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Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

Where the Rivers Meet the Sea – South Westland, New Zealand.

August 20th, 2013 No comments

Much to my regret, it’s been a few years since I’ve been to the west coast. I lived there for a while about 9 years ago and I have an unexplainable kinship with the place. It does something for my soul that I struggle to put into words. I feel totally grounded there, calm, sort of connected. After spending a couple of days there I feel better, happier, rejuvenated.

Day one. Paul and I travelled together in convoy. Paul brought a couple of Kayaks, one of which came off the trailer en-route! Those moulded plastic Kayaks are very tough. The road was no match for it. The Kayaks were a great advantage for getting to gravel bars and across lagoons and just general access.

The fishing was challenging. It was new to me so I was feeling my way bit, trying to read the water and get a feel for a good approach. Before too long I got a nice 3.5lber on one of Paul’s magnificent streamers. With the falling tide a drop-off came into casting range and that’s where the fish took. I expected more in the same spot but apart from a couple of touches, nothing. We each had a few more hits as the morning progressed but nothing hectic. After that quiet spell I hooked a big fish on low tide. I was using my Di7 to get deep. When I hooked the fish I was experimenting with a rapid, jerky retrieve. After beaching the trout I noticed something hanging out of the rear end, I pulled it out to find a good size green crab! I never heard of trout eating crabs but why wouldn’t they? I’d be more surprised to learn that they don’t eat crabs! With the rising tide, the already slow fishing pretty much stopped. Don’t get me wrong though, slow fishing does not mean bad fishing. I had great day with better company in one of my favourite places on earth.

Day two. Jo Meder joined me in the morning and we hit for the same spot as Paul and I fished the day before. I was keen to learn whether time of day was more or less important that time of tide. I expected the time of tide to be more important but it turned out that the morning was best once again. The same time as the day before but the tide was an hour higher! The last hour to low tide did not work at all and this was best the day before. All the action came in the same hour for me, I had 2 trout and a flounder. They all ate Jo’s silicone smelt pattern. In the afternoon we went exploring. I drove down the true left bank of a nearby river but did not get a good feeling. The water didn’t scream fish so I drove roughly 40 minutes, mostly off-road to the other bank… It screamed fish. It pays to heed your instinct.  Before long Jo was bent into a good one. The bar of silver took a white clouser fished deep. This was Jo’s best fish for a long time and made has 1200km round trip worth the effort. Soon after I was into one which took right on the corner between the heaving surf and the powerful river.  Paul Macandrews streamer did the trick again! This time a bigger one to suit the heavier water. Jo managed one more and then it went quiet.

All up the fishing was epic over the 2 days. Mostly pretty slow but the anticipation was always positive. Changing tides and conditions could improve the fishing at any time. Aside from the fishing, and at least as important, was the location. I cannot tell you what a special, magical, beautiful, ruthless, tough, powerful, spectacular place this is… I’m trying but words fail to do it justice.

“Go west young man”

Ronan..

Ps. Paul and Jo, Thanks for the flies, the company and the craic!

Also, some big fish in SLTV down at the bottom!!

 

In this instalment of SLTV, Ep 14, Big Fish Week part 2. We have the biggest campfire ever on the west coast (the last time I was there I think!), The good fortune went my way this week… I catch some really big fish including a double, or was it all a dream??? Have a look!

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..

 

Season so far..

December 14th, 2009 1 comment

Hello all.. Ronan here. I’ll be on the blog for the next few months along with Paul. Were at Chris Dore’s  place at the moment, the weather has been pretty crap so we’ve been using the time wisely. Paul and I (mainly Paul but I’m learning!) have been editing the footage collected from 4 camera’s over 4 days in fjordland. It took longer than expected but we have 3 great shows coming up on sexyloops tv so get ready for them!

I spent the first month of the NZ season fishing with my Dad.. great fun and we had alot of fish. Also targeted some  big fish with good success.

I’l be fishing with paul for the next 4 months in NZ, Tasmania, maybe Thailand and as much else as I can afford!

Categories: Expedition Tags: ,

First fish… and second fish!

November 13th, 2009 No comments

Just spent the afternoon fishing with Jo. Had a couple of fish. One around four and another of six and a quarter. Nice start. Both on smallish nymphs. Truck seems to work, so it’s all go!