Archive for October, 2011

Frustrating Fishing & Making a Big Splash!

October 31st, 2011 No comments

Mark and I went to Te Anau as planned but chose the wrong river to fish for 3 reasons.

1. We fished Saturday and Sunday, The busiest days on any river. On Saturday we were too late to the river to get the best water even though Mark left Dunedin at 5am! On Sunday we were too late to the river because we drank too many pints in the Redcliff on Saturday night.. I think I had some whisky too… Bad idea!

2. The fish in the part of the river we fished hadn’t settled back into their normal routine after a flood a week or so ago. They seemed non existent but I’m pretty sure they were there. To compound it, sighting conditions were terrible on Sunday.

3. The Norwester.

We still managed a few fish but it was a frustrating weekend fishing.

More soon!


Flying Roofs & Fly Fishing!

October 28th, 2011 No comments

The weather has been shithouse as they say over here for the passed while. Some serious gales (blowing the roof off our neighbours house, over ours and landing on another neighbours house!) and torrential rain blowing out all the rivers. Perfect blue sky days were regular enough but most rivers were too high and coloured to fish. I had some great fishing  before the weather broke with Chris Dore (NZ’s #1 guide!!) and Fraser Hocks. We had many fish in the 2-4lb bracket on small nymphs not too far from Queenstown. It’s important not to give away exact locations. There’s plenty water for everyone so there’s no point putting undue pressure on the specific rivers. Explore. It’s more fun anyway!

I had some very enjoyable lake edge fishing near Glenorchy targeting cruising browns with woolly buggers in shallow water. Spot the fish, leave the fly lifeless on the bottom and strip it away when the fish is in attacking range. The result is a manic chase usually ending in a strike. Fun.

Tomorrow Mark Adamson and I are heading towards Te Anau where any amount of water awaits. The Redcliff also awaits… My joint number one bar in the world!

Happy Halloween!


New Zealand 2011

October 19th, 2011 No comments

NZ 2011 started in Fairlie at about 6pm on Tuesday the 11th of October. Kevin Alexander and I went to a nearby lake and fished into darkness. Kevin had a couple at a stream mouth in shallow water, no joy for me. The following day was lazy but effective fishing. We drove up mystery river X and jumped out and sight fished the more likely pools. We had some decent fish and fishing without exerting too much energy.

Day 3 I fished alone. I tackled a gorge that I was never through before in medium to low water, which is pretty much ideal. You never know what you may encounter going through a gorge for the first time. I have scaled rock walls to get around bluffs, Swam while carrying a 15kg pack (which quickly at least doubles in weight) to get around bluffs I couldn’t climb, Climbed out of and then back into gorges over cliffs where swimming was not an option, Fallen over on rocks where a broken leg would be inconvenience. Oddly enough I never really fell in! The truth is however, fishing through a gorge is the pinnacle of NZ fishing for me. All day long stumbling, stalking, scrambling, climbing, casting, falling, catching, loosing, cursing and talking to myself. I do that a lot.

I had a superb day fishing for very difficult fish through 8kms of gorge. By the end of it I was bruised, battered and wrecked. My feet hurt, My right nee and left elbow were cut and bruised from a fall, my legs were stiff and my back hurt. This is all good pain. I enjoy it. Every “full on” day from now on will get easier as fitness improves. It’s been nearly 2 years since I had a tough day like this one and I want more!

6 out of 7 fish took a size 16 lightly weighted nymph attached to a size 14 tungsten and lead nymph by a 14″ dropper. I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that this is the best general method for NZ river trout. Better fish usually take the 16. Fish them 4-5 foot under an indicator or a dry.

Thats all for now… Ronan..


Where One Season Closes Another Begins…

October 13th, 2011 No comments

I’m relaxing at a good friend’s house in Fairlie in New Zealand’s South Island where the season is just 2 weeks old. I had a good hard day on the river fishing through a tough gorge but before I talk about that I want to mention the season finale in Ireland..

John and I had an eventful day on Kylemore about a week before the end. I may have had a hat-trick of hat-tricks.. John is not sure! Here’s what I think..

1. I landed 3 trout together, all little ones but 3 none the less. It’s only the second time i ever did that. Pitty i didn’t have 4 flies on!! 🙂

2. I hooked what I believed to be a Grilse, Landed what I believed to be a large seatrout and released what john believed to be a brown trout!

3. I had the 3 salmonid species over the course of the day (assuming #2 was a seatrout!)

The most notable event of the day was when we were about 100m from the end of our drift, we saw a salmon jump. A short time later another. They were very quiet all morning so this was encouraging. They continued to move until we finished the drift. We went back up to drift over the more active water, John had seen 2 salmon/grilse move very close together so we tried to drift onto that very spot. We were successful as it turned out. A good fish rashly crashed through my flies, all fins and tails and madness but no hook up. A cast or 2 later a super fish came across the water with it’s back out like a rising submarine in what felt like slow motion, I waited for the line to go but it didn’t, and again, no hook up. 3 minutes later a solid subsurface take and after a scrappy battle and a couple of runs I landed a small grilse. Then it went dead.. totally dead. I often heard anglers talk about Fish turning on and off and I have witnessed it many times myself, but never as definative as this.

I don’t know why all the fish came my way on this day but it’s not uncommon when fly fishing from a drifting boat that one angler gets the majority of action even though both anglers are fishing similar flies and lines.

Lough Inagh had to be the choice for the last day of the season. Each year Colin, The fishery manager, Invites friends of the fishery to come and fish the final day on river and lake. We have a competition, then to the bar for a top class meal followed by the prize giving. The aftermath continues into the small hours…

I was going for 3 in a row in the competition but came last! Some days nothing works.. My boat partner Will had a superb grilse which was the 133rd and last of the 2011 season.

Sincere Thanks to Maire, Dominic, Thomas and Colin for an epic season! (And Brian Regan.. I owe you one!)



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