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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Wilkinson’

I’m back… I think…

September 27th, 2013 4 comments

Long time no report! My laptop was out of action for a while, then I lost my writing momentum and I had some other stuff.. It’s not always easy to keep this going! Lot’s has happened since so I’ll just skim over it… Actually I wont, the photo’s below the text will!

Daltona’s 1978 Johnson outboard would not start the last time I tried. After work today I drove to Queenstown to pick her up.. I had it parked up at Chris Dore’s place. She’s home now and I’ll fix it soon. My guess is something simple like spark plugs.

I want to talk about a few things but It’s just not happening. One of those things is the differences and similarities between sight fishing a lake edge and sight fishing a river. I’ll bring it up another time.

West coast tomorrow morning. I’ll leave here at 6am and get there a few hours before low tide. Weather is promised to be a mixed bag. Fairly light winds, huge swells (over 7m), sun, rain, clouds, all sorts! I’ll go and give it hell.. hopefully It will be fishable…

Next week I’ll get my writing momentum back…

Tight lines all!

Ronan..

 

The Season Ends… sort of!

April 29th, 2013 2 comments

The season ends tomorrow on most rivers but plenty are open until the end of may. For those who enjoy the lakes, most of these are open year round. Many rivers are open year round too and it’s often the case that rivers between the sea and the first bridge are open year round even if it’s closed above the bridge. Therefore, you can fish all year round over here and the winter fishing can be excellent.

Last year a group of angling friends and I descended on Lumsden for a few days to finish of the season. The fishing and the craic was great so we decided to do it again this year. Unfortunately this year due to coloured water, adverse weather and a very limited hatch every day the fishing was poor for the most part. Simon Chu and Mike Wilkinson put in some great performances catching lots of fish when the going was tough! Simon’s trout cottage was where we stayed. After each fishing day we ate well, drank well and told fishing stories.

Thank you Simon for your hospitality!

Ronan..

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This week on SLTV. Episode 7, “Squids, Kahawai & Mugwai”, check it out below the photos..

In this episode Paul, Hairy and I try to target squid on fly at St Helens in Tasmania. First we compete to see who can tie the best fly! Paul cooks his annual lasagne feast.. We catch lots of fish but there was a disaster…

Probably the most beautiful trout I have ever caught!

January 21st, 2013 6 comments

After walking all day, getting very few shots and only a small fish each, Mike and I were ready to pack it in. There were a couple of backwaters just up ahead so I suggested we take one each before quitting. Mike took the small one while I took the big one.. I made a few blind casts with the bugger out into black water while carefully spotting the edge. No sign of life. I figured there were no fish in it and looking at Mike fishing his backwater I think he thought the same. Then to my right I noticed movement. I looked and saw a fish of at least 8lbs. He was very close to me so ducking suddenly would have been more likely to spook him than just standing still so I made a very quick, short cast to intercept his path and then froze.  My only movement was short retrieves to give life to the fly. Suddenly a big gold flash from the dark water and the fish was following…. I stripped line until the fly was about 4′ from the rod tip, then I thought the fish ate so I struck. I was wrong. The fish disappeared into the black with an unhurried pace. I took a few short casts into the vicinity but nothing happened. A few moments later, assuming the fish was spooked, I hitched the fly and started reeling in. Then it happened again. God spoke! Honestly, I dont know why but I unhitched the fly and took a final shot and nearly had the rod pulled from my grip. Immediately the fish jumped and I knew what I was into; a very big, spectacularly marked brown trout with an unusually red tail. I knew it’s tail was red because I could see it glowing with the sunlight shining through it as the fish jumped repeatedly in the first minute of the short battle. Mike came straight over with the net. He saw the fish as it jumped and knew he had to help. This fish was too important to lose! After a few short lunges away I got his head up and Mike netted the fish. I weighed it, then we took a few quick photo’s and released him. It was truly one of the most amazing, rewarding, satisfying, thoroughly electrifying, fish I have ever caught.. An end to a difficult day that put both Mike and I on a natural high. One fish can really turn a day around!  We stopped on the way home and had a beer or 2 at the local. Deserved!

Ronan..

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9.25lbs of happiness.. Hence the slightly manic, ecstatic grin!

1978 35HP Johnson Engine…

November 15th, 2012 3 comments

Daltona has been sitting idle for too long. The last time I was out in her was with Mike Wilkinson and we had a series of breakdowns. First a blown fuse which I fixed with tinfoil, then the wire from the spark plug broke away from the coil. This we fixed with Mikes tapered leader (fishing line for you non fisherfolk). Then the starter motor started grinding rather than starting. This could not be fixed with my leatherman but by wrapping a rope around the fly wheel I could start the engine to get us back to safety. Today I finally got around to fixing the old outboard…

Affirmation…

September 18th, 2012 No comments

I had to go back to my hot spot one more time if for no other reason than to confirm my own expectations. Mike joined me. We got to the zone to find it very coloured after all the recent rain but there was plenty suitable fishing water just outside the murky stuff. As expected most of the fish were gone bar a few small lads, though Mike had a good brown and rainbow. There was a beautiful moment where mike and I got to see a superb brown inhale Mike’s Mr Glister a meter from the boat. Mike was in a bit of shock but managed a slightly delayed strike! We could have stayed in the same area and probably caught a few more but for me this was an opportunity to explore because I knew the majority of the fish were now in the river. A few ks away was a magnificent bay. The mountains seemed even more dramatic from inside it. There was plenty of feature and contrast (dark and light, weed and sand, deep beside shallow etc) to support some exciting summer fishing. This is also a great camp spot and there’s a small lake I want to explore not too far away. If you figure out where I’m talking about I’ll see you there!

We made it back to my old truck safe and sound but after fixing the fuse in the morning there were a few unwanted engine events during the day. The coil connection broke a few minutes out the bay and the starter motor wore out a cog in the evening. All easily fixable when I get a chance.

Tight lines and happy boating! Ronan..

Mike Wilkinson’s reports from the same day are below! Interesting to see his take on the day compared to mine. You’ll have to cut and paste the links because I cant highlight them.

1. http://evolutionofaflyfisher.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/boat-fishing-with-ronan-always-an-adventure/

2.http://evolutionofaflyfisher.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/part-ii-boat-adventures/

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)

 

Dunstan Meet 2012.. and other news!

August 1st, 2012 No comments

I put a note of facebook last week suggesting that any anglers who would like to meet up for a day or 2 fishing should do so in Cromwell. On Friday night last, Quentin, James, and Jeff drove up from Invercargill.  Carl arrived from Wanaka (a bit late!) on Saturday morning and all six of us hit the lake. Carl and I took my boat out and after a few miss starts we were away!

Fishing was slow but after a couple of quiet hours we found a few fish cruising over shallow sand flats. We abandoned the boat to make the best of the opportunity. Woolley Buggers only inspired follows but size 16 midge patterns worked well. In one hour I hooked 4 and landed 2, Carl hooked a few and Mike who was not far away also landed 2 and I expect hooked a few more also. Quentin, James and Jeff also had some decent action where ever they were.

All in all it was a good day out. I’ve known Carl for years but this is the first time we fished together. I hope we can get a few more days on the water in the coming season and the remainder of this one. I expect Carl will want to even up the 3-0 score card for the day anyway! :)

On Sunday it was just Jeff and I fishing. The wind was strong, very strong at times and this completely knocked out the sight fishing. We tried blind fishing the sand flats where the fish were the day before with buggers and this produced 2 hook ups and 1 landed fish each. We tried lough style in the wave for 2 or 3 hours and amazingly this produced only one fish. I really expected more. Long drifts over a variety of depths between 1 and 8’ with varied lake bed from sand to silt to dense weed to not so dense weed and only one fish! In summer I expect the same tactic to take 15 to 20 fish for a day. Bring it on!

Carl put an Idea in my head on Saturday and it will be turned into reality. He suggested that I put a polling platform on the boat! Daltona can float on 5 or 6 inches of water, She’s wide and very stable and low to the water which makes her a great flats boat (with the engine up obviously). Watch this space! Frankly I can’t wait. The spotting potential from a raised platform has to be huge. Bring this on too! Yea!

And finally some good news. The Around the Mountain Trail which was set to severely and irreversibly detract from the scenic beauty, the serenity and the quality of fishing in the Oreti Valley has been denied. Not completely unfortunately. Permission has been granted for the track to go ahead below Oreti road. Not perfect but a good result none the less. To all the anglers and non anglers who submitted in opposition, attended and or spoke at the hearing, wrote to the Southland Times, wrote to your MP’s, whatever. This is a good result for us and all anglers and indeed everybody who wants to use and enjoy the Oreti Valley just the way it is.

This weekend Daltona and I will fish Hawea or Wanaka I think! Anyone keen?

The Lough Inagh system and Kylemore Lough and river in Connemara, Co. Galway Ireland are fishing really well. Google them for info!

Ronan..

Tailing & midging in the depths of an Otago Winter…

July 17th, 2012 No comments

Mike Wilkinson and I spent the day on one of our local waters on Sunday. I went to the right and Mike to the left so for the most productive part of the day we didn’t see each other at all. This often happens when flyfishing and in a way you have the best of both worlds when it does. One the one hand, you fish alone at your own pace taking as much time as you want with each challenge and opportunity the day brings, while on the other hand you know you will catch up with your fishing partner later in the day to compare notes and have the craic.

There were quite a few fish moving on Sunday probably due to the unseasonably mild conditions. Some were rising but most were tailing with their heads buried so deep in the weeds that getting them to see my fly was a real challenge. The wolley bugger inspired a few chases and one landed fish but “figure of eighting” a couple of Joe Creane’s nymphs accounted for more hook ups but still only one more landed fish.

Fish have been midging on the calm evenings. I had a look after work today but it was too windy. I finish work at 5 and its dark at 6 so my fishing window is tight! However the days are getting longer and the lake is close by.

Any calm evening over the next few days I’ll be on the water into twilight…

Ronan.. Stuntman/Joiner (CI/Fishing host by appointment!)

 

 

Lake Fishing in Winter…

July 7th, 2012 No comments

Things have been quiet on the angling front lately. The days are short and cold but fishing opportunities are available if I go and look! The days I have gone in search of trout have not produced much lately but last weekend I took the Wakitipu Anglers Club boat out with Nick Moody and had a really good day. There were only a few fish where I expected to see many and they were not in form to chase a woolly bugger and no other search method grabbed me. Wolley bugger or nothing! Searching was the order of the day. This is the norm for speculative lake fishing from a boat and I really enjoy it. Nick was new to it and at times I could see his confidence in the area’s we fished lapse a little. You have to have total confidence in every cast to nail blind lake fishing. Eventually we found a good area and for about an hour I had some exciting fishing. It didn’t happen for Nick but it will. With time and practice new methods and techniques take root and develop.

Ronan..