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Posts Tagged ‘Kawarau’

Fishing the Kawarau with Santillan!

August 17th, 2017 No comments

There’s a great crew of Anglers in these parts. I joined the Wakatipu Anglers Club many years ago and through it I met many great people who I’m still friends with now. As the years go on Members come and go, so it continues to be a great place to meet fellow anglers. We regularly try to meet up for a day out but with everyones busy lives it’s hard for 2 fellas to juggle their responsibilities to come up with the same day off to fish. I try to make the effort to get out with my friends as much as I can; its important to me. On this day, Santillan and myself made it happen. We were hoping to encounter one of the monsters that turn up in the Kawarau every winter. No one is entirely sure where they come from. Some say they’re from the wharf in Queenstown where wild fish are artificially fed to monster sizes. Others say they can’t be these fish because trout don’t migrate downstream to spawn. Maybe they’re just huge fish from further down river or from Lake Dunstan? Who knows! It would be pretty easy to tag a few of the wharf fish to find out, but as yet this hasn’t happened for one reason or another. I’m sure it will at some stage because it would be great to know. The monster fish I’m talking about range from 9 to 20lbs. Interestingly, at least in my experience, fish between 3 and 9 are rarely caught. Please correct me if I’m wrong, somebody! Fish from 1 to 3 are in good supply but are still hit and miss, but often when you find one, you’ll find lots!

Santillan and myself set off in the morning very early but a few things conspired to delay our drift commencement. With fish being pretty quiet for most of the early part of the day, our late start worked to our advantage because we didn’t have many fish to slow our downstream progress! We landed 6 of our 8 fish in the last 2 hours and ended up back at the truck earlier than usual! I haven’t known Santillan for very long so a float trip was a great way to have the craic for the day. He’s a sound man (as we say in Ireland) and a feckin good angler!

Tight Lines, Ronan..

For guiding bookings and information see my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com or email me ronan@sexyloops.com

 

Daltona Restoration Project…

June 7th, 2017 No comments

I’d say it was about 13 years ago Kevin and I were out for a few pints in The Fairlie Countryman’s Club. The craic was good talking about all sorts, including me getting electrocuted and blown up in Arrowtown one night, a tale that still emerges from time to time, but that’s a story for another day! There was a young fella there, (my age at the time!) he was saying he had a boat in his yard and he wanted it gone. He was telling us in passing, not trying to sell it. I suggested that we pop around to see it. Kevin was dubious but I figured nothing ventured nothing gained. We finished our pints and went for a look. I loved it and I’m pretty sure Kevin did too even though he had a fear of deep water. The engine didn’t work but we could fix that. The hull was perfect and trailer was well built and strong. He asked for 500, I had 400 in cash which I offered him and the deal was done. I was elated, a whole new approach to NZ fly-fishing had begun! I think it was quite late in that years NZ trip. While I was at home saving for the next trip Kevin got the engine fixed. The boat lived with Kevin in Fairlie but we used it for multiple missions around the South Island. For years we had pretty much trouble free boating. In it’s latter years, around the time she moved form Fairlie to Cromwell to live with me, she became more and more of a liability. Breakdowns were common but I could usually get her going again. Fuses replaced with tin foil, the pull cord regularly manually wound around the fly wheel to pull start it when the battery died or corrosion stopped the flow of electricity, the leatherman out to dissemble the control box to re-attatch the throttle cable. I think my favourite on the spot repair was while out with Mike Wilkinson. He begrudgingly gave me a fresh tapered leader to tie one of the coils back together. I not sure but I think he’s over it now! Funny enough, the tapered leader is still there. I’d say around that time the lid was on as much as it was off. About this time 3 years ago I was out on Dunstan using Daltona to gather drift wood for the fire. She was well loaded up and the engine was straining. It slowed down and died. I got her going again an hour later, Kevin and I got her onto the trailer but shortly after the engine ceased. We made the best of what we had and we weren’t afraid to push the boat out. Now it’s time to fix her up! Kevin and I have been working on her a fair bit lately. One thing I learned from the renovations so far is just how well built she is. I guess she had to be; she was a racing boat one time with a 70 on the back. The timber has, for the most part, not rotted at all. The few rotten bits I have removed and replaced. I removed much the fibreglass floor to allow the ply subfloor to dry. I cut a test hole to check the integrity of the ply floor. It’s perfect! I’m surprised the trapped damp didn’t rot the ply (marine or otherwise) but it didn’t. She’ll get a new fibreglass floor once the ply has dried out completely. We have a 40HP 1988 Suzuki 2 stroke on the way, she’ll get new steering, paint job, everything!! Even the trailer will get some TLC hopefully.. Watch this space! Progress will be documented right here. Sign up for the blog at the top right of the page if you have not done so already!

Tassie Sean is now living near Invercargill. He and his partner have moved over from Darwin. We caught up over the last couple of days with two fantastic float trips down local rivers. 20 fish over 2 days is a great result, especially for the month of June. The majority of fish landed were fresh run silver bars, all from 1 to 4.5lbs. We’ll get out for a fish again before I head to Malaysia in mid July.

Next season is beginning to fill up so if you’re planning a trip and thinking about hiring me as your guide, don’t delay with your booking! Contact me on ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines everyone!!

Ronan..

 

 

 

 

A Hover of Trout!

June 12th, 2014 1 comment

The weekend before last, Chris Dore and I fished the Frankton Arm. Last year I learned that bright sun is not ideal on the Frankton Arm in winter and that stands true this year. The fishing was slow for most of the day apart from the hour between 2.30 and 3.30. We had 4 in that time slot.

Good old friendly rivalry was alive and well in the boat, 1-0 to Chris, a few hours later 1-1, Then I got a couple (I may have been dragging the line behind the boat as I slowly motored to the next drift, not trolling of course because it was…. an accident, yea.) Some dirty tactics from Chris as he snagged my fly-line almost scuppered my roll to victory. Then another, 4-1. The end score was 4-2 but we weren’t keeping score of course.

I had some good fishing to reasonable numbers of cruising fish at the head of Lake Dunstan last Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised at the numbers of fish about. On Sunday, Kevin and I went on a firewood mission on the Kawarau Arm on Dunstan. We found a hover of trout instead. (My brother with his vast knowledge of all things trout just informed me that a group of trout is known as a hover. Thanks Conor!) I ended up having 2 hours of really good but tough sight fishing. The dull day didn’t matter because the hill on the opposite side was high enough to cut out the glare and spot against. I’m pretty sure they were eating tiny snails, some floating. Another pleasant surprise to get good sight fishing during the worst fishing month of the year only a kilometre from the house! I remember watching Bernard Venables on the telly years ago. He spoke of “a swagger of perch”. Maybe many species have their own specific word for a school.

No fishing this weekend! Iza and I are off to watch the the All-Blacks v England in Dunedin. We’ll also be catching up with some friends. Looking forward to it!

Ronan..

New Zealand Winter Fishing…

June 6th, 2012 No comments

Snow is falling over much of the south island right now so it’s clear that Winter is well and truly here. Queenstown woke to a fresh, frosty morning with some snow on the ground. I got up and prepared a hearty beef and venison stew and left it simmering in the slow cooker. With dinner taken care of I had a substantial breakfast of bacon, eggs and beans and then went fishing. The Kawarau River is open all year round so I decided to give it a try. It’s a big river and I have not cracked it yet. I went to a spot where a small river flows in and had one great fish on a woolly bugger fished deep on a slimeline. I didn’t spend long on the water. It was freezing cold, I didn’t see any fish, frankly I didn’t want or need to be on the water all day. I left happy with my lot and went to another part of the river to get some firewood. A few minutes with the chainsaw and I had enough for 2 nights free warmth. Before I went home I caught up my friends Mike and Raywin over a beer. It’s important to stay in touch with your friends! I got home to a perfectly cooked stew and got the fire cranking….