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Posts Tagged ‘Stuntman Ronan’

Seatrout, The Craic and 29 blank free days for Joe Creane…

December 13th, 2013 3 comments

Firstly, To those of you who look forward to my ramblings, sorry this report has taken so long! Life is pretty full right now and my Dad was over for a month. Between fishing with Dad, work and life in general, I simply have not had time to write. I’m just home from a 12 hour work day so this is not the greatest time either! However, I’ll make a start while I feel fresh!

Fishing with Dad was great, as it always is. When he’s in NZ he fishes every day either with me or alone. Weather may put a damper on things from time to time, but it has never been the cause of a day off the water. Never. Fair weather fishermen we are not!

We took on lots of different types of water from small streams to massive rivers, lakes to sea, river mouths to farm ponds, boat and bank. For me, The beauty of  NZ fly-fishing is in it’s diversity. It’s not all about fishing to a sighted fish with a dry or nymph in a river. There are infinitely more options for an adventurous, curious angler in NZ.

One of the highlights was the West Coast. I almost decided against it because it was raining the day we left, but the forecast was good for the days to follow. I took a chance. It was a little stressful being in charge of where we fished and when! On arrival the rain continued to pour down and the rivers were high and coffee like. I thought I had made a bad choice.. We went to a river mouth and within 20 minutes I had a seatrout on the beach which went just over 8lbs. I had the Di7 on with a Mr Glister and a white streamer behind it. The spectacular, fin perfect fish ate the Glister. Thanks once again, Chris Dore! For the rest of the day the fishing was good. Lots of insanely strong Kahawai about and a good few trout. The weather was perfect for the next 2 days, light winds, blue skies and falling, clearing rivers. The fishing was the way it often is in the surf and at river mouths, there were chaotic spells with long quiet periods. The chaos was worth waiting for! Dad loved it.. Kahawai on fly on the magical West Coast was one of the highlights of his fly-fishing life to date. Also in 3 days the sandflies only bit him 3 times! Miraculous.. They preferred my blood.

We took on some rivers with small numbers of big fish. In Dad’s early NZ days, he’d have preferred quantity over quality, but not any more. I went through the same learning curve. It’s about experience which leads to confidence. With confidence, big fish rivers will no longer intimidate, only excite. A big, wild, solitary brown is better than 100 recovering, early season rainbows.

On one of these big fish days, after a long 1.5 hour hike over steep terrain I was feeling a little nervous. We saw no fish on the way downstream. If I was alone, I would not mind, but I’m a guide for dad in effect! I’m making the calls so I want them to work out, even though he insists he does not mind whether he catches or not. Soon after starting, to my relief, a fish appeared. I saw him deep in the eye of a pool then he vanished. I was confident he didn’t spook, he just moved. Dad got into position in the pool while I examined the water from a good vantage point. Then I saw him, barely visible against a black rock bluff. He moved up, then back down, happily feeding. I advised dad to have a cast at the ready for the next time re rose up in the water. The fish moved up in the water, dad sent in his double nymph arsenal which landed perfectly 10 feet upstream of the fish. As they passed him I called strike at the sight of an unnatural twitch and the fish was on. The fish fought hard; the battle went for a few pools down river before I managed to net him. 7lbs. One of a number of really good fish for dad on this trip. The pressure was off me! We had a fantastic day with 2 more good browns. At the end of the day we were back at the car. That’s the reward for walking downstream and fishing back.

While staying in Te Anau, my good friend Guy came up from Invercargill to fish with Dad and I for a couple of days. The weather was not so good at the time and the forecast was bad. Guy put his boat into a local river anyway and we were rewarded with a perfect blue sky day. We spent the day moving from gravel bar to gravel bar and also fishing from the boat as guy manoeuvred it to keep the caster in a good position. Not easy for Guy or the caster, but it was fun fishing and great to watch. The gravel bars were superb! Loads of fish feeding and non stop opportunities. They were not easy which made it better. The shear number of shots we had ensured we caught lots of fish. We had all the time we needed to experiment with different dries, emergers and nymphs and we got it right every so often. Or maybe probability helped, If you cover a feeding fish enough times he may finally eat, even if the fly is “wrong”. We kept some fish for that nights dinner. Guy and I made fish fingers!

No trip to Te Anau is complete without a visit to the Redcliff Bar and Restaurant. We had 6 visits. The restaurant was recently voted 3rd in NZ and 8th in the South Pacific by Tripadvisor. We ate there twice and you can take my word for it, it’s a well deserved accolade.

On one of the nights in the bar, the craic was good and pints were flowing. I was chatting to a fella at the bar about the state of NZ rivers. The conversation was mostly positive but then didymo came up.. Shortly after that he said “that fuckin’ liposuction is an awful curse too” I thought he was joking, but when I looked at him about to laugh I realised he wasn’t. I held a straight face and agreed. He meant lagarosiphon.

Enjoy the pics!

Stuntman Ronan..

 

Two 10lb plus Trout…

March 27th, 2013 4 comments

Fishing for really big trout is an addiction. There are lots of options available to me but at the moment I’m targeting big fish at a few locations. I cant help myself! For Easter the plan is a little different. Jeff Forsee and I are heading into fjordland. We are unlikely to find fish of the size and calibre you’ve been seeing and reading about in my recent reports but who knows, there are a few big fish in there. Big fish is not the purpose anyway. It’s about getting into the wilderness for a few days and making the most of what ever opportunities we get. Fjordland is good for the soul.

The weekend gone by was another epic one. Kristian and I got ourselves organised on Saturday for 3 days in the wild fishing with packs on. The idea being that we fish until we’ve had enough and then make camp where ever that is, we then continue from there the next day. This is a great way to explore but the walk out after a few days fishing  can be really tough!

We had Saturday evening, all day Sunday and Monday morning to fish. I got a 9.5lb stunning red trout on arrival on Saturday. First cast actually! That was it.

Saturday was different. While Kristian was cooking some breakfast and I was contemplating the day ahead I noticed a sprightly individual moving at pace up river. In no time he was at our camp. It was Robbie Mcphee. At the speed he was moving I expected it would be!  These can be awkward situations. How do we all divide up the river? Robbie and I met once before so that made this chance situation a little easier. We chatted for a while and decided we would fish together! Once we got our gear packed away we got to it. We went shot for shot. In the early part of the day we basically had 3 chances each. I landed one 6lber, lost a really big fish and broke in a small fish. Robbie landed 2 close on 9lbs. Kristian landed an 8.5lber, a 10.25lber and a 10.75lber. I’ve only had one over 10 in all my years here.

We had a few more shots in the afternoon but only landed a couple. I had both, some redemption from my morning efforts! They were both very memorable fish; the first, Kristian had the first shot but snagged a rock, then Robbie had a go but snagged a tree, then I took my shot and sent my fly into the zone and got the fish. I learned from my 2 predecessors and took up a better position. The other fish was from a very deep pool where i let my single size 14 nymph sink to the bottom. I watched the fish cruise near where I expected the fly to be and struck at the sight of a mouth flash. It was a satisfying moment when everything went tight! That fish was about 7.5lbs.

It was Kristians day. 2 over 10? That does not happen every day. Well done man!

The next day was nothing to write home about but all up it was a mission I’ll never forget. I know Kristian and Robbie wont forget it either. Robbie and I will fish together again soon, I look forward to that.

The winner of my competition from my first 100 subscribers is Eadaoin Ni Bhraoin, subscriber number 31! Congratulations to you Eadaoin, 2 return tickets to NZ in the post, sorry, no, 2 dvd’s!

Finally, This week on SLTV, My introduction to the series. This is the first of a 3 part show from Fjordland. In this show you will see the best footage of the hell that can be sand-flies ever filmed! Also some fish and some new characters…

I’m exhausted! This weeks report might seem a bit thrown together.. I wont get another chance to write it though because Easter and a new adventure starts after work tomorrow. Good night!

Stuntman Ronan..

ps. To view the images full size click it, then click it again when the thumbnail appears, and again to enlarge it even more!!. Wordprees made a change and I cant go back to the old way. Very annoying.

SLTV- “Ronan Creane – Day 1″

New Zealand Sea-run Browns… (& “Frazer’s Hat” from SLTV)

March 12th, 2013 4 comments

After covering a couple of ks of virtually fishless water we approached the gorge. A gorge always excites me. There is no set path; they are dangerous, moody, wild, alive, powerful, and beautiful and many other things to inspire an angler. On this day there were few fish in the gorge but optimism pushed me forward.I can only speak for me but I know something was driving Kristian too. We found a few in one pool but one cast from me spooked them all. We moved on. One fish in the next pool looked at my fly then disappeared. We moved on, constantly climbing rock walls and boulders so the going was slow. I climbed myself into a point where I could not go up, down, across or back. I felt fear because I was high up, much too high to jump. I took a breath and carefully turned around and edged my way back to relative safety. From there I jumped into the river into waist deep water. The whole point of my climb was to keep my balls dry. We moved on. More climbing and on a few occasions we had to help each other. It’s important when gorge fishing to look out for your buddy. We reached a point where it seemed we had to leave the gorge and drop in farther up. We started climbing. On the way up I took a glance into the pool from the cliff and spotted a trout rise. I could see him and he was big. Very big. Come what may we were fishing that pool. We surveyed the pool and its surrounding cliffs and boulders. I figured I could go downstream and cross and then climb in over a bluff. Kristian decided to swim because he’s afraid of heights. We both made it in safely and what greeted us was unlike anything I had ever seen before. At first I could not believe my eyes so I got into a better position. Kristian could see very little from river level so I suggested he stay put until I see exactly what we are about to fish for. I had not yet climbed down to the river so I crept through the trees and around the pool. Looking in from a better angle I could see what we were up against.  A pod of about 50 sea-run browns from 3lbs up to god only knows what. Rock, scissors paper for the first shot. I lost!

Most of the fish were facing a swirling back eddy out of the main current so a drag free drift was going to be very difficult to achieve. Kristian started with a dry/dropper combo. No joy. Next a double nymph rig with more weight. He hooked and landed a small fish which took the nymph while retrieving, an induced take of sorts. That was a valuable clue. I stepped up to the casting rock and before long had a good fish on. These fish fight hard and dirty! They know every snag in the pool. This fish also took a retrieved trailing nymph. For the next while we had some magical fishing. We learned how to fish for them as we did it and what we learned is very interesting. It’s exactly what I was taught about Atlantic salmon fishing back in Ireland. Change the fly often, Change the retrieve speed and form, Change your position, and most importantly rest the pool. Using these disciplines we landed 6 and lost/broke in about as many. We got them on dries, nymphs, wets and Lures. We held off on the big lures until the end of the day (another salmon fishing trick). I launched the Dore’s Mr Glister and the whole pool went ballistic! Strip-strip-strip and there are 10 huge trout chasing creating a bulging bow wave in the pool. One took and I lost him. I cast in again. The same thing happened and again lost the fish. 3rd cast, the entire pool spooked. That was it.

We did not want to leave but light was failing and we had a gorge to climb out of. Back at camp we discussed a plan for the next day. We decided to have another go at the pool. It seemed slightly unethical but we both had to go back. The plan was to go straight there in the morning and settle in for the day. That’s what we did. We brought a few beers, food, etc. I lost the rock scissors paper again so Kristian had the first shot. He had one pretty quickly. I struggled but got a small one on a dry after resting the pool after Kristian’s event. For the rest of the day we did not land another fish. I lost a huge fish and another good fish. Our curiosity was settled and another valuable lesson learned. Do not repeat water! I learned more over this weekend than I have all season.

On another note, below the photo’s from a truly epic weekend is this week’s instalment of SLTV, “Frazer’s Hat” This is a great show!! What happened to the boat at the end was not a trick. Frasers little outboard never worked again. Paul is really good at breaking anything with a petrol engine, or a diesel one.. or anything really… Enjoy the chaos, I know you will…

Stuntman Ronan..

Ps. If you enjoy what I write, photograph and film please share it on facebook or email links to your friends. It’s all origional and it’s free! By the way, only 6 subscribers needed to make 100 and the prize draw!!