Archive for March, 2012

Autumn in Otago….

March 26th, 2012 No comments

Fraser, Sean and Myself headed off on Friday evening with big fish in mind. The plan was for an early start on Saturday morning to put in a big day through a gorge on a river known for its large sea run browns, or sea trout as we call them in Ireland. We forgot the map so Fraser’s i phone had to suffice but it didn’t! We got a bit lost so made camp near the river and then made our way to the gorge in the morning. We were lucky to get there first but the forecast was bad and the wind was howling down the valley so that probably deterred most! Sean had a fish first off and that was all we landed that day. We had no shot at a big fish.

On Saturday evening we stopped of at a friend of Fraser’s house for a few beers and food. Jimmy cooked up some fresh cockles followed by “sensational” pizza’s as Sean put it. They were sensational. Jimmy’s Grandfather started up Jimmy’s Pies so I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree… even on the second drop!

On Sunday we considered fishing some dams near and around Alexandra but ended up fishing a local river. It was coloured but not too coloured. We had about 8 or 10 small fish. On the way home we had a crack on Lake Dunstan at the southern end. We landed a few there in very cold and windy conditions. Autumn is well and truly here although the forecast for the next few days is good.

Have a great week!    Ronan..


Beannacht Lá Fhéile Pádraig! (Brón orm mé déanach)

March 19th, 2012 No comments

I got struck down with a bad cold last Sunday and its still not gone. Often the best way to beat a cold is to not let it stop you doing what ever it is you do. Maybe this does not actually kill off the cold but at least you didn’t miss out on work or fishing or whatever! On St Patrick’s day Sean and I had a big fishing day planned. Sean was also under the weather and my symptoms developed into a stomach bug as well as the rest. Motivation was difficult to muster but we both set off on a 2 hour walk in before fishing began. I nearly threw up a few times on the way in, particularly on the hill climbs and I did question myself.. Is a day’s fishing this important? Why not take on an easy stretch close to the car? Why not recover in bed? I think it was blind stubbornness that made me stick to my plan.

The fishing was bad for all our efforts. Sean had a few chances on his bank but he didn’t make them count, I was not seeing fish at all. Eventually, late in the day, I had a shot. My first cast was not great and the result was that the fish did not eat my fly. At this stage I wished I had stayed in bed.  A few pools later I spotted a good rainbow and he ate on my second cast. I got another rainbow blind from the next pool and then a brown in the pool after that. That’s how quickly a bad day can turn into a good day! For me anyway, Sean had not landed one at this stage and it was time to start or 3 hour plus walk out. As luck would have it we spotted a good fish feeding on the way out. Sean took the shot and nailed it.

The walk out was hard. Very hard for me! My belief  that one could walk off a cold was in tatters. My legs were sore and my head was about to burst. Sean was in a bad way too but we had another mission planned. It was Paddy’s day and my 21 year fly-fishing anniversary so we had to go on the beer! How were we going to fix ourselves? I had a plan. Sean did not believe anything could fix him.. The following was the cure and we had a great night out on the town which ended in Sean sleeping on a park bench. I made it home..

  • 2 herbal sinus clearing tablets
  • 2 non herbal sinus clearing tablets
  • A hot whiskey with a Lemsip thrown in

“Whatever it takes”

Stuntman Ronan..


Good Bye Tasmania, Hello NZ!

March 7th, 2012 No comments

When I left the Highlands of Tasmania over 2 years ago I knew it would only be a matter of time before my return. My recent 6 weeks in Tasmania was everything I had hoped for and more. The fishing was not as good as when Paul and I were up here but that’s fishing and it didn’t detract from the whole highland experience. Like I said before, Tassie is as much about the people and the way of life as it is about the fishing. When I arrived in the highlands I called in to see John (The Pom/Woodstock) but he wasn’t in, he was at Dons so I went there where I met Don, John and Bob (bush mechanic from “3 Wheels on my Wagon” in SLTV). I had intended to fish that day but that took a back seat to a few beers… lots of beers. My plan was to live in Sean’s Subaru but Don very kindly put me up instead. That’s the Highlands for you, very social and very hospitable. Thanks again Don!

Many of the people I got to know over my 2 visits to the Highlands came to Don’s place on my last day for a few beers and food. Noby cooked up a feed of mutton birds which I have to say were miles ahead of the NZ mutton birds I had a few years ago. Actually, they were one of the best things I’ve eaten, full of fish oil and flavour from the sea. The roast from Dons Dad’s pet cow didn’t last long, in fact Don and John missed out! Everyone ate and drank well and a few of us pushed through till dawn, well not quite…

Thanks to all the Highlanders for making the place so special. I wont tell anyone how good it is!

See you all again soon..

Stuntman Ronan..

PS. Congratulations to my great friend John O Malley on his engagement to his beautiful partner Bronwen Kearns! I really hope I can make it home for the big day… If I’m invited!! 🙂