Posts Tagged ‘Iza Haspela’

Onwards and Upwards… (and Iza’s curved cast!)

November 14th, 2015 No comments

I’m adjusting well in to my new lifestyle. Not working as a woodworker for 44 hours a week means I have time to think, time to consider my new job as a fly-fishing guide and do whatever it takes to make it work. My guiding season has been slow to start as I expected, but I have a busy period coming up which I’m really looking forward to. My website is not off the ground yet but its happening. I’m at the beginning of something great and I’m enjoying it. I’m also quite excited about where it will lead. Exploring new water is now more important than ever before and I’m lapping it up.

I’ve been enjoying quite a range of fly-fishing lately. I’ve targeted a few big fish, mostly average sized fish, some salt-fly and quite a bit of exploration. Tomorrow I’ll be checking out a river that I have fished before but not for a long time. I’m looking forward to it. More on that on my facebook page tomorrow evening. (

One thing I’d like to share from a recent trip to the coast is the story of a challenging brown trout Iza caught. We were walking along a high bank together and I spotted a big fish down below happily feeding in a deepish riffle. The wind was blowing hard up river. The only place to take the shot from was on top of the high bank about 10 foot above the river. Because of our elevation we had to stay well behind the fish so as not to spook it. The cast was a difficult one. Quite long and from a hight, so leaving it very open to being whipped away by the wind. I suggested that she compensate for the wind and cast well left of and to the back the fish and let the wind carry it up. She said that I should take the shot but I convinced her to take it. She did, the first cast fell short but the second one was a pleasure to watch. The cast went left, the wind caught it and carried it up in a curve to the fish. The dry and nymph landed about a meter in front and the trout started to rise to the dry immediately; sailed up and confidently ate it. The strike was bang on and battle was not an easy one. Between scrambling down the high bank to the river, and being connected to an extremely strong fish she did well to land it. A fish like that makes any day a really great one.

I’m at a transition of sorts with my blog. For the last 5 years my blog has been about my own experiences, trips with my friends, my observations in and around the sport of fly fishing. To a certain extent I want to keep it like that but I also want to share my guiding experiences. I guess for the moment I’ll use what ever content and photo’s I feel like and in time a healthy balance of my guiding and my fishing will evolve.

If you’re planning a trip to NZ and need a guide why not get in touch! You’ll be in good hands..

Tight lines everyone.


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Me and Robbie Mcphee.

April 28th, 2015 No comments

As the rain got heavier the steep track from the hut was looking increasingly foreboding. I was trying to politely rush Robbie along, “Oh, your waiting on me are you?” he said, relaxed, as always. “We better move or we wont get up the hill” I said. We left the hut, wipers on full, low range gear box engaged. With only a couple of minor slips we were up the hill and onto the plateau. Relieved to be over that hurdle, we continued. The farm track had turned to mud and was as slippery as all fuck. The only option was to drive out at a snails pace. This I did. To err on the side of caution I stayed on the side of the track that didn’t have a 300m drop on it. This lead me to slipping off into a ditch. We got out of the truck into the pissing rain and gathered what rocks we could find to wedge under the wheels. After about 30 miserable minutes getting soaked and straining my back lifting big rocks, we got the truck out of the ditch and continued. Sitting in the truck, soaked, back hurting, I just wanted to get out of the place. Robbie briefly had the same idea but shortly after he said “Well, were here to fish, aren’t we?”. That we were! The words hardly left his mouth when we slipped off the track again, a sudden jolt into the ditch. I turned to Robbie to see if he was okay, he looked a bit shook with a mark on his forehead and the rear view mirror had turned around. He was getting a little whiter and his head hurt a bit but he was fine. Due to the decline in the track the truck popped out of this one no worries at all. Another kilometre or 2 down the track we were at a good point to drop into the river to fish a favourite pool of ours. We gathered some motivation, put on some dry clothes and started the long and steep decent through terraced hillside, beech forest and into a gorge. On arrival, the river was clear but the rain kept coming. We knew our time was limited, the river was bound to blow out. We saw 2 trout, Robbie got one and I got the other. Then at the head of the pool I saw another. As I fished to him he became harder and harder to see as the river got dirtier. He made four pretty full on but failed attacks at my streamer and then fecked off. It was time we did too, we did not want to get stuck on the wrong side of the rapidly rising river! I took a few quick blind shots up into the head of the pool with a heavily weighted streamer, got a cracking 7lber and then we left the gorge. We climbed back up the mountainside to the truck. On the drive out we had no more slips and managed to fish for another couple of hours when we got to the safety of the non-gorge.

The Hilux has been through the mill lately. 4x4ing is certainly something one gets better at. Like anything, when you have nobody to teach you the learning curve is not very steep! I think I need full on mud tires instead of my All Terrain ones. Also dif-lock, a winch, a snorkel, some proper tow ropes and as Robbie advised, a lesson! I’ll keep trying and hopefully I wont kill the truck doing it.




Ignorance is bliss!

February 4th, 2015 1 comment

I had fished the river once on a southbound mission on the West Coast with Paul. We had just finished fishing and filming an epic journey to one of the most remote rivers in NZ ( and the 8 days that followed were fishless.. including the day on this river. So, I knew about it. I knew it could be good but in my limited experience on it it wasn’t. I had no idea where I fished it all those years ago. I looked on the map and picked a random access. Down the road Iza and I went, through a gate, crossed a creek and to the river. I took a stroll 100m up river and saw 3 trout which I didn’t catch. This reminded me of the difficult fishing I had that day while Paul was writing a front page for Sexyloops.. I though that was what we were in for the following day. I prepared myself for difficult fish but it turned out that they were not that tough at all. We had a ball!

Here are the best pics from our northbound trip up the coast in early Jan.. I’m way behind on my blog! I might just have to omit the last month to catch up.. but some great things happened up to 9lbs… well, 8.75!


“The Ronan” Beheaded…

February 28th, 2014 No comments

Another weekend has landed and I have no blog up! This will be a quick one.. Last weekend was intended to be a West Coast mission but the weather did not comply. Instead Iza and I went to the Waitaki Valley to fish Benmore and Aviemore. The sight fishing was excellent on Saturday. Plenty fish about and in great condition. Sunday the weather closed in quickly but I had a few good moments in the morning. Iza is not having much joy with her spinning rod. It’s as if the fish Gods are against her but they’ll come round. I know they will, I have a direct line and they’re just playin’ silly buggers at the moment (as they say in NZ).

Almost at the end of the fishing day on Saturday, I handed Iza my fly-rod (an SL Pro Hot torpedo, aka”The Ronan”). I took her spinning rod to whack out a cast. Somehow my fly-rod sneaked in front of the spinning rod while in mid cast. I beheaded “The Ronan”… That’s the second time I’ve learned to keep fly-rods away from spinning rods. My good friend back home once ploughed his spinning rod through my Sage XP. Thanks Eamonn!! “Lesson to be repeated until learned”, as Graeme Williams would say.

I’m meeting Robbie Mcphee tomorrow for a weekend on the water.

Later all! Let me know what you think of the slideshow feature. I think it needs to be bigger? Below the pics? I’ll work on it.