Posts Tagged ‘Kahawai on fly’

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 though, “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!

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! 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!

Tight Lines everyone!

Stuntman Ronan (It’s on my license!)      

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

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

November 14th, 2015 No comments

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

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

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

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

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

Tight lines everyone.


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10 Trout, 10 Kahawai and a Stargazer.. South Westland!

September 6th, 2013 2 comments

I could not resist the urge to go back to the coast for another mission. After an epic, full on Saturday catching 3 species I set up camp on a wild South Westland beach. Just myself, the sound of crashing waves, a roaring fire and a few beers under the stars. No better way to spend an evening! A whitebaiter woke me in the morning. He opened the truck to see if I was inside because he was worried by the sight of my vacant camp chair and smouldering fire. “I though you might have been washed out to sea” he said! We chatted for a bit, me still stretched in the back of my truck, and him leaning in the door. The whitebait season had opened an hour before at 6am. Shortly after our chat I got up and took on the day. Waking up exactly where you want to fish is always sort of magical for a fisherman.

The tide was going  out in the morning and fished pretty well but I was banking on the flowing tide to produce the best results like it did the day before. I had planned on taking a sea-trout and a kahawai home but it was not to be! Nothing happened after the tide turned so I went home empty handed! I’m curious to see what these sea / estuarine  trout are like to eat. The 2 days were completely different. I would have put money on the Kahawai coming back on the flowing tide but they didn’t. There are no guarantees in fly-fishing.

The fishing and whole wild experience was great as always! It fired at different times each day making it hard to nail down. Watching the place come alive with Kahawai was pretty cool. They were the biggest I’ve encountered. 10 trout, 10 kahawai and a stargazer (what a cool little fish he was!) in total. All the kahawai bar one were 5lb plus. My best brown was about 5lbs too. I didn’t get many trout pics because I caught most of them in the surf. No place to set up the camera and timer and I didn’t want to take the fish too far from the water.

I still don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow!