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Posts Tagged ‘Ronan Creane’

Singapore’s Finest!

December 13th, 2018 No comments

I thought when I was writing my last blog that the weather would change for the better before too long. It didn’t. In fact, it got worse. I have never seen a spring like this and neither have any of my fishing buddies. It’s been thunderstorm after thunderstorm. Many rivers have not had to chance to drop in the last month. Guiding has been hard because of this. The difficulty has not been on the water – that has been surprisingly good and even great! The difficulty has been in the decision making. Watching river flows and looking for windows where a river might drop enough to be fishable before the next rain knocks it out again. Many times I simply avoided the rivers and fished the lakes. Rising rivers, even if they’re clear, often produce poor results as fish “go to ground”.  As reliable as the lakes are, some of them have suffered a bit too. With such huge volumes of muddy water entering some lakes even they have become unfishable, at least in parts. However, no matter what mother nature throws at us there will always be clear water to fish. I just have to find the best, most interesting and enjoyable bits! So far it’s worked out pretty well.

It’s funny how fate takes over some times. I drove out of Omarama and took a left towards the Upper Ahuriri. That’s where we intended to fish. Chuan and Kim were following in their car. Wei Chong was with me. Chuan called me on the phone because he was unsure where we were headed. Wei Chong told him we’d slow right down so he could catch up. I had told him where we were going and he’d been there before so I wasn’t too worried about him loosing his way but something must have gotten lost in translation. We got to the turn off, parked up and got out. We stood by the road and waited – only for about a minute. As they approached we waved our arms in the air to be seen. Neither Kim or Chuan saw us as they passed at a good speed trying to catch us. We got back in the truck and followed. There was no point trying to catch up with them as I expected they’d pull over when they realised they’d gone too far. That they did but not till Tarras about 50ks from the turn of to the river! No phone coverage til that point didn’t help matters. At that stage we’d all been driving for 40 minutes putting us in a different region altogether with different fishing options. I had a quick check of the forecast and it suited a local high country river. Plan A was abandoned and we hit for the the hills!

The river was high with a little colour as I expected it would be. The sighting conditions were good but pool after pool went by without showing us a fish. Finally I spotted one in a very reliable pool. We had 4 rods, each with a different rig. The first shot went to the person with the correct rod in hand. Chuan was up! I adjusted the rig slightly to suit this opportunity exactly. There could be no mistake here. I had a feeling this might be the only chance of the day. I got into position with just my eyes popping over a mound of gold tailings to keep the fish in view. Chuan got into position but could not see the fish from river level. I relayed directions as clearly as I could. After a couple of casts Chuan knew where his fly needed to land. One cast almost spooked the fish but he returned to station, the next was on target and down went the dry. A little chaos ensued with quite a large jumping fish, then it tore off down river. We were on the outside of a long bend with nowhere to land the fish. Before we got too far down the bank into deep water I suggested we jump in the river and cross. “yes, yes lets do it” said Chuan. In we went. My waders took on a little water as we bounced on tippy toes across the river. I almost floated off but we made it across and then easily landed the fish. For me, that was the best fishing moment of all the days we fished. Chuan and I pushed to the limits but we came out on top. We saw no more fish that day which makes a fish like that all the more important. Not often do we come off a river with a 100% success rate! Who knows how the day would have gone if plan A had worked out. Sometimes we just go with the flow…

I wrote this 5 days ago. Since writing there has been an improvement in the weather and many rivers have had a chance to drop, some right back to normal but others will be high and unfishable for ages yet!

The highlights from the past month are in the photos below. Quite a lot of big browns in there!

If you’d like to talk to me about guided fly fishing in the lower South Island you can visit my website or email me ronan@sexyloops.com. I still have availability from mid March to late April.

Tight Lines and Happy Christmas if I don’t get a blog out before then!

Ronan..

 

River Keeping – Part 2

October 26th, 2018 No comments

In a blog over winter I spoke about river keeping. After that I bought a saw, a cheap one with a 200mm fold up blade. That’s what I’ve been using. I carry it every day I go fishing. Many of the rivers I fish are willow lined and these are the main contenders for having pools made difficult or unfishable from overhanging branches. At this stage this season I have made about 10 impossible pools possible and others more user friendly. It’s actually extremely satisfying – especially if there’s a fish that you can’t cast to at the time, because now you know you can catch him next time. There was one pool where I had to climb about 10 feet up the willow to tackle the offending branches. There were two. My saw and myself were at our limits trying to cut them. I realised then that I needed a bigger saw! My client that day, Tim, said I should get a Silky Big Boy. Yesterday I googled it and found a shop in NZ that sells them. Here is the link. This has a 360mm blade with extra large teeth! I think I can take out some serious trees with this. I’m looking forward to having it in my pack. If we all carried a saw we could keep our rivers under control. This would benefit every angler!

Guiding has been quiet enough so far but from tomorrow on it looks like it will be all go til the end of April. Hopefully I’ll be able to stay on top of my blog. Time will tell. Some nice images from a few trips in the pictures below.

I’ve had a bit of bad luck with my own fishing! With looking after Adaline while Iza is working I can’t fish as much as normal, so days out are more precious now. 4 of these precious days I’ve had to go to plan B. Once, because my chosen river was blown from a flash flood and 3 times from snowmelt. I knew I was taking a chance – a chance I wouldn’t take if I was guiding! However, I thought I’d get away with it. My plan B each time worked out well but still reduced my fishing time to a half day. The fish are in good numbers and in great condition. Between rain and snowmelt the rivers are nice a full with great prospects for November.

For bookings and information you can contact me on ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Tight Lines,

Ronan..

MY OWN FISHING!

GUIDING GALLERY

August! From the Lakes to the Coast…

September 2nd, 2018 No comments

August has been superb! Not long after arriving back in NZ from Ireland, I joined Robbie, Tom and Jeremy for a couple of days on Lake Benmore. I went and got the Wakatipu Anglers Club boat to give us some options around the lake. After the couple of days with the lads I held on to the boat since nobody was using it. It has been fantastic! Pretty much all the lakes are fishing well, some very well! Catching up with friends has been as good as the fishing. The weather has been very settled, warm and sunny with very little wind. Ideal fishing conditions, although at times a little more wind would have been an advantage to make the boat drift.

There are a few rivers open in this area, but August around here is best on the lakes. Brown trout are well and truly finished spawning and are back in the lakes trying to regain condition. They also haven’t seen an angler for a while so this combination makes them very keen to eat a fly – any fly! Fish on Lake Dunstan have been happy to eat small streamers even in the flat calm on 3x. A few more weeks and this simply wont work unless the wind is blowing. It’s fun out there. I’ve fished it 3 days from the boat averaging 8 per day. Benmore was a little slower but it will be improving daily as fish continue to drop back to the lake. Hawea didn’t really fish for Guy and I. It certainly did 6 years ago but such is fishing.. I’d been dying to get back there ever since 4 super weekends in a row in August 2012. Everything was the same; lake level, wind, conditions,  just no fish! This is how it was – Hawea 2012

The West Coast has eluded me since Jeff, Nick and myself filmed our episode for the second series of Pure Fly New Zealand. Mark and I went over for a couple of days recently. The main thing I wanted to do was the river mouths. The last week in August is when you have the most amount of whitebait running with the least amount whitebaiters chasing them! Therefor you have the place to yourself. I have hit some excellent fishing during this week in the past, but it was very quiet for us. The tides worked out well. On day 1 we arrived there in the morning an hour before high tide and fished for 2 hours. I got one small fish. The top and bottom of the tide are usually the best so we left the river mouth and fished the lower reaches of a river for a few hours. On the coast many rivers are open year round from the main highway bridge to the sea. This was good! I met 5 and landed one well conditioned, buttery brown. Then back to a different river mouth for low tide. I got 1 and touched a few more. The river mouths are a pretty gruelling fishery. They require dogged persistence and confidence.

Day 2 we took on a lake. It started slow but the fishing just got better and better. Boat and bank. Sight fishing to cruisers and blind stripping buggers on intermediates got the fish. Shitloads of them!

I’m not sure what fishing is on the cards next! September is here and I’ll be making the most of it. The lakes will only get better…

Tight Lines All!!

Ronan..

For bookings and information on guided fly fishing for the coming season, contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website Ronan’s Fly Fishing Missions

River Keeping!

May 10th, 2018 No comments

River keeping is something I’ve been thinking about lately. How many times have you fished a pool and thought “if only that branch wasn’t there I’d be able to cast to that fish!” Well, I often though that. In recent years I’ve made some effort to remove offending branches and its paid off. I want to take it to the next level though. As of now I’m going to carry a saw instead of the little saw blade on my Victorinox knife. As a guide I’m always searching out new water. Occasionally I find something great that receives little or no attention so a little river keeping goes a long way here. There are a few small streams I know of which have become totally choked with willows over the years. Many beautiful pools have become totally unfishable but it doesn’t need to be that way. Lets say you fish that stream 3 times a season, and each time you fish it you bring your saw and spend half an hour making a pool or a run fly friendly, think how quickly it would become totally open again! Better again if some of your friends do the same! Or, you could just go nuts and round up a posse and spend a day clearing it! Fuck it, bring a chainsaw! Have a think about it. I’m sure a river or a pool on a river will spring to mind. Its something you could do over the off season, just take care that you’re not walking on redds. Time to buy an aggressive saw that will fit in your pack! A machete too, maybe..

With some semi-planned down time around mid March to mid April I got quite a lot of fishing in! Some of the family were over so dad and I fished every day we could (which was most!) This trip was a little different to other trips for dad. Mom and my sister were also here to meet our daughter, Adaline, so it was family time. All the fishing we did was in day trip distance from home. Every evening we relaxed, ate great food, drank some nice wine and just enjoyed being together. I can’t wait til we can do it all again! We fished all sorts of water. Big lakes, dams, tiny streams to big rivers. With regular, heavy rainfall it wasn’t easy to find clear rivers but with local experience and a little luck we were able to find rivers and streams clear enough to fish. Dad had always wanted some dry fly action on a tiny stream. We had one super day which was just that. It’s quite hard to find consistent dry fly water but this wee stream seems to be one. Great fishing!

Robbie and I also had a super couple of days chasing rainbows and browns in his neck of the woods. Better than expected with blistering bows and one very large brown! The worm fly was deadly – either because of the regular high water washing real worms down the river or because it just looks like too much food to pass up. Both are true. It did make me think though after I picked a 4″ dead earthworm out of the river. “These worm flies are way too small!!!” I think I’ll tie some huge worm flies! They have to work..

One of the most interesting things I’ve witnessed this season was on one of the local, high country reservoirs. Dad, Tom and myself went up for a day with no expectations because it rarely gives up its fish easily. The day began as per usual trying to figure out how to catch this elusive quarry. Dad and I saw a fish or two moving and I lost one not long after starting on a bugger. Tom was moving down the shore and we followed. Tom was seeing some and getting one or 2. When we got to the shallow end of the bay things changed. We could see good numbers of trout bow waving in glary, flat calm, shallow water. They were clearly chasing something. Tom was in the right place landed 4 more on a bugger. I landed one and lost a couple. By the time dad arrived it was all over. We kept a trout for dinner and it was stuffed with 1 inch, grey fry. The edges of the lake were alive with them. I never noticed them there before so maybe it has something to do with all the recent rain? I hoped it was going to be a regular, late season event. The lake is know for it’s cicada fishing but nothing else really so it would be really cool to lock in seasonal event and learn it. Dad and I went back up for his last fishing day of the trip. We were expecting great things but absolutely nothing happened. The fry were there, the wind was exactly the same, all conditions the same just no fish at all – only 4 days later!

Jeff, Kota and myself had a magic day exploring a couple of small mountain streams. With snow on the ground and high altitude views it was a magic day to be alive, fish or no fish!

May is when many fish start their migratory run up river to spawn. These running fish can provide some of the most exciting fishing of the season – for me anyway. I think it might be my favourite time of year! Locally, its very hit and miss but I’ve learned many hot spots over the last few years. Fluctuating flows means that the learning never stops but there are consistencies in pretty much all river flows. The larger fish tend to run first! I’ll be getting amongst it as often as possible.

Thats all for now. I have some good guiding stuff coming up from a couple of multi-day late season trips. One with Chuan – always eventful!

Plenty spaces available in May and over winter. There’s still lots of great fishing to be had even though the season is closed on most brown trout rivers! Contact me on ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines,

Ronan..

ps, here’s my latest film on Vimeo. https://vimeo.com/267765023

 

 

Adaline Betty Creane! (and an 11.5lb trout)

December 31st, 2017 No comments

The biggest bit of news since my last blog has not been the 11.5lb brown which equals my second biggest to date, it’s been the arrival of our daughter Adaline Betty Creane. She hit the scales at 6.5lbs. Mother and baby are doing great, though I’m a little worse for wear. Nobody ever thinks of the poor father! My paternity leave was timed to perfection. The due date was the 19th of December so I kept the 16th to the 28th free in the hope that she wouldn’t be late. As I was driving out of the driveway after dropping off my client on the 15th, I got the call from Iza. “Get to the hospital”! was the gist of the call. Some complications meant that she went in the chopper from Dunstan Hospital to Dundedin Hospital while I followed in the 3L V6 Maxima keeping to the speed limit the whole way there. After a long labour Iza popped out the most beautiful little thing I’ve ever seen (apart from Iza). We didn’t know the sex, nor did we care. We got just what we wanted in this healthy bundle of joy!

I have had quite a bit of time to fish myself in the last couple of months and most of that effort has been on the lakes. Fraser and I had a weekend away recently in the Central Lakes. We stayed at Buscot Station Backpackers (there is no other place I want to stay near Omarama!). Day 1 we had a look at the canals then went to check out a spot I stumbled upon last winter. We found a few fish but we needed sunshine to get the most from it. We left to try some other spots but returned early the next morning hoping for some midge eaters. We didn’t find any but the cloud broke up quickly for a perfect blue sky day. There was just enough wind to put a gentle ripple on the water opening it up for perfect sight fishing. A soft ripple like this often makes it easier to see fish farther away than with flat calm. The fishing was insane! We landed 12 trout for a morning session, most between 4 and 5.5lbs. I felt a little sorry for another angler on the opposite shore, he hooked none. A small gold bead PT nymph did the trick. I suspended it under a dry at trout cruising depth. Simple! One of Stu’s I think..

Another day worth a mention was on a local dam day with Robbie. The first farm dam we fished was very low but there were a few feeding fish. The exposed weed made it quite hard to fish. I hooked a few but we landed nothing after a few hours fishing it. We moved to the middle dam, I always thought it was the top dam but the farmer told me about another – the top dam! Anyway, the newly named middle dam was super. The water was high and there were a few trout cruising the margins. Short accurate casts did the trick. Any fly – these fish were opportunist feeders. We caught a few fish, all beautiful hard fighting specimens. One of them was certainly in my top 3 stunning fish this season. I really enjoy to fish with Robbie. There is no greed for fish, no ego, just a genuine love for the game and everything that goes with it from the friendships to the flowers on the banks to the fish. We’ve become great friends over the years, ever since he appeared at mine and Kristians camp way up a back country river at 9am. I was bleary eyed as I looked from my sleeping bag after hearing some rocks move. “Who the hell could have made it this far up river by 9am” I thought to myself.. I then answered my own question.. “It could only be Robbie Mcphee”. It was of course. What did we do? We all fished together. That day we landed about 10 fish from 6 to 11lbs with 2 doubles. Here is the blog! http://www.sexyloops.com/blog/2013/03/27/two-10lb-plus-trout/

Speaking about doubles, I managed to land a monster of 11.5lbs last November. Some solo wilderness exploring certainly paid off!

I’ll leave the photos to tell the other stories! Dunstan has been fishing great but I don’t bother taking many photos there anymore. The silt flats are still firing if you’re light enough to wade them and the willow grubbers on the edges will drive you to drink!

Not too much in the guiding gallery today since I had 2 weeks out. The highlights are in there though. January is booked up so all going well the next guiding report should be pretty colourful.

I’ll take this opportunity to wish my great friend Paul and his wife to be, Ashly all the very best in their life together. I wish I could make the wedding but Paul’s spontaneity is hard to plan around. That is going to be quite a day. Miena will never be the same again! All the best, mate! Next time I’m in Malaysia you’ll have the air conditioned houseboat. Bliss!

I still have some availability in Febuary and plenty in March and April. Let me know if you’d like me to guide you on your NZ adventure. ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Happy New Year everyone.. May it be filled with happiness and fly fishing!

Tight Lines, Ronan..

GUIDING GALLERY

 

Guiding Magic!!

December 7th, 2017 No comments

The season so far has been pretty flipin’ amazing! It feels like every day is a blue sky day. Rivers are low and clear and the fishing has been top notch. The winds have been light and favourable most days so there are really no excuses not to be out there reaping the rewards. So far the rivers are reasonably full but that will change if this dry weather keeps up. I have noticed a few rivers like wading in bath water of late – sooner or later the fish will shut down considerably if we don’t get an occasional fresh or cold night! Right now it’s all on, so we’ll just deal with the downsides of this hot summer if or when they present.

I have made some time to fish myself since my last blog – indeed I landed my joint second biggest brown ever at 11.5lbs but more about that in the next blog. This report is about guiding! It’s going well. I’ve been busy and really enjoying it. Most of my fishing addiction is satisfied from guiding so that makes it easy to get up in the morning. The pictures below tell the story since my last blog pretty well, but I want to tell one myself. I was on a 4 day road-trip with a 3 day wilderness heli trip straight after it. I really wanted a day off to prepare and organise but couldn’t make it happen. Planning on the road is not easy! I was bouncing a few ideas back and forth in my head, I called a few mates for some opinions, a few emails to the heli companies I like to use.. Finally, the night before the trip, the plan was made. The brief from my client was around something that I would get excited about doing myself. Well, that would have to include some adventure, some unknown. The plan was to fly to the bottom of a gorge, fish hard for 3 days then chopper out from the top. I was familiar with the bottom and the top but the upper middle bit I knew nothing about. There is something about fishing in a gorge that excites me. There is some risk involved, it’s easy to get bluffed making it necessary to climb out and drop back in. You never know what you’re going to get from extreme terrain to monster trout. Proper gorge fishing is not for the faint hearted.

Day 1. The fishing started in an uncanny way. Marks first retrieve of his first cast connected his streamer to a 5lb rainbow. Instant action! Quite unbelievable. The day was pretty easy going but really good. 8 fish landed and the river was getting more exciting as we advanced. We spent the first night in a backcountry hut with steak, spuds, beans and beers. Luxury! Day 2 was different. I knew that to get through the gorge we needed to go hard on day 2. We threw on the packs at 7.30am and didn’t stop fishing till 6pm. As with day 1, the gorge got more and more exciting and interesting as we progressed. Some bush bashing became necessary and an odd climb out, all adding to the sense of adventure – but it was real adventure because neither of us had been there before! The fishing was excellent. The only thing we didn’t find was a large brown or rainbow. I thought we might find one in there somewhere. That said, we did have one follow the streamer of about 6lbs which certainly qualifies as big – just not really big! The gorge was stunning. Lots of pools; many deep and blue, incredible cliffs, rock formations and waterfalls. At the end of the day we pitched the tents and tucked into a simple dehydrated Backcountry meal. Mine was shite. I did carry in a bottle of red in a plastic bottle making it a bit more palatable! The bottle of red was no match for the sandflies however. They were almost as bad as I’ve experienced! By the end of day 2 I reckoned we had gotten through most of the gorge. I didn’t know for sure how far it was to the top flat but I did know we’d make it there easily over day 3. On the morning of day 3 came the tightest part of the gorge. Totally surrounded by beech forrest on both banks. The banks were so steep that little sunlight ever made it through to the river. The fish didn’t mind, they were in there and still happy to eat our presentations. We pushed on, both of us quietly excited about getting out of the gorge and onto the flat back into the sun! Before too long we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. It was about lunchtime on day 3 that we made it out of the gorge. The whole thing was a great experience, as much for me as for Mark. For me it was more about the place than fishing (not because I wasn’t fishing!). The thrill of walking up on a pool I had never seen before, seeing whats around the bend, learning the unknown.  For Mark I’m guessing it was both in equal parts. With the remaining few hours we clocked up the tally to 33 trout over the 3 days before the helicopter came to take us back to base. After the drive home I was fecked!

Many thanks to everyone I guided since my last blog! It’s been a pleasure.

Tight Lines,  Ronan..

There are quite a few days available over the rest of the season. Drop me an email if you’d like to book ronan@sexyloops.com, or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

ps. I’m taking the latter half of the month off for paternity leave! Hopefully I timed it right. Iza certainly looks like she could pop at any moment! Exciting times, thats for sure!

 

Raging Bull!

November 9th, 2017 No comments

Recently Jeff and I went out to learn some water neither of us had fished before. We started fishing at the end of the road with the intention of covering as much water as we could squeeze into a day. That we did. We ended up venturing up a tributary to see if it held fish. It did hold some, not many but certainly enough to warrant a trip in October when many post spawning trout have not yet dropped back to the main flows. We pushed a few ks up this tributary. Both of us got a few good chances but even with well placed first casts, these fish melted away into the river.. Not to worry! We pushed on through dense tussock hoping to get another shot, suddenly the ground shook, Jeff took a step back while falling over. I looked up to see the curly white hair on the face of a large bull and Jeff’s rod poking him in the face from the ground. As Jeff rolled out of the way of the rampaging bull, I took a step back while turning to run but instead fell 5 feet over a bank into the river. I immediately jumped up, soaked and dripping, looking to see the bull coming over the bank too. No sign of him as I looked left and right. I called to Jeff, “I’m okay” he said.. I asked where the bull was and he told me he ran off. It was close! It could easily have been a lot worse. I don’t think the bull intended to charge us. He was hunkered down in the tussock and we walked right up on him and spooked him! We all scared the bejesus out of each other. I got a bang on the leg and my whole body hurt the next day, I guess I got a good jarring when I hit the shallow river bed. Jeff was okay. We fished on for another hour or so before calling it a day. We kept our big brown and white friend in sight as we retreated home. That was fun! I do love a good scare to feel alive.

My personal fishing has been great! Lots of new water and of course some old favourites. I managed to get a big fish on the board before the end of October. A real beauty at 9lbs even. I’ve locked in some good new water which I’m looking forward to going back to myself and with clients when weather and water plays ball.. We’ve just had an angry weather system pass through dumping lots of rain and snow all over the place. It looks like things will get back to normal over the next few days. More about my own recent exploits in the top gallery below.

GUIDING UPDATE

I’ve been pretty busy with guiding. Some new clients and some repeats. I’m really enjoying how friendships are forming with the people I guide! Theres a pretty extensive gallery below documenting a great season so far. A couple of recent trips I’ll mention. The first was a heli-trip with Shaun and Mike. We had a super couple of days after flying into the wilderness. We got well and truly away from it all! Fishing was really good each day with plenty browns and rainbows eager to eat dries and nymphs in a most spectacular setting. Shaun brought a nice bottle of red along which accompanied a well earned steak, spuds and beans dinner. There may have been a little whisky too! The craic was good and the fire burned bright until we hit the hay. There was no rush out of bed the next day as we waited for the sun to reach the valley floor. Probably a good thing!!

More recently I took out my regular client, Kevin for 3 days. We hit the road and went south! Day one was freezing and very windy. Kevin had 7 eats with 2 landed including a super rainbow which came blind to a blowfly. Day 2 warmed up a bit and the wind played ball for most of the day. Kevin absolutely nailed it!! Well placed first casts and happy fish combined to produce a day to remember. Kevin landed lots! All but one in the 5 – 7lb class. As good as it gets if you ask me. At the end of day 2 I asked Kevin if there was something specific he’d like to do on day 3. In a very relaxed tone he hinted at a very big fish. Okay, I said! I have a plan.. but we must be prepared to blank (aren’t we always!!). Day 3 included a monster walk. Big fish hunting usually requires lots of walking. We saw only 3 fish for the day but Kevin made the few casts count and landed a personal best at 9.25lbs and another 7lber. These were three intense days of fishing. I was happy to have a cancelation for the following day because I was totally wiped out!

My season is filling up quickly so get in soon if you’d like me to guide you on your NZ adventure! Contact me at ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines!

Ronan..

 

 

 

Fly Fishing The Azores..

September 24th, 2017 No comments

I did a little research on fly fishing on the Azores Islands but nothing I read was overly positive. Some fish species could be targeted from the seashore on fly; big flies and a super fast retrieve seemed to be the way from an article I read. Lakes held multiple species but I read nothing about any great fishing, only a bit about catching tiny stocked rainbows – feck that! Initially I figured I wanted to take on the sea. My rough plan was to find a sheltered spot on the lee side of the island and blind fish into deep water with a di7. If i spotted surface activity then I’d adapt. Iza and I had 4 days on the largest island, Sao Miguel, with day 3 my only dedicated fishing day. Over day one and two I realised that shoreline access was difficult. Town harbours were accessable and a very good option from what I saw on a leisurely stroll with Iza. We saw mullet and some other small palagics I couldn’t Identify. My gut feeling was that these fish were there for the easy source of food from bread throwing tourists (like me!) so they were down the pecking order as a target species, also I didn’t want to hook a passer by in the face. The point of the main pier in Ponta Delgado looked better than the inside harbour but I never made it out there for a proper look. On a day trip to the most accessible of 4 lakes I found carp! I fished to them for about an hour with a little interest then they shut down completely at about 1pm. The next day was my fishing day.. sea or lake? Having found no seashore spot that took my fancy, this stunning lake which formed in a volcano crater was it. I started at about 8. Earlier would have been better but I found lots of carp feeding over some sand / mud flats. I quickly hooked and landed one on dad’s diawl bach, then hooked another which broke me in the weeds. Action continued. I wont bore you with details but I’ll mention what I think I learned over the day. Cruisers were tough. I may have briefly hooked one. Fish with heads down tail up – actively feeding fish – were catchable. Depending on the depth of water I used a weighted or unweighted PT nymph – one of Stu’s. The key was to make them see it! Due to their foraging in mud or weed and putting up clouds of silt, this was no easy task. Sometimes it took many casts to get the fly in just the right spot. If I could pull the fly slowly across the bottom, right in front of the fishes face then he may well eat it. The next problem is hooking them! I believe they can suck in and spit out the fly in a second so timing the strike was difficult. My best results came by staying in touch with the fly with a slow retrieve and hoping to feel or see the take. The takes were rarely obvious so I resisted the urge to strike. I had about 7 fish eat the fly that I’m sure of. I landed 3. I also sight fished a pike on a size 12 PT.

So, to sum up. Lake Sete Cidades was good! Carp fishing as described in a lake that’s split in two by a bridge, one side is murky green, the other side clear. Both sides fished well. If I had another day at them I’d start at first light. They mostly shut down during the heat of the day, at least they do in September. There are also pike, perch, zander, trout, bass and others. The potential here is incredible. There are no power boats allowed. I’m not sure about electrics. I only fished the easily accessible lake (Sete Cidades) and only from the shore, though kayak rental is possible. I didn’t see another angler. Lake Fogo is even more beautiful and remote. I doubt you’d see another person if you took it on. It’s crystal clear too.

The seashore has to have an abundance of fish, it’s just a matter of finding the spots away from the sea cliffs which dominate the island and learning times of year when different species come close to shore. If my life was different I might just move out there and learn this largely untouched seashore and lake fishery! Nice climate, great food, cheap good beer, beautiful women, friendly people, world class big game in the deep sea. What more does a fella need?? Maybe somebody reading this will take the plunge! I hope so because I want to go back a hire a guide who knows the score!! To say I only scratched the surface here is certainly true, scratched it with one nail. I had about 12 hours fishing with only half an hour on the sea on one of 9 islands.

I wrote the above on my mobile phone while in transit from the Azores to Portugal’s mainland. It was fresh in my mind and I had the urge to write so I did.. What followed was 3 days fishing with my old mate Tonio, before it came fishing in Irleand, USA and Malaysia.. I wish to feck I used more transit time to write because the season is about to kick off here so finding time to write will be tough once again.. If you’re reading this because you’re visiting the Azores, don’t hesitate to drop me line! I’ll tell you what I know – though its pretty much all written here!

Tight Lines All!

Ronan..

For guiding bookings for the upcoming NZ season email me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

 

 

Earthquake Fly Fishing!

July 3rd, 2017 No comments

I can’t believe almost a month has passed since my last blog! Time is flying by. It’s been a great month! June is a good time for me to take on some woodworking projects. I started one last June and finished it this June. A writing desk for Iza, but it just might become a fly tying bench for me!! The boat has also taken some of my time but I have not made as much progress as expected. It’s ready for fibreglassing now. Lots of painting preparation has been done and some timber work since my last blog. The engine arrived. It has certainly had a previous life or two in salt water but hopefully she’ll fair us well. There’s lots still to do, but once the fibreglass work is done progress will begin again in earnest.

Yesterday Brayden and myself hit the water for a float. I have done very little fishing in the last month, only 3 or 4 pretty poor days, so it was really great to get out for a solid mission. The day started with a 6.5lber and the action continued all day. Blind and sight fishing accounted for fish with streamers, eggs and nymphs. To my delight, about half of the 14 fish we landed were silver fresh run fish.

Early in the day while afloat we heard a rumble. Like thunder but not quite. By the time my brain figured out “earthquake” we could feel the pulses coming through the water and the boat. We wondered how this might affect the fishing. It didn’t.. They continued to confidently eat our flies. We did find one fish flopping around on the bank. He had tried to navigate up the skinniest piece of water imaginable and beached himself, maybe due to the earthquake. He was going nowhere! It was his lucky day. I picked him up off the didymo (which cushioned him as he flopped around) and brought him to the main river. He took off, relieved no doubt! We noticed some sign of gravel and mud broken away from the banks as we drifted down river. We also witnessed some mini avalanches. An interesting dynamic to add to a days fishing!

I’m off out now to practice my shots for snakehead! I’ll be in Malaysia with Paul in less than 2 weeks. Can’t feckin wait!

Tight Lines..

Ronan.

If you’d like to book me as your fly fishing guide in NZ next season, check out 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..