Posts Tagged ‘John O Malley’

Fly-Fishing in Ireland and Jordan…

July 28th, 2016 Comments off

If something is a year late it’s on time again, right?.. well, maybe not, but this kind of is! This is last years Ireland report and a little on fly-fishing in Jordan. It all happened a year ago so its current again! How things have changed. In the past, I lived in Ireland and came to NZ to Holiday / fish (of course it was just fishing – every day!). Now I work in NZ and holiday in Ireland, where I won’t fish every day, but I will certainly fish a lot. Last year I was at home for about 30 days over July and August. I had the best fishing for Atlantic Salmon on Lough Inagh that I ever had. In 3 days on the lake we had 6 grilse up to 7lbs and a few browns and seatrout for good measure. From what I hear this season is going very well. Similar salmon numbers to last year but more seatrout and way more quality browns (up to 9lbs). This is great news for me because Inagh is one of my favourite places in the world to fish. You never know what you might catch during a day on Inagh; a grilse, a spring salmon, an Arctic char, a ferox, a brownie or a seatrout are all on the cards.. and now perch too but efforts are being made to remove this recent invader. At the end of the day on the lake a pint in the lodge always goes down well, especially if Colin is there to tell you why you didn’t catch a few more. You should listen to him, he’s often right (not always though!). Give Colin a call if you fancy getting out on Inagh or any of the river beats. 003539534706 or visit the website

Kylemore Lough is another favourite haunt of mine. It’s different to inagh in my experience in that its less lively in general but when it turns on it really turns on. I remember fishing it a number of years ago with my good friend Fuzz. It was dead quiet all day and then in the space of 20 minutes we landed a grilse, lost a salmon and rose a few more and saw many grilse rolling. Then all went quiet again. You need to make hay when the sun shines on Kylemore Lough. Dad and I fished it a couple of times last season. On our first day on it dad hooked into a big fish at the end of a drift, both of us assumed salmon, then it jumped. “Its a seatrout” I said.. Even in the good old days of seatrout fishing in the west of Ireland a fish of over 4lbs was considered a really outstanding catch. This fish was 5lbs at least. It was a real pleasure to see such a fish. We landed a few more over the 2 days, with browns up to a pound and other seatrout up to 3lbs. I hope this is a sign of thing to come. I’ll be out there again in a few weeks to find out.( bookings contact Nancy on 003539541143 or

I also spent some time fishing the Renvile lakes for salmon. Namely loughs Muc and Fee. Both stunning lakes where the angler has a chance at a really big salmon, although the run is predominantly 3-5lb grilse. Over the few days out there dad landed a couple while I lost a some. One of the days on Muc & Fee was for a local fishing competition. Dad and I did no good but the weigh in was pretty funny. One competitor left his first salmon behind him on the bank while he continued fishing. Later on he got another and when he went to leave it beside the first one he noticed it had been half eaten by a cat. He had to weigh in half a salmon. He still won!! Only in Ireland I hear you say? Quite possibly!

After Ireland, Iza and I went to Jordan for 2 really incredible weeks. What a country to visit! Jordan has 24ks of coastline on the Red Sea. We spent 5 nights in Aqaba to make the most of it. Fishing from the shore is not allowed so every day was spent diving and snorkelling. However, I managed to get out on the water for a few hours on our last day there. We hired a glass bottomed boat to take us out. With the majority of the boat covered over this was far from a fly-fishing boat but it was the best I could find! It’s worth mentioning that nobody uses fishing rods in the Red Sea in Jordan, It’s all about the hand line. Apparently I just missed a bumper sailfish season. Everyone catching 5 per day they said. It should be firing right now if this season is like the last. Our 2 boatmen took us to some water they knew well. They were dragging hand-lines while I attempted to stand up on the bow and cast as they trolled along. This was extremely hard to do in the big rolling wave!! Imagine River Dance on top of a bucking bronco, well that was me.. Iza caught a few on the hand-line as did the boatmen but I struggled with the fly rod, I struggled just to stand. Of course I could have trolled the flies but thats not fly-fishing. In the end I asked to be taken to the sheltered water close to shore where I had seen fish break the surface from the dive boat a few days prior. Here, for about the last 1.5hours, I had a chance. I had 3 chances to be precise. I cast in the vicinity of two mahi-mahi and had a follow right to the boat but no eat. Then a follow from a skipjack tuna, then my best chance, all I had to do was cast 70 feet to a breaking shoal of skipjack. The line wrapped around the anchor and the fly fell short. That was my last chance. I was pretty gutted not to catch a fish in Jordan. There are no fly guides operating out of Aqaba so if you find yourself there you’ll have to do what I did. Hopefully you’ll do better. The place has potential! Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to india for 12 days then on to Ireland for a month. I’ll carry a fly-rod in India but I don’t think there is anything to catch between Delhi and Mumbai at this time of year (but there must be!!). If you know something please let me know! I have a one week window at the end of the trip where I could possibly squeeze in a fly-fishing destination other than Ireland. India is all about hanging out with and travelling with my brother..

Well thats it for now.. I might get a blog out over the next 6 weeks but there are no guarantees! Right, time to pack!

Tight Lines!   Ronan..

The Latest From My Fly-Fishing & Guiding…

March 15th, 2016 No comments

Lake Dunstan has always been an amazing fishery. I remember my good friend John O Malley catching 18 from the grassy bank one afternoon, I’ve had numerous days on the silt catching big numbers of fish, I never cracked the 20 but very close. It has always had a lot to offer in the way of different types of water; silt, weedbeds, flats, willows, moving water, still water, shingle, stalking the edges, blind fishing, buzzer fishing, etc.. The one variable that always affected a fella’s chances of success is the water height. The lake fishes best when it’s full. In the past, the power company controlling the water, Contact Energy, seemed to hold the lake at the same height for a number of days. If it was full it was likely to stay full for a while. During those days if the lake went flat calm the trout activity on the surface had to be seen to be believed. It simply came alive with fish. This season a change has been made that has reduced Dunstan to about half (at best) the fishery it was. The lake is dropped about half a meter every day leaving the top of the lake largely void of water. Usually it’s high in the morning and you have until about lunchtime to make hay! There are some options when the lake is low but the top end of the lake, the best bit by far, is now pretty much unfishable from the bank in the afternoons. The other sad thing which can only be due to the “tide” I believe, is that when the lake goes flat calm there are only about 10% of the fish moving on the surface compared to pre “tide” days. I suppose nothing can be done, I don’t expect Contact Energy will change anything for the relatively few fly-fishermen who enjoy the top end of the lake. Dam shame.

Thankfully there are still plenty great lakes in NZ. Most people come to NZ to fish the rivers (and why wouldn’t they?!) but the lakes are certainly worth a look too. In times where the rivers may be high and coloured, or low and warm the lakes will remain fishable and reliable. I fish them because I love them, and not necessarily because the rivers are off form. Iza and I recently had a day one one of the central lakes where we landed 18 for about 5 hours on the water. We weren’t seeing any on the edges so we waded out to deeper water and blind fished over weeds and whatever feature we could see. I fished my fathers method of “figure of eighting” a couple of nymphs while Iza used a tried and trusted bugger! Both did well and the fish were magnificent. Mostly reel screaming rainbows.. Give it a try!!

More recently Robbie, Mike and myself took on a favourite piece of water of mine. Mike had never fished it. It’s always great to share something fantastic with a person whom you know will appreciate it. We had 2 days, one big day in a gorge and one on slightly easier farm terrain. Both days proved great even with adverse conditions on day one. We wanted a grey day with diffuse light so as not to cast any shadows into the pools in the tree lined gorge. We spooked a good few fish because we simply could not see into the water with the contrasting shadows! Interestingly, its not always a blue sky day you need for spotting fish! There were a few highlights from the trip. I’ll mention the best one, it was watching Mike (I want to say this in a diplomatic way but fuck it) skulldrag his personal best brown out of the river! For some reason he had the drag on his Abel reel set up for GT’s or something. After hooking the fish on a well presented nymph all hell broke loose into an aerial battle. Mike met hell with hell and didn’t give an inch. Honestly, I don’t know how something didn’t give. 10.7lb tippet and Robbies nymph tied on a strong hook would have helped. The fish toppled Mike into the river twice during the fight but Robbie was there to drag him out again. After the battle we got the fish into the net.. he went 8.5lbs. The following day Robbie managed one almost the same size on a cicada he tied ten years ago. A very different fish she was, built like a brick shithouse. We all landed plenty fish over the 2 days including some really stunning fish. You’ll see when you get to the photo’s below! After day one in the gorge we were all pretty wiped out, back to the cabin afterwards where I cooked up steaks for the men! A little wine and a fire in the stove soon put me snoozing in my chair.

I’ve been very busy guiding since my last blog which is why this blog has once again taken so long to put out! I’m loving the job. As Paul say’s, Its like fishing yourself. Certainly, I get a lot from a days guiding that I get from a day fishing myself. The rest of March and April are pretty quiet so if your planning a trip to NZ and want a guide then drop me an email! The cooler March days have certainly improved the fishing. Check out the gallery below of some of this seasons guiding highlights!

Until next time, Tight Lines and Screaming Reels!!


GUIDING GALLERY- Some recent highlights









The Piscatorial Pot…

February 24th, 2015 No comments


          1. Of or relating to fish or fishing

          2. Involved in or dependent on fishing

Months ago I agreed to run one of our fishing club events. Mike had an idea that there needed to be more events close to home so Lake Dunstan seemed perfect. It’s my home water so I was happy to organise it. I was unsure of what to do to make the day unique and enjoyable so I thought back to some Irish competitions. I had never fished the “Piscatorial Pot” on Lough Corrib but always wanted to. Both my father and John O Malley won it recently which may have helped it spring to mind.  I decided to steal that idea but needed a little more…  The Irish angling legend, Jackie Coyne, runs a competition on Lough Roisin Dubh at the end of every fishing season. Over the course of the day every angler gets an hour in a lakeboat. I also decided to adopt that idea and a new competition was born. The Piscatorial Pot (NZ).

A scrap of Macrocarpa with the lettering freehand routed into it made the base. A little stain, oil and rustication for effect. 10 minutes on ebay and I had a piss pot. Put them together and we have a perpetual pis-pot.

There were not too many fish caught over the day but Colin Kelly managed a solid fish of 3.25lbs making him the winner. James Waggett was not too far behind with a 2.5lber. Colin has been a member of the club for years and is never afraid to put in the hard yards. Spin gear or fly, kayak or bank, river or lake, Colin will be there in the thick of it. I was happy to present him with The Piscatorial Pot.. though, I’m not so sure that he was as happy to receive it!!!

We all had a great day on the water. Afterwards we enjoyed the craic, good food and beer or two.

Cicada Time

Right now it’s cicada time here in NZ. Some hatch from forests, some from barren grasslands, some are very big, some are quite small but trout love ‘em all. On Saturday Iza and I took out the Wakatipu Anglers Club boat to fish a piece of shoreline on Lake Wakatipu that has treated me well over the years. Conditions were good. We had a breeze which varied in strength but was fairly consistent and able to push a few bugs onto the water. I drove the boat into quite a big chop to get to the area we wanted to fish. I set the boat up for kilometres of shore drift, an occasional pull-start to keep us tight to the shore and we were fishing. Iza quickly hooked and lost a really good fish by this shores standards, about 3lbs. Shortly after she hooked and landed one… then another.. then another and so it continued until she had 11! Casting, striking and playing fish all nicely in tune. By 4pm we got off the lake, the wind was shifting all over the place, dropping and gusting and the rain was bucketing down. We finished with 18.. (yes, she out-fished me!)

Something interesting to note for our day afloat was that we did not see a single cicada on the wing or in the water all day. Neither did we see any trout free-rising yet we landed 18, all on chunky dry cicadas. The takes were all confident sips, no slashes or smashes and easily missed in the wave.. On a few occasions I didn’t see the rise until it was as big as a dinner plate, some Iza didn’t see until her rod was bent. This is not an unusual phenomenon. I remember fishing with my father, Joe Creane, on Lough Corrib years ago. Mayfly time but no fly on the water and nothing rising. 10 boats in the bay catching very few, all stripping wets. Dad and I had 13 on dries (most on a size 10 adams). It’s not the first time I’ve seen this in NZ either. Fly on the water or not, trout will recognise a large dry as food at certain times of year.. It might be worth fishing one in October or any time for that matter! I bet you’d be pleasantly surprised..

That’s it for now.. If you want to win The Piscatorial Pot, Join the club.. The Wakatipu Anglers Club that is..


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!

Please sign this petition to help prevent the worlds largest salmon farm being built off the West Coast of Ireland..

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!

Addicted to Craic…

January 15th, 2013 1 comment

NZ is a calm country. When kiwi’s hit 25, having the craic becomes less important and priorities change. It’s not so clear cut in Ireland. Having the craic is always on the agenda. Not necessarily priority but not far from it. At least it is with my friends. This craic addiction coupled with 3 weeks of shite weather kept me off the lake every day bar one. The photo’s tell the story. It’s a simple, pikeless one!

I had 20 days in Ireland and spent one fishing. I have no regrets! The reason for the trip was to spend Christmas with my family, have the craic with my friends (the likes of which I simply don’t have in NZ) and to be John O Malley’s best man at his and Bronwens wedding. Thankfully I didn’t mess up the speech (they told me it was good anyway!) I was a nervous wreck before it! After it I let lose and went banana’s. We all did.

I had serious intentions to fish in the north of Thailand. I was going to book in advance but the mahseer fishing was about 1200usd for 3 days. Bollocks to that. I quickly found some great people and some funky bars and my craic addiction took over. I fished one day which was pretty expensive and not so great so I was not overly keen on going again. I have no regrets. 6 nights, one day fishing and dam all sleep.

Ireland and Thailand, Thank you… I needed that!! I really needed that…


Farewell Dale…

December 6th, 2012 No comments

Sean McCarthy from Tasmania was over for a month and we hooked up for a fish last weekend. The weather has been infuriating lately. Blue skies Monday to Friday, then the weekends turn bad. This weekend was no exception. The nor’wester was blowing at gale force both Saturday and Sunday and then Monday was beautiful. Thankfully the weather is crap right now so maybe this weekend will be good? The forecast looks good and I expect to be on the water with Graeme and Dorothy Williams From “Insight Flyfishing” so I’m hoping for the best.

Aside for the maddening conditions it was great to fish with Sean again. The truck was loaded up with all the gear needed for a full on fishing mission. It was like fishing with Paul or John again.

In a little over a week I fly home to Ireland for Christmas with the family and to be John O Malley’s best man at his wedding. I’m looking forward to the change of pace, Guinness, no 5.30am alarms, winter pike fishing, family, friends and some mahseer fishing in Thailand on the way back to NZ.

While writing this I heard the very sad news that Dale E Pearce has passed away. Dale, you will not be forgotten. I’m really glad that I got to know you. It was always fun to be in your company whether drinking or fishing! You’re a legend in my book. Thanks for the laughs! I often think of that weekend at Moke Lake when I ended up crashing in the back of your van with you! There were some severe hangovers the next morning and what a fright we both got! Tight lines mate.. (I will find that farmer where you said on Benmore and get permission to fish that water, or maybe I won’t get permission….)


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)


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.


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





Some Dries for Lough Corrib, Co. Galway, Ireland…

May 9th, 2012 No comments

I tied these few dry-flies for John O Malley to try on Corrib. I have no doubt that they will work. The mayfly patterns are an adaptation of my NZ emerger. They’re tied with a tail to keep the body on rather than in the surface film. The little ones are that emerger just tied in black to represent caenis. Caenis time of year in Ireland is rapidly approaching!

Tight Lines..   Ronan..

I put on wet socks in the morning…

April 11th, 2012 No comments

I really have no idea what to write about this week! I had some good fishing, camping and touring. I saw some beautiful places, I met some of NZ’s best anglers; One of whom I was watching in amazement about ten years ago in a fishing film. Robbie Mcphee is his name. He’s captured on film catching some really big fish!, I broke my TCX. That’s break number one. I broke my old XP 10′ 7 weight 13 times and currently all sections need attention. I broke John O Malley’s TCR 3 times I think (and his loomis and maybe his 10 weight pike rod!). Sage must love me! I guess that’s why the rods cost 1300 nzd. I don’t feel guilty but I should be more careful. What else? Some new water next I think. Maybe a lake. That’s all I have to say for now.