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Posts Tagged ‘Ronan Creane’

A Wilderness Float Trip Adventure…

June 12th, 2020 No comments

Every now and then the prospect of a fishing trip is incredibly exciting – more than the average trip. I get that buzz if I’m going abroad to experience a new fishery, or exploring new water, maybe in a new wilderness area. I think the key word is new. Seeing a piece of water for the first time is always exhilarating. A trip myself and Bryan put together last January was one of these. One of these with bells on! Not just one piece of water to explore but lots. We pooled our resources and planned a wilderness float trip. NZ was our oyster! Where do we go? After studying google earth for ages I had an idea. I knew very little about the chosen system which included lakes, rivers, streams and backwaters but that was the point. Some real adventure! We took plenty safety precautions. We went in with one sat phone and a PLB each, life jackets, raft repair kit, plenty food and first aid kits. The NZ wilderness is no place to take lightly. The river looked pretty safe to raft on google earth. Once everything was prepared and packed, it was time to hit the road to get the helicopter into the wilds!

On arrival, the pilot came out to greet us. As we chatted he gestured towards the raft fully assembled on the trailer and asked if that was the pack raft – sarcastically of course. There was a breakdown in communications in our correspondence. They thought pack rafts and we though they could sling-load the 40kg raft in. It turned out that they can’t sling load with passengers and even if they could it would be a very slow and therefore expensive trip. No problem though! We disassembled the raft and the pilot easily got it onto the back seats and into the pod on the side of the helicopter. We were off!

The flight in was spectacular. They always are. Mountains, rivers, forest and then our destination became visible. The weather was good and excitement was hard to contain. We landed and got our bearings. We had a rough plan for the 3 days. I had marked every place of interest on NZ topo 50. To fit them all in we had to get cracking. Once I reassembled the raft the trip was underway..

The fishing on day one was pretty poor. Lovely lake flats with only a few small trout. Then a river to explore. Lots of potential and reasonable numbers of mostly old looking trout – spooky trout! Some of the spookiest. We blanked on that river, but it was a magical spot and I’ll certainly have another go sometime. A few riffles and runs but mostly glass calm, slow moving pools. There were some stunning big lake like pools too but these were inaccessible due to treacherous soft silt.

After fishing the river we had a pretty major piece of water to cover to get to camp. Lots of rowing and drifting. The rain had come in as we fished the stream and it kept coming. As we travelled down the system the un-forecasted rain got heavier. Our gear and ourselves were getting soaked, even through rain gear. Camping outside was not too appealing at this stage but thankfully there was a backcountry hut not too far downstream. We jumped out now and again to fish likely water but the rain was getting to the point that the hut really started to beckon. With the GPS function on NZ Topo 50 it was easy to find the hut. We pulled up the raft and secured it to a tree well up a sandy bank in case the river rose with the rain. Once we got the gear into our home for the night we could relax a bit. I got the fire going while Bryan put on the spuds, then we hung up all the wet gear – almost everything! We demolished a couple of rib eyes with black beans and spuds. Some nice wine too. We slept well to the sound of rain even if we were a little anxious about the state of the river in the morning.

Day 2. The raft was still safely secured to the tree. The river had doubled in size over night but was perfectly clear and fishable. This was a huge relief since the rain didn’t quit until after we ate breakfast. With great excitement we took on the river. We started blind fishing all likely water and Bryan quickly got a nice 3lber to put us on the board. Then I hooked and lost a better fish and sighted another. As the sun broke through the clouds the cicadas started chirping and the trout responded. We had a spectacular few hours of fishing in the afternoon. One spot took us ages to pass because every time our flies passed the drop-off a trout would eat the fly. Dream fishing. All beautiful, healthy 3 to 7lb trout and mostly on a large Stu’s Cicada. The water was quite diverse in its make up. Lots of bouldery pocket water, some large pools, sandy glides, cut banks and fallen trees. A real wild river. We were sad to have to leave it to continue our mission downstream but we had more water to explore in our limited timeframe. The thrill of new water never waned and once we were back on the raft we couldn’t wait to see what was around the next bend. Before we made it to the next camp spot we had some good fishing on a small, tannin tributary. Very interesting spot. I got a follow from the same fish to my streamer about 10 times without an eat. Bryan had a nymph a foot under a dry. I suggested that I’d tease the trout in and then remove my fly quickly so that Bryan could cast to the fish. It worked a charm and the trout took the nymph while wondering where the glister disappeared to!

Back on the raft it was time to think about making camp. We had heard about a bushman living somewhere in the valley and that he didn’t mind a visitor. When we saw smoke coming from a chimney we decided to go and investigate. Sure enough it was Bruce. He opened the door with a big smile on his face and invited us into his house – which he said nobody owned and we were welcome to stay. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth we did stay. The craic was great! We took out our bag of wine and filled up everyones cup, steaks on the pan, cheese and crackers to start. This was one of those unforgettable experiences and we both knew it and made the most of it. Bruce regaled us with stories about many topics from eels to DoC to politics to topless women. We tried to take it all in while adding a story or two of our own.

Day 3. In the morning we had breakfast together before taking on our respective days. There were a few flags on my map yet to explore. Bruce was able to put me wise about which ones to avoid – not because there were no trout there necessarily, but due to the logistics of bush-bashing in to them. We said goodbye to Bruce but he said he’d be down to the helicopter later to chat to the pilot and to see us off. He took off down the river with his 15hp while we took a more leisurely pace. Over the day we found some really nice water. A pool with a waterfall that really must be right up the with the most beautiful places I’ve caught a trout, a backwater off the main river with lots of eager but pretty small trout. The size really didn’t matter to us though. The location and the quality of the fishing more than made up for that. Then a tiny spring creek with some quality trout that we didn’t catch and finally another lake edge to explore while we waited for the chopper. About half way through the day the rain made another appearance and quickly closed in to the extent that we weren’t sure if the helicopter could fly. Bryan got on the sat phone when they were a bit late only to get no solid information – they weren’t sure either! The pilot was stuck somewhere due to the weather and fuel was an issue. A short time later we heard the helicopter in the distance. He landed and seemed a little panicked by the weather closing in and fuel was indeed an issue. The helicopter had no pod on the side this time, so we quickly loaded everything onto the back seat of the helicopter. It was a tight enough squeeze but no problem. After we said farewell to Bruce it was time to go. Bryan and I both fitted in the front. At first the pilot thought he’d have to drop us to a road about 50ks from my truck but thankfully as we flew we caught a gap in the weather and made it back to the heliport. Absolutely pissing rain again, we hurriedly unloaded the helicopter and jammed everything into the back of the truck – far from the tidy truck that arrived here a few days ago. A quick change into dry clothes and we were heading home. What a trip – certainly, one of the best.

Let me know if you’d like to book a trip for next season. With all the uncertainty in the world right now my season is filling slowly so there are plenty spaces available. Email me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website. I do not offer guided float trips by they way! But for anybody interested in this style of fishing you should contact Wanaka based Greg Dougherty.

Tight Lines! Ronan..

Bob’s Birthday Trout!

April 19th, 2020 No comments

I’ve know Bob since my first visit to NZ in 2002, I actually met him a year or two before at his home in the US. He cooked dinner for us. A New York Strip I recall. A very memorable steak! Bob is now 82. My annual brief is to help him catch a trout on his birthday or he jokingly (I hope) reckons he wont be around for his next birthday. No pressure or anything!! To relieve some of the pressure we have 2 days to catch the fish because it’s still his birthday in the US the following day. To add a little pressure the trout must be caught on a dry. We’ve succeeded in our quest for the last 3 years and I hope we can keep it going for another 23! This year we had one heli day into a beautiful wilderness river and a day with our mutual friend Camo Guy in his boat. Both days we were successful on dries and the weather was great – unlike last year. Cheers Bob! Bring on the next one..

I remember fishing with Alun earlier in the season. We were having a good day. Fish were out and Alun was doing well. We got to a spot where we could see a fish on station. He wasn’t doing much but he was moving to eat now and again. Alun covered him a few times. He looked at the dry once but surprisingly never moved to the nymph. After a number of casts Alun gave me the rod to have a go. I sent in a cast and the trout moved right up to take the dry but refused last moment.. my dry / nymph continued to drift. As I was about to take it out to recast, 2 fish cruised up from a dark, deep pool below. I left my flies drifting.. they perfectly intercepted one of them which ate my nymph and I landed a lovely 5lb seatrout. A bonus, lucky fish. I was not complaining. After this I gave Alun back his rod and he had another cast to the original fish. Up he came and nailed the dry! A nice scenario from a great season.

The weather for this entire level 4 lockdown period has been flippin unbelievable. Blue skies and light wind just about every day. There is a chance we’ll drop back to level 3 in a week, in which case fishing will be allowed again. Personally I don’t think we should rush to level 3 but if we do drop back I’ll certainly be making the most of the last few days of the brown trout season. If not, there’s plenty fishing in winter whenever we do get to level 3, some of the best of the year actually. I’m missing the water, thats for sure, but I’m happy to wait for the greater good – not that I can harm myself or anybody else by fishing alone but that’s not the point..

Some nice images below from the season pre-lockdown. I hope you all enjoy them.. Also a link to a short film by a mutual client of myself and Jeff Forsee. It’s from a recent trip with his friend Matt. Thanks Pat! Here it is..

Let me know if you’d like to book a trip next season. No deposit necessary until the travel ban is lifted. Visit my website or email me ronan@sexyloops.com

Tight Lines, Ronan..

Fishing with Grunde!

April 6th, 2020 No comments

I love it when I get a booking through Sexyloops. There’s a certain familiarity and understanding right from the start which relieves any pressure. I can simply plan the best trip I can. I basically just plan to do what I’d like to do which is not always the case. Dealing with Grunde was easy because we are like minded – like most Sexyloopers. He was happy to have me fish too so this was a trip I was really looking forward to. I had a rough plan in my head for the 4 days which included hiking into the backcountry but on the first day the weather turned for the worse. Extremely worse! A weather system which was destined to wreak havoc on the South Island landed on day 1. I know many guides cancelled bookings because of it. I’m lucky because I love the lakes which means I never have to cancel due to weather – I haven’t yet anyway. Apart from on the morning of day 1 there wasn’t a river to fish anywhere for the 4 days. We took on a very varied list of still waters from tiny to huge through almost every type of weather. We successfully blind fished with dries and nymphs on day 1, we also had a few shots to rising trout. Day 2 was all blind fishing with small streamers. We sight fished everything on day 3. Some magic fishing. Nine trout from 4 to 6.5lbs, mostly on dries. Day 4 sort of beat us. We got a few trout but the wind got really crazy. Every time I’d change location to avoid the wind it would change direction to ruin the new location! You’ll have days like that. All up it was a great 4 days of fly fishing – not for everyone I’m sure but we loved it! Looking forward to next time, Grunde! Thanks!

Feel free to get in touch with any enquiries for next season. Don’t worry about a deposit under the current circumstances – just let me know the dates you’d like. Hopefully the travel ban will be lifted by next season. Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Good luck! Ronan..

Day 1. We fished the river in the morning til this happened..
And it got much much bigger!
Plan B was some some small still waters.. Casting dries around the edges was very good!
Another for me. Brilliantly coloured this time.
They’re all so different.
After a few missed opportunities this one to the net and Grund was off the mark.
Back he goes.. 4 for the day.
Day 2. With all rivers flooded it had to be another still water. This time to the high country.
We needed serious rain gear! I had 2 Simms jackets and this emergency poncho. The poncho was great!
The rain pissed down all day. This was the system that wreaked havoc all over the lower South Island.
We had really good fishing with small streamers.
Stunning fish are the norrm on these high country lakes.
Rain, mist and wind.. Cold too..
But good fishing!
Grunde in again..
Super fish!
Rain.
One more beautiful trout before heading home. Super day with 6 to the net to 5.5lbs.
Day 3. With rivers in flood this was a busy lake! 7 anglers on it. We got there early and staked our claim on a great 150m shore. A perfect blue sky day was very welcome after 2 of the wettest days I’ve guided.
9 for the morning mostly on dries.. including this double hook-up.
A very memorable moment.
Nice markings.. Plenty more opportunities in the afternoon but no more landed.
Day 4. Still on the lakes. We managed 3 or 4 but the wind got insane!
yep, insane!
Some Fulling Mill flies.
Sensibly packaged. Good flies.
Some of my own flies. My go to dry.
This with a yellow body was great for cicadas this year.
Lake edge cruiser fly.
My #16 nymph with a 2mm bead. This fly has accounted for 5 double figure trout from one river!
#12, 3mm bead. For depth or coloured water. The butt is backing line, possum body.

Mad Weather and Big Trout!

December 28th, 2019 No comments

I compiled this guiding gallery a couple of weeks ago now. Loads has happened since and it’s pushing the contents of this gallery to the side, which of course it shouldn’t because there were some excellent days on the water which I have accounted for here, but I really want to clear the decks now for more recent fishing, which has been superb!

One trip worth a mention was with Andrew. He had 2 days to fish, day one was off the charts landing 6 trout with the biggest hitting the scale at just over 9lbs. That fish took some work. We fished to him for about an hour before I put on one of my fathers unweighted size 14 hares ear nymphs. Andrews first cast with that fly and it was all on! Second biggest was 7lbs. They were all great trout.. Day 2 we blanked bringing us back down to earth. It’s funny how it goes!

It was great to see Brendan and Dave again. They were over for 5 days, Day one was simply magnificent with 11 fish to 7lbs, Day 2 and 3 were also good days but then I got struck down with severe stomach cramps. I gave the lads my truck and some info for their last 2 days. They landed another 9 trout. It took me 5 days in total to come right which included 3 nights in hospital. They were my first sick days in 5 years guiding.

I also took out Micah Adams and his friend Dave. Micah has been involved in fly fishing TV in Australia. We had a very enjoyable day on the water even though it was a pretty hard day. Micah got a 3lber on a dry and Dave landed a super 6lber.

The weather has been nuts. Rain, wind, hail, flooded rivers etc.. I like it when the conditions go to feck. It makes me think outside the box, take gambles, use what I’ve learned over the last 18 years in NZ. I’ll put a trip together for my clients regardless of what mother nature throws at us. I will use every avenue available to me to make it happen. Crazy weather seems to be pretty normal now so if a fella can’t adapt he’s in trouble!

The next blog will be about one of my own greatest moments in fly fishing with a superb old 9lber and The Mighty Chuan landing an 11lber.. Not mouse eating monsters, just bonafide brutes!

I’ll let the photos tell the other stories. Still some availability for this season if you’re thinking about coming over. Visit my website of contact me on ronan@sexyloops.com

Tight lines & screaming reels for the new year! Ronan..

Lough Corrib

November 30th, 2019 No comments

No trip to Ireland is complete without a few days on Corrib. It’s a lake that has rarely been very kind to me but that does not stop me wanting to go back. It’s an amazing lake. It would take a lifetime to get to grips with the entire 44,000 acres. Maybe multiple lifetimes. There is still so much of Corrib I have not seen. It’s an explorers dream with deeps, shallows, points, bays and islands making up the lake. It encompasses many townlands on it shores from Galway to Oughterard to Cornamona to Cong to Headford. The fishing varies from early to late season with very specific times of different fly. The chironomid first, then the olive (a small mayfly), then the large danica mayfly then the sedge. Of course the fly seasons overlap but with such specifics in trout food, the fly and method selection is very important. There are many other flies on the water too just to add to the puzzle. Caenis and terrestrials for example. Traditional wet fly techniques have taken a back seat to various nymphing methods in the passed 20 years, especially with chironomid and olive fishing. Let me know if you ever want to go and I’ll connect you with the right people.

I had 3 days out while at home. John and I went out on day 1. John hadn’t been out for a while so he was unsure where the good fishing was. We went to some trusted deep water where wet fly fishing can produce the goods. John got 1 of about 1.5lbs and I blanked. 

Day 2 was with Dad and Tom Doc. This was a social outing as much as a fishing day and the craic was great. We went out in Toms dad’s boat. A beautiful custom built Philbin Lake Boat. A pleasure to be out in. That boat has seen some action and anglers over it’s lifetime, and she still looks new. We fished very close to where John and I fished but we were on the fish. Tom is a guide on the lake and fishes most days so he knows where the fish are. It didn’t take long for us to start moving a few. This was my day as it turned out. Out of 8 landed I had 6 with the best over 3lbs. I was delighted, as was Dad and Tom. Lunch on Inchagoill with the traditional Kelly Kettle was super. The cup of tea from Tom’s Kettle will not be beaten! It’s so good that I decided to bring my Kelly Kettle to NZ. Thanks Tom for a great day out..

Day 3 – I didn’t expect much. The forecast was for horrendous wind. Rain too, and the lake was high and rising after rain. The reason for going out was give the New Zealanders who were over for the wedding a taste of Corrib. We had 3 boats. John and Fraser in one, Dad and Damien in another and Myself, Wesley and Mark in mine. It was a day where open water would have been very dangerous so we stayed in relatively sheltered bays. The craic was good but the fishing was bad. The pints flowed afterwards which made the world good again!

Still lots of space available in the current season for guided fly fishing in New Zealand. Contact me on ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Tight Lines, Ronan..

New Seasons Resolution!

October 3rd, 2019 No comments

Another season has landed. My new seasons resolution is to explore more, fish more and fish better, think like a trout! I was itching to get back at the rivers. I wanted to check out new water so that’s what I did. I walked a wee stream for miles and it was decent, lots of walking between fish but I like that. I did spend some time blind fishing streamers in corner pools but it wasn’t working. Sighted fish were few and far between but they were big and keen to eat pretty much anything as long as it was well presented. I had one on a Cicada and another on a #6 leggy dry stonefly! The reason I always use a dry as an indicator..

October is quiet on the guiding front, not sure why but it will give me time to fish myself. I have some things I want to do. Mostly exploratory to keep the learning curve moving the right way. Watch this space!

I added a few pics of Moher Lake in County Mayo in the West of Ireland. John O Malley and myself used to hitch there in our teens getting in all sorts of trouble with bailiffs, parents and even a wee run in with the law, but mostly just having a great time fishing as free as birds. Mrs McDonnell who we rented the boat from would let us camp on the lake. We’d fish it from dawn til dusk! So many great memories. I went back with James while I was back home. I was happy to go back for a trip down memory lane and James had never been. I heard it was well stocked last year so I expected the same this year. The farmer who rents out the boats said it was fishing very well but we only met one stocked fish all day. I could tell it was in a while by it’s well mended fins and bright flanks. We had non stop action with about 50 little native browns, about 3 to the pound, maybe 4. Sadly the lake wasn’t stocked this year but the IFI are still taking full price to fish it. Unfair? Yes, I think so. Still a nice day out!

Lots of availablity this season for guided fly fishing in the south of New Zealand. February is full and March is almost full but plenty room besides. You can contact me via my website or email me ronan@sexyloops.com

Tight Lines, Ronan..

Precious Cargo!

May 24th, 2019 No comments

I can’t believe it’s 2 months since I’ve written a blog! It’s just been hard to find the time. Right now I’m in Dunedin Hospital with a very Pregnant Iza. We thought the little fecker was about to arrive but now it seems he / she was just winding us up. Iza is asleep and I have time to write.

The first thing I have to say is Congratulations to my dad, Joe Creane on winning the European Cup 2019 on Lough Mask in the West of Ireland. I have’t spoken to him yet to hear the details but it seems fish were very hard to find so this was a super result. He won a Burke boat for his trouble. I owned one since I was 21 and they are a super fishing boat.

The guiding season has come to an end. I did a few days in early May and that was it for 2019 unless a winter booking or 2 comes along. It was a super season all up. I’m loving the evolution of my guiding career. Most of my work is now from repeat clients who are becoming good friends. I couldn’t be happier about that.

The Sexyloops connection is getting stronger all the time. I have introduced some of my clients to Paul’s site to help them with their casting, to watch sexyloops.tv, fish with the man himself in Malaysia and read the day to day antics from Paul and the other writers from around the world. Paul has introduced some of his readers and friends to me as a current, active link to NZ fly fishing and guiding. It’s going full circle. More and more of my clients are arriving armed with a SL Hot Torpedo and well versed on whats going on with Paul and Bernd and the rest. One random meeting between 3 anglers in a pub in Waikaia summed it up. After Chip, Simon and I chatted for a while over a few pints we realised we all owned a SLHT #6. Now thats cool. It’s cool because these rods are not mainstream. Paul has them made exactly to his specifications with no expense spared – and their not cheap to make! I think anyone who wants to own one of these rods simply wants to take their fishing / casting to the next level in a more honourable and ethical way than buying the latest Sage before its discontinued next week. The sexyloops crew are the real deal, immersing their lives in fly fishing and casting – without ego! I loved what Simon said to me in the Waikaia pub about SL, “no trucker hats, no hoodies”. If you’re not a regular to the site then have a look!

May is possibly my favourite time of year. Guiding winds down and I have time to fish myself. There are 4 rivers within an hour of me that I can float down or fish land based targeting rainbows and browns (but mostly rainbows, big ones!) on their migratory run up stream to spawn. This May I’ve only gotten out twice. There are a couple of legitimate reasons for this! Iza is 38 weeks pregnant and needs me to be close by and we just bought a house. Were turning the 120 year old piece of history into our home and this has been taking quite a bit of time. I have a workshop too so I’ve also been setting that up to make furniture for the house or whatever else. A man needs a workshop!

I did manage to get a magic day on the water to satisfy my May fishing urge. I took the boat across to an island and fished a piece of water that has never worked for me before. It was fishy though. I threw a long line across to a deep blue hole, let the fly sink and stripped away.. two light taps.. I’ve felt these taps before from big fish.. another tap then a solid connection! The big hen rainbow, full of precious cargo and condition was cartwheeling on the end of my line. I had to give her hell to keep her safely in the lee of the island. I landed her and got a good picture with the 10 second timer before letting her off. She weighed 8.5lbs and was my best fish of the season. I went on the get a 5 and a 7+ so I had a good fix! 

I’m not sure what fishing is coming in the next while but I might sneak out for a look somewhere. First priority is Iza and her precious cargo.

If you’d like to book some winter fishing or enquire about next season please email me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Tight Lines,

      Ronan..

 

Flood Damage!

December 26th, 2018 No comments

The river became fishable for the first time in 2 months. It was a gamble to go there but I took a chance on it because last years floods were bigger and did no damage. The difference with this years floods is that they’ve been so prolonged. At first glance the river looked okay so we walked an hour downstream to fish back. On arrival the river looked different. Straightened, pools and islands gone. I said to Philip that I thought I had made a mistake. Trout are very resilient to flooding but when a river changes course then fish have to be displaced. Where they end up is anyones guess. We saw a fish in the second pool which Philip hooked, raising our spirits. Then nothing. The river was unrecognisable. One of the best pools on the river had been all but destroyed. There was a small section that remained unchanged and in there were 2 or 3 trout which quickly spooked. We saw one other in the beat. We were through the whole section in a few hours and then retreated to plan B. A tributary which I hoped would not have been so badly affected by the floods. We saw a fish at the bridge which we didn’t get. Then not far up we saw another which we did get on a small nymph. There was another beside him so things were looking good but the river was obviously ravaged by floods. Uprooted trees strewn over vast areas of river plain. After a positive start the damage became more and more apparent and we saw no more fish. I was almost ready to pull the pin but thought we’d go another bit. I was looking for a great pool. Very stable so I expected it would still be there. It wasn’t! Blown out totally. We marched on, not keen on giving up just yet as stubbornness kicked in. One great pool that I had forgotten about was unchanged and we sighted 2 fish in it. If Philip hooked one, he was going to spook the other so we had to pick one. Philip got into position for the lead fish. A bow and arrow cast was the only option. Philip had never successfully used that cast before so was keen to make it work. A number of shots went in before the trout saw the worm fly. The take was hard to see for sure but I called the strike and the fish was on. A fish like that can really turn a day around. By then it was around 5pm so we decided it was a good time to call it a day. I was delighted with the result considering the state of the rivers. Three hooked, 2 landed and had a few other good opportunities. We happily walked back to the truck. Of course we had to see if the bridge fish was back out and as luck would have it, he was! Philip got into position and this time nailed the cast first time and got the fish. Three rainbows between 4 and 5 lbs for the day. A great day on any trout river but I won’t be rushing back; it was quite heartbreaking to see some of my favourite water ripped to bits. I’m not sure how long it’ll take those rivers to heal.

On a more positive note, I finally got back to Southland after flooded rivers kept me away for about 2 months. A few tough days just as the rivers cleared but then we had a few days where everything was right. As luck would have it I was fishing myself while guiding on 2 of those days. Very fulfilling fishing with a great fishing partner. He came through Sexyloops so he’d have to be! His SLHT is well and truly broken in.. Thanks, Alan..

Tight Lines All and a Happy New Year!

Ronan..

 

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