Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Forsee’

Some of the Biggest Trout on Earth!

October 28th, 2020 No comments

Last winter we had a little treat! Fish & Game opened a river to anglers to fish for monster rainbows on their spawning run. These fish reach incredible sizes from living in a man made canal system. Like a giant spring creek, the canals have a constant flow and they’re always cool. Perfect for trout to grow year round. They have a diet which consists largely of cockabullies, snails and fish pellets from under the salmon farms, all aiding their rapid growth. For the most part, these fish spawn in the canal system itself but some have the opportunity to spawn in a river – the one that was opened to anglers last September. I spoke to Rhys from F&G about the decision to open it. He said that by that stage in the winter all the redds are already full of eggs so no damage can be done to future stocks by fishing to the new arrivals. He also said that the river would not be opened in September again. This decision was due to the expected onslaught of foreign anglers next year. A pity I thought. I sugested making it for residents only. This year it was for residents only because there were no foreign tourist anglers due to the Covid travel ban. The river was busy at times but there was room for everyone. The perfect case study. In my opinion, making it for residents only would be a very easy management system and we could keep this unique fishery open in late winter. Last Septembers successful opening provides strong evidence that it would work. We also chatted about leaving the river open in May to allow people to fish for the first run of large browns which have all but gone by September. Who knows what will happen here in the future. I think the closed season in NZ in general is in need of a total overhaul. Many closed seasons make no sence and protect little or nothing – especially on lakes and still waters.

Needless to say I had to have a crack at this river. It’s possibly the best large trout river in the world at this time of year. I fished it for 3 days over the month landing 10 between 13 and 25lbs. It quickly became clear to me what I loved most about these winter rainbows. Not the fish or the fishing but the fight! Usually I like that trout are not like bonefish. I like that I can get them in quickly so that I can get back to the fishing. These were different. Unique because how often are you not worried about loosing a 10 to 30lb trout? I loved leaning into these brutes with heavy gear. Get them in fast and returned after a quick snap. I used an 8wt TCX, a Lamson reel with a decent drag and 12lb Maxima. No playing around with 5 or 6 weights. In the great scheme of my fly fishing I rarely fish for anything over 10lbs so it was great just to feel that weight and power on the other end. Watching a 20lb trout run, jump and thrash with the rod hopping and reel screaming was some of the best craic I’ve had fly fishing!

I chose a method at the start of day one which I stuck with each day I fished. I blind fished a weighted streamer (possum and marabou of course!) on a long leader fished on a floating line. This worked well because I could get the fly deep with some simple mends. Depth was key for me to blind fish the deeper water. A sinking line can be a disaster with heavy didymo and large boulders so more reason to use a floater. I love the control with this method. I can get the fly to the depth I want and make it move how I want. Not so easy with a sinking line since you lose much of your ability to mend. Dead drifting the streamer through deep bouldery runs or moving it slowly was the most effective for me. 9 out of my 10 trout over 3 days were bright, healthy hens. Just what I wanted. I saw some fellas happy to fish for coloured up jacks off redds at the tails of pools. This was not for me but each to their own. I did throw a few casts at these fish but when I got the feeling that they were spawners I left them alone. One thing I learned from this trip was that I really dislike fishing with egg flies – so I didn’t!

In more recent news – the new season has been fantastic so far! Some very big fish about too. I’ve already had 2 over the mythical 10lb mark. More about those and the season to date in my next blog. The boat has not been out yet but I do have an engine on the back of it now so I’m just waiting for the opportunity to get out there. I’ve had a couple of very successful guide days with clients landing trout to 8lbs. Some more work coming up too so very happy about that! Myself and Jeff have another epsiode of Pure Fly NZ coming up soon. We have a plan to watch it at the pub since neither of us have whatever channel it’s on. Duke I think. I’m looking forward to watching it. We had a some great action. It’s always a lot of fun filming with Jeff and Nick. We’re all on the same page. Anybody within NZ who’d like to get in touch about some guided fly fishing, I’d love to hear from you. ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website. For a look at some of my fly patterns available at Fulling Mill click here.

Tight lines.. Ronan..

New Flies for Fulling Mill..

October 5th, 2020 No comments

A new season has begun. With it sees the start of my involvement with Fulling Mill. They got in touch with me about a year ago about filling some gaps in their range of flies to suit NZ rivers. I agreed to help. My fly design has always been about simplicity. I see no need for elaborate, time consuming flies. There are a few key features that are important and as long as these are met, the fly will work. For a nymph the most important features (or triggers) are size, profile and to a lesser extent colour. When tying for myself – usually the night before a trip – I’d rattle up a few flies to fit this bill. The colour often varied depending on my mood or whatever materials were at hand but the sizes and profiles rarely wavered. Tying for Fulling Mill I had to keep true to this and basically come up with some set patterns based on what I tie for myself. I got to work and 3 patterns were selected for the 2021 catalog. With these 3 patterns in my box I’m confident that I’d be covered for at least 75% of my own river nymphing needs. Add a few unweighted PT nymphs and your getting there! Of course theres always scope to add, adjust and improve as new ideas come along so hopefully I’ll add to this small collection in the future.

One thing that I really pushed for right from the start was to have the strongest hooks available used in my nymphs. There is nothing worse than losing a trout because a fly opens out. My patterns are tied on the very reliable Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight hooks. The same gauge and shape as a Kamasan B175 which I have always raved about. I’ve been putting the samples to the test and have had no issues with these hooks.

Here’s an explanation of each fly and how it came to be.

The Hotspot Nymph. This fly was designed with a few things in mind. Firstly, the hot spot makes the fly stand out. Great for coloured water – a regular variable in NZ with frequent rain events. Secondly, depth. This fly is tied in a 10 and a 12 with a tungsten bead to suit. Great for getting down quickly in deep or fast water. Thirdly, as a carrier. Very often this fly is too big to catch wily NZ trout so I use it’s weight to get a smaller, more imitative fly to depth. Deadly in conjunction with my claret nymph in a size 16. I tie it on a 12″ dropper off the bend of the Hotspot nymph. This double nymph rig is usually fished 3 to 5 feet under a buoyant dry or indicator.

The Brown Nymph. My go-to nymph. This fly is tied for general use. If I’m not sure what to put on, I put this on! Tied in a 12 and a 14 it’s often small and imitative enough to to be fished without a trailing smaller nymph. This makes it easy to manage under my dry or indicator. This is a great imitation of common NZ mayfly nymphs but equally successuful as a general imitator of trout food.

The Claret Nymph. This is a multi purpose fly. Tied in a 14 and a 16 this fly is imitative of much of the food in a trouts diet. In slow water it can be fished singly but in faster water I usually trail it off a larger heavier fly to get it to depth. I have caught more fish on this fly in NZ than any other. On one river it has accounted for 5 double figure browns so this little fly is not to be underestimated. This is a deadly pattern on light tippet for spooky, difficult trout. It’s also one of my go-to flies to suspend under a dry for lake edge cruisers.

Some of you reading this might be thinking “what about caddis stuff”.. Fair thought! Personally I never get too excited about caddis flies. They are certainly part of a trouts diet but any of the nymphs mentioned above will catch a caddising trout. It comes back to size and profile. A fish that’s eating small brown caddis nymphs will eat a well presented small brown or claret nymph – even if the profile is geared slightly more towards mayfly nymphs. That said, there are times when specifics in a fly are important and with that comes the endless list of flies that you can add to your box!

These patterns are now available to buy on the Fulling Mill site. Click here to have a look! Hopefully you’ll put a few in your flybox for this brand new NZ season. I wish you the same success that I have had with them. Feel free to get in touch with any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear.

Plenty space available for guided trips this season! For those of you reading within NZ, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to drop me a line to get the ball rolling. ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website

Tight Lines, Ronan..

Tying flies and exploring water!

August 18th, 2020 No comments

I’ve been getting out as much as possible this winter. I’m busy with upkeep of the house and the 2 kids but making a decent amount of time to get out on the water. Sometimes not even carrying a rod! I spent a couple of days just walking small streams and still waters to see if they’d be worth fishing in October. Totally new water. Even though I saw very few fish the quality of the water looked great. One section which I cant wait to revisit in October was a continuous string of pools and runs over about 2kms. So much fishable water in a short stretch that I reckon there could almost be a full day fishing on it. I just hope the fish show up in October when it opens. Why I saw no fish there I just don’t know. Maybe they’re still way upstream spawning? I hope so. It’s usual for trout to make no sense!

I’ve been tying streamers and buggers for a few upcoming trips too. On a day out with Chris and Jeff recently I realised I had only one decent streamer in my box! Even if I think I’ve run out I can generally scrape a few from some corner of the storage boxes in the back of the truck, but not on this day. The one I had I quickly lost but Jeff sorted me out and I managed to catch a few fish! That was a super day actually. The fishing was okay but great to catch up with 2 good friends on the river.

I had one guide day too. The first one since March 23rd! A very enjoyable day with John. He was about to fly back to the states after a season working on the vineyards and just managed to fit in a day with me. He landed a brown and rainbow and lost a few more. A very enjoyable day out!

I did some more filming with Jeff and Nick for the next series of Pure Fly NZ. Plenty fish landed but were going back soon for a couple of days to see if we can land something big!

Thats all for now.. Some fishing trips on the horizon so hopefully more fish in the next report!

If you’re in NZ and would like to chat about some guided fishing, please contact me through my website or email me ronan@sexyloops.com.

Tight Lines, Ronan..

The End of Lockdown…

May 20th, 2020 No comments

After 5 weeks of lockdown I was itching to get back at the rivers. We dropped back to level 3 only three days before the brown trout rivers closed. I managed to get one full day on day 1, a brief session while walking the kids on day 2 and a 3 hour session on day 3. The full day was just brilliant. I got to the river with a one hour walk downstream to complete before fishing back to the truck. I was at a jogging pace to get to the start of the beat – I just couldn’t wait. Straight away the fishing was good. The fish were out and feeding and holding where fish should hold. Thankfully the incredible weather all through lockdown held up for another day. Blue skies and no wind all day. Absolute bliss and I didn’t see another angler. I had 12 for the day and broke in 5 or 6 more because I ran out of my usual tippet. Very frustrating using bad tippet! A fantastic day regardless. I had decided in the morning that if I could get 2 decent trout near the truck I’d take them for dinner. Not something I usually do but as long as I know there are plenty trout about I don’t mind taking one or two on occasion. I got one with the truck in sight and had to work pretty hard for the second but got him in the end. They fed 4 adults and 2 kids and included a cold smoked fillet as a starter. There is something very special about feeding the family with freshly caught, wild trout.

One good thing that came from the lockdown was spending time with the kids when I’d otherwise have been working. Our daily walks were along the river where I’d frustrate myself looking at feeding trout. The crazy thing is I had never even seen this section of river that flows through the town. Local lockdown walks were the reason I got to check it out. It’s lovely water. I didn’t see heaps of trout there but there were enough. Unfortunately there was little chance to carry the rod on the local walks due to level 4 lockdown rules (no fishing!). Now that we can fish the season is closed (apart from the aforementioned 3 days.). Next season, whenever I get a day off, and there may well be many, I’ll be taking the kids for a walk and taking the rod. By then Adaline will be old enough to reel in a fish herself. Lochlan might be too.

We’re into the winter season now. There are still many rivers open til the end of May. Once June starts just a few large rivers and most of the lakes remain open. Plenty though. I’m looking forward to getting out whenever I get a chance. The kids have severely disrupted my fishing if you haven’t already guessed that! I’ve had a few outings recently. I didn’t catch many myself but the folks with me did pretty well. The first tug from a large winter rainbow woke me as I drifted off to sleep last night! That will tell you whats on my mind. Dying to get stuck in a large migrating rainbow – one of the highlights of my season. The next fishing on the agenda will hopefully be filming another episode for Pure Fly NZ with my comrade Jeff Forsee and fly fishing film legend, Nick Reygaert. We have a few ideas.

I recently did a podcast with Daire Whelan from Ireland On The Fly. I never did one before so I was a bit nervous. However, here is a link for anybody who’d like a listen. Or you can use this link. I’ll be doing something similar on Instagram soon – a live chat with Justin Spence in Montana. I guided Justin and his friend Dan last season. Justin needed no guidance really, I’d just take him to the river and he’d know what to do. Certainly one of the great fly fishermen! For our Instagram session were just going to chat about fly fishing! More on this when I know more.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions about guided trips next season or this season if you live in NZ. You can contact me on ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Tight Lines… Ronan..

10.5lb Trout.. Yes!

November 11th, 2019 No comments

It takes at least 300 days to catch a trout over 10lbs. At least it does if you fish like me. I don’t target them all the time of course, just when the mood hits me. It’s all about the fish, not the fishing so it really is mood dependant. Every one has been a super high. The emotions and feelings have been a bit different for each one. Some have been strangely anticlimactic (but still great!) while most have been utterly fulfilling, thrilling experiences. There are a few big fish around this year. Jeff Forsee and Paul MacAndrew have also cracked a double already this season. Some mousy stuff happening too so this might be a year to spend more time chasing the elusive doubles. Lets see how it pans out as the season progresses..

I haven’t guided many days so far but the days I’ve been out have been superb! Plenty fish, super quality and big! Between guiding and fishing I’ve had 4 over 8lbs to the net. It’s been a pretty wet spring. Some rivers had just come right and were fishing really well but recent rain has put them all out of commission again. They should bounce back quickly as long as the rain eases off. Come what may I’m excited about the season ahead..

A few days ago I took out Oliver and James. Oliver had never cast a fly before so we had a 1 hour casting lesson before advancing up river. It was enough to get him throwing a decent line and he managed 3 for the day. A great achievement for someone fresh out of the gate!

My season is starting to fill up but I have plenty spots available for the season to come. Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Tight Lines, Ronan..

Winter Monsters!

June 15th, 2018 No comments

We’re lucky around here to have an abundance of winter fishing opportunities. There are 3 large rivers and lots of lakes in the vicinity. All are open to the angler willing to brave the elements (which usually aren’t that bad) and take it on. I haven’t been out this winter as much as I have in recent winters, with my new role as a father taking priority. I’m loving that, even if it does cut into my fishing time! Soon enough she’ll come with me.

I’ve had 4 days floating down local rivers recently. The most fun thing about the pontoon boat is that it needs 2 people to float properly, so somebody has to join me. It’s usually not too hard to find a fishing buddy. After a busy guiding season its the perfect way to catch up with the lads. Whether we catch fish or not, floating down the river is great way to spend a day and have the craic.

The most exciting prospect in Otago winter fishing is the chance of a big fish. Some very large rainbows and browns migrate all these rivers every winter. A rainbow over 6lbs is a super trout and they’re the ones I’m after. I recently broke my rainbow record with a 9lber. A tank of a trout about a foot in girth which accelerated after my fly as I was lifting to recast. Sometimes when my brain has told my arm to recast, I cant stop the rod in time when I see a last moment chase from a trout. This time I managed to stop with the rod at about 45 degrees. The trout engulfed the fly and I struck from 45 to beyond 90 to set the hook! Such close quarter, chaotic, last second, visual fishing really gets the heart pumping. Much of the fight was close to me but I had to apply the pain when the fish ran towards some reeds. I turned him just as Tom was there with the net. An 8wt and strong tippet was a big advantage. What a moment! I was awestruck!

Another fish worth a mention was on a float trip with my good friend, Chris Dore. Chris had walked upstream to swing an edge while I worked a deep drop-off. This is a spot that I’ve had great success at over the last few years. It’s all about getting the fly deep. I don’t use a sinking line because its not very versatile for the multitude of water I cover in a day and I don’t want multiple rods on the boat. I use a very heavy fly on a 16 – 17 foot leader and try to get it deep. when I think its deep enough I let it sink some more. lots of stack mending or whatever it takes to get the fly deep. paying line off the reel is a good one now and again. When I’m where I want to be I stop the line and let the current take up the slack. A very slow retrieve from the depth is best. Takes can be savage or very gentle. This one was gentle. A faint tap, followed by 2 more faint taps at which time I strip struck into a heavy head shake. A magic moment again! I live for this. I knew it was a big fish. Heavy gear to shorten the battle once again paid dividends. If these fish get into the main flow it could be game over so I don’t feel over gunned with an 8wt. After landing the fish I had hoped I’d get Chris’s attention to come and get a great photo, but he couldn’t hear me calling out to him. I took a quick shot with the 10 second timer and let him off. Typical of migratory salmonids, the larger fish run first. I expect they’ll move off the radar soon. I’m glad I got my piece of the cake!

Dougal, Tom, Jeff and Chris; Thanks for floating with me! They were some of the highlights of my season.

For guiding bookings and information for next season, contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website ronansflyfishingmissions.com. I do not offer guided float trips!

Tight Lines!

Ronan..

River Keeping!

May 10th, 2018 No comments

River keeping is something I’ve been thinking about lately. How many times have you fished a pool and thought “if only that branch wasn’t there I’d be able to cast to that fish!” Well, I often though that. In recent years I’ve made some effort to remove offending branches and its paid off. I want to take it to the next level though. As of now I’m going to carry a saw instead of the little saw blade on my Victorinox knife. As a guide I’m always searching out new water. Occasionally I find something great that receives little or no attention so a little river keeping goes a long way here. There are a few small streams I know of which have become totally choked with willows over the years. Many beautiful pools have become totally unfishable but it doesn’t need to be that way. Lets say you fish that stream 3 times a season, and each time you fish it you bring your saw and spend half an hour making a pool or a run fly friendly, think how quickly it would become totally open again! Better again if some of your friends do the same! Or, you could just go nuts and round up a posse and spend a day clearing it! Fuck it, bring a chainsaw! Have a think about it. I’m sure a river or a pool on a river will spring to mind. Its something you could do over the off season, just take care that you’re not walking on redds. Time to buy an aggressive saw that will fit in your pack! A machete too, maybe..

With some semi-planned down time around mid March to mid April I got quite a lot of fishing in! Some of the family were over so dad and I fished every day we could (which was most!) This trip was a little different to other trips for dad. Mom and my sister were also here to meet our daughter, Adaline, so it was family time. All the fishing we did was in day trip distance from home. Every evening we relaxed, ate great food, drank some nice wine and just enjoyed being together. I can’t wait til we can do it all again! We fished all sorts of water. Big lakes, dams, tiny streams to big rivers. With regular, heavy rainfall it wasn’t easy to find clear rivers but with local experience and a little luck we were able to find rivers and streams clear enough to fish. Dad had always wanted some dry fly action on a tiny stream. We had one super day which was just that. It’s quite hard to find consistent dry fly water but this wee stream seems to be one. Great fishing!

Robbie and I also had a super couple of days chasing rainbows and browns in his neck of the woods. Better than expected with blistering bows and one very large brown! The worm fly was deadly – either because of the regular high water washing real worms down the river or because it just looks like too much food to pass up. Both are true. It did make me think though after I picked a 4″ dead earthworm out of the river. “These worm flies are way too small!!!” I think I’ll tie some huge worm flies! They have to work..

One of the most interesting things I’ve witnessed this season was on one of the local, high country reservoirs. Dad, Tom and myself went up for a day with no expectations because it rarely gives up its fish easily. The day began as per usual trying to figure out how to catch this elusive quarry. Dad and I saw a fish or two moving and I lost one not long after starting on a bugger. Tom was moving down the shore and we followed. Tom was seeing some and getting one or 2. When we got to the shallow end of the bay things changed. We could see good numbers of trout bow waving in glary, flat calm, shallow water. They were clearly chasing something. Tom was in the right place landed 4 more on a bugger. I landed one and lost a couple. By the time dad arrived it was all over. We kept a trout for dinner and it was stuffed with 1 inch, grey fry. The edges of the lake were alive with them. I never noticed them there before so maybe it has something to do with all the recent rain? I hoped it was going to be a regular, late season event. The lake is know for it’s cicada fishing but nothing else really so it would be really cool to lock in seasonal event and learn it. Dad and I went back up for his last fishing day of the trip. We were expecting great things but absolutely nothing happened. The fry were there, the wind was exactly the same, all conditions the same just no fish at all – only 4 days later!

Jeff, Kota and myself had a magic day exploring a couple of small mountain streams. With snow on the ground and high altitude views it was a magic day to be alive, fish or no fish!

May is when many fish start their migratory run up river to spawn. These running fish can provide some of the most exciting fishing of the season – for me anyway. I think it might be my favourite time of year! Locally, its very hit and miss but I’ve learned many hot spots over the last few years. Fluctuating flows means that the learning never stops but there are consistencies in pretty much all river flows. The larger fish tend to run first! I’ll be getting amongst it as often as possible.

Thats all for now. I have some good guiding stuff coming up from a couple of multi-day late season trips. One with Chuan – always eventful!

Plenty spaces available in May and over winter. There’s still lots of great fishing to be had even though the season is closed on most brown trout rivers! Contact me on ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines,

Ronan..

ps, here’s my latest film on Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/267765023

 

[slideshow_deploy id=’10567’]

 

Raging Bull!

November 9th, 2017 No comments

Recently Jeff and I went out to learn some water neither of us had fished before. We started fishing at the end of the road with the intention of covering as much water as we could squeeze into a day. That we did. We ended up venturing up a tributary to see if it held fish. It did hold some, not many but certainly enough to warrant a trip in October when many post spawning trout have not yet dropped back to the main flows. We pushed a few ks up this tributary. Both of us got a few good chances but even with well placed first casts, these fish melted away into the river.. Not to worry! We pushed on through dense tussock hoping to get another shot, suddenly the ground shook, Jeff took a step back while falling over. I looked up to see the curly white hair on the face of a large bull and Jeff’s rod poking him in the face from the ground. As Jeff rolled out of the way of the rampaging bull, I took a step back while turning to run but instead fell 5 feet over a bank into the river. I immediately jumped up, soaked and dripping, looking to see the bull coming over the bank too. No sign of him as I looked left and right. I called to Jeff, “I’m okay” he said.. I asked where the bull was and he told me he ran off. It was close! It could easily have been a lot worse. I don’t think the bull intended to charge us. He was hunkered down in the tussock and we walked right up on him and spooked him! We all scared the bejesus out of each other. I got a bang on the leg and my whole body hurt the next day, I guess I got a good jarring when I hit the shallow river bed. Jeff was okay. We fished on for another hour or so before calling it a day. We kept our big brown and white friend in sight as we retreated home. That was fun! I do love a good scare to feel alive.

My personal fishing has been great! Lots of new water and of course some old favourites. I managed to get a big fish on the board before the end of October. A real beauty at 9lbs even. I’ve locked in some good new water which I’m looking forward to going back to myself and with clients when weather and water plays ball.. We’ve just had an angry weather system pass through dumping lots of rain and snow all over the place. It looks like things will get back to normal over the next few days. More about my own recent exploits in the top gallery below.

GUIDING UPDATE

I’ve been pretty busy with guiding. Some new clients and some repeats. I’m really enjoying how friendships are forming with the people I guide! Theres a pretty extensive gallery below documenting a great season so far. A couple of recent trips I’ll mention. The first was a heli-trip with Shaun and Mike. We had a super couple of days after flying into the wilderness. We got well and truly away from it all! Fishing was really good each day with plenty browns and rainbows eager to eat dries and nymphs in a most spectacular setting. Shaun brought a nice bottle of red along which accompanied a well earned steak, spuds and beans dinner. There may have been a little whisky too! The craic was good and the fire burned bright until we hit the hay. There was no rush out of bed the next day as we waited for the sun to reach the valley floor. Probably a good thing!!

More recently I took out my regular client, Kevin for 3 days. We hit the road and went south! Day one was freezing and very windy. Kevin had 7 eats with 2 landed including a super rainbow which came blind to a blowfly. Day 2 warmed up a bit and the wind played ball for most of the day. Kevin absolutely nailed it!! Well placed first casts and happy fish combined to produce a day to remember. Kevin landed lots! All but one in the 5 – 7lb class. As good as it gets if you ask me. At the end of day 2 I asked Kevin if there was something specific he’d like to do on day 3. In a very relaxed tone he hinted at a very big fish. Okay, I said! I have a plan.. but we must be prepared to blank (aren’t we always!!). Day 3 included a monster walk. Big fish hunting usually requires lots of walking. We saw only 3 fish for the day but Kevin made the few casts count and landed a personal best at 9.25lbs and another 7lber. These were three intense days of fishing. I was happy to have a cancelation for the following day because I was totally wiped out!

My season is filling up quickly so get in soon if you’d like me to guide you on your NZ adventure! Contact me at ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines!

Ronan..

 

 

“I’m only wishing to go a-fishing; For this the month of May was made”

May 31st, 2017 No comments

What is it that excites me so much about the month of May? I’ve had to think about this! There are a few reasons. One of them is that its relatively new to me. In my ten years (pre 2011) when I came to NZ from Ireland every season, I was always home by the end of April, so May was unknown to me. In October 2011 I moved out here full time taking up a job as a joiner. In May, just like every other month I only had the weekends to fish. I enjoyed the month of May then of course, but it’s only now that I have lots of time on my hands that I can really explore, search and learn; just like I did during my early years exploring NZ. So thats part of it! It’s new, exciting and fun. It’s more than that though. Fishing for migrating fish in May is challenging. To do well you need to be able to cast heavy flies on long leaders or heavily weighted fly-lines (around here at least!). You need to be able to see your fly in you minds eye and know what it’s doing and where it is. Sometimes it’s sight fishing, sometimes it’s blind and it’s frequently into deep water. Migrating fish move around a lot on their lies. Sometimes to take a fly but often jostling for position or to chase out another fish. They do feed, but as the month progresses they gear more towards spawning. However, with accurate casting; putting the fly in just the right place and making it swim / drift correctly you can still induce a take. So, it’s the challenge? Yes, but possibly even more than the challenge and the realisation that it’s still new to me, is that it’s so much about the big, beautiful migrating fish. When these fish run they are in their absolute prime! Full of condition and energy for the months ahead. Who wouldn’t want to catch fish like this?! On certain rivers in May there is a real chance of a big fish. Sometimes well into double figures and these fish only appear in May. I predominantly target browns all season long but in May I turn my attention to rainbows. Last May I realised just what a great species they are. Hooking into a big rainbow and listening to that tail slap before the first run is simply exhilarating! One more thing.. This is my down time after my guiding season. I’m relaxed, I have nothing to do only fish, I’m in holiday mode! So I think I know now. It’s new and exciting, its challenging, it’s about enjoying big, powerful, beautiful rainbows and some browns, I’m on holiday! Why wouldn’t I love it.. Sorry if I just bored the feck out you with that but I wanted to know for myself.

May has been a great month to catch up with friends. I made lots of use of my drift boat taking Fraser, Wesley (see you next season!), Guy, Tom and Jeff out in it.  It’s been such a new lease of life and a great way to explore rivers and lakes. The pics below tell the story as they do!! Tassie Sean will be up for a visit soon too. That should be fun whatever we get up to. I’m hoping for new waves of fish migrating up some of the rivers which are still open through winter. When they’re fresh in they take really well, still piling on the pounds. bring on the next wave because the first run are now stale and not really taking the fly anymore…

Finally, to finish off what was probably the most enjoyable month of the season for me, we returned to The Bay of Pigs. Just like before the fishing was slow, Tom and Jeff saw one fish from the boat. I managed to drag out one brute of 15lbs from the shore. A long leader and a weighted streamer fished about 3 feet down did the trick. The take was a gentle one before I came up tight!

The next thing on my agenda is to practice my shots for my upcoming trip to Malaysia. I need to get good at that before I leave, or as Paul says, I’ll spend the first week not catching any fish.

I’m available to guide until mid July. Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines All!!!

Ronan..

PERSONAL FISHING GALLERY

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