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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Forsee’

The Bay of Pigs!

May 11th, 2017 No comments

Lake Benmore from the boat was the plan. We arrived late because I slept in. The lake was blowing a gale! We drove towards the boat ramp, not too happy about our impending soaking while driving the boat back through the heavy wave to get to the mouth of the Ahuriri. I turned the truck around thinking we could use a different (much closer) access to launch the boat, but a sign clearly stated that no power boats were allowed.. so we turned around again and went back towards the boat ramp.. then we changed our minds altogether in favour of some exploration… I had never fished our chosen lake from a boat and only skimmed the surface from the shore so this was new for both of us. We searched lots of likely water and did quite a bit of drifting with limited success before drifting into one very good weedy bay. We moved about 10 browns to streamers landing a couple. The exploration continued. We checked out all sorts of water; all with potential for different times of year. Then one bay got our attention. We figured there would be a chance of a big trout because fish from the canals could get in. Soon after starting we spotted a monster brown beside the boat. He calmly drifted away and out of sight. Multiple drifts produced nothing and we didn’t see any more. Jeff had a huge streamer on which I was expecting to be eaten at any moment but it wasn’t. I was using a clear intermediate and Jeff was on a floater, both with weighted streamers. I decided to change to the di7 rig. Almost immediately, I was into a solid fish.. I hoped it was a brute but the short head shakes gave his size away. A good fish though and I kept it for dinner. A few drifts later a solid thump from the deep. I had counted the line down so I knew I was well below the surface. Jeff saw the flank and knew it was a big rainbow. I was well armed with my 8wt tcx and 13.5lb tippet. He fought hard and heavily before Jeff put the brute in his net. We chose Jeff’s net for the boat because of its long handle, never thinking it only went to 14lbs! We’ve both seen a few very big fish from the canals and we agreed the fish was not less than 20lbs and not more than 25lbs. Jeff named the bay “The Bay of Pigs”. Apt indeed. Our exploration day certainly paid off! It’s funny how fishing days transpire sometimes..

In other news, the Clutha is fishing okay. I think it will improve when (if) it rises. Much of the water I did well in last winter is too low now but there are new areas for me to explore. The power companies release huge amounts of water from Lake Hawea on a regular basis but the water is short-lived and not there for long enough for fish to move into certain ares, or so it seems.. I’ve also had a look at some other rivers which are open until the end of May around these parts, but with limited success. The potential is there though. All my personal fishing seems to be exploratory. Guiding is a little different. I had a great wilderness heli mission with Jesse & Kaisa recently. We saw about 15 and had 4 or 5 eat the fly. That day also included one of the most intense fish fights of my guiding so far! It included the fish going through a snag with me following to get it out, me falling in the river and drowning Jesse’s iphone which was safely (oops!) in my top wader pocket, the fish going through my legs mid stream and just madness in general, all in the 200m battle.. by some miracle we got the fish in the net… where the hook fell out! A fantail landed on the rod at the beginning of the fight. They say this is good luck. Maybe it is!

The next 3 days I’ll be out with Tim Kempton. I’m just off the vice after tying 30 flies.. I have a plan – sort of!!

Tight lines..

Ronan..

For bookings and information contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

 

GUIDING GALLERY

In the Merry Month of May…

May 3rd, 2017 No comments

April has been a fabulous month! I had lots of time to fish myself but was also kept pretty busy guiding. The fishing was excellent! With terrestrial insects still locked into trout brains and magnificent mayfly hatches to boot, most of the activity was on the surface. It’s rare that I’ll fish with a single dry but I did a lot this April, both for myself and my clients. Cicada’s, blowflies and mayflies were the leaders of the pack. April sees the most consistent and reliable mayfly hatches of the year in these parts. For the last 2 – 3 weeks of April, the main hatch kicked of at 2.40 every afternoon on a number of rivers from Omarama to Invercargill. The dry-fly action during the hatch was simply as good as it gets and the best for many years by all accounts. It was most welcome after the constant onslaught of wind and rain brought by the early and middle parts of the season. Summer lasted ten days!

Earlier in April, Nick Reygaert, Jeff Forsee and myself got together again to film another episode for Pure Fly NZ, this time series 2. We went to the West Coast to film a variety of fishing locations. I think we all worked well together to bring something pretty full-on to the screen. I won’t elaborate too much so that I don’t give anything away before the show airs, but watch this space!

Most brown trout rivers are closed now, but many of the rivers flowing into the Southern Lakes (and a few besides) are open until the end of May. A few rivers and most large lakes are open all year, so thankfully, the season never stops. It’s May now and time to stalk migratory fish! I love fishing at this time of year as the leaves change colour and fall from the trees. Fish start to move up river on their spawning run and opportunities arise that are unique to May and the winter months. These fish respond well to streamers, large nymphs and a little later in the season, egg flies. The first part in fishing for migratory fish is finding them. In many cases when you find one you find a few or lots – fishing for migratory fish is like that. The first cast to a pod can get a chaotic response from a lot of fish, then it gets a little quieter. It’s not unusual to catch a few fish from a pod. At times you’ll stumble upon a large fish or two which has spent the last 8 months or so deep in a lake. This is exciting stuff and I will be trying to make it happen this month! I think I know where some will be..

I must change the format for this blog! With the amount of time that passes between reports I struggle to choose what to write about and end up breezing over everything. In the future I need to try (try) to write more often. Maybe less, but more specific content, the way it was before guiding.. I’ll do my best! The pictures below tell the story of full-on month on April!!

Tight Lines and bring on May!!

Ronan..

I’ll be guiding until mid July for the few that are keen on winter fishing! Let me know if you’d like to plan a mission.. ronan@sexyloops.com or see my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

 

PERSONAL GALLERY

GUIDING GALLERY

 

“I Put on Wet Socks in the Morning”

February 25th, 2017 No comments

I wanted to chat briefly about the Damselfly nymph and how most anglers standard pattern makes no sense to me. I had some great photo’s of a damsel nymph which was still alive inside a trout I took from Lake Dunstan recently, but I deleted them by mistake!! I put the green nymph in a jar of water with a sprig of rosemary (haha) where he lived happily for a week or so. I watched how it moved, how it swam (or wobbles!) etc. The one thing that struck me was how similar it was to mayfly nymph. I thought this before, but I though I was missing something that everyone else seemed to know because most damselfly nymph patterns have a long marabou tail. Why? A mayfly nymph representation generally has no marabou. I see some merit in a short marabou tail matching the length of the 3 strands in the real nymph. I’m not one for perfect representations of what fish are eating, far from it actually. However in my opinion, a damsel nymph with a long marabou tail is a woolly bugger, not a damsel! I use a long shank #12 PT or similar as a damsel nymph.

Guiding has been happily chaotic! I’m out most days at the moment but I did manage a few days for myself recently. Iza and I fished together for a day and a half too. Next season I’ll do things a little differently. I’m going to put blocks of time aside for me to fish each month. I need it!! I get a lot of what I get from a days fishing during a day guiding but not everything. Fly-fishing is my life and I must make this work. I know some guides who don’t fish at all during “silly season”. I must not let this happen!! This is only my second season so I guess I’m still finding my way a bit. Guiding continues to teach me a lot and I believe the most important thing it has taught me is how much I don’t know!! A great lesson. Therefor time must be put aside to explore new water and simply get better and better at this.

Recently I explored some new water to the north and the east. Some of it was re-familiarising myself with old haunts and some was totally new. Fishing new water is such a thrill! Absorbing everything the river has to offer, the excitement of seeing whats around the next bend, piecing it all together. Putting on wet socks in the morning means you’re in the thick of it!

Guiding has been lots of fun! I recently took Tim Kempton out for a few days. Great craic with him and his mate Fergus. Tim has fished with Paul in Malaysia which makes him the second (I think) to have been guided by both Paul and I in our respective countries (the other being Chuan Tay!). I hope more anglers do this! On the topic of Malaysia, I’m going there this July to fish with Paul for 2 weeks. I’ve been practicing a little from Paul’s instructional video on youtube so when the time comes I hope I’m on form. Speed is very important with trout fishing too so if I can make one second shots for snakehead, I’ll do it for here for trout too!!! Back to guiding, what else.. Some great heli stuff lately with Nick Mills and a fantastic West Coast mission with local regulars Bryan and Tim. That was a real adventure! One thing about heli-fishing.. The chopper takes a lot of the hard work out of it but the best results come if you’re willing to go hard while your in there. That we did! I think we had 14 trout in total for 3 days with the best fish of the trip going to Tim just before the chopper came to take us home. Many thanks to Greenstone Helicopters! Also a new personal best for Bryan, Bob and his birthday fish, the list goes on.. The pics tell a better story anyway!!

Time to prepare! I have an afternoon mission in an hour..

Tight lines!

Ronan..      ronan@sexyloops.com

 

For bookings and information see my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

For Pure Fly NZ dvd’s go to http://www.flyshop.co.nz/product/DVDPFNZ.html

For stu’s cicada’s go to http://stusflyshop.com/browse-by-fly/dry-flies/cicada/MY GALLERY

 

GUIDING GALLERY

Monster Trout New Zealand…

October 24th, 2016 No comments

October has been a difficult enough month! Mainly due to lots of rain and snow-melt keeping many Otago and surrounding rivers high and difficult to fish. I saw this as an opportunity to go well away from home and try to lock in and learn some new water. I had a hunch about an area to try and what I found blew me away. On my first visit to the powerful beast that is mystery river X, I found quite a few really big rainbows.. huge actually. I landed one of 14lbs and lost 7 more (shit happens!). I took my good friend and big fish specialist, Robbie Mcphee for a look recently. He managed an 11lber, a 7lber and a 4. I landed an 11lb salmon, totally unexpected and immensely powerful. I passed the pocket water where he was hanging out having not seen a sign of life. Then something splashed behind me. I thought it was Robbie stumbling on the slippery rocks but when I turned around I saw the remains of a splash on the surface (not Robbie falling in, but a fish!). I went back, changed my fly to Stu’s Sonic Minnow and made a cast.. First cast I had a follow from a big grey ghost. I kept working the water.. 10 casts later I was connected to the biggest New Zealand salmon I’ve hooked. After a great battle Robbie put him in the net. I also had a few normal sized trout. This piece of water is still good but I expect these big fish will get off the shallows and back into the deep, heavy water before too long..

If you’d like to get in touch about guided fly-fishing in the lower South Island then drop me an email ronan@sexyloops.com or check out my website, http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

If Stu’s flies have piqued your attention, look here! http://www.stusflyshop.com/select-your-species/

 

 

GUIDING HIGHLIGHTS

If not for local anglers and regular clients, Bryan Wrighton and Tim Proctor, October would have been a lean month! We recently had a 2 day mission on two very different rivers down south. With a narrow weather window between one front and another, I made the call to take it on. Thankfully it worked! Day one had us fishing on a river which was high and a little coloured. I chose this river for day one because these conditions suit it, it would also give day two’s river a chance to settle and clear a bit. The common denominator over the 2 days was high, slightly coloured water. Perfect for streamer fishing.. well, usually. The streamer barely got a chase over the 2 days. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these conditions not suit the streamer down to the ground! Fishing is always able to throw you a curve ball! Thankfully there were good numbers of fish out feeding and reasonably easy to spot. They were not easy to catch however, (they rarely are!) but Bryan and Tim did well to land 9 quality trout over two days all between 3.5 and 5lbs. Most fish were beautifully marked, in great condition and very strong. We’re out again soon so hopefully we’ll produce the goods again..

 

Tight Lines all!

Ronan..

Ps. Dont forget to check out Sky TV this October 31st. Jeff Forsee and myself will be doing what we do best on episode 6 of “Pure Fly New Zealand”…

Early Season Extravaganza!

October 11th, 2016 No comments

A few of days ago while planning a day fishing for myself, I was surprised to see a perfect weather forecast. Blue skies all day, gentle southerly blowing and a high of 15c. “With a forecast like that for a Sunday I better set off early” I thought. The following morning I was away before dawn. It was a long drive to the river. There was rain first off, then it stopped, then it started again and continued. “Weird” I thought, “It’ll pass”. Before I left internet coverage I decided to check the forecast again in case I made a mistake. I did! I got the forecast for a town in the USA with the same name.. Lesson learned!

There was no going back, and I didn’t want to.. I was excited to take on whatever conditions nature would throw at me. I got a mix of sun, rain and wind all day. High, slightly coloured water too. A streamer day I thought but I ended up catching most sight fishing with small nymphs. Any fish I saw was hard out feeding just below the surface and they were keen to eat my offerings. My own size 16 nymph and one of Stu’s Superior Nymphs did the trick.

The best moment of the day was spotting a large fish swing to the right from behind a deep boulder. I though I had spooked it but wasn’t sure.. I took off the nymphs and tied on a Glister. I slung it across the pool slightly upstream so that it would cross the boulder on its way down. Up from the gloom came the large fish and engulfed my streamer. I lifted into solid weight and the fish played to his strengths and stayed deep. Just under 7lbs. He made my day!

I’m playing catch-up a bit with this blog! Some pics go back to last winter, others from a recent trip to the canals where I finally cracked a big one; 18.5lbs of ugly! Fishing with Guy, a mission to the Coast with Iza, Robbie Mcphee’s 43rd birthday.. Enjoy the pics!

I’ve known Stu Tripney for pretty much as long as I’ve been coming to NZ. He, his shop and his flies have become legendary over my 15 years in NZ. This season I’m putting Stu’s flies through their paces and I’m more than happy with the results. Check them out! http://www.stusflyshop.com

I’ve had a couple of days guiding which have been good, and a few more coming up over the month. There are plenty spaces available and October is a great month! So maybe its time to get yourself down here for a day out! ronan@sexyloops.com for bookings and information.

One more thing, Just in case I don’t get a blog out before October 31st, thats the day mine and Jeff’s episode of “Pure Fly New Zealand” airs on Sky TV in NZ… Good reports from the director so here’s hoping he’s right! http://www.manictackleproject.com/pure-fly-nz-coming-soon/

Tight Lines everyone!

Stuntman Ronan (It’s on my license!)                ronan@sexyloops.com

As of now, 2.00pm on the 12th of October, my website is live! www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

20lb Rainbow Trout!

September 24th, 2016 No comments

It’s fair to say that I’ve never really cracked the canals! I’ve had a reasonable number of attempts over the years but the really big fish always seem to get the better of me. I’ve hooked them once or twice but just briefly. This time was different, this time I hooked 3! Two of which were sighted which made me question my spending 2 full days scouring the depths with a di7 and a Dore’s Mr Glister. The 3rd I hooked was right on the bank, close to the surface as I was lifting to recast. Again, not backing up my di7 tactic. I lost them all anyway; one was in the 15-20lb class. Jeff decided on pretty much just sight-fishing for them and luckily for us there were a few to be seen when we fished it in July. He persisted until he got one! A monster cruised through a few 10 to 15lb fish and bullied them out of his path before inhaling Jeff’s fly with his permanently open jaws! The battle was on.. Jeff tamed him pretty quickly and I put him in my weigh-net which luckily goes up to 30lbs. 20lbs on the button!

Most people know the canals for being a place where salmon are farmed and wild trout get huge feeding on pellets. A recent survey shows evidence to support that trout feed on a huge natural stock of food such as snails and cockabullies, kilometres away from the cages. This makes it a much more interesting fishery indeed. I have often walked the edges for kilometres while casting a fast sinking line without success. Much of the canals are 6m deep so I might not have been deep enough. I guess I need to keep experimenting! I might make it back up there pretty soon, Nico is dying to fish it so that’s a good enough reason for me!

Loads of stuff coming up in my next blogs, I’ll be talking about 11 days fishing in Ireland for 7 species, Stu’s Superior Flies (I just received a box of his flies they’ve landed plenty fish already), Guiding and whatever else comes to mind! This blog is a little rushed because I have a tonne of stuff to sort out before the season opens on Saturday.

Tight Lines all

Ronan..

For guiding bookings and information you can contact me at ronan@sexyloops.com You can also check out my facebook page which is updated regularly with what’s happening right now!  www.facebook.com/ronansflyfishingmissions/

Big Bad Bows…

May 30th, 2016 3 comments

RAMBUNCTIOUS RAINBOWS!

I’ve made no secret of being a brown trout fisherman first and foremost. However, some recent fishing has given rainbows the limelight. By the time May comes around most browns are getting close to spawning so I usually leave them alone. It’s rainbow time! Luckily, in this southern part of NZ there are plenty rivers open throughout May and even the winter months. I went out on May 1st to check out some of my favourite water for the time of year. I quickly found some fish and landed a few between 4 and 5lbs. These fish were in great nick and above the average size I’ve been used to. Then I saw one which I thought must have been big! I lost sight of it but cast the streamer in its vicinity. Then I saw it again, I quickly cast the streamer well above it and steered it into its path. The Glister, which I beefed up with soft weight, passed it by. She turned and nailed it downstream. I saw the gills flare like a bass! The fish was on, a mighty battle in deep water running up and down at the bottom of the pool. She turned out to be 8lbs, much bigger than I was expecting even though I knew it was big. I was blown away! She equalled my second biggest rainbow ever. I heard from the lads at the Hunting & Fishing shop that there were a few big boys and girls about. I went out again a few days later to a different part of the river. Once again it didn’t take long to bank a fish or two around 5lbs. Stunning bars of silver! I only had my phone as a camera and I was fishing alone so no photos. I could not be bothered trying to balance a skinny phone on a rock while waiting for it’s 10 second timer to fire! Then I saw another big one at the bottom of a very deep and fast run, 2 meters down I’d say. I put on a heavy bomb with a worm-fly attached. I made a number of casts upstream, well upstream, to get to depth. I was pretty sure I was getting into the zone. I made a number of casts using left and right mends to steer the fly. Then the magic moment, that little swing right. I lifted against a heavy weight then fury was unleashed.. He tore up and down the river as deep as he could stay. I kept big pressure on him with 9lb fluoro to keep him out of snags. The SL Hot Torpedo was under the gun but it performed as expected. Not quite as big as the rainbow from a few days prior but a much nicer fish and certainly in my top 3 rainbows. Since then it’s been raining almost every day and the river has been pretty much unfishable. Still, The fishing I had in that first week of May was off the charts and I’m thankful for that.

TWO DAYS IN THE WILDERNESS..

Jeff and I recently took on the back-county to explore some water. Our motives were:

1, To learn about what happens on this predominantly rainbow river in May.

2, Hopefully lock in some potential guiding water for next season.

3, To do what we live for –  Fly-Fish!

What we learned was interesting. There were feck all rainbows about. We saw 3 and hooked all of them. Clearly feeding fish not even thinking about spawning. There was a huge run of brown trout in the river on their spawning run. The browns were mostly on the move, any paired up fish received no attention from us. It was pretty exciting fishing! Fast, accurate, short casts with streamers in fast water did the business followed in close second by a weighted san juan worm. We put in two big days on a river which kept getting better the farther we went (which made it hard to make the “last pool” call. Indeed, there were many!!).

FISHING WITH CHRIS DORE..

Chris Dore and myself also went into the back-country but just for a day trip. Our mission was to find a big trout and hopefully catch it. We found one very big fish which saw us first. He was lying in a most unexpected position, but we should have seen it. Our bad!! We saw another big fish (not as big at the first which was 12lbs ish I reckon) in a similar position. We were forewarned on this weird position in the dead water inside the bend, and so made no mistake with spotting this one. No joy though! We landed 7 average sized fish for the day. Great to fish with Chris again. Its getting harder and harder to find the time. Man, he can cast! Since we did our FFF CI together years ago, Chris has pushed forward in a big way. MCI material without a doubt.

A FANTASTIC FINALE & FILMING WITH NICK REYGAERT

A fantastic finale to the brown trout season is documented in photo’s below. Jeff and I had 11 for the day from 3.5 to 8lbs. It was some of the best still water fishing I’ve had. Mostly blind, meticulously working the water.

Jeff and I also finished off our episode of “Pure Fly NZ” I think its called. As with the previous days on the water it was not easy but all up, I reckon you’ll be pleased with the result. I think a pretty decent story line evolved over the few days. It’s all down to the editor now!

THE LATEST FROM MY GUIDING

I had a couple of guide days recently which were successful, both brought difficult water heights but we managed a few fish each day and had a great time on the water. Thanks for getting in touch Frank and Fritz..

I recently became a member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association or NZPFGA. I had an interview with the executive committee recently and went to the AGM the following day. It was really good to meet other members and I’m happy to be a part of this club. Onwards and upwards!

Bring on June! If you fancy getting out for some winter fishing let me know. June and July are open for business. Email me with any questions. ronan@sexyloops.com

If you’re new to this and enjoy what I put together, please subscribe! Feel free to share on social Media..

Cheers All, Ronan..

 

A Late Season Extravaganza!!! Yes Indeed…

April 28th, 2016 2 comments

CRANE-FLY-FISHING…

Earlier in the season while fishing with Dean Whaanga he told me about fishing the Crane Fly in his neck of the woods. He told me that it usually fires after the first frost late in the season and that he’d let me know when its happening. Recently he called to tell me “its on” and to invite me to join him the next day. Luckily, I wasn’t guiding so I was there with bells on. John Roach of the Canterbury Fly Fishing Club was in town so he came along too. I was excited to see and try this style of fishing which was pretty new to me. Fishing the crane fly, or daddy-long-legs as I prefer to call it, is well known on the Irish loughs but fishing them on NZ rivers is quite unique. I guess there are not too many rivers with a high enough crane fly populations around them that they get blown onto the river in sufficient numbers for trout to lock-on to them? A frosty start followed by a warm, breezy day is ideal. We didn’t get that, but the day warmed up a little and wind increased but there were not too many daddies about. Possibly due to the lack of a frost in the morning. For a while during the day there were a few on the surface and we saw a few rises. It was enough for me to see the potential of this type of terrestrial fishing. The trout seemed quite keyed in on daddies anyway because we all had a good few eats off the top. We landed two 6lbers, two 4lbers and lost 6 more! It’s always good to learn about a new way to catch a trout, particularly something seasonal and dependable like the cicada or mayfly. I have it marked in my calendar for next season!

A SPECTACULAR TROUT…

On a recent trip to a Wakitipu feeder stream I found what I was looking for. I wanted to encounter some browns moving up from the lake to spawn in a few months time. Along with a number of rainbows, I had 5 browns in the 5 to 7lb range eat or attempt to eat my fly. I only landed one but that fish alone was worth the trip. A very pale coloured trout, it was indeed unique, unlike any trout I’ve seen before. A unique fish like this is at least as satisfying to catch as a really big fish. It’s the brown trout’s infinite differences in shape and colour that make it the species I want to target more than any other. I hooked and lost another fish around 5lbs with what appeared to be a yellow back, again unlike anything I’ve seen before. I really wanted to see this fish out of the water. On hooking, I briefly saw a very deep, silvery flank. I’ve been back since in the unlikely hope of finding him but without success.. Wakatipu feeder streams are open until the end of may so I’ll be back!!

SQUAWKING, FLAPPING AND CRASHING! (AND A VERY BIG TROUT!)

Over the last couple of days Tom McAuliffe and myself went to a river we both enjoy. As luck would have it Robbie was there too so we all fished together on day one. Just before we met Robbie on the river he had landed an 8lb brown. Shortly after we saw another big trout and then things went quiet for the day. In fact we didn’t spot another fish! I had a couple of follows from a dark pool while blind fishing. Shortly after at the head of the same pool it felt as though I became connected to the reef I was fishing across. It was no reef!, it was a solid brown of about 5.5lbs. A real tank of a trout; I was happy to get it under the difficult circumstances. Two great fish for the day but the lack of trout about was a little concerning.

On day 2 it was just Tom and me. We decided to go hard into the wilderness and hope for the best. I had been in a few times before this season with poor results due to terribly low fish numbers but I’m a sucker for a good gorge! As before fish numbers were low. All season long I was hoping the fish were in hiding, under rocks in semi hibernation as these fish tend to do but now I’m confident the fish just aren’t there. Maybe its a cyclical thing and they’ll return but I’m worried to be honest. The number of shags living on the river is also a concern. These creatures feed on fish and only fish. More about that another time. About half way through the day we found the first fish (apart from one I spooked). It looked really big, maybe a double! Sitting apparently dormant against a rock at 90 degrees to the very slow current at the bottom of the pool. A weird position to say the least. Tom won the rock, scissors, paper to take the shot. I advised him on the approach I’d use since he was new to this type of fishing. A very long leader and a heavily weighted streamer, cast well above the fish, let it sink to the bottom and strip it passed its face. The leader had to be long so as not to line the fish in deep water, also to get the fly far enough up stream to give it enough time to sink to the bottom and still be upstream of the fish when it reaches the bottom. While we were setting up, the big trout decided to jump and then do a rapid loop of the pool for no apparent reason. This was a great sign! The fish was awake and not doggo. Tom made a number of accurate casts and from my vantage point I could see the fly passing just in front of the fish but it never flinched.. Then it became awake again, starting to swim up from the rock it was lying against just as Tom landed the fly in her vicinity. “Let it sink” I said, as I watched the fly drop into the fishes lair. “Strip, strip, strip” Tom did so.. I watched as the fish charged and inhaled the fly. Tom could see nothing from his position in the river but I could see everything form my vantage point. “Strike!!”, I said. She was on. After a dogged, heavy fight we got the fish into the net. We thought she might have been a double but the net doesn’t lie (I hope), just over 9lbs of magnificence. Tom was on top of the world and so was I.

Over the next while we saw a few fish. We had a couple of grabs to a streamer and missed one on a nymph but nothing of any size. There was one pool I wanted to get to before we called it a day. We had to push hard and waste no time to get there. We arrived quite late on the Autumn day. On arrival we saw nothing obvious. We carefully made our way up the pool trying to spot every inch of it as we went. In a backwater on the far side of the pool we saw 1 then 2 then possibly 3 or even 4 fish rising. My jaw dropped with anticipation and awe. At least one was a very big fish. Then Tom spotted a huge fish at the tail of the pool where we had just crossed. Now totally on the back foot, which fish do we target? behind or in front? The fish behind had to have been aware of us due to his position. He started to make his way up the pool. A shot had to be taken quickly. I had a dry and nymph on and took the shot. It seemed a better option than Toms streamer in the shallow, glassy water at the tail of the pool. The fish enquired, then enquired again firstly to the dry, then looked at the nymph. When I moved the nymph off the bottom he followed it a number of times before swimming away into the safety of the dark water. I was disappointed because this was a really (really) big, beautiful, catchable fish. However! We had possibly 4 rising fish to target so I looked forward with a confident smirk, Tom looked at me with the same smirk, we took a few steps forward, both considering the best plan of attack. Rise after rise, both of us eager to take them on. “That’s close enough” we both agreed.  With that 2 paradise ducks came squawking, flapping and crashing into the pool, sliding 25 foot right on top of all the rising fish before immediately lifting off again. Birds gone, fish gone, silence. Dumbfounded, I managed to ask Tom “What the fuck just happened?”,  “Fucked if I know” he replied, “para’s”. That was it, all over. I landed a 2.5lber in the next pool but it didn’t even take the edge off how I was feeling. Utterly heartbroken and time to head out. I hate Paradise Ducks!

That’s all folks! 3 days left of the brown trout season and I’ll be fishing all three of them I do believe!

Ronan..

Ps. Internet problems led to a one day delay in getting this out so just 2 days left of the season! Jeff and I fished today and landed 10 fish up to 8lbs! More on that in the next blog. Also, I wanted to write about filming and upcoming NZ fly-fishing TV show with Jeff Forsee filmed by Nick Reygaert but I’m out of steam now so next blog maybe. I also had a few great days and nights in Southland with Robbie Mcphee and Chris Jackson, stars of New Zealand Trophy Waters ( http://www.fishingvideo.co.nz  ). We fished, ate, drank and were merry! Very merry!! Also great to fish with and catch up with one of my first made friends in NZ, Bob Toffler. See you next season, Bob!

MAY IS STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS! For any guiding bookings or enquiries, ronan@sexyloops.com

Shallow Water Tactics & Guiding Highlights…

April 5th, 2016 No comments

I went exploring some still waters recently, 3 in total, none of which I had fished before. I found fish in each one though some were so spooky they were damn near impossible to get a shot to. Even when I managed what I thought to be a perfect presentation they fecked off! When the clouds rolled in on that one I fecked off too. I’ll be back for another round when the conditions permit. As luck would have it I was on a dirt track that I had never been on before to fish that lake. As I followed my nose back to tar seal I stumbled upon a multiple acre, quite deep looking lake I had never seen or heard of before. I hopped the fence and went for a look. Iza was with me which was a good thing because she spotted a trout that I missed! I took a quick shot which landed a bit too heavily and the fish went away. Annoyed at myself for my bad cast Iza and I walked the shore. I spotted a rainbow which had many looks at my dry and nymph but he never took the fly. It was getting late so we ventured back down the shore towards the truck. I was keeping an eye where the first fish was sighted and luckily it was back. This time my cast was right. The fish cruised at pace to the dry but went straight passed it and picked up my large nymph hanging under it. The dry was ripped through the surface film and the aerial battle was on! Everything about that fish was extremely satisfying, from getting a second chance to the fantastic take to the golden prize in the net.

The last of the 3 still waters held very few trout but I managed to hook and land one of the better ones I saw. This one took a little pheasant tail suspended just above the silt about 2 foot down. Another very satisfying fish! With some simple tactics these flat calm still waters are not as tough as you may think. A nymph suspended under a dry is the best general approach. You can leave it out there and wait for the fish to find it. A single nymph or spider is another great method but requires quite a bit more skill and experience to fish it properly. Accurate casting and timing is essential here because your casting to a cruising trout. You must place the fly far enough in front of the fish so that by the time he gets to it, the fly is not on the bottom (though this works for another method, letting the fly sink to the bottom and moving it when the fish comes into range). Landing the fly close enough to the fish so that he hears the plop is a good thing, he’ll often come to investigate the plop and eat the fly. Too close to the fish the plop will spook him, too far away and it’s ineffective. You need to know the sink rate of your fly, I generally add a turn of lead or two to break through the surface film but not sink like a stone. The advantage of the single nymph or spider above a dry-dropper is that you can move the fly into the trout’s path should he change direction. You cant generally do this with the dry-dropper because the skating dry will usually spook the approaching trout.  A single dry can also be useful. I’m not holding back information by not naming flies, the flies don’t matter. Small and sparse is best! Trout Hunter 4.5x nylon has been useful for calm water this season, both river and lake. It’s a great compromise between sturdy 4x and dangerously fine 5x. It has incredible strength with a wind knot in the cast! Check it out..

SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM RECENT GUIDING MISSIONS…

NZ fly-fishing is rarely easy and March was no exception. It started with fish feeding well and more than happy to eat flies but seemed to get tougher as the month progressed. My clients and I had to work hard for our trout and we had some great and rewarding results because of it. It was good to fish with Chuan again. We had a hectic week involving farm huts, tiny cabins, smelly feet (not mine), beers, an odd whiskey, good food, 4x4ing, a range of fishing from fantastic to, well, shite and great craic! We spent the week targeting medium to large trout from the back-country to the low-country. Through big walks, climbs and persistence we did pretty well landing 19 trout with four between 5 and 6lbs.

It was a pleasure to share some of my knowledge with some anglers from my own neck of the woods. Irish lake anglers David Daniels and his Brother Stephen did well on the central lakes with 5 each for their day. Yesterday Kevin P Hehir took on a NZ river with me. An instinctive angler, he adapted quickly and hooked 9 trout landing 7. We used both dries and nymphs and both sighted and blind fished effectively. The brown trout season has a few weeks left and I have some availability so if you’d like to book you can contact me. May is still open for business with many rainbow rivers and most lakes still in season. ronan@sexyloops.com

The Fly-Fishing Connection…

January 26th, 2016 No comments

You’d think after 5 years writing this blog that I’d be somewhat computer literate. Well, far from it. I just wasted 3 hours of my life trying to make photos smaller on Iza’s Mac (2mp or less to fit in wordpress blog). With Windows you just select the pics, click “make smaller” and its done. On the Mac you have to select the photos, export them (fuck knows where they go) then make them smaller after you’ve found them, then import them, then export them back to iphoto but they wont make it there, they’ll get lost on the way,  then do some other shit to them, then you loose them, then you try to do it all again a few times before giving up and without pulling out whats left of my hair. I did well not to make bits of this computer while the steam was leaving my ears and curses hurtling from my mouth.

Firstly, to all of you who enjoy my ramblings on NZ fly-fishing, sorry its taken me so long to put this together. Life got away on me a bit leaving me little time to write. Which is a good complaint I guess!

I had a great 2 day mission with Bob Wyatt and Robbie Mcphee a good while ago now. It was weather for waders, freezing cold mornings and lots of rain but the sun eventually made an appearance. We all caught fish on a range of tactics. We spent the night in a farm cabin, no better place to catch up. A glowing fire, good food and few beers with good friends is hard to beat, to be honest I think the fishing came second.

The house in Cromwell has been a hive of activity for the passed couple of months with friends coming and going, mostly flyfishers but not all. My old friend Sean stayed for a few days. The fishing was tough then but we managed a few good fish. Then Nico arrived, Nico’s first fish on fly was an artic char on Lough Inagh in the west of Ireland a few years ago. What are the odds? They are a rare wee fish indeed in Ireland. We had a couple of days on Dunstan and he managed a couple of good fish on fly. That was Christmas day, we kept one to eat raw as a christmas dinner starter, it was fantastic! Mark Adamson was next, we had a feckin tough day on a west coast river where we managed one decent trout. The surroundings were spectacular and the sun was shining which made a tough day a little better!

Since then we’ve had Fergal Cormican, another friend from Ireland come and stay for a few days as he learned how to take on NZ rivers and lakes, we fished Lake Dunstan around Ranfurly for a couple of days where we found a few good stretches of the Taieri and its backwaters.. A great training ground for both river and still water angling.

I recently had a day on the water with Dean Whaanga up the country a bit. We checked out a truly spectacular valley to see how a recent flood might have reshaped the river and surrounding creeks. We found a few fish but they were difficult. At that time fish seemed to be difficult everywhere, possibly due to falling barometric pressure, I’m not sure.. I don’t pay too much attention to that kind of thing because I’ll be going fishing regardless! We landed a couple of fish and had a great day on the water. I met Dean when I first came to NZ in 2002 at my good friend Bob Tofflers house, we all enjoyed a feed of mutton birds! I’m delighted to have fished with him finally. It was a pleasure to see a fella with 30 plus years of guiding under his belt has not lost any enthusiasm for fishing during his time off..

The most recent visitor was Con O Flynn, also a friend from Ireland. We had 2 big days on the river together, I took him into one of the toughest gorges I know of. I asked him was he fit! He said yes and he looked like he could handle it so off we went.. Theres a point in the gorge where you need to get out and drop back in farther up. We got to that point and climbed out, then climbed back in. No problem. I looked for my usual crossing point to continue up river and I could see it, I just couldn’t get to it. I could see another crossing a little farther down river which looked easy so I decided on that one rather than going up river to climb down to my usual crossing. This turned out to be a mistake, Con took a dip in the river as he crossed and then going up on the other side of the gorge proved quite difficult because of a crevice keeping us from my usual way, we had to keep going up! We got there in the end and then we could continue up river with only a couple of minor climb-outs to get around bluffs. We found a few fish but not as many as I was expecting, saw a couple of brutes. Con landed a solid brown and hooked a much larger fish which straightened the hook. It was really great to bring a fella like Con into a special place like that. Win, loose or draw its a great place to be alive as long as your the type of person who can appreciate it for what it is. We left it all on the river. See you next time, Con! We have some unfinished business with NZ trout.. Thanks for everything!

I’m expecting a visit from Ken Whelan any time now, he’ll be passing through with his Brother, Brendan on their way south. I expect we’ll fit in a mission at some stage, David Lambroughton will also join us hopefully.

Between friends coming and going, Fly-fishing and trying to set up my guiding career things have been very busy indeed.. Long may it last!

Tight Lines Eeryone.. A little tip for you all, 18 is the new 16!

Ronan..

ronan@sexyloops.com