Archive for January, 2013

Strip-Striking Trout…

January 31st, 2013 3 comments

I’m just in from my best Dunstan outing so far this season. I had 10 in 2.5hours, All but one on a single simple mayfly pattern I tied for the Mataura last season. I started with a bugger and caught one. I often start this way to connect with the lake. Once I have a feel for what’s going on I adapt to my environment. The fishing was fast and exciting. Fish were up, tracking along the surface and rising multiple times. One fish, which I did not catch, rose about 100 times, constantly changing direction. I got my fly in front of him a few times but he was locked on to something else. The fish were rising like caenis feeders on Lough Corrib so I’m guessing their main diet during this rise was something tiny. I never thought to have a close look in the water and find out! It didn’t matter anyway. The important thing was to be able to put my fly about a foot or 2 in front of a tracking fish, any more and the fish would probably change direction and not see my fly. There were no mayfly hatching by the way. The lake should provide this sort of action for the next few months and I’ll be in the thick of it.

A few years ago while fishing for lake edge cruisers with a single nymph I found myself strip striking! I’ve been doing this for a long time now and this is why.. When you see a fish approaching (or cruising away from you!) you get into position and take your shot. You know roughly where your fly is as it sinks. You watch the fish carefully looking for any change in direction or movement of his mouth when he is nearing your fly. If it moves you strike. If your almost sure, you strike, maybe. If your 50/50 you strike?? I don’t, at least not with the rod. If you strike with the rod and the fish has not taken you will probably spook the fish. If you strip strike you gain 3 advantages. 1, If the fish has taken you will hook up with the strip strike. 2, If the fish has not taken your fly, your fly is still in the zone. Finally 3, you are far less likely to spook a fish with a strip strike as you would be with a rod strike. With a failed rod strike you also have to recast! There are other applications for the strip strike in trout fishing. It’s very useful when lure fishing. A fish might be so close to your fly that you think he has it taken. Don’t strike with the rod! Strip strike and keep your fly in the zone. The strip often induces a take too..  Try it out if you haven’t done so already!

Tomorrow night is card night for the boys (I won about 150 bucks last time) and on Saturday I’m off to James Wilkinsons wedding. James did you invite some single women?? I sure I’ll squeeze in a few hours on a river somewhere… but maybe not!

Thanks to all my new subscribers! I will endeavour to keep this interesting.. Below are some random shots from about 2 weeks ago to today.

Tight Lines.  Stuntman Ronan..

Probably the most beautiful trout I have ever caught!

January 21st, 2013 6 comments

After walking all day, getting very few shots and only a small fish each, Mike and I were ready to pack it in. There were a couple of backwaters just up ahead so I suggested we take one each before quitting. Mike took the small one while I took the big one.. I made a few blind casts with the bugger out into black water while carefully spotting the edge. No sign of life. I figured there were no fish in it and looking at Mike fishing his backwater I think he thought the same. Then to my right I noticed movement. I looked and saw a fish of at least 8lbs. He was very close to me so ducking suddenly would have been more likely to spook him than just standing still so I made a very quick, short cast to intercept his path and then froze.  My only movement was short retrieves to give life to the fly. Suddenly a big gold flash from the dark water and the fish was following…. I stripped line until the fly was about 4′ from the rod tip, then I thought the fish ate so I struck. I was wrong. The fish disappeared into the black with an unhurried pace. I took a few short casts into the vicinity but nothing happened. A few moments later, assuming the fish was spooked, I hitched the fly and started reeling in. Then it happened again. God spoke! Honestly, I dont know why but I unhitched the fly and took a final shot and nearly had the rod pulled from my grip. Immediately the fish jumped and I knew what I was into; a very big, spectacularly marked brown trout with an unusually red tail. I knew it’s tail was red because I could see it glowing with the sunlight shining through it as the fish jumped repeatedly in the first minute of the short battle. Mike came straight over with the net. He saw the fish as it jumped and knew he had to help. This fish was too important to lose! After a few short lunges away I got his head up and Mike netted the fish. I weighed it, then we took a few quick photo’s and released him. It was truly one of the most amazing, rewarding, satisfying, thoroughly electrifying, fish I have ever caught.. An end to a difficult day that put both Mike and I on a natural high. One fish can really turn a day around!  We stopped on the way home and had a beer or 2 at the local. Deserved!


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9.25lbs of happiness.. Hence the slightly manic, ecstatic grin!

Addicted to Craic…

January 15th, 2013 1 comment

NZ is a calm country. When kiwi’s hit 25, having the craic becomes less important and priorities change. It’s not so clear cut in Ireland. Having the craic is always on the agenda. Not necessarily priority but not far from it. At least it is with my friends. This craic addiction coupled with 3 weeks of shite weather kept me off the lake every day bar one. The photo’s tell the story. It’s a simple, pikeless one!

I had 20 days in Ireland and spent one fishing. I have no regrets! The reason for the trip was to spend Christmas with my family, have the craic with my friends (the likes of which I simply don’t have in NZ) and to be John O Malley’s best man at his and Bronwens wedding. Thankfully I didn’t mess up the speech (they told me it was good anyway!) I was a nervous wreck before it! After it I let lose and went banana’s. We all did.

I had serious intentions to fish in the north of Thailand. I was going to book in advance but the mahseer fishing was about 1200usd for 3 days. Bollocks to that. I quickly found some great people and some funky bars and my craic addiction took over. I fished one day which was pretty expensive and not so great so I was not overly keen on going again. I have no regrets. 6 nights, one day fishing and dam all sleep.

Ireland and Thailand, Thank you… I needed that!! I really needed that…