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Guiding Magic!!

The season so far has been pretty flipin’ amazing! It feels like every day is a blue sky day. Rivers are low and clear and the fishing has been top notch. The winds have been light and favourable most days so there are really no excuses not to be out there reaping the rewards. So far the rivers are reasonably full but that will change if this dry weather keeps up. I have noticed a few rivers like wading in bath water of late – sooner or later the fish will shut down considerably if we don’t get an occasional fresh or cold night! Right now it’s all on, so we’ll just deal with the downsides of this hot summer if or when they present.

I have made some time to fish myself since my last blog – indeed I landed my joint second biggest brown ever at 11.5lbs but more about that in the next blog. This report is about guiding! It’s going well. I’ve been busy and really enjoying it. Most of my fishing addiction is satisfied from guiding so that makes it easy to get up in the morning. The pictures below tell the story since my last blog pretty well, but I want to tell one myself. I was on a 4 day road-trip with a 3 day wilderness heli trip straight after it. I really wanted a day off to prepare and organise but couldn’t make it happen. Planning on the road is not easy! I was bouncing a few ideas back and forth in my head, I called a few mates for some opinions, a few emails to the heli companies I like to use.. Finally, the night before the trip, the plan was made. The brief from my client was around something that I would get excited about doing myself. Well, that would have to include some adventure, some unknown. The plan was to fly to the bottom of a gorge, fish hard for 3 days then chopper out from the top. I was familiar with the bottom and the top but the upper middle bit I knew nothing about. There is something about fishing in a gorge that excites me. There is some risk involved, it’s easy to get bluffed making it necessary to climb out and drop back in. You never know what you’re going to get from extreme terrain to monster trout. Proper gorge fishing is not for the faint hearted.

Day 1. The fishing started in an uncanny way. Marks first retrieve of his first cast connected his streamer to a 5lb rainbow. Instant action! Quite unbelievable. The day was pretty easy going but really good. 8 fish landed and the river was getting more exciting as we advanced. We spent the first night in a backcountry hut with steak, spuds, beans and beers. Luxury! Day 2 was different. I knew that to get through the gorge we needed to go hard on day 2. We threw on the packs at 7.30am and didn’t stop fishing till 6pm. As with day 1, the gorge got more and more exciting and interesting as we progressed. Some bush bashing became necessary and an odd climb out, all adding to the sense of adventure – but it was real adventure because neither of us had been there before! The fishing was excellent. The only thing we didn’t find was a large brown or rainbow. I thought we might find one in there somewhere. That said, we did have one follow the streamer of about 6lbs which certainly qualifies as big – just not really big! The gorge was stunning. Lots of pools; many deep and blue, incredible cliffs, rock formations and waterfalls. At the end of the day we pitched the tents and tucked into a simple dehydrated Backcountry meal. Mine was shite. I did carry in a bottle of red in a plastic bottle making it a bit more palatable! The bottle of red was no match for the sandflies however. They were almost as bad as I’ve experienced! By the end of day 2 I reckoned we had gotten through most of the gorge. I didn’t know for sure how far it was to the top flat but I did know we’d make it there easily over day 3. On the morning of day 3 came the tightest part of the gorge. Totally surrounded by beech forrest on both banks. The banks were so steep that little sunlight ever made it through to the river. The fish didn’t mind, they were in there and still happy to eat our presentations. We pushed on, both of us quietly excited about getting out of the gorge and onto the flat back into the sun! Before too long we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. It was about lunchtime on day 3 that we made it out of the gorge. The whole thing was a great experience, as much for me as for Mark. For me it was more about the place than fishing (not because I wasn’t fishing!). The thrill of walking up on a pool I had never seen before, seeing whats around the bend, learning the unknown.  For Mark I’m guessing it was both in equal parts. With the remaining few hours we clocked up the tally to 33 trout over the 3 days before the helicopter came to take us back to base. After the drive home I was fecked!

Many thanks to everyone I guided since my last blog! It’s been a pleasure.

Tight Lines,  Ronan..

There are quite a few days available over the rest of the season. Drop me an email if you’d like to book ronan@sexyloops.com, or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

ps. I’m taking the latter half of the month off for paternity leave! Hopefully I timed it right. Iza certainly looks like she could pop at any moment! Exciting times, thats for sure!


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