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Posts Tagged ‘Ronan Creane’

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..

 

 

 

 

“I’m only wishing to go a-fishing; For this the month of May was made”

May 31st, 2017 No comments

What is it that excites me so much about the month of May? I’ve had to think about this! There are a few reasons. One of them is that its relatively new to me. In my ten years (pre 2011) when I came to NZ from Ireland every season, I was always home by the end of April, so May was unknown to me. In October 2011 I moved out here full time taking up a job as a joiner. In May, just like every other month I only had the weekends to fish. I enjoyed the month of May then of course, but it’s only now that I have lots of time on my hands that I can really explore, search and learn; just like I did during my early years exploring NZ. So thats part of it! It’s new, exciting and fun. It’s more than that though. Fishing for migrating fish in May is challenging. To do well you need to be able to cast heavy flies on long leaders or heavily weighted fly-lines (around here at least!). You need to be able to see your fly in you minds eye and know what it’s doing and where it is. Sometimes it’s sight fishing, sometimes it’s blind and it’s frequently into deep water. Migrating fish move around a lot on their lies. Sometimes to take a fly but often jostling for position or to chase out another fish. They do feed, but as the month progresses they gear more towards spawning. However, with accurate casting; putting the fly in just the right place and making it swim / drift correctly you can still induce a take. So, it’s the challenge? Yes, but possibly even more than the challenge and the realisation that it’s still new to me, is that it’s so much about the big, beautiful migrating fish. When these fish run they are in their absolute prime! Full of condition and energy for the months ahead. Who wouldn’t want to catch fish like this?! On certain rivers in May there is a real chance of a big fish. Sometimes well into double figures and these fish only appear in May. I predominantly target browns all season long but in May I turn my attention to rainbows. Last May I realised just what a great species they are. Hooking into a big rainbow and listening to that tail slap before the first run is simply exhilarating! One more thing.. This is my down time after my guiding season. I’m relaxed, I have nothing to do only fish, I’m in holiday mode! So I think I know now. It’s new and exciting, its challenging, it’s about enjoying big, powerful, beautiful rainbows and some browns, I’m on holiday! Why wouldn’t I love it.. Sorry if I just bored the feck out you with that but I wanted to know for myself.

May has been a great month to catch up with friends. I made lots of use of my drift boat taking Fraser, Wesley (see you next season!), Guy, Tom and Jeff out in it.  It’s been such a new lease of life and a great way to explore rivers and lakes. The pics below tell the story as they do!! Tassie Sean will be up for a visit soon too. That should be fun whatever we get up to. I’m hoping for new waves of fish migrating up some of the rivers which are still open through winter. When they’re fresh in they take really well, still piling on the pounds. bring on the next wave because the first run are now stale and not really taking the fly anymore…

Finally, to finish off what was probably the most enjoyable month of the season for me, we returned to The Bay of Pigs. Just like before the fishing was slow, Tom and Jeff saw one fish from the boat. I managed to drag out one brute of 15lbs from the shore. A long leader and a weighted streamer fished about 3 feet down did the trick. The take was a gentle one before I came up tight!

The next thing on my agenda is to practice my shots for my upcoming trip to Malaysia. I need to get good at that before I leave, or as Paul says, I’ll spend the first week not catching any fish.

I’m available to guide until mid July. Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Tight Lines All!!!

Ronan..

PERSONAL FISHING GALLERY

GUIDING GALLERY

A New Dimension!

March 31st, 2017 No comments

Bob Wyatt got in touch with me earlier in the season to say he had just put his pontoon boat on Trade-Me (NZ’s Ebay!). He asked me if I knew anybody who might want to buy it. I immediately asked him to take it off Trade-Me that he had a buyer. Me! I have used it about 8 times now and what a great craft it is! It floats high on 2 large pontoons (4 chambers for safety), It’s very easy to manoeuvre and great to fish off. I’ve used it on large rivers and lakes with lots of success. It’s definitely added a new dimension to my fly fishing. I can go places that I couldn’t go before, the Clutha for example, I haven’t even scratched the surface of this rivers potential yet and it’s on my doorstep. I can use it for access onto small or large lakes and still waters; it’s light enough for 2 fella’s to carry it a fair distance! West coast river mouths (any river mouth!! or delta!). You get the message. This will be a lot of fun! Recently on the Kawarau I took it down a fast and lumpy rapid to see how it (and me) would handle it – no problem and great fun! I wonder just how much it can take??? No doubt I’ll push it a little!

The Piscatorial Pot fly fishing competition was great success this year with the best turn out yet. This was it’s 3rd year. I run the competition for the Wakatipu Anglers Club on my local Lake Dunstan. The winner is the person with the most fish over 350mm. A quick pic and the fish can be released so that no fish need to be killed to win the cup (sorry, pot). This years winner was Wesley Seery from the shores of Lough Mask in Ireland. If you’d like to have a chance to win the coveted Piss Pot all you need to be is a Wakatipu Anglers Club Member to fish the competition. Yet another reason to join a great club!

Guiding has been chaotic for the last 3 months but has pretty much ground to a halt now. I’m pretty happy to have some quiet time to be honest! As you can see from this blogs galleries I really haven’t fished much myself since the last blog, at least not by my standards. I’ll use the spare time to learn the required casting for my 2 week Toman mission with Paul in Malaysia this July, I’ll fish lots myself (April is a super month!!), tie some flies, I might even be able to write another blog in the not too distant future! If you’re at a loose end this April and are thinking about a trip to NZ and you need a guide, drop me an email!

I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned from guiding this season is the fact that I can only do so much. I can’t make fish eat flies. I make the best decision I can with the information and knowledge that I have, then I guide my client to the best of my ability, then it’s out of my hands. I’ve learned that I can’t force a good result. I’ve learned to let the day unfold while trying not to let stress take hold (It’s stressful at times, I can tell you!!). Almost every time, as long as everyone is happy and relaxed a great outcome eventuates.

April and May are exciting months and I have plenty days available. See my website to book or email me, ronan@sexyloops.com

http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

Stuntman Ronan..

 

 

PERSONAL GALLERY

GUIDING GALLERY

“I Put on Wet Socks in the Morning”

February 25th, 2017 No comments

I wanted to chat briefly about the Damselfly nymph and how most anglers standard pattern makes no sense to me. I had some great photo’s of a damsel nymph which was still alive inside a trout I took from Lake Dunstan recently, but I deleted them by mistake!! I put the green nymph in a jar of water with a sprig of rosemary (haha) where he lived happily for a week or so. I watched how it moved, how it swam (or wobbles!) etc. The one thing that struck me was how similar it was to mayfly nymph. I thought this before, but I though I was missing something that everyone else seemed to know because most damselfly nymph patterns have a long marabou tail. Why? A mayfly nymph representation generally has no marabou. I see some merit in a short marabou tail matching the length of the 3 strands in the real nymph. I’m not one for perfect representations of what fish are eating, far from it actually. However in my opinion, a damsel nymph with a long marabou tail is a woolly bugger, not a damsel! I use a long shank #12 PT or similar as a damsel nymph.

Guiding has been happily chaotic! I’m out most days at the moment but I did manage a few days for myself recently. Iza and I fished together for a day and a half too. Next season I’ll do things a little differently. I’m going to put blocks of time aside for me to fish each month. I need it!! I get a lot of what I get from a days fishing during a day guiding but not everything. Fly-fishing is my life and I must make this work. I know some guides who don’t fish at all during “silly season”. I must not let this happen!! This is only my second season so I guess I’m still finding my way a bit. Guiding continues to teach me a lot and I believe the most important thing it has taught me is how much I don’t know!! A great lesson. Therefor time must be put aside to explore new water and simply get better and better at this.

Recently I explored some new water to the north and the east. Some of it was re-familiarising myself with old haunts and some was totally new. Fishing new water is such a thrill! Absorbing everything the river has to offer, the excitement of seeing whats around the next bend, piecing it all together. Putting on wet socks in the morning means you’re in the thick of it!

Guiding has been lots of fun! I recently took Tim Kempton out for a few days. Great craic with him and his mate Fergus. Tim has fished with Paul in Malaysia which makes him the second (I think) to have been guided by both Paul and I in our respective countries (the other being Chuan Tay!). I hope more anglers do this! On the topic of Malaysia, I’m going there this July to fish with Paul for 2 weeks. I’ve been practicing a little from Paul’s instructional video on youtube so when the time comes I hope I’m on form. Speed is very important with trout fishing too so if I can make one second shots for snakehead, I’ll do it for here for trout too!!! Back to guiding, what else.. Some great heli stuff lately with Nick Mills and a fantastic West Coast mission with local regulars Bryan and Tim. That was a real adventure! One thing about heli-fishing.. The chopper takes a lot of the hard work out of it but the best results come if you’re willing to go hard while your in there. That we did! I think we had 14 trout in total for 3 days with the best fish of the trip going to Tim just before the chopper came to take us home. Many thanks to Greenstone Helicopters! Also a new personal best for Bryan, Bob and his birthday fish, the list goes on.. The pics tell a better story anyway!!

Time to prepare! I have an afternoon mission in an hour..

Tight lines!

Ronan..      ronan@sexyloops.com

 

For bookings and information see my website www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

For Pure Fly NZ dvd’s go to http://www.flyshop.co.nz/product/DVDPFNZ.html

For stu’s cicada’s go to http://stusflyshop.com/browse-by-fly/dry-flies/cicada/MY GALLERY

 

GUIDING GALLERY

Monster Trout New Zealand…

October 24th, 2016 No comments

October has been a difficult enough month! Mainly due to lots of rain and snow-melt keeping many Otago and surrounding rivers high and difficult to fish. I saw this as an opportunity to go well away from home and try to lock in and learn some new water. I had a hunch about an area to try and what I found blew me away. On my first visit to the powerful beast that is mystery river X, I found quite a few really big rainbows.. huge actually. I landed one of 14lbs and lost 7 more (shit happens!). I took my good friend and big fish specialist, Robbie Mcphee for a look recently. He managed an 11lber, a 7lber and a 4. I landed an 11lb salmon, totally unexpected and immensely powerful. I passed the pocket water where he was hanging out having not seen a sign of life. Then something splashed behind me. I thought it was Robbie stumbling on the slippery rocks but when I turned around I saw the remains of a splash on the surface (not Robbie falling in, but a fish!). I went back, changed my fly to Stu’s Sonic Minnow and made a cast.. First cast I had a follow from a big grey ghost. I kept working the water.. 10 casts later I was connected to the biggest New Zealand salmon I’ve hooked. After a great battle Robbie put him in the net. I also had a few normal sized trout. This piece of water is still good but I expect these big fish will get off the shallows and back into the deep, heavy water before too long..

If you’d like to get in touch about guided fly-fishing in the lower South Island then drop me an email ronan@sexyloops.com or check out my website, http://www.ronansflyfishingmissions.com

If Stu’s flies have piqued your attention, look here! http://www.stusflyshop.com/select-your-species/

 

 

GUIDING HIGHLIGHTS

If not for local anglers and regular clients, Bryan Wrighton and Tim Proctor, October would have been a lean month! We recently had a 2 day mission on two very different rivers down south. With a narrow weather window between one front and another, I made the call to take it on. Thankfully it worked! Day one had us fishing on a river which was high and a little coloured. I chose this river for day one because these conditions suit it, it would also give day two’s river a chance to settle and clear a bit. The common denominator over the 2 days was high, slightly coloured water. Perfect for streamer fishing.. well, usually. The streamer barely got a chase over the 2 days. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these conditions not suit the streamer down to the ground! Fishing is always able to throw you a curve ball! Thankfully there were good numbers of fish out feeding and reasonably easy to spot. They were not easy to catch however, (they rarely are!) but Bryan and Tim did well to land 9 quality trout over two days all between 3.5 and 5lbs. Most fish were beautifully marked, in great condition and very strong. We’re out again soon so hopefully we’ll produce the goods again..

 

Tight Lines all!

Ronan..

Ps. Dont forget to check out Sky TV this October 31st. Jeff Forsee and myself will be doing what we do best on episode 6 of “Pure Fly New Zealand”…

20lb Rainbow Trout!

September 24th, 2016 No comments

It’s fair to say that I’ve never really cracked the canals! I’ve had a reasonable number of attempts over the years but the really big fish always seem to get the better of me. I’ve hooked them once or twice but just briefly. This time was different, this time I hooked 3! Two of which were sighted which made me question my spending 2 full days scouring the depths with a di7 and a Dore’s Mr Glister. The 3rd I hooked was right on the bank, close to the surface as I was lifting to recast. Again, not backing up my di7 tactic. I lost them all anyway; one was in the 15-20lb class. Jeff decided on pretty much just sight-fishing for them and luckily for us there were a few to be seen when we fished it in July. He persisted until he got one! A monster cruised through a few 10 to 15lb fish and bullied them out of his path before inhaling Jeff’s fly with his permanently open jaws! The battle was on.. Jeff tamed him pretty quickly and I put him in my weigh-net which luckily goes up to 30lbs. 20lbs on the button!

Most people know the canals for being a place where salmon are farmed and wild trout get huge feeding on pellets. A recent survey shows evidence to support that trout feed on a huge natural stock of food such as snails and cockabullies, kilometres away from the cages. This makes it a much more interesting fishery indeed. I have often walked the edges for kilometres while casting a fast sinking line without success. Much of the canals are 6m deep so I might not have been deep enough. I guess I need to keep experimenting! I might make it back up there pretty soon, Nico is dying to fish it so that’s a good enough reason for me!

Loads of stuff coming up in my next blogs, I’ll be talking about 11 days fishing in Ireland for 7 species, Stu’s Superior Flies (I just received a box of his flies they’ve landed plenty fish already), Guiding and whatever else comes to mind! This blog is a little rushed because I have a tonne of stuff to sort out before the season opens on Saturday.

Tight Lines all

Ronan..

For guiding bookings and information you can contact me at ronan@sexyloops.com You can also check out my facebook page which is updated regularly with what’s happening right now!  www.facebook.com/ronansflyfishingmissions/

Fly-Fishing in Ireland and Jordan…

July 28th, 2016 Comments off

If something is a year late it’s on time again, right?.. well, maybe not, but this kind of is! This is last years Ireland report and a little on fly-fishing in Jordan. It all happened a year ago so its current again! How things have changed. In the past, I lived in Ireland and came to NZ to Holiday / fish (of course it was just fishing – every day!). Now I work in NZ and holiday in Ireland, where I won’t fish every day, but I will certainly fish a lot. Last year I was at home for about 30 days over July and August. I had the best fishing for Atlantic Salmon on Lough Inagh that I ever had. In 3 days on the lake we had 6 grilse up to 7lbs and a few browns and seatrout for good measure. From what I hear this season is going very well. Similar salmon numbers to last year but more seatrout and way more quality browns (up to 9lbs). This is great news for me because Inagh is one of my favourite places in the world to fish. You never know what you might catch during a day on Inagh; a grilse, a spring salmon, an Arctic char, a ferox, a brownie or a seatrout are all on the cards.. and now perch too but efforts are being made to remove this recent invader. At the end of the day on the lake a pint in the lodge always goes down well, especially if Colin is there to tell you why you didn’t catch a few more. You should listen to him, he’s often right (not always though!). Give Colin a call if you fancy getting out on Inagh or any of the river beats. 003539534706 or visit the website http://www.loughinaghlodgehotel.ie

Kylemore Lough is another favourite haunt of mine. It’s different to inagh in my experience in that its less lively in general but when it turns on it really turns on. I remember fishing it a number of years ago with my good friend Fuzz. It was dead quiet all day and then in the space of 20 minutes we landed a grilse, lost a salmon and rose a few more and saw many grilse rolling. Then all went quiet again. You need to make hay when the sun shines on Kylemore Lough. Dad and I fished it a couple of times last season. On our first day on it dad hooked into a big fish at the end of a drift, both of us assumed salmon, then it jumped. “Its a seatrout” I said.. Even in the good old days of seatrout fishing in the west of Ireland a fish of over 4lbs was considered a really outstanding catch. This fish was 5lbs at least. It was a real pleasure to see such a fish. We landed a few more over the 2 days, with browns up to a pound and other seatrout up to 3lbs. I hope this is a sign of thing to come. I’ll be out there again in a few weeks to find out.(http://www.sexyloops.com/blog/2011/07/17/kylemore-lough-in-a-howling-gale/)For bookings contact Nancy on 003539541143 or http://www.kylemorehouse.net

I also spent some time fishing the Renvile lakes for salmon. Namely loughs Muc and Fee. Both stunning lakes where the angler has a chance at a really big salmon, although the run is predominantly 3-5lb grilse. Over the few days out there dad landed a couple while I lost a some. One of the days on Muc & Fee was for a local fishing competition. Dad and I did no good but the weigh in was pretty funny. One competitor left his first salmon behind him on the bank while he continued fishing. Later on he got another and when he went to leave it beside the first one he noticed it had been half eaten by a cat. He had to weigh in half a salmon. He still won!! Only in Ireland I hear you say? Quite possibly!

After Ireland, Iza and I went to Jordan for 2 really incredible weeks. What a country to visit! Jordan has 24ks of coastline on the Red Sea. We spent 5 nights in Aqaba to make the most of it. Fishing from the shore is not allowed so every day was spent diving and snorkelling. However, I managed to get out on the water for a few hours on our last day there. We hired a glass bottomed boat to take us out. With the majority of the boat covered over this was far from a fly-fishing boat but it was the best I could find! It’s worth mentioning that nobody uses fishing rods in the Red Sea in Jordan, It’s all about the hand line. Apparently I just missed a bumper sailfish season. Everyone catching 5 per day they said. It should be firing right now if this season is like the last. Our 2 boatmen took us to some water they knew well. They were dragging hand-lines while I attempted to stand up on the bow and cast as they trolled along. This was extremely hard to do in the big rolling wave!! Imagine River Dance on top of a bucking bronco, well that was me.. Iza caught a few on the hand-line as did the boatmen but I struggled with the fly rod, I struggled just to stand. Of course I could have trolled the flies but thats not fly-fishing. In the end I asked to be taken to the sheltered water close to shore where I had seen fish break the surface from the dive boat a few days prior. Here, for about the last 1.5hours, I had a chance. I had 3 chances to be precise. I cast in the vicinity of two mahi-mahi and had a follow right to the boat but no eat. Then a follow from a skipjack tuna, then my best chance, all I had to do was cast 70 feet to a breaking shoal of skipjack. The line wrapped around the anchor and the fly fell short. That was my last chance. I was pretty gutted not to catch a fish in Jordan. There are no fly guides operating out of Aqaba so if you find yourself there you’ll have to do what I did. Hopefully you’ll do better. The place has potential! Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions.

Tomorrow morning I’m off to india for 12 days then on to Ireland for a month. I’ll carry a fly-rod in India but I don’t think there is anything to catch between Delhi and Mumbai at this time of year (but there must be!!). If you know something please let me know! I have a one week window at the end of the trip where I could possibly squeeze in a fly-fishing destination other than Ireland. India is all about hanging out with and travelling with my brother..

Well thats it for now.. I might get a blog out over the next 6 weeks but there are no guarantees! Right, time to pack!

Tight Lines!   Ronan..    ronan@sexyloops.com

Big Bad Bows…

May 30th, 2016 3 comments

RAMBUNCTIOUS RAINBOWS!

I’ve made no secret of being a brown trout fisherman first and foremost. However, some recent fishing has given rainbows the limelight. By the time May comes around most browns are getting close to spawning so I usually leave them alone. It’s rainbow time! Luckily, in this southern part of NZ there are plenty rivers open throughout May and even the winter months. I went out on May 1st to check out some of my favourite water for the time of year. I quickly found some fish and landed a few between 4 and 5lbs. These fish were in great nick and above the average size I’ve been used to. Then I saw one which I thought must have been big! I lost sight of it but cast the streamer in its vicinity. Then I saw it again, I quickly cast the streamer well above it and steered it into its path. The Glister, which I beefed up with soft weight, passed it by. She turned and nailed it downstream. I saw the gills flare like a bass! The fish was on, a mighty battle in deep water running up and down at the bottom of the pool. She turned out to be 8lbs, much bigger than I was expecting even though I knew it was big. I was blown away! She equalled my second biggest rainbow ever. I heard from the lads at the Hunting & Fishing shop that there were a few big boys and girls about. I went out again a few days later to a different part of the river. Once again it didn’t take long to bank a fish or two around 5lbs. Stunning bars of silver! I only had my phone as a camera and I was fishing alone so no photos. I could not be bothered trying to balance a skinny phone on a rock while waiting for it’s 10 second timer to fire! Then I saw another big one at the bottom of a very deep and fast run, 2 meters down I’d say. I put on a heavy bomb with a worm-fly attached. I made a number of casts upstream, well upstream, to get to depth. I was pretty sure I was getting into the zone. I made a number of casts using left and right mends to steer the fly. Then the magic moment, that little swing right. I lifted against a heavy weight then fury was unleashed.. He tore up and down the river as deep as he could stay. I kept big pressure on him with 9lb fluoro to keep him out of snags. The SL Hot Torpedo was under the gun but it performed as expected. Not quite as big as the rainbow from a few days prior but a much nicer fish and certainly in my top 3 rainbows. Since then it’s been raining almost every day and the river has been pretty much unfishable. Still, The fishing I had in that first week of May was off the charts and I’m thankful for that.

TWO DAYS IN THE WILDERNESS..

Jeff and I recently took on the back-county to explore some water. Our motives were:

1, To learn about what happens on this predominantly rainbow river in May.

2, Hopefully lock in some potential guiding water for next season.

3, To do what we live for –  Fly-Fish!

What we learned was interesting. There were feck all rainbows about. We saw 3 and hooked all of them. Clearly feeding fish not even thinking about spawning. There was a huge run of brown trout in the river on their spawning run. The browns were mostly on the move, any paired up fish received no attention from us. It was pretty exciting fishing! Fast, accurate, short casts with streamers in fast water did the business followed in close second by a weighted san juan worm. We put in two big days on a river which kept getting better the farther we went (which made it hard to make the “last pool” call. Indeed, there were many!!).

FISHING WITH CHRIS DORE..

Chris Dore and myself also went into the back-country but just for a day trip. Our mission was to find a big trout and hopefully catch it. We found one very big fish which saw us first. He was lying in a most unexpected position, but we should have seen it. Our bad!! We saw another big fish (not as big at the first which was 12lbs ish I reckon) in a similar position. We were forewarned on this weird position in the dead water inside the bend, and so made no mistake with spotting this one. No joy though! We landed 7 average sized fish for the day. Great to fish with Chris again. Its getting harder and harder to find the time. Man, he can cast! Since we did our FFF CI together years ago, Chris has pushed forward in a big way. MCI material without a doubt.

A FANTASTIC FINALE & FILMING WITH NICK REYGAERT

A fantastic finale to the brown trout season is documented in photo’s below. Jeff and I had 11 for the day from 3.5 to 8lbs. It was some of the best still water fishing I’ve had. Mostly blind, meticulously working the water.

Jeff and I also finished off our episode of “Pure Fly NZ” I think its called. As with the previous days on the water it was not easy but all up, I reckon you’ll be pleased with the result. I think a pretty decent story line evolved over the few days. It’s all down to the editor now!

THE LATEST FROM MY GUIDING

I had a couple of guide days recently which were successful, both brought difficult water heights but we managed a few fish each day and had a great time on the water. Thanks for getting in touch Frank and Fritz..

I recently became a member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association or NZPFGA. I had an interview with the executive committee recently and went to the AGM the following day. It was really good to meet other members and I’m happy to be a part of this club. Onwards and upwards!

Bring on June! If you fancy getting out for some winter fishing let me know. June and July are open for business. Email me with any questions. ronan@sexyloops.com

If you’re new to this and enjoy what I put together, please subscribe! Feel free to share on social Media..

Cheers All, Ronan..

 

A Late Season Extravaganza!!! Yes Indeed…

April 28th, 2016 2 comments

CRANE-FLY-FISHING…

Earlier in the season while fishing with Dean Whaanga he told me about fishing the Crane Fly in his neck of the woods. He told me that it usually fires after the first frost late in the season and that he’d let me know when its happening. Recently he called to tell me “its on” and to invite me to join him the next day. Luckily, I wasn’t guiding so I was there with bells on. John Roach of the Canterbury Fly Fishing Club was in town so he came along too. I was excited to see and try this style of fishing which was pretty new to me. Fishing the crane fly, or daddy-long-legs as I prefer to call it, is well known on the Irish loughs but fishing them on NZ rivers is quite unique. I guess there are not too many rivers with a high enough crane fly populations around them that they get blown onto the river in sufficient numbers for trout to lock-on to them? A frosty start followed by a warm, breezy day is ideal. We didn’t get that, but the day warmed up a little and wind increased but there were not too many daddies about. Possibly due to the lack of a frost in the morning. For a while during the day there were a few on the surface and we saw a few rises. It was enough for me to see the potential of this type of terrestrial fishing. The trout seemed quite keyed in on daddies anyway because we all had a good few eats off the top. We landed two 6lbers, two 4lbers and lost 6 more! It’s always good to learn about a new way to catch a trout, particularly something seasonal and dependable like the cicada or mayfly. I have it marked in my calendar for next season!

A SPECTACULAR TROUT…

On a recent trip to a Wakitipu feeder stream I found what I was looking for. I wanted to encounter some browns moving up from the lake to spawn in a few months time. Along with a number of rainbows, I had 5 browns in the 5 to 7lb range eat or attempt to eat my fly. I only landed one but that fish alone was worth the trip. A very pale coloured trout, it was indeed unique, unlike any trout I’ve seen before. A unique fish like this is at least as satisfying to catch as a really big fish. It’s the brown trout’s infinite differences in shape and colour that make it the species I want to target more than any other. I hooked and lost another fish around 5lbs with what appeared to be a yellow back, again unlike anything I’ve seen before. I really wanted to see this fish out of the water. On hooking, I briefly saw a very deep, silvery flank. I’ve been back since in the unlikely hope of finding him but without success.. Wakatipu feeder streams are open until the end of may so I’ll be back!!

SQUAWKING, FLAPPING AND CRASHING! (AND A VERY BIG TROUT!)

Over the last couple of days Tom McAuliffe and myself went to a river we both enjoy. As luck would have it Robbie was there too so we all fished together on day one. Just before we met Robbie on the river he had landed an 8lb brown. Shortly after we saw another big trout and then things went quiet for the day. In fact we didn’t spot another fish! I had a couple of follows from a dark pool while blind fishing. Shortly after at the head of the same pool it felt as though I became connected to the reef I was fishing across. It was no reef!, it was a solid brown of about 5.5lbs. A real tank of a trout; I was happy to get it under the difficult circumstances. Two great fish for the day but the lack of trout about was a little concerning.

On day 2 it was just Tom and me. We decided to go hard into the wilderness and hope for the best. I had been in a few times before this season with poor results due to terribly low fish numbers but I’m a sucker for a good gorge! As before fish numbers were low. All season long I was hoping the fish were in hiding, under rocks in semi hibernation as these fish tend to do but now I’m confident the fish just aren’t there. Maybe its a cyclical thing and they’ll return but I’m worried to be honest. The number of shags living on the river is also a concern. These creatures feed on fish and only fish. More about that another time. About half way through the day we found the first fish (apart from one I spooked). It looked really big, maybe a double! Sitting apparently dormant against a rock at 90 degrees to the very slow current at the bottom of the pool. A weird position to say the least. Tom won the rock, scissors, paper to take the shot. I advised him on the approach I’d use since he was new to this type of fishing. A very long leader and a heavily weighted streamer, cast well above the fish, let it sink to the bottom and strip it passed its face. The leader had to be long so as not to line the fish in deep water, also to get the fly far enough up stream to give it enough time to sink to the bottom and still be upstream of the fish when it reaches the bottom. While we were setting up, the big trout decided to jump and then do a rapid loop of the pool for no apparent reason. This was a great sign! The fish was awake and not doggo. Tom made a number of accurate casts and from my vantage point I could see the fly passing just in front of the fish but it never flinched.. Then it became awake again, starting to swim up from the rock it was lying against just as Tom landed the fly in her vicinity. “Let it sink” I said, as I watched the fly drop into the fishes lair. “Strip, strip, strip” Tom did so.. I watched as the fish charged and inhaled the fly. Tom could see nothing from his position in the river but I could see everything form my vantage point. “Strike!!”, I said. She was on. After a dogged, heavy fight we got the fish into the net. We thought she might have been a double but the net doesn’t lie (I hope), just over 9lbs of magnificence. Tom was on top of the world and so was I.

Over the next while we saw a few fish. We had a couple of grabs to a streamer and missed one on a nymph but nothing of any size. There was one pool I wanted to get to before we called it a day. We had to push hard and waste no time to get there. We arrived quite late on the Autumn day. On arrival we saw nothing obvious. We carefully made our way up the pool trying to spot every inch of it as we went. In a backwater on the far side of the pool we saw 1 then 2 then possibly 3 or even 4 fish rising. My jaw dropped with anticipation and awe. At least one was a very big fish. Then Tom spotted a huge fish at the tail of the pool where we had just crossed. Now totally on the back foot, which fish do we target? behind or in front? The fish behind had to have been aware of us due to his position. He started to make his way up the pool. A shot had to be taken quickly. I had a dry and nymph on and took the shot. It seemed a better option than Toms streamer in the shallow, glassy water at the tail of the pool. The fish enquired, then enquired again firstly to the dry, then looked at the nymph. When I moved the nymph off the bottom he followed it a number of times before swimming away into the safety of the dark water. I was disappointed because this was a really (really) big, beautiful, catchable fish. However! We had possibly 4 rising fish to target so I looked forward with a confident smirk, Tom looked at me with the same smirk, we took a few steps forward, both considering the best plan of attack. Rise after rise, both of us eager to take them on. “That’s close enough” we both agreed.  With that 2 paradise ducks came squawking, flapping and crashing into the pool, sliding 25 foot right on top of all the rising fish before immediately lifting off again. Birds gone, fish gone, silence. Dumbfounded, I managed to ask Tom “What the fuck just happened?”,  “Fucked if I know” he replied, “para’s”. That was it, all over. I landed a 2.5lber in the next pool but it didn’t even take the edge off how I was feeling. Utterly heartbroken and time to head out. I hate Paradise Ducks!

That’s all folks! 3 days left of the brown trout season and I’ll be fishing all three of them I do believe!

Ronan..

Ps. Internet problems led to a one day delay in getting this out so just 2 days left of the season! Jeff and I fished today and landed 10 fish up to 8lbs! More on that in the next blog. Also, I wanted to write about filming and upcoming NZ fly-fishing TV show with Jeff Forsee filmed by Nick Reygaert but I’m out of steam now so next blog maybe. I also had a few great days and nights in Southland with Robbie Mcphee and Chris Jackson, stars of New Zealand Trophy Waters ( http://www.fishingvideo.co.nz  ). We fished, ate, drank and were merry! Very merry!! Also great to fish with and catch up with one of my first made friends in NZ, Bob Toffler. See you next season, Bob!

MAY IS STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS! For any guiding bookings or enquiries, ronan@sexyloops.com