Nick Reygaert, Jeff Forsee and myself got together again to film another episode for Pure Fly NZ, this time series 2. We went to the West Coast to film a variety of fishing locations. I think we all worked well together to bring something pretty full-on to the screen. I won’t elaborate too much so that I don’t give anything away before the show airs, but watch this space!

Most brown trout rivers are closed now, but many of the rivers flowing into the Southern Lakes (and a few besides) are open until the end of May. A few rivers and most large lakes are open all year, so thankfully, the season never stops. It’s May now and time to stalk migratory fish! I love fishing at this time of year as the leaves change colour and fall from the trees. Fish start to move up river on their spawning run and opportunities arise that are unique to May and the winter months. These fish respond well to streamers, large nymphs and a little later in the season, egg flies. The first part in fishing for migratory fish is finding them. In many cases when you find one you find a few or lots – fishing for migratory fish is like that. The first cast to a pod can get a chaotic response from a lot of fish, then it gets a little quieter. It’s not unusual to catch a few fish from a pod. At times you’ll stumble upon a large fish or two which has spent the last 8 months or so deep in a lake. This is exciting stuff and I will be trying to make it happen this month! I think I know where some will be..

I must change the format for this blog! With the amount of time that passes between reports I struggle to choose what to write about and end up breezing over everything. In the future I need to try (try) to write more often. Maybe less, but more specific content, the way it was before guiding.. I’ll do my best! The pictures below tell the story of full-on month on April!!

Tight Lines and bring on May!!

Ronan..

I’ll be guiding until mid July for the few that are keen on winter fishing! Let me know if you’d like to plan a mission.. ronan@sexyloops.com or see my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

 

PERSONAL GALLERY

GUIDING GALLERY

 

A New Dimension!

March 31st, 2017 No comments

Bob Wyatt got in touch with me earlier in the season to say he had just put his pontoon boat on Trade-Me (NZ’s Ebay!). He asked me if I knew anybody who might want to buy it. I immediately asked him to take it off Trade-Me that he had a buyer. Me! I have used it about 8 times now and what a great craft it is! It floats high on 2 large pontoons (4 chambers for safety), It’s very easy to manoeuvre and great to fish off. I’ve used it on large rivers and lakes with lots of success. It’s definitely added a new dimension to my fly fishing. I can go places that I couldn’t go before, the Clutha for example, I haven’t even scratched the surface of this rivers potential yet and it’s on my doorstep. I can use it for access onto small or large lakes and still waters; it’s light enough for 2 fella’s to carry it a fair distance! West coast river mouths (any river mouth!! or delta!). You get the message. This will be a lot of fun! Recently on the Kawarau I took it down a fast and lumpy rapid to see how it (and me) would handle it – no problem and great fun! I wonder just how much it can take??? No doubt I’ll push it a little!

The Piscatorial Pot fly fishing competition was great success this year with the best turn out yet. This was it’s 3rd year. I run the competition for the Wakatipu Anglers Club on my local Lake Dunstan. The winner is the person with the most fish over 350mm. A quick pic and the fish can be released so that no fish need to be killed to win the cup (sorry, pot). This years winner was Wesley Seery from the shores of Lough Mask in Ireland. If you’d like to have a chance to win the coveted Piss Pot all you need to be is a Wakatipu Anglers Club Member to fish the competition. Yet another reason to join a great club!

Guiding has been chaotic for the last 3 months but has pretty much ground to a halt now. I’m pretty happy to have some quiet time to be honest! As you can see from this blogs galleries I really haven’t fished much myself since the last blog, at least not by my standards. I’ll use the spare time to learn the required casting for my 2 week Toman mission with Paul in Malaysia this July, I’ll fish lots myself (April is a super month!!), tie some flies, I might even be able to write another blog in the not too distant future! If you’re at a loose end this April and are thinking about a trip to NZ and you need a guide, drop me an email!

I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned from guiding this season is the fact that I can only do so much. I can’t make fish eat flies. I make the best decision I can with the information and knowledge that I have, then I guide my client to the best of my ability, then it’s out of my hands. I’ve learned that I can’t force a good result. I’ve learned to let the day unfold while trying not to let stress take hold (It’s stressful at times, I can tell you!!). Almost every time, as long as everyone is happy and relaxed a great outcome eventuates.

April and May are exciting months and I have plenty days available. See my website to book or email me, ronan@sexyloops.com

http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Stuntman Ronan..

 

 

PERSONAL GALLERY

GUIDING GALLERY

“I Put on Wet Socks in the Morning”

February 25th, 2017 No comments

I wanted to chat briefly about the Damselfly nymph and how most anglers standard pattern makes no sense to me. I had some great photo’s of a damsel nymph which was still alive inside a trout I took from Lake Dunstan recently, but I deleted them by mistake!! I put the green nymph in a jar of water with a sprig of rosemary (haha) where he lived happily for a week or so. I watched how it moved, how it swam (or wobbles!) etc. The one thing that struck me was how similar it was to mayfly nymph. I thought this before, but I though I was missing something that everyone else seemed to know because most damselfly nymph patterns have a long marabou tail. Why? A mayfly nymph representation generally has no marabou. I see some merit in a short marabou tail matching the length of the 3 strands in the real nymph. I’m not one for perfect representations of what fish are eating, far from it actually. However in my opinion, a damsel nymph with a long marabou tail is a woolly bugger, not a damsel! I use a long shank #12 PT or similar as a damsel nymph.

Guiding has been happily chaotic! I’m out most days at the moment but I did manage a few days for myself recently. Iza and I fished together for a day and a half too. Next season I’ll do things a little differently. I’m going to put blocks of time aside for me to fish each month. I need it!! I get a lot of what I get from a days fishing during a day guiding but not everything. Fly-fishing is my life and I must make this work. I know some guides who don’t fish at all during “silly season”. I must not let this happen!! This is only my second season so I guess I’m still finding my way a bit. Guiding continues to teach me a lot and I believe the most important thing it has taught me is how much I don’t know!! A great lesson. Therefor time must be put aside to explore new water and simply get better and better at this.

Recently I explored some new water to the north and the east. Some of it was re-familiarising myself with old haunts and some was totally new. Fishing new water is such a thrill! Absorbing everything the river has to offer, the excitement of seeing whats around the next bend, piecing it all together. Putting on wet socks in the morning means you’re in the thick of it!

Guiding has been lots of fun! I recently took Tim Kempton out for a few days. Great craic with him and his mate Fergus. Tim has fished with Paul in Malaysia which makes him the second (I think) to have been guided by both Paul and I in our respective countries (the other being Chuan Tay!). I hope more anglers do this! On the topic of Malaysia, I’m going there this July to fish with Paul for 2 weeks. I’ve been practicing a little from Paul’s instructional video on youtube so when the time comes I hope I’m on form. Speed is very important with trout fishing too so if I can make one second shots for snakehead, I’ll do it for here for trout too!!! Back to guiding, what else.. Some great heli stuff lately with Nick Mills and a fantastic West Coast mission with local regulars Bryan and Tim. That was a real adventure! One thing about heli-fishing.. The chopper takes a lot of the hard work out of it but the best results come if you’re willing to go hard while your in there. That we did! I think we had 14 trout in total for 3 days with the best fish of the trip going to Tim just before the chopper came to take us home. Many thanks to Greenstone Helicopters! Also a new personal best for Bryan, Bob and his birthday fish, the list goes on.. The pics tell a better story anyway!!

Time to prepare! I have an afternoon mission in an hour..

Tight lines!

Ronan..      ronan@sexyloops.com

 

For bookings and information see my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

For Pure Fly NZ dvd’s go to http://www.flyshop.co.nz/product/DVDPFNZ.html

For stu’s cicada’s go to http://stusflyshop.com/browse-by-fly/dry-flies/cicada/MY GALLERY

 

GUIDING GALLERY

Ronan’s Fly-Fishing Missions ~ News and Guiding Highlights!

January 13th, 2017 No comments

Once again, It’s been hard to find the time to write! I’ve been busy guiding, but this is also a very social time of year. Friends pass through on a regular basis, mostly fishing friends so we fish if I’m not working, and we drink a beer or two in the evenings. Today is a rare day in that I have the day off with the house to myself! Where do I start?!

Dad arrived on November 17th. A little later than usual but I thought this would be a good thing in the hope that the terrible weather we were having would pass. I didn’t! The conditions locally made many rivers unfishable much of the time due to rain, rain and more rain. Rivers ideally suited to 10 cumecs reached 200! It made guiding difficult too because most clients want to experience river fishing. Dad, on the other hand, is in his element on the lakes! We spent the first 3 days fishing together out of the Wakatipu Anglers Club boat. We had excellent fishing with a multitude of tactics from dries to buggers to nymphs, to di5’s to floaters to blind to sight. “Adapt when you need to” was the name of the game! We had 4 days in total from the club boat landing 55 trout up 5.5lbs. There is always great lake fishing to be had when the rivers are in flood!

When time off from guiding permitted, we hit the road for multi-day blocks. Usually 3 days. Conditions remained tough with lots of windy, dark days but you just have take what you get and make the most of it. Almost regardless of conditions you’ll get your chances if you put yourself amongst it. Walk, search, blind fish, spook a few, spot a few, catch a few! We had an occasional blue sky day, these were blissful and we made hay!

One of the highlights of dads time here was a trip to a small still water. Robbie Mcphee, Iza, Myself and Dad all went there for a day. I enjoyed it because I wanted Dad to figure it out for himself. I just suggested he hit the far bank and he’d know what to do. I knew I could advise him on some tactics I use but there was no need, he’s an instinctive lake angler with 60 years experience! He put a deadly method together over the course of the day landing 4 in the 6lb class. He fished 3 small spiders and nymphs, slowly working them over weed beds and casting to sighted fish when the opportunity presented itself. I landed a few crackers too. Iza had the fish of the day with a magnificent 7.25lb specimen. Robbie lost a monster and landed a few. Aside from the fishing it was just great being there with some of the best people on the planet.

I kept a good bit of time to myself over the Christmas period to fish. I recently bought a second hand 2 man pontoon boat and I was dying to take it for a test drive! Robbie and I took her on Dunstan for her maiden voyage and what a craft she is! Brilliant to fish off and easy to manoeuvre!! It’s total team work, the man on the oars manoeuvres the angler into the perfect position to cover fish. We landed plenty for the day! Some craic out there with the sun shining (Christmas day I think it was!) and a few beers in the cooler. It was mostly sight fishing with small nymphs and damsels. Since then we brought it to the coast. We checked out a lake for the day really getting to grips with how the boat handles. We landed 5 each on Day 1 Exploratory Mission.. that evening we went to camp at a nearby river mouth where we caught 2 kahawai and 2 seatrout from the beach and lagoon. The next morning the weather took a major turn for the worse with gales and rain. We got out of there as the rivers started to rise… very quickly!

On a recent trip to a favourite river of mine I got dive-bombed by a Karearea! He (or she) swooped down narrowly missing my head.. She (I’ve decided this angry bird is a she!) swooped again and again each time getting a little closer. I was watching her all the time, well aware of here whereabouts by her shrill cry. I decided to take out my camera and film her attacks. For some reason she had no interest in Robbie, only me. I filmed a few swoops, one of which came very close. We were walking all the time, not intentionally pissing off the old bird. Then all seemed quiet. I was walking in front of Robbie as we marched down river to fish back. Then WHACK. Like being hit hard in the head with an open hand slap, knocking my head to one side and my hat off my head. Robbie saw it all. The same bird has since knocked a a good friend of mine, Fraser Hocks, to the ground! Tough bird I’ll tell ya.. those are two hard heads!

In case you didn’t know, it’s willow grub time! You’ll be needing some of these.. http://stusflyshop.com/browse-by-gear/stus-superior-flies/mixed-packs/banana-fly-mix-x12/

For information and bookings see my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com or email me, ronan@sexyloops.com (More reading below!)

MY GALLERY

GUIDING NEWS

Guiding has been thoroughly enjoyable this season! I’m learning from it all the time, both for my own fishing and in becoming a better guide. There have been some tough days but then NZ trout fishing is challenging, there is rarely an easy option, you work hard for your fish! Fishing has been good lately.  The trout are looking up and are very keep to eat off the top. That’s what NZ summer fly fishing is famous for!

A recent 4 day road trip with a couple of Irish competition anglers is worth a mention. I knew these 2 fellas would be as keen as could be to get onto the water and immerse themselves in NZ fly fishing. They had almost 2 weeks to fish after their 4 guided days so my brief was to arm them with all the technical abilities they’d need to make the most of their trip and to have a great time while learning it! Day 1 was an introduction to technical fishing to difficult fish. Simple dry / dropper tactics with small flies and fine tippet did the trick. First time accurate casting was the most important thing. A very valuable piece of information to know first hand. Day 2 was about searching every bit of water. We found fish in skinny side braids, backwaters and main flows. This day also gave the lads a lesson in sight fishing riffles. They did well seeing these fish which can be amongst the toughest to spot. Day 3 was full on river Fishing! We successfully touched on blind fishing but it was mostly sight. They lads got to see first hand which fish are not worth spending much time on and which fish are. Watch the fish, see what he’s doing and act accordingly. Day 4 was all about blind fishing. Reading the water, fishing quickly and efficiently so as not to waste time and cover as much water (and as many fish) as possible in a day. Don’t repeat casts / keep moving. This 4 day trip really brought home the value of a multi-day trip for me. Multiple days mean I can take the angler to where ever the the fishing is best and impart some invaluable knowledge on NZ river fishing.

Some other great moments for me this season was teaching total beginners to cast in the morning and watching them progress to casting to, hooking and landing a fish before the day was out. This is truly a great achievement!

For information and bookings see my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com or email me, ronan@sexyloops.com

GUIDING GALLERY

 

A Couple of Doubles…

November 29th, 2016 No comments

I wanted to explore some new water with the intention of locking in a backcountry day-trip for my guiding business. Looking at the map I expected the walk to take about 60 – 90 minutes so I set off. A recent heavy snow storm had brought down a lot of trees and limbs making the going difficult. A lot of the walk along the very rough track turned into bush-bashing, climbing, D tours and loosing the track from time to time. The walk to the river ended up taking me 3 hrs. I knew almost nothing about the river only that the bottom few pools were quite good. On arrival I noticed a kayak in one of the bottom pools, then another… then shitloads. About 30! There was no point fishing the lower pools. I walked up river to find a chasm rising to about 100 feet above the river. I went to the top and pushed along the side looking through a 2m gap spreading out into the river way below. It was too dangerous and slippery so I bailed out and try to skip above it away from the edge. That was tough going! I went back to the track which was going away from the river. I had no idea if the “track” would even take me back to the river so I gave up. I walked the 3 hours back to where I started having not made a cast. On arrival back at the truck I took a drink of water and then walked down the river I was parked beside. I walked down about 2ks to fish back to the truck. When I got to the bottom I cursed myself for not fishing it down with a streamer as the wind started howling into my face. I fished it up regardless with my dry dropper rig catching or seeing nothing. It was one of those days; nothing working out. The truck was in sight and I was happy to call it a (bad) day. Then, looking into a big pool I saw a fish. “Fuck me, that’s a big fish” I thought. I climbed down to get into position, slipped and landed hard on my back. My pack and net took the fall and I was unhurt. I popped a plastic bottle in my bag and bent my net! The fish was still there. I had on of Stu’s weighted nymphs under a dry with a size 16 trailer. I made about 4 casts before the dry went down and I lifted into some serious weight. 7 maybe 8lbs I thought. She bolted down river and I thought “foul hooked” but then I felt the head shakes. “Hmm, not foul hooked, must be big” Then she decided to swim right across in front of me. I knew it had to make 10lbs. I moment later I got my chance and stuck her in the net. 10.25lbs. I can’t tell you just what that fish meant to me. Utter elation. I sat on the bank and enjoyed the moment for quite some time before heading home with a grin from ear to ear.

More recently I had the please of guiding Mark Warminger onto a fish of a lifetime.We went hard all day, A cloud sat above the valley floor for most of the day making sighting difficult. We had a couple of shots and one lost fish (a big one) before seeing a really big fish late in the day. Mark made no mistake with his casting. Neat presentations meant the fish remained feeding undisturbed but did not want our fly. I made a few changes before deciding on a tiny, super-skinny, unweighted #16 nymph fresh of the vice that morning. Marks first cast with this fly trailing off a weighted nymph; the dry checked… I called the strike almost second guessing the call… The rod bent! After a strong fight the very large fish was readying himself to bolt down a long, fast run. This could mean disaster.. I got myself into position, when the fish hit the chute, I jumped in, arm and net outstretched to intercept him. The  interception worked and he went into my net! One of my best guiding moments, maybe the best! One of Marks best days ever… 10lbs.. Oh yea!

It needs to be said though, double figure trout do not come easy in NZ. In my 15 seasons and about 1500 – 2000 days I have landed 6. Marks fish was my first guided double. If you want to target really big fish in NZ you must be prepared to blank. However, if you succeed, the reward is fantastic!

Once again, finding time to write is getting tough so I’ve just picked out the 2 main events since my last blog! There have been many others which I hope to share with you soon. My dad is here right now too so any day I’m not guiding we fish together. We’re loving it! He’s doing great, making the most of the lakes while many rivers in the area are still high and dirty after the worst spring ever. Gales and rain were the norm all month but it looks like its starting to ease up.. I hope!

Tight Lines All,

Ronan..

If you’d like to get in touch about guided fly fishing in the lower South Island, check out my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com