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Posts Tagged ‘Ronan Creane’

Sexyloops TV….& other manshit.

March 7th, 2013 4 comments

I have writers block. No idea what to talk about. Too much happened since the last fishing blog and it’s all become a blur. There have been lots of friends through, both old and new and from all over the place. That’s been great!! (a bit too good actually, I am no longer allowed to have guests)

The lake has been very bad at times to excellent other times. Everything is extremely low. The rivers and lakes need a freshen up. I will promptly report back on this coming weekend before it all becomes a blur again!

One thing I thought about doing recently was running the entire SLTV series through my blog. So I’ll do it! I know I have many subscribers and I’m sure non-subscribers who have never seen or heard of it, so, to you folks, I suggest you watch it like a tv show. I will bring you a 10 minute fly-fishing film at least once a week. Both Paul Arden and I are the hosts (though I don’t appear until episode 4). The shows are from NZ, Tasmania and The Northern Territory in Australia. They are filmed, edited, directed and produced by Paul and I. Without further ado, Here is Episode 1. “Paul Arden”. (I put it below the pics  so you don’t forget to check them out!!)

Tomorrow is the start of 2.5 serious days fishing!

Work to live… Ronan..

Saturday March 2nd, Anti Fish-Farm March in Eyre Square Galway @ 12.00 noon…

February 22nd, 2013 No comments

I was born into fly-fishing. Fly-fishing was the centre of  my my fathers life, my grandfathers and my great grandfathers. As soon as I was old enough to cast a fly I joined the family tradition and not because I was forced into it, I simply knew I had to. It was for me. I remember my dad and my grandad heading off in the evenings to target seatrout on the Ballynahinch, Inagh and Cashel systems. I remember bags of fish on their return. I remember Declan Ridge calling to the house on Summer evenings before he and dad would take on some stretch of river or lake less than an hour from home. Declan always had a Dairymilk or two for me and my siblings. I remember the craic and banter in the pubs after competitions, I remember listening in to dad’s and his friends conversations about fly-fishing for seatrout and it’s intricacies. Sometimes I’d try to add something just to be part of it. I remember the decline. In the space of a few seasons there were no fish. No more Declan or his Dairymilks, no more conversations till the wee hours to inspire a 10 year old, no more seatrout.

Thankfully in the last few years seatout and salmon numbers have increased a little on some systems. The future is potentially bright but there are plans afoot to massively increase the number of salmon cages around Ireland (In a sentence, salmon farming is the reason for the virtual extinction of seatrout in Ireland). When will Ireland recognise the value of it’s wild waters and migratory fish? I don’t know.. I do know we must do something to save it. This is about as much as I can do from NZ. To my readers living in Ireland, why not make an effort to go and march in Galway on Saturday March the 2nd starting in Eyre Square at 12.00 midday. The following groups and clubs will be there amongst others and you hopefully..

NARA National Anglers Representative Association
TAFI Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland
SAVE BANTRYBAY
Salmon Watch Ireland. (formerly Stop Salmon drift nets Now)                                                              FISSTA Federation of Irish Salmon & Seatrout Anglers
Tuam Anglers Ass.
Cregmore/Athenry Anglers Ass.
St. Colman’s Anglers Ass.
Milltown Anglers Ass.
Corofin Anglers Ass.
Galway City Salmon Anglers
NSFAS No Salmon Farms at Sea

THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Ronan..

Dad and I in 1980. Seatrout are no longer present where these fish were caught due to salmon farming… Without salmon farms they would return in time. Lets fight to give them a chance!

 

A simple approach to fishing large terrestrials.

February 14th, 2013 2 comments

One simple observation I made last weekend was about fishing large dries in calm water. Because the water is calm the fish will see a large fly from a long way off. A good approach for a cruising trout or one on station is not to cast the fly near the fish. Instead cast the fly well to the side of the fish and try to induce him off his lie or beat. The plop from a big fly is often enough to trigger this.  Advantage being the fish is travelling toward your rod tip and therefore the tippet will be on the trout’s blind side of the dryfly. This massively increases the chances of a confident take and a solid hook up.

It was great to fish with Fraser again.. He was unlucky to break in a very big fish at the end of the day. The fish took his dry (as described above) and took off off like a freight train, as he did the line jumped from the ground, around Fraser’s forceps and everything locked up. Simply impossible to put the brakes on a fish like that on his first run. Next time Fraser!

I have no idea what’s on the cards for this weekend… I think I might go a little nuts. It’s in the post.

Ronan..

ps. Good to meet Scott Loudon and Ben! Thanks for the stout…

Also, only 17 subscribers to go until I hit 100 and the prize draw! Get in quick!!

Cicadas to sea-runners to speeding tickets….

February 7th, 2013 No comments

Last Saturday Mike Bonn and I took the Wakitipu Anglers Club boat out on Lake Wakitipu to target Cicada feeders. I have not fished for trout feeding on Cicada’s very often but one observation I made in the past stud true on the day. The trout were sipping down the big morsels like little mayflies. There were very few smashing rises, In fact,we only saw about 10 free risers all morning. If they were smashing them we’d have seen heaps! They were clearly zoned in on cicada’s because our big, shop bought cicada patterns were all they wanted. I have often heard about fish hitting cicada’s very hard but I have rarely seen it happen. The truth is that once a cicada lands on the water he’s not getting off it again. Trout zone in on this behaviour after eating a few and instinctively adapt their behaviour to match ( I hope I worded that correctly Bob Wyatt, feel free to comment!!) Cicada’s range widely in size and colour so maybe they only sip down the medium sized grass green ones!! Who the hell knows.. Regardless, Mike and I had a great few hours on the water. Afterwards I went to James and Caroline Wilkinson’s Wedding.  Thanks James and Caroline.. Great fun had by all! (apart from getting a speeding ticket while trying to keep up with Jeff on the way the the river the next day!)

Wednesday, Waitangi day. No work so Jeff Forsee and myself set out to catch a big searun brown. I’m tired now so I’ll keep this short! Basically, Jeff had to open about 15 gates before we got to where we wanted to go, then a 300m climb into a gorge, then about 5ks of very rough gorgy terrain to get a shot at a handful of fish. They were tough! We each had a 7lber. I lost 2 more one of which I reckon was 9 plus. Then the walk out. Down the river first then up a stream, then up and over a mountain, down a gorge, and back out the same gorge to find the truck a few k’s down the track. Fitness helps about as much as stubbornness! My knee gave up but still worked. Thankfully it’s almost fine today but my legs are sore! Jeff said his were too and Kanai is still asleep. Was it worth it?…  Fuck yes.

Ronan..

 

 

Strip-Striking Trout…

January 31st, 2013 3 comments

I’m just in from my best Dunstan outing so far this season. I had 10 in 2.5hours, All but one on a single simple mayfly pattern I tied for the Mataura last season. I started with a bugger and caught one. I often start this way to connect with the lake. Once I have a feel for what’s going on I adapt to my environment. The fishing was fast and exciting. Fish were up, tracking along the surface and rising multiple times. One fish, which I did not catch, rose about 100 times, constantly changing direction. I got my fly in front of him a few times but he was locked on to something else. The fish were rising like caenis feeders on Lough Corrib so I’m guessing their main diet during this rise was something tiny. I never thought to have a close look in the water and find out! It didn’t matter anyway. The important thing was to be able to put my fly about a foot or 2 in front of a tracking fish, any more and the fish would probably change direction and not see my fly. There were no mayfly hatching by the way. The lake should provide this sort of action for the next few months and I’ll be in the thick of it.

A few years ago while fishing for lake edge cruisers with a single nymph I found myself strip striking! I’ve been doing this for a long time now and this is why.. When you see a fish approaching (or cruising away from you!) you get into position and take your shot. You know roughly where your fly is as it sinks. You watch the fish carefully looking for any change in direction or movement of his mouth when he is nearing your fly. If it moves you strike. If your almost sure, you strike, maybe. If your 50/50 you strike?? I don’t, at least not with the rod. If you strike with the rod and the fish has not taken you will probably spook the fish. If you strip strike you gain 3 advantages. 1, If the fish has taken you will hook up with the strip strike. 2, If the fish has not taken your fly, your fly is still in the zone. Finally 3, you are far less likely to spook a fish with a strip strike as you would be with a rod strike. With a failed rod strike you also have to recast! There are other applications for the strip strike in trout fishing. It’s very useful when lure fishing. A fish might be so close to your fly that you think he has it taken. Don’t strike with the rod! Strip strike and keep your fly in the zone. The strip often induces a take too..  Try it out if you haven’t done so already!

Tomorrow night is card night for the boys (I won about 150 bucks last time) and on Saturday I’m off to James Wilkinsons wedding. James did you invite some single women?? I sure I’ll squeeze in a few hours on a river somewhere… but maybe not!

Thanks to all my new subscribers! I will endeavour to keep this interesting.. Below are some random shots from about 2 weeks ago to today.

Tight Lines.  Stuntman Ronan..

Probably the most beautiful trout I have ever caught!

January 21st, 2013 6 comments

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

Ronan..

ps. If you enjoy my weekly report please subscribe at the top right of this page. The more the merrier and there will be a prize drawn at random from the first 100 subscribers!

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

Addicted to Craic…

January 15th, 2013 1 comment

NZ is a calm country. When kiwi’s hit 25, having the craic becomes less important and priorities change. It’s not so clear cut in Ireland. Having the craic is always on the agenda. Not necessarily priority but not far from it. At least it is with my friends. This craic addiction coupled with 3 weeks of shite weather kept me off the lake every day bar one. The photo’s tell the story. It’s a simple, pikeless one!

I had 20 days in Ireland and spent one fishing. I have no regrets! The reason for the trip was to spend Christmas with my family, have the craic with my friends (the likes of which I simply don’t have in NZ) and to be John O Malley’s best man at his and Bronwens wedding. Thankfully I didn’t mess up the speech (they told me it was good anyway!) I was a nervous wreck before it! After it I let lose and went banana’s. We all did.

I had serious intentions to fish in the north of Thailand. I was going to book in advance but the mahseer fishing was about 1200usd for 3 days. Bollocks to that. I quickly found some great people and some funky bars and my craic addiction took over. I fished one day which was pretty expensive and not so great so I was not overly keen on going again. I have no regrets. 6 nights, one day fishing and dam all sleep.

Ireland and Thailand, Thank you… I needed that!! I really needed that…

Ronan..

The Secret Dam.

November 11th, 2012 1 comment

Dad and I used to joke about how trout in NZ would live in a puddle. The truth is that this is only a slight exaggeration. Farm irrigation dams, duck ponds, oxbow lakes, ditches, gold diggings, and every other imaginable body of water can and do support thriving trout populations in NZ. What’s in the water over here that makes this possible? Fish & Game introduce fish to some of these small waters but trout often find their own way in either through times of flood or little rivulets and streams. Either way, once they’re in they live there for years and have no problem surviving the winter months. In Ireland stocked lakes have to restocked at least once a year because so few fish survive the winter in their new, unfamiliar home.

Kevin was working on a farm last year which had 2 small dams on the property. The location was kept secret but finally he brought me to fish them this weekend. I’m forbidden from bringing anyone else there and I can only fish there with Kevin. This is fine by me! One could walk around each of the dams in 5 minutes. There is a small water race connecting the dams to a nearby creek and the ever opportunist trout have made their way into these waters. Over Kevins 2 weeks working there he picked up over 30 trout on lunch breaks and evenings with only 4 under 7lbs. This is an exceptional average even for NZ.

We had beautiful blue sky days during the working week but Saturday brought heavy cloud cover making spotting very tough. Thankfully the morning on the dam was dead calm and we managed to spot a few even in the low light. We did well with our chances. As the wind picked up we went to the creek which feeds the dams. We hooked a fish each. A 6lber for me and one about 8lbs for Kevin which he lost around a snag after taking my advise on where to beach the fish. We know where he lives!

Tight lines all.. Ronan..

Approaching a coloured river…

October 24th, 2012 3 comments

The weather was pretty bad all Labour Weekend. I took a chance and went to one of my favourite rivers on Saturday, It was coloured as expected but fishable, only just though! I made a poor choice to start with and went upstream. The reason I went up was to get above 2 feeder streams that pump a lot of colour into the main river after rain or snow. I thought it might be reasonably clear above them and it was, but crossings were difficult and I knew they would get harder and more hazardous in the gorge. So after not seeing a fish all day I walked half an hour back to the truck, then drove down stream a bit, then walked an hour down at 3pm. I considered getting out because it was so late in the day but that would be losing!

With renewed optimism I took on the river again. While getting a read on the river I hooked a fish blind and lost it. Then I sighted a fish on a sand bar, it took a number of casts but I got him. 7lbs. I decided to give up on the blind fishing and concentrate on spotting the edges which I could just about see into. I found a fish in a similar position to the last, on a sandy edge inside the eye, so I figured I was on the right track. This approach worked. I sighted 7 for the day, all in similar water. I hooked 6 of them and landed four. 7lbs, 5.5lbs, 5.5lbs, 8.25lbs. All on nymphs. This day would have been well suited to streamers but I prefer to nymph fish when I can. It would have been interesting to have been fishing with another angler using a streamer to see which method was more effective. Certainly the streamer would have dragged a few from the body of the pools blind… well, maybe!

I caught up Chris Dore and Simon Chu for the rest of the weekend, We discussed shipping a Irish lakeboat to NZ amongst other things. It will happen! Just not now..

Ronan..

The New York Times. Fish Stories, Told With a Brogue….

October 3rd, 2012 No comments

I just dug up this article from The New York Times written about me 13 years ago. Go google!

 

By Barbara Lloyd
Published: November 28, 1999

 

A book by the fire at the Lough Inagh Lodge looked ever more enticing than sitting in a boat on a chilly day as the mist outside turned a darker gray. But who among us could resist those fly rods standing so nobly in the back hallway of this County Galway fishing lodge?

”Have you ever fly-fished before?” asked Ronan Creane, the lodge’s guide. ”Yes,” we replied in unison, as couples do. ”But not a lot.” My husband, Dick Baker, had once cast in the river waters of Oregon and Wyoming, and I had dropped lines from the deep Alpine grasses of northwest Montana. But this was a mountain lake on the west coast of Ireland, and we soon found ourselves getting in a boat.

It was a 19-foot skiff, a narrow wooden hull that looked like the Rangely guide boats of woodland Maine. One pull of the six-horsepower Yamaha, and we were heading against a freshening breeze along the four-mile lake. Our cache of wet flies — a bibio, a black pennell and a few daddy longlegs — filled an arsenal meant to lure sea trout, brown trout and Atlantic salmon.

The Western Regional Fisheries Board for the Connemara region has reported a decline in sea trout here the last few years. But it is still a popular fishing destination. The Irish Tourist Board estimates that more than 6,000 North Americans fished Ireland’s coastal waters for sea trout last year. During our late September day of fishing on Lough Inagh, we were the only boat out.

Our guide, a disarmingly self-assured 21-year-old, left no doubt that we would catch something. Creane had just beaten his father, Joe, an international competitor, in a local fishing derby the day before. How he did it was a tale of perseverance that fired up our determination.

Creane, you see, had selected a secluded spot along a nearby lake and waited for the contest to begin. The rules prohibited fishing from a boat as we were allowed to do on Lough Inagh. From the shore instead, our young guide had mounted a daylong fishing vigil. But in the excitement of competition, he had forgotten his rain gear.

Rather than go back to shore for his jacket, Creane kept casting. As his clothes got wetter, he got colder. So he began disrobing; doesn’t everyone? He removed his clothing piece by piece. Then he spread his sodden shirt, pants and underclothing on adjacent bushes, hoping they would dry as the rain began to abate.

No one else was around, which was part of his plan. He was sure he had picked the choicest fishing hole, and was not about to leave it. Not even when it meant fishing in the buff.

At the end of the day, Creane, fully clothed once again, delivered almost nine pounds of fish, a sizeable catch that put him in second place in the competition. The winner’s total weighed only three more ounces than Creane’s. Better yet, our young guide had beaten his father, who finished in third place.

We latched onto the story eagerly as we began our day of fishing. Creane had turned off the boat’s engine, and we were drifting down the lake with an oar put out to the side as a rudder. But in less than an hour, dozens of thwarted casts revealed our rookie inadequacies against the fitful breeze. Try as we might, our lines got tangled like used kite string. We hooked everything on the boat but each other, and that was going to be next.

Creane, undoubtedly fearful of being hooked himself, suggested a change of pace. We would troll down the lake with the engine running. Had we been self-respecting fly-fishers, we would have nixed the idea. But we were desperate.

Within minutes, I had the first strike. It was a salmon, albeit a tiny salmon that looked more despondent than I had been. The next catch proved to be a heartier sea trout. Measuring about one pound, it came into the boat with a little kick, not unlike the cutthroat trout I remembered landing several years ago in Montana. We threw my Irish fish back as part of the lake’s catch-and-release policy.

It was a whole lot harder to throw back the next one — a two-and-a-quarter-pound brown trout that Creane said was easily the third largest brown caught on the lake all season. Since we were there in late September, and the fishing year had started in February, I felt a bit smug. But I was not alone. Creane was beside himself with enthusiasm.

”It’s a lovely fish,” he said excitedly. ”To catch a brown that size, the chances are very slim. The biggest fish here this season was 3.2 pounds. Will you send me the photo?”

An hour later, Dick landed a brown that was quite nearly the same size. I could swear it was the same fish. Either way, they were big fish for Lough Inagh, and beautiful. On the way back to shore, I thought I noticed a wistful look on Creane’s face.

”I’m very jealous that I didn’t catch one of those fish,” he said.

I was touched. ”I’ll send you the pictures,” I promised