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Archive for October, 2012

Impatience is a virtue…

October 30th, 2012 No comments

When I tell a non angler that I’m a fly-fisherman their reply is often “oh, I wouldn’t have the patience for that”. I tell them that patience is not necessary and I use myself as an example. I’m impatient and always have been. If I’m not catching then I move, I change tactics, I look, I think, I will persist until I get it right and if I get bored in the mean time then I go home (this has barely ever happened). If I was patient then I might stay in the same place doing the same thing all day. This might work at some stage but by changing and adapting based on what I can see in front of me and feel instinctively I believe I will do better. This ability, if you want to call it that, is driven by a hunger to catch and coached by impatience. I’d rather not wait for it to happen!

On Saturday I planned to fish one of the canals in Central for a monster trout. My friend Kevin Alexander had a 25lber the week before so I loosely planned to spend the day chasing one. The canal was pretty high and coloured, The wind was very strong and getting stronger, I saw no fish, I fished blind for a while but never felt like I had a chance so I changed tactics. I went somewhere else entirely, somewhere I had never fished before and knew absolutely nothing about. So much for my day on the canals!! It was worth moving however. Impatience is a virtue.

Ronan..

ps. Thanks to all my new subscribers! I hope you all enjoy the season ahead through my eyes as well as your own. If you haven’t signed up yet the link is on the top right hand side of your screen. The more the merrier!

Approaching a coloured river…

October 24th, 2012 3 comments

The weather was pretty bad all Labour Weekend. I took a chance and went to one of my favourite rivers on Saturday, It was coloured as expected but fishable, only just though! I made a poor choice to start with and went upstream. The reason I went up was to get above 2 feeder streams that pump a lot of colour into the main river after rain or snow. I thought it might be reasonably clear above them and it was, but crossings were difficult and I knew they would get harder and more hazardous in the gorge. So after not seeing a fish all day I walked half an hour back to the truck, then drove down stream a bit, then walked an hour down at 3pm. I considered getting out because it was so late in the day but that would be losing!

With renewed optimism I took on the river again. While getting a read on the river I hooked a fish blind and lost it. Then I sighted a fish on a sand bar, it took a number of casts but I got him. 7lbs. I decided to give up on the blind fishing and concentrate on spotting the edges which I could just about see into. I found a fish in a similar position to the last, on a sandy edge inside the eye, so I figured I was on the right track. This approach worked. I sighted 7 for the day, all in similar water. I hooked 6 of them and landed four. 7lbs, 5.5lbs, 5.5lbs, 8.25lbs. All on nymphs. This day would have been well suited to streamers but I prefer to nymph fish when I can. It would have been interesting to have been fishing with another angler using a streamer to see which method was more effective. Certainly the streamer would have dragged a few from the body of the pools blind… well, maybe!

I caught up Chris Dore and Simon Chu for the rest of the weekend, We discussed shipping a Irish lakeboat to NZ amongst other things. It will happen! Just not now..

Ronan..

Hanningfield and Rutland

October 24th, 2012 No comments

Sean, Peter and I fished Hanningfield first, and apart from the concrete, and Peter catching all the fish, it was a great day. I fell asleep at one point of course, having discussed flyrod mechanics all night with Bernd. But eventually we found an interesting spot where two currents came together exactly where Peter was fishing. And so he caught them all.

Actually he didn’t, as the photos prove, instead he caught 5, Sean 1 and I caught the two biggest fish in the lake.

Sean had to go home that night, I’m not sure why exactly, but I think Peter’s socks had something to do with it. And so Peter and I went to Rutland. Rutland is one of my favourite fisheries and it’s always interesting. This time was no exception, fish were close to the banks over weedbeds and I have a really cool rabbit cat’s whisker – the Bunny Cat – which has a very enticing, perhaps even sexy, wiggle.

And the results reversed exactly. I managed to catch 5 to Peter’s 2. Peter has since committed suicide and broken his rod, so no fishing tomorrow.

Some very nice moments, excellent takes (always is, watching a white fly on the retrieve) and tremendous fights. These fish remind me very much of NZ back-end fish. If I lived in England this is where I would live.

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Bernd pre and post Master.

October 22nd, 2012 1 comment

Couple of shots of Bernd, the first one preparing himself for the Masters with a colourful umbrella. The second post Masters relaxing on a tiger skin couch (with dog and Palinka).

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Two breakdowns and two trout in the Maniototo wilderness.

October 19th, 2012 No comments

Labour weekend has landed so the next 3 days are mine. I’m relaxing now after a tough week making the heaviest doors on earth. Before I take on this weekend’s mission I’ll briefly fill you in on last weeks…

Saturday. Hung over.

Sunday. Drove too far for a day trip but I wanted to check out some of my favourite water on the Maniototo. I picked up a fish en route to where I was expecting great things. Got back to the truck, it was dead. Walked 1.5 hrs to find a farmer to get a jump after assuming I fixed the problem. After the jump start I drove to the good spot which was not so good but I got one. Got back the truck at 7.30ish after a hell walk through the flooded marshland. Dead again. Another long walk to find another farmer to get another jump. Drove home. 380k round trip.

Monday. Got an auto electrician to fix the truck. Simple fix thankfully!

Let this Labour Weekend roll! Hope you all have a great one.. Tight lines and screaming reels!

Ronan..

Ps. I wish all you new fly-anglers who recently joined the Wakitipu Angling Club the very best in your new sport. It will change your lives! I’m happy to help you all in any way I can. Contact me on facebook or through the club.

Evening on the Duna

October 15th, 2012 No comments

1 Asp! OK the river has come up and the water is bloody cold, and maybe I imagined the whole thing of course.

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New Zealand Trout Flies…

October 13th, 2012 No comments

Ten NZ seasons and this flybox is the result of what I learned over that time. This is everything I need for the season ahead apart from size 16 dries and some streamers. I’ve started those. If you want the tying for any patterns you like post a comment below and I’ll give it to you. I have no secrets. What’s the point? My licence arrived yesterday so I’m ready to rock! “Prior planning prevents piss poor performance” as my friend Nigel would say!

Ronan..

Fortune Favours the Brave…

October 8th, 2012 No comments

Saturday was a disaster. The weather closed in, It was cold and there were no fish where I decided to fish. That’s the price I pay for fishing water I know nothing about. Sometimes taking a gamble  pays off  of course, that’s the nature of it! One of the beauties of NZ fishing is the sheer amount of water available. Seek and you will find. I got home Saturday night and tied a few flies. I could not decide where to fish the next day.

Sunday morning. Still not sure where to go. A couple of ideas but surely they’ll be high a coloured… but maybe not. Perfect blue sky day I must get it right, have to make the most of this. Right, plan A. decision made and I’m off… I’m pretty stubborn. I’m going there now regardless. Small streams are coloured. Ronan you idiot, this is a bad idea.. I keep going, on dirt roads now and getting higher.  Trickles of water are coloured, rivers swollen.. I keep going. 80 minutes driving now. Snow on the road.. getting thicker on the ground but the day is perfect. If I get this right I’ll surely have it to myself, everyone will expect it to be coloured. I’m feeling pissed off now because I know its going to be dirty and I’m miles from anywhere else worth fishing. About to turn the corner and see the river…….. Fuck me, It’s clear.

My plan, if by some miracle the river was clear enough to fish, was to go upstream but on arrival I got a strong urge to go downstream into uncharted territory. I learned before to listen if god speaks so once again I did. One hour walk downstream and the season begins.

I messed up the first opportunity. Rusty? Maybe a little! Then I lost a few but after a while everything fell into place and I found myself in the middle of a perfect fishing experience. No one else around, blue sky and no wind, decent numbers of feeding fish and then a hatch. Only a few fish were taking advantage of it and I got them all. They were all in the 4-5lb bracket. I soaked it all up. I took a moment every now and then just to enjoy where I was and what I was doing. This is what I love to do.

As I got back to the truck at the end of the day, snowmelt was colouring the water.

The gamble paid off.

Ronan..

Back at Latohegy

October 7th, 2012 No comments

Will have a look for a fish or two tomorrow. Nice to be back even if I am digging for Africa.

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The New York Times. Fish Stories, Told With a Brogue….

October 3rd, 2012 No comments

I just dug up this article from The New York Times written about me 13 years ago. Go google!

 

By Barbara Lloyd
Published: November 28, 1999

 

A book by the fire at the Lough Inagh Lodge looked ever more enticing than sitting in a boat on a chilly day as the mist outside turned a darker gray. But who among us could resist those fly rods standing so nobly in the back hallway of this County Galway fishing lodge?

”Have you ever fly-fished before?” asked Ronan Creane, the lodge’s guide. ”Yes,” we replied in unison, as couples do. ”But not a lot.” My husband, Dick Baker, had once cast in the river waters of Oregon and Wyoming, and I had dropped lines from the deep Alpine grasses of northwest Montana. But this was a mountain lake on the west coast of Ireland, and we soon found ourselves getting in a boat.

It was a 19-foot skiff, a narrow wooden hull that looked like the Rangely guide boats of woodland Maine. One pull of the six-horsepower Yamaha, and we were heading against a freshening breeze along the four-mile lake. Our cache of wet flies — a bibio, a black pennell and a few daddy longlegs — filled an arsenal meant to lure sea trout, brown trout and Atlantic salmon.

The Western Regional Fisheries Board for the Connemara region has reported a decline in sea trout here the last few years. But it is still a popular fishing destination. The Irish Tourist Board estimates that more than 6,000 North Americans fished Ireland’s coastal waters for sea trout last year. During our late September day of fishing on Lough Inagh, we were the only boat out.

Our guide, a disarmingly self-assured 21-year-old, left no doubt that we would catch something. Creane had just beaten his father, Joe, an international competitor, in a local fishing derby the day before. How he did it was a tale of perseverance that fired up our determination.

Creane, you see, had selected a secluded spot along a nearby lake and waited for the contest to begin. The rules prohibited fishing from a boat as we were allowed to do on Lough Inagh. From the shore instead, our young guide had mounted a daylong fishing vigil. But in the excitement of competition, he had forgotten his rain gear.

Rather than go back to shore for his jacket, Creane kept casting. As his clothes got wetter, he got colder. So he began disrobing; doesn’t everyone? He removed his clothing piece by piece. Then he spread his sodden shirt, pants and underclothing on adjacent bushes, hoping they would dry as the rain began to abate.

No one else was around, which was part of his plan. He was sure he had picked the choicest fishing hole, and was not about to leave it. Not even when it meant fishing in the buff.

At the end of the day, Creane, fully clothed once again, delivered almost nine pounds of fish, a sizeable catch that put him in second place in the competition. The winner’s total weighed only three more ounces than Creane’s. Better yet, our young guide had beaten his father, who finished in third place.

We latched onto the story eagerly as we began our day of fishing. Creane had turned off the boat’s engine, and we were drifting down the lake with an oar put out to the side as a rudder. But in less than an hour, dozens of thwarted casts revealed our rookie inadequacies against the fitful breeze. Try as we might, our lines got tangled like used kite string. We hooked everything on the boat but each other, and that was going to be next.

Creane, undoubtedly fearful of being hooked himself, suggested a change of pace. We would troll down the lake with the engine running. Had we been self-respecting fly-fishers, we would have nixed the idea. But we were desperate.

Within minutes, I had the first strike. It was a salmon, albeit a tiny salmon that looked more despondent than I had been. The next catch proved to be a heartier sea trout. Measuring about one pound, it came into the boat with a little kick, not unlike the cutthroat trout I remembered landing several years ago in Montana. We threw my Irish fish back as part of the lake’s catch-and-release policy.

It was a whole lot harder to throw back the next one — a two-and-a-quarter-pound brown trout that Creane said was easily the third largest brown caught on the lake all season. Since we were there in late September, and the fishing year had started in February, I felt a bit smug. But I was not alone. Creane was beside himself with enthusiasm.

”It’s a lovely fish,” he said excitedly. ”To catch a brown that size, the chances are very slim. The biggest fish here this season was 3.2 pounds. Will you send me the photo?”

An hour later, Dick landed a brown that was quite nearly the same size. I could swear it was the same fish. Either way, they were big fish for Lough Inagh, and beautiful. On the way back to shore, I thought I noticed a wistful look on Creane’s face.

”I’m very jealous that I didn’t catch one of those fish,” he said.

I was touched. ”I’ll send you the pictures,” I promised