Posts Tagged ‘Stu Tripney’

Raging Bull!

November 9th, 2017 No comments

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

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


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

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

My season is filling up quickly so get in soon if you’d like me to guide you on your NZ adventure! Contact me at or visit my website

Tight Lines!





A Couple of Doubles…

November 29th, 2016 No comments

I wanted to explore some new water with the intention of locking in a backcountry day-trip for my guiding business. Looking at the map I expected the walk to take about 60 – 90 minutes so I set off. A recent heavy snow storm had brought down a lot of trees and limbs making the going difficult. A lot of the walk along the very rough track turned into bush-bashing, climbing, D tours and loosing the track from time to time. The walk to the river ended up taking me 3 hrs. I knew almost nothing about the river only that the bottom few pools were quite good. On arrival I noticed a kayak in one of the bottom pools, then another… then shitloads. About 30! There was no point fishing the lower pools. I walked up river to find a chasm rising to about 100 feet above the river. I went to the top and pushed along the side looking through a 2m gap spreading out into the river way below. It was too dangerous and slippery so I bailed out and try to skip above it away from the edge. That was tough going! I went back to the track which was going away from the river. I had no idea if the “track” would even take me back to the river so I gave up. I walked the 3 hours back to where I started having not made a cast. On arrival back at the truck I took a drink of water and then walked down the river I was parked beside. I walked down about 2ks to fish back to the truck. When I got to the bottom I cursed myself for not fishing it down with a streamer as the wind started howling into my face. I fished it up regardless with my dry dropper rig catching or seeing nothing. It was one of those days; nothing working out. The truck was in sight and I was happy to call it a (bad) day. Then, looking into a big pool I saw a fish. “Fuck me, that’s a big fish” I thought. I climbed down to get into position, slipped and landed hard on my back. My pack and net took the fall and I was unhurt. I popped a plastic bottle in my bag and bent my net! The fish was still there. I had on of Stu’s weighted nymphs under a dry with a size 16 trailer. I made about 4 casts before the dry went down and I lifted into some serious weight. 7 maybe 8lbs I thought. She bolted down river and I thought “foul hooked” but then I felt the head shakes. “Hmm, not foul hooked, must be big” Then she decided to swim right across in front of me. I knew it had to make 10lbs. I moment later I got my chance and stuck her in the net. 10.25lbs. I can’t tell you just what that fish meant to me. Utter elation. I sat on the bank and enjoyed the moment for quite some time before heading home with a grin from ear to ear.

More recently I had the please of guiding Mark Warminger onto a fish of a lifetime.We went hard all day, A cloud sat above the valley floor for most of the day making sighting difficult. We had a couple of shots and one lost fish (a big one) before seeing a really big fish late in the day. Mark made no mistake with his casting. Neat presentations meant the fish remained feeding undisturbed but did not want our fly. I made a few changes before deciding on a tiny, super-skinny, unweighted #16 nymph fresh of the vice that morning. Marks first cast with this fly trailing off a weighted nymph; the dry checked… I called the strike almost second guessing the call… The rod bent! After a strong fight the very large fish was readying himself to bolt down a long, fast run. This could mean disaster.. I got myself into position, when the fish hit the chute, I jumped in, arm and net outstretched to intercept him. The  interception worked and he went into my net! One of my best guiding moments, maybe the best! One of Marks best days ever… 10lbs.. Oh yea!

It needs to be said though, double figure trout do not come easy in NZ. In my 15 seasons and about 1500 – 2000 days I have landed 6. Marks fish was my first guided double. If you want to target really big fish in NZ you must be prepared to blank. However, if you succeed, the reward is fantastic!

Once again, finding time to write is getting tough so I’ve just picked out the 2 main events since my last blog! There have been many others which I hope to share with you soon. My dad is here right now too so any day I’m not guiding we fish together. We’re loving it! He’s doing great, making the most of the lakes while many rivers in the area are still high and dirty after the worst spring ever. Gales and rain were the norm all month but it looks like its starting to ease up.. I hope!

Tight Lines All,


If you’d like to get in touch about guided fly fishing in the lower South Island, check out my website


Early Season Extravaganza!

October 11th, 2016 No comments

A few of days ago while planning a day fishing for myself, I was surprised to see a perfect weather forecast. Blue skies all day, gentle southerly blowing and a high of 15c. “With a forecast like that for a Sunday I better set off early” I thought. The following morning I was away before dawn. It was a long drive to the river. There was rain first off, then it stopped, then it started again and continued. “Weird” I thought, “It’ll pass”. Before I left internet coverage I decided to check the forecast again in case I made a mistake. I did! I got the forecast for a town in the USA with the same name.. Lesson learned!

There was no going back, and I didn’t want to.. I was excited to take on whatever conditions nature would throw at me. I got a mix of sun, rain and wind all day. High, slightly coloured water too. A streamer day I thought but I ended up catching most sight fishing with small nymphs. Any fish I saw was hard out feeding just below the surface and they were keen to eat my offerings. My own size 16 nymph and one of Stu’s Superior Nymphs did the trick.

The best moment of the day was spotting a large fish swing to the right from behind a deep boulder. I though I had spooked it but wasn’t sure.. I took off the nymphs and tied on a Glister. I slung it across the pool slightly upstream so that it would cross the boulder on its way down. Up from the gloom came the large fish and engulfed my streamer. I lifted into solid weight and the fish played to his strengths and stayed deep. Just under 7lbs. He made my day!

I’m playing catch-up a bit with this blog! Some pics go back to last winter, others from a recent trip to the canals where I finally cracked a big one; 18.5lbs of ugly! Fishing with Guy, a mission to the Coast with Iza, Robbie Mcphee’s 43rd birthday.. Enjoy the pics!

I’ve known Stu Tripney for pretty much as long as I’ve been coming to NZ. He, his shop and his flies have become legendary over my 15 years in NZ. This season I’m putting Stu’s flies through their paces and I’m more than happy with the results. Check them out!

I’ve had a couple of days guiding which have been good, and a few more coming up over the month. There are plenty spaces available and October is a great month! So maybe its time to get yourself down here for a day out! for bookings and information.

One more thing, Just in case I don’t get a blog out before October 31st, thats the day mine and Jeff’s episode of “Pure Fly New Zealand” airs on Sky TV in NZ… Good reports from the director so here’s hoping he’s right!

Tight Lines everyone!

Stuntman Ronan (It’s on my license!)      

As of now, 2.00pm on the 12th of October, my website is live!

Lake Dunstan at the moment..

April 12th, 2014 4 comments

The browns on Dunstan have all but left the top flats. I was there last Saturday. For a while, a large section of the lake was dead calm. In about 2 hours fishing it, I saw only a few rises. I caught one on one of Dad’s buzzers and then went exploring the Clutha River through the various delta channels. I saw a few fish in deep, fast water but could do little with them. I had some nice action in the lee of a willow island to a few rising fish. All up though, the fishing was slow and the rainbows have not arrived on the top flat just yet.. not many anyway.

On Sunday, Kevin and I went out for a few hours, We decided to fish down the lake towards Clyde. There’s lots of fishy water down the road shore. One section in particular had my attention from regularly driving passed it. We went there. We did a number of drifts covering deep to shallow water, weedy to sandy and some rocky edges. Almost every drift resulted in a fish event. We landed 5, The best fish was a 4lb plus rainbow on a nymph David Lambroughton gave me. I was also fishing one of Stu Tripney’s damsel flies, which also picked up a fish or 2!

So that’s it.. If you’re keen on a day on Dunstan, maybe try down the lake. This time last year the top was very slow. By May, the fishing on the top flat was pretty good again for rainbows. Until then I’ll be exploring between here (Cromwell) and the Clyde dam. Hopefully it will produce the goods.

No fishing this weekend.. I picked up a stomach bug and it has me fucked.