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Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Alexander’

The Secret Dam.

November 11th, 2012 1 comment

Dad and I used to joke about how trout in NZ would live in a puddle. The truth is that this is only a slight exaggeration. Farm irrigation dams, duck ponds, oxbow lakes, ditches, gold diggings, and every other imaginable body of water can and do support thriving trout populations in NZ. What’s in the water over here that makes this possible? Fish & Game introduce fish to some of these small waters but trout often find their own way in either through times of flood or little rivulets and streams. Either way, once they’re in they live there for years and have no problem surviving the winter months. In Ireland stocked lakes have to restocked at least once a year because so few fish survive the winter in their new, unfamiliar home.

Kevin was working on a farm last year which had 2 small dams on the property. The location was kept secret but finally he brought me to fish them this weekend. I’m forbidden from bringing anyone else there and I can only fish there with Kevin. This is fine by me! One could walk around each of the dams in 5 minutes. There is a small water race connecting the dams to a nearby creek and the ever opportunist trout have made their way into these waters. Over Kevins 2 weeks working there he picked up over 30 trout on lunch breaks and evenings with only 4 under 7lbs. This is an exceptional average even for NZ.

We had beautiful blue sky days during the working week but Saturday brought heavy cloud cover making spotting very tough. Thankfully the morning on the dam was dead calm and we managed to spot a few even in the low light. We did well with our chances. As the wind picked up we went to the creek which feeds the dams. We hooked a fish each. A 6lber for me and one about 8lbs for Kevin which he lost around a snag after taking my advise on where to beach the fish. We know where he lives!

Tight lines all.. Ronan..

Impatience is a virtue…

October 30th, 2012 No comments

When I tell a non angler that I’m a fly-fisherman their reply is often “oh, I wouldn’t have the patience for that”. I tell them that patience is not necessary and I use myself as an example. I’m impatient and always have been. If I’m not catching then I move, I change tactics, I look, I think, I will persist until I get it right and if I get bored in the mean time then I go home (this has barely ever happened). If I was patient then I might stay in the same place doing the same thing all day. This might work at some stage but by changing and adapting based on what I can see in front of me and feel instinctively I believe I will do better. This ability, if you want to call it that, is driven by a hunger to catch and coached by impatience. I’d rather not wait for it to happen!

On Saturday I planned to fish one of the canals in Central for a monster trout. My friend Kevin Alexander had a 25lber the week before so I loosely planned to spend the day chasing one. The canal was pretty high and coloured, The wind was very strong and getting stronger, I saw no fish, I fished blind for a while but never felt like I had a chance so I changed tactics. I went somewhere else entirely, somewhere I had never fished before and knew absolutely nothing about. So much for my day on the canals!! It was worth moving however. Impatience is a virtue.

Ronan..

ps. Thanks to all my new subscribers! I hope you all enjoy the season ahead through my eyes as well as your own. If you haven’t signed up yet the link is on the top right hand side of your screen. The more the merrier!

Boat & Bank…

August 12th, 2012 No comments

The weekends are too short! 2 days a week on the water is just not enough.

I had a mixed 2 days on the water. Kevin came down from Fairlie for the weekend and we fished on Saturday. The same tactics as last week nailed 7 really good rainbows for us.

Today Paul Macandrew and I fished together. The plan was to put the boat in but it was too wild. I’ve had a few close calls on small boats and yachts and I don’t want to push my luck any more. Aside from the danger side of the coin, there’s no comfort fishing from a small boat in a big wave. We fished a few river and stream mouths from the bank instead. We didn’t catch any but it was good to fish with and meet Paul. I expect we’ll have a few more missions on the water in the not so distant future.

5 days work and I’ll be back on the water. Nothing else makes sense.

Ronan..

 

Hunter Gatherer

December 22nd, 2011 No comments

Since Dad left almost a week ago I’ve been staying with my good friend Kevin Alexander in Fairlie. I’ve been busy online with organising flights to, from and within Australia, writing my first ever CV, contacting recruitment companies, visa applications, Christmas shopping (unsuccessfully) as well as staying in touch with family and friends. I still made time to get out on the water though, mostly on the local reservoir.

The fishing has been hit and miss. Some days the river mouths have been fantastic and other days, for no reason I can deduct, they’ve been dead! That’s fishing though and it’s all good. On one evening of note I had 3 fish in about 3 hours. A salmon, a brown and a rainbow, The next day I blanked but Mark Adamson managed a couple. All of the lake fishing were doing is from our boat (mine and Kevins). She has a few small problems but without doubt it was the best 400 nzd (thats 200 each!) we’ve ever spent. I doubt an outing in her goes by without mentioning what a bargain we got.

When travelling around the south island catch and release is what I do 99% of the time. The main reason for this is conservation but I eat fish so sometimes I take one or 2 when I know the body of water I’m fishing wont suffer from the loss of a fish or 2. this is generally true on lakes and large rivers. I really enjoy fishing for the table. It’s different because its not about deceiving the fish, It’s about food. I still have hunter gatherer instincts. Yesterday Kevin and I went out on the lake in the evening. We got 2 fish; the first one we took, the second went back.

I’m spending Christmas with Kevin, His Partner Freddie and her family and their baby Macy in Te Anau. Thanks in advance for having me. I have bought you all exceptional gifts so I’ll be expecting the same!

In case I don’t get a blog up on Christmas day I’ll say Happy Christmas to you all now! I hope its a good one. I know Kevin and I will sneak away to the river for an hour or 3, tight lines if you do the same!

Enjoy the festivities! Stuntman Ronan..

 

 

 

New Zealand 2011

October 19th, 2011 No comments

NZ 2011 started in Fairlie at about 6pm on Tuesday the 11th of October. Kevin Alexander and I went to a nearby lake and fished into darkness. Kevin had a couple at a stream mouth in shallow water, no joy for me. The following day was lazy but effective fishing. We drove up mystery river X and jumped out and sight fished the more likely pools. We had some decent fish and fishing without exerting too much energy.

Day 3 I fished alone. I tackled a gorge that I was never through before in medium to low water, which is pretty much ideal. You never know what you may encounter going through a gorge for the first time. I have scaled rock walls to get around bluffs, Swam while carrying a 15kg pack (which quickly at least doubles in weight) to get around bluffs I couldn’t climb, Climbed out of and then back into gorges over cliffs where swimming was not an option, Fallen over on rocks where a broken leg would be inconvenience. Oddly enough I never really fell in! The truth is however, fishing through a gorge is the pinnacle of NZ fishing for me. All day long stumbling, stalking, scrambling, climbing, casting, falling, catching, loosing, cursing and talking to myself. I do that a lot.

I had a superb day fishing for very difficult fish through 8kms of gorge. By the end of it I was bruised, battered and wrecked. My feet hurt, My right nee and left elbow were cut and bruised from a fall, my legs were stiff and my back hurt. This is all good pain. I enjoy it. Every “full on” day from now on will get easier as fitness improves. It’s been nearly 2 years since I had a tough day like this one and I want more!

6 out of 7 fish took a size 16 lightly weighted nymph attached to a size 14 tungsten and lead nymph by a 14″ dropper. I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that this is the best general method for NZ river trout. Better fish usually take the 16. Fish them 4-5 foot under an indicator or a dry.

Thats all for now… Ronan..