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Ronan's report

Thursday 5th January, 2012

The lake is mirror flat when I arrive and the silty, sand ladened flats are covered with a crystal clear blanket of spring water fed by the web of creeks at the top end. The classic "Mackenzie country" rolling hills surround us in all directions with a hint of snowy Southern Alps peeping over the top to the west. As I stepped out onto the flats in the warm still morning air I could imagen that I was about to make casts to Bonefish. If it were not for the lofty surroundings and the heady smells of the abundant Lupins I might well have kidded myself into tying on a Crazy Charlie.

The Brown trout here enjoy the cool waters and hunt in the stream mouths and lagoons that pepper this end of the lake. Generally they can be easy to spot but should they be a Brown of light colors then the shadow on the white sand are a bigger givaway. I had a quick crash course in fishing the flats with Ronan and with a sz16 nymph tied to tippet we parted company and I made my way over to the first lagoon. The Lagoons are large flooded areas back from the main lake and fed by the feeding river and spring creeks. Most can be crossed without wetting the "temperature gauge" though the stream mouths themselves can be very deep as well as very blue. I approach the first fish with great care and find it to be hovering in the ether. The line and tippet cast a HUGE shadow on the bottom and I wonder how im ever going to trick a fish to eat my fly in such conditions. Needless to say my now engrained NZ "wind" cast was far to forcfull for these conditions. Wind seems a big part of fishing in NZ but here there was barely a breath.

Backing off the power, less power, NO LESS POWER I managed to get the fly to the next fish without frightening the crap out of it, the next issue was spotting the takes... Ronan had schooled me in the subtlties of the trout takes which until now had eluded me to a greater extent. Sight fishing for trout is new to me and most visitors to NZ. Up until now i have mainly relied on the use of an indicator dry to notify me of takes. This was a single sz16 nymph on a long leader and Ronan assured me that many takes would pass in a blinking of a polarized eye. He explained some of the reactions that the fish have as they take the fly and I was soon to witness them first hand. It's amazing how a 5 minute coversation can so drastically change your way of thinking/fishing.

Im now looking at the takes in such minute detail. This is nothing new of course, the Kiwis and those others around the world lucky enough to be blessed with clear waters, have perfected the art. But for me it has been quite an eye opener.

With the creeks, streams, lagoons and the main lake there are plenty of options to keep me busy. I can dirft a dry through the riffles of the upper creeks, throw streamers in the deep mouths and of course stalk browns on the flats with nymphs... Its fly fishing heaven!

Maybe I'll stay a few more days....


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