Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Daltona’

“I’ll Fuckin Ram You”

June 6th, 2013 No comments

Mark and I were about 100m off the shore, drifting parallel to it and toward a heavy weed bed about 150m away. I noticed two anglers on the shore with their boat pulled up. They put in after we passed them by and started trolling down the shore. They were also heading for the weed bed which ran from the shore out into the lake across the line of our drift. My intention was to drift as far as the weeds with the most likely water being close to the weeds. The trollers were moving tight to the shore and as they got to the weeds before us they changed their course to follow them. I wondered when they would pull out to the back of us. They didn’t. They held their course and cut our drift about 10m in front of us. I reeled up. I was going to say something but thought, no, no big deal, they have no idea of lake etiquette, I’ll just leave it at that. We were clearly drifting. My engine was off and pulled up so a boat under power should give way, that is the rule. I let my boat drift close to the weeds before dropping the engine down to shallow drive to back out. Too late as it turned because I got the boat stuck in the weeds! While trying to back out the trollers started roaring back to us saying I cut their lines with my prop! They turned around to come back for a fight or whatever. I was looking forward to the argument because they were so much in the wrong. They came alongside us shouting like fools and I told them they crossed our drift, One of the lads tried to retort but Mark fired up and in no uncertain terms told him where to go. At this he said “I’ll fuckin ram you” and he roared off out in a circle with his 135hp engine and came back to ram us. My engine was ticking over and only for I pulled the bow around he would have hit us. He missed by an inch or 2. Mark was up on the bow (casting platform) at the time and as their boat passed at pace we were left sloshing in the white water behind the engine. Almost immediately after this idiotic act they left the lake. Maybe they had no more spinners. I was pleased to find my tires were not slashed when we decided to leave. We caught half a dozen fish.

Ronan..

This is my personal favourite episode from the SLTV series.. There is drama, broken trucks, broken engines, the world famous Peter Hayes, Hair, Oil, Fish, Mayhem, Wind, Rain, Casting…. It’s all happening in this episode.. Enjoy!

A weekend Fishing Lake Dunstan from the Boat…

May 16th, 2013 No comments

Last weekend I fished Lake Dunstan. The top end of the lake has not fished consistently well this year but last weekend was pretty good. The browns are no longer on the flats, at least not in large numbers but some rainbows have taken their place. This makes sense because browns spawn first and I expect they’re now up river. The rainbows were present in high enough numbers to deliver decent fishing. I used a clear intermediate line with a long 10lb tippet and a wolley bugger. As I drifted off the shallow into the the deeper water I counted the line down a bit. this worked but most were in pretty shallow water. I hooked about the same number of fish each day, on Saturday I landed 6 and on Sunday just one. Three were around 5lbs which were the biggest I’ve had off the lake this season. All but one were rainbows. This is the first time this season that I’ve found rainbows in reasonable numbers. This does not surprise me though, I spent most of my time fishing the shallows which is brown trout territory. To target rainbows on Dunstan one usually needs to fish the deeper water with sinking lines.

This weekend I’ll be deep sea fishing with the lads from work. I’ll bring the fly-rod so I hope an opportunity to use it presents itself!

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All the best..  Ronan..

This week on SLTV, “Tasmanian Western Lakes part 1″ Paul and I take on a serious 4×4 mission into the Tasmanian Western Lakes. We get stuck before we start but Paul solves the problem while trying not to get stuck in the mud himself! John’s TCR bites the dust, You will hear some fantastic music from the Spa Pikers and most importantly witness some excellent fishing in a truly wild and beautiful (and sometimes cold!) place. This 2 part show is one of my favourites!

A simple approach to fishing large terrestrials.

February 14th, 2013 2 comments

One simple observation I made last weekend was about fishing large dries in calm water. Because the water is calm the fish will see a large fly from a long way off. A good approach for a cruising trout or one on station is not to cast the fly near the fish. Instead cast the fly well to the side of the fish and try to induce him off his lie or beat. The plop from a big fly is often enough to trigger this.  Advantage being the fish is travelling toward your rod tip and therefore the tippet will be on the trout’s blind side of the dryfly. This massively increases the chances of a confident take and a solid hook up.

It was great to fish with Fraser again.. He was unlucky to break in a very big fish at the end of the day. The fish took his dry (as described above) and took off off like a freight train, as he did the line jumped from the ground, around Fraser’s forceps and everything locked up. Simply impossible to put the brakes on a fish like that on his first run. Next time Fraser!

I have no idea what’s on the cards for this weekend… I think I might go a little nuts. It’s in the post.

Ronan..

ps. Good to meet Scott Loudon and Ben! Thanks for the stout…

Also, only 17 subscribers to go until I hit 100 and the prize draw! Get in quick!!

Fear.

November 29th, 2012 No comments

The fishing was generally bad last weekend. Guy and I fished together in my boat for most of Saturday. Little rainbows were active at times and we managed a few browns. Peter, now a New Zealander but born in Hungary, had a good day on the shore but the numbers of cruising browns were way down on the Benmore I know, probably because the lake was so low. On a positive note the weed beds are as healthy as I’ve seen for years.

On Day 2 I was on my own. I went to one of my usual haunts to fish some flats, edges and backwaters only to be greeted by a howling nor’wester. The wind in NZ is unrelenting and often ruins the fishing. I started on the shore because I didn’t want to chance putting the boat in. I got one and lost one. The flats were as clear as could be with the right amount of water covering them and plenty weed beds evident. One can only cover so much from the bank so I walked back to the truck and put the boat in. I had to fish the flats and from the boat is the best way to do it. It was seriously hard going. The wind was pushing the boat down the drift so fast that I could barely strip fast enough to stay in touch with my fly. I need a drogue! Sometimes I’d throw out the anchor to give an area a chance but drifting, albeit at super high speed produced more fish. Conditions like this demand a lot from an angler. Casting, boating, angling, and sanity will be put to the test. I don’t know anyone else who would do this!

When I was walking back to take the boat out I felt some fear but I had no choice. The decision was made and in a sense I was no longer in control. Something else drives me at times, from somewhere deep inside and I’m glad it does. I’ve had some great and terrifying experiences because of it. Fear is good.

Ronan..

1978 35HP Johnson Engine…

November 15th, 2012 3 comments

Daltona has been sitting idle for too long. The last time I was out in her was with Mike Wilkinson and we had a series of breakdowns. First a blown fuse which I fixed with tinfoil, then the wire from the spark plug broke away from the coil. This we fixed with Mikes tapered leader (fishing line for you non fisherfolk). Then the starter motor started grinding rather than starting. This could not be fixed with my leatherman but by wrapping a rope around the fly wheel I could start the engine to get us back to safety. Today I finally got around to fixing the old outboard…

Strike when the iron is hot!

September 13th, 2012 1 comment

One thing I’ve learned during my almost 22 years fly-fishing is that nothing can be taken for granted. This is true both in the short term and the long term. A few weeks ago I was enjoying some world class fishing in a remote part of one of the Southern Lakes. I had it to myself 3 weekends in a row. I got as much as I could from it because I knew my time there with that quality of fishing was limited. The last time I managed to get the boat in to get across the lake I got the truck stuck in the mud due to extremely low water and no boat ramp. The lake had been falling constantly so the following day, even though the weather was favourable; I didn’t chance it because the lake was lower still and more mud would have been exposed. Since then the weather has kept me out of the hotspot. Last weekend my outboard broke down and by now I expect most of the fish which were hanging around the mouths will have ran up to spawn. Strike when the iron is hot or you will miss out!

Here are the highlights from last weekend on the water with Camo Guy..

Later all..   Ronan..

 

Getting bogged, catching fish, exploring, living…

August 19th, 2012 No comments

Next weekend I only have Sunday to fish so I made the most of this one. I would have anyway of course! I got out for 2 hours on Friday evening on Dunstan. I had a few events and one I converted into a landed fish. It looks as though the browns are starting to put on some condition.

Saturday I fished alone. I went back to the spot that’s been treating me so well lately and once again it didn’t disappoint. I put the boat in but due to the lake still dropping and incredibly low I could not submerge the trailer. I thought after I left the boat on anchor to find a spot where I could submerge the trailer to make it easy to get the boat out again at the end of the day. This turned out to be a bad idea as I got bogged and lost the first hour and 20minutes of the day digging the truck out.

Once I was on the water my slow start was forgotten about. I was made eat my words a little during the fishing day, something that happens me quite regularly. 2 blogs ago I spoke about the takes from depth being certain and solid and having a 12 event day converted into 12 landed fish. Well on Saturday I converted about 20 events into 5 fish! I lost about 5 really good fish at the stage in the fight just before the fish gives in and slides into the net. It’s generally unusual to lose a fish after being hooked up solid for a few moments. One could dwell on ways to fix this, or wonder if one was at fault but statistically everything will happen eventually so the best thing to do about this unusual occurrence is nothing. Thanks John O Malley! After landing 17 out of 17 hooked pike one season, John assured me that statistics would even things up. He was right. I think I lost the next 17.

Today (Sunday 19th of August) I fished with Mike Wilkinson. I decided we should try some new water. It’s important to explore. If you don’t you won’t learn much. The main thing we learned today was not to go back, not that it was terrible, there’s just much better water available not too far away. The fishing was slow and difficult but we managed a few fish. Thinking hard and always making sure we were covering water with some feature or contrast made the difference. Boat fishing is not chuck and chance. I’m always 100% aware of the type and depth (within reason) of water I’m fishing over. Maximise on your fishing day by only fishing the best water. Local knowledge is not so important. It’s instinctive. Like a river a lake can be read.

Back to the necessary evil tomorrow. Tight lines all! Good fishing with you today Mike!

Ronan.. (CI, Joiner, Fishing host by appointment)

 

August on the Southern Lakes…

August 8th, 2012 No comments

My laptop has died, this time for good I think so I’m using a 15 year old computer to put this weeks report together. Not an easy task. To say it’s slow would be an understatement! It seems to be working however so I won’t jinx it..

Last weekend I had intended to fish Saturday and Sunday on one or 2 of the Southern Lakes. Friday night was a late one so I fished the second half of Saturday on Dunstan. It was very good! There were lots of fish moving and I had a few but they are still on the thin side. I have not encountered any rainbows out there so I’m guessing they are either out deep or up the river. I tried the sinking like on it without much success.

Saturday was different! I motored across a nearby lake (not Dunstan!) to try some totally new water. I got to an area with a small river flowing in and some dead trees sticking out of the lake. The water here is cristal clear which makes the drop offs clearly evident. I started with a clear intermediate line and a woolley bugger drifting along and over the drop-off. This gave me a good start but something was telling me go deeper, so I did. Much deeper in fact. I used a Di7 line from Airflo which is bacically a 40 foot superfast sinking shooting head on intermediate running line. I fished it with my 8wt tcx. The wind was idealy light so I could cover water but still have time to let my line reach depth. usually 10-20 foot. My technique is to cast it out about 25-30m, let it sink for various amounts of time then slowly (sometimes quickly!) retrieve it back to the boat. Some people recommend a short leader with a sinking line so that the fly quickly follows the fly line at whatever depth its at. I dont agree with this. I prefer a long leader and allow the first few retrieves to get the fly to the level (depth) of the fly line. A long cast is an advantage with this method because after the fly has reached the depth of the line you should still be far enough from the boat or back to prospect a lot of water. Also plenty fish take the fly as its diving to line level. The longer you can effectively keep the fly from the fly line the less fish you will spook. Takes from depth must be experienced to be believed. They are usually certain, clean and solid. On Saturday I hooked 12 and landed 12.

This is my first NZ winter in ten years so this fishing is basically new to me. I have just realised a type of fishing that consumes my thoughts. I want to on the water and no where else but I have to work. The world is all messed up. It should be 2 days work and 5 days fishing.

Ronan..

 

Dunstan Meet 2012.. and other news!

August 1st, 2012 No comments

I put a note of facebook last week suggesting that any anglers who would like to meet up for a day or 2 fishing should do so in Cromwell. On Friday night last, Quentin, James, and Jeff drove up from Invercargill.  Carl arrived from Wanaka (a bit late!) on Saturday morning and all six of us hit the lake. Carl and I took my boat out and after a few miss starts we were away!

Fishing was slow but after a couple of quiet hours we found a few fish cruising over shallow sand flats. We abandoned the boat to make the best of the opportunity. Woolley Buggers only inspired follows but size 16 midge patterns worked well. In one hour I hooked 4 and landed 2, Carl hooked a few and Mike who was not far away also landed 2 and I expect hooked a few more also. Quentin, James and Jeff also had some decent action where ever they were.

All in all it was a good day out. I’ve known Carl for years but this is the first time we fished together. I hope we can get a few more days on the water in the coming season and the remainder of this one. I expect Carl will want to even up the 3-0 score card for the day anyway! :)

On Sunday it was just Jeff and I fishing. The wind was strong, very strong at times and this completely knocked out the sight fishing. We tried blind fishing the sand flats where the fish were the day before with buggers and this produced 2 hook ups and 1 landed fish each. We tried lough style in the wave for 2 or 3 hours and amazingly this produced only one fish. I really expected more. Long drifts over a variety of depths between 1 and 8’ with varied lake bed from sand to silt to dense weed to not so dense weed and only one fish! In summer I expect the same tactic to take 15 to 20 fish for a day. Bring it on!

Carl put an Idea in my head on Saturday and it will be turned into reality. He suggested that I put a polling platform on the boat! Daltona can float on 5 or 6 inches of water, She’s wide and very stable and low to the water which makes her a great flats boat (with the engine up obviously). Watch this space! Frankly I can’t wait. The spotting potential from a raised platform has to be huge. Bring this on too! Yea!

And finally some good news. The Around the Mountain Trail which was set to severely and irreversibly detract from the scenic beauty, the serenity and the quality of fishing in the Oreti Valley has been denied. Not completely unfortunately. Permission has been granted for the track to go ahead below Oreti road. Not perfect but a good result none the less. To all the anglers and non anglers who submitted in opposition, attended and or spoke at the hearing, wrote to the Southland Times, wrote to your MP’s, whatever. This is a good result for us and all anglers and indeed everybody who wants to use and enjoy the Oreti Valley just the way it is.

This weekend Daltona and I will fish Hawea or Wanaka I think! Anyone keen?

The Lough Inagh system and Kylemore Lough and river in Connemara, Co. Galway Ireland are fishing really well. Google them for info!

Ronan..

Unmarked Browns…

May 17th, 2012 No comments
  • I’ve just had four 8% Bourbon & Cola’s and they work.
  • Speights now…

Last Thursday I drove to Fairlie to see Shotgun Kevin, his partner Freddie and their baby Macey. Fishing was also on the agenda and my truck needed a Warrant Of Fitness. I know a mechanic in Fairlie so it made sense to me to give the business to someone I know and trust.

Occasionally one may catch a Brown Trout with very few markings but it’s very unusual to catch a  Brown with no markings at all. A few years ago Kevin brought me to a place where it’s common to catch unmarked browns, a place where you can actually target them! The reason for the lack of markings is camouflage. This area, both river and lake comprises of a mainly sandy bottom so a silver colour and lack of spots helps the fish blend in. The strange thing is sandy areas in rivers and lakes are very common, particularly around river mouths as in this case but the browns are usually silver in colour but well marked with black spots. Not here!

The next day I had a crack on one of my favourite lakes on my way back to Queenstown. I had just one rainbow but it was worth the long drive down a dirt track!

Back to my Speights.

Ronan..

ps. Here is a short film by Abi Mackenzie from 2008 from the place I fished last weekend. Some of the browns are unmarked.