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Posts Tagged ‘Bryan Wrighton’

Getting Jumped!

January 31st, 2024 No comments

December and into January… December is a great month to fish. Trout start looking up and responding well to terrestrials. Everyone seems to love dry fly action! There were some nice mayfly hatches too. Usually short and fickle but we made the best of it when it happened. As January arrived many of my local fisheries got too warm for good (or ethical) fishing. With this I venture away to find cooler water. I like to mix it up anyway.

One day I went to a high country river in the hope of some cicada action. We got to the river at 9am and got the piece of water I hoped for. At 11am, perched high on a rock I could see a vehicle (large black ute) pull up 1 kilometre above us. They could see us I’m sure and I’m pretty sure they saw my vehicle earlier too. It’s totally unethical to do this. It takes quite a brass neck to arrive there so late and then just cut someone off. They were just too far up for me to go marching up there for an argument so we pulled out and went downstream only to get jumped again by another clown fishing downstream from an upstream access point. A really infuriating day. We should all treat other anglers as we’d like to be treated. To cut someone off so blatantly is basically stealing someones experience. I’m pretty sure I know who was in the black ute and they should know better. Sadly, I heard that they make a habit of this. Against the odds we managed a couple of good trout! One on my cicada and the other on my unweighted nymph.

All my flies are working well on their relative days. They’re available from Fulling Mill or in-store at Patagonia Queenstown.

More about January in my next blog! Its been a challenging but great month. A few days off now before KC and Mark arrive.. I’m looking forward to seeing these 2 again!

Tight lines.. Ronan..

Irish Lough Style in NZ?

May 15th, 2023 No comments

I recently did a podcast with Daire and Tom from Ireland on the Fly. I never met Daire but I know Tom quite well from fishing at home. He also spent a good chunk of a season here in NZ where we spent some time on the water together. I enjoyed the craic with lads during the interview and shared some of my thoughts and tactics about NZ fly fishing and told a few stories. One of the topics we chatted about was Irish Lough Style in New Zealand. I’m sure I’ve covered this before on my blog – there’s over 300 entries so I’m bound to repeat myself from time to time. However, I’d like to further explain the rapid evolution away from Irish Lough Style which I experienced here in NZ… This is how it went for me.

As soon as I saw the NZ lakes on my first visit in 2002 I wanted to try lough style on them. I assumed that not many people would have tried it. I assumed it would be deadly. Before I go on, I want to explain what lough style is to me. Basically, it’s a way to cover a lot of water quickly and efficiently – similar to streamer fishing in this regard. To me, it’s a team of 3 or 4 traditional wet flies (a dabbler on the bob, bibio in the middle and a Peter Ross on the point for example) on a 15 to 20 foot leader. It’s usually fished on a floating or intermediate line. It’ best fished in a good wind and wave so that the angler can cover a lot of water quickly (if drifting) with imperfections hidden by the rolling wave. When fishing in little or no wind when the angler needs to slow the retrieve, fish lighter tippet and smaller flies, even if they’re traditional patterns, to me, this is closer to nymphing than how I perceive lough style. This is not what I was talking about in the podcast, I was referring more to fishing in the wind and wave. This is lough style in my book although others may hold a different view.

I remember the first time fishing a team of traditional Irish wet-flies in Mackenzie Country on a windy day. Around 2003 I’d say. Lough style worked well as I fished a rocky shore down with the wind. I was delighted with myself. I realised quickly though that the middle fly really didn’t do much. Maybe catching one in ten fish. So I removed it. For the next while I had a pretty even catch rate on the bob and the point – which were now a bit farther apart with the absence of the middle fly. Then I changed the point fly from a traditional sparsely tied wet-fly to a bead head bugger of some description. Immediately I started catching more on the point fly. The bob was still effective but I questioned its necessity, thinking the point will cover the fish anyway. So, I removed the bob. Within a few days, Irish Lough Style in the wind evolved from a team of 3 flies to a single bugger! To this day, when fishing in the wind I fish a single bugger (or similar) in preference to team of 3 traditional wets.

Where the lines blur a little is in lighter conditions where buggers or streamers are much less useful – they generally work best in the wind or at least cloud cover. In these light conditions I’ll often fish a team of 2 small wet flies. Some might consider this lough style but I don’t, personally. I think it’s nymphing. No need for 3 (or 4) flies unless your buzzer fishing – but that’s hardly lough style, is it? There’s no doubting the efficacy of lough style in Ireland. Taking what I learned in NZ back to Ireland, it didn’t work like I had hoped. I went full circle and ended up back with a team of traditional wets. There’s a reason lough style evolved in Ireland..

Right now winter has landed over here. The weather is cold but there has also been a few sunny, warm days. Guiding has all but finished up for another season. I’m writing this with paint on my hands as I’m waiting for some doors to dry before they get their final coat. This is the time of year when I take on some projects to improve the house – and fish, of course.

In the photos below I’m caught up to early April. The fishing will continue through the winter so lots more to come! Enjoy the photos below. They tell the story of a great week with Bill and Jeff where we managed to stay one step ahead of the weather all week. We had a super trip with lots of trout from a lovely variety of water. Also in the pics is a trip to Mackenzie Country with a few friends from the Wakatipu Anglers Club.

If you’d like to check out my comprehensive range of flies for NZ you can do so here. Also If you’d like to get in touch about guided fly fishing over winter or next season you can check out my website or email me ronan@sexyloops.com.

Tight Lines, Ronan..

A Season of Extremes…

April 15th, 2023 No comments

After a hot and dry summer I was very happy to feel the weather cooling down. Autumn is a lovely time of year to fish as the leaves change colour. Trout also change colour as they darken up before spawning. Their colours can be quite spectacular. We generally get regular hatches on the rivers in April brought on by the cooler temperatures. These can produce some great sport. This year the hatches have been fickle so far, likely due to too much water in the rivers. Fish start to move up rivers and congregate at river mouths in preparation for spawning. This can also lead to great fishing opportunities. I have only a few more bookings for the season so it looks like I’ll have some time to indulge myself! I’m looking forward to that. Locally the rivers are in flood right now and they’re very slow to drop because the land is so saturated. One extreme to the other. It’s no surprise as this season of extremes continues. There’s always somewhere to fish though so I’m not too worried!

It was great to take Bernt Johansson fishing in February! We Have a few mutual friends – Paul and Stefan to name a couple. Bernt is a very successful distance casting competitor and has been part of the sexyloops brotherhood for years. Hopefully we’ll meet again.

Much and February and March are covered in the photos below. It wasn’t always easy but the results were mostly very good. I might actually get up to date with my photos when I next write a blog! This year I’ve always been at least a month behind. Enjoy the pics anyway! They tell the story..

You can check out my flies here. If you’d like to get in touch about guided fly fishing over the remainder of this season, over winter or next season you can contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Tight lines! Ronan..

The Wilds of New Zealand…

March 29th, 2023 No comments

I usually get the chance to get into Fjordland once or twice a season. I’ve been a visitor to the area since my second trip to NZ back in 2003. I have many great memories from this vast area with lots of my fishing buddies. Wekas stealing our biscuits (I got the blame), melting my boots and socks beside the fire, almost getting stranded in a flood, filming “the man and his fish”, exploring new rivers, assembling a raft with zip ties, duct tape and tent string, catching seatrout, rainbows, browns, kahawai and jack mackerel, and many more… This trip cemented a few more great memories.

The fishing was magnificent as the photos below make pretty clear, but as I get older I think I appreciate this location and others like it even more. It’s a truely pristine environment. Looking around, it’s as though man has had no impact on the area. Frequently, I found myself gazing up the valley with my jaw hanging open, awestruck, expecting a moa to wander past. I think this is what makes it the cream of angling in many ways. Unreal scenery, gin clear water, good numbers fish of an impressive average size, keen to eat dries (and nymphs!). It’s the picture of NZ that many foreign anglers have in their head. Fish & Game have implemented strict controls on some rivers in the area to prevent overfishing and maximise angler satisfaction. I think they’re working very well. That and the sandflies! We had a few days of fishing back in normal NZ after that (next blog). There was certainly a bit of an anticlimax coming from such a magnificent wilderness which compounds why it’s such a special place.

One of the highlights of the trip was randomly bumping into my great friends Robbie and Tom with a couple of their friends. Plenty room for everyone at the backcountry hut! Good food and fine wine, great company, a fire on the beach, a few beers, plenty craic… what’s not to like. A really great trip. Hopefully we’ll get back next season!

I would like to say that Fjordland Outdoors are a fantastic company to deal with. Very professional and accommodating. Great staff and a super boat to get you where ever you need to go.

As always, my Fulling Mill patterns did the business. Mainly the Tussock Cicada and my range of nymphs. All available here.

Plenty spaces still available for next season. It’s filling up quickly so I advise not wasting too much time to secure your spot. Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website

Tight lines.. Ronan..

20 Year Old Trout!

April 8th, 2021 No comments

Over this season I’ve seen 2 trout that I had first seen many years before. Both from high country rivers where trout are known to get pretty old. I contacted my friend, Rasmus Gabrielson, to find out a bit about how old trout get. Rasmus reckons from some surveys done on one of the rivers that it would take a brown trout about 12 years to reach 9lbs. 9lbs is important because both trout were that weight when I caught them first. The first trout I caught back in 2013. He was one of the most spectacularly coloured trout I had ever seen. He had a dark patch on his right gill cover. This would make him easy to identify if I was to ever see him again. Over the years I did see him on occassion. The dark patch easily visible as long as there was no wind riffle. His colour never seemed as striking as when I first caught him but I always assumed it was the same fish. Twice he ate my clients flies but but each time the rod came up empty. It wasn’t until this season that the stars aligned for Robbie to catch him. If it wasn’t for the dark patch on the gill I would never have picked him as being the same trout. For confirmation I compared photos and the spots matched. Some spots seem to have moved a little, some new ones have appeared and some have disappeared but its still easy to see that it’s the same trout. The dark patch has gotten much darker. Whats really amazing is that if that fish was 12 when I caught him first, he’s 20 now and still going strong.

The other fish I first caught in 2015. He was also one of the most beautifully coloured and marked trout I had seen – and still is to this day – both are actually. After I caught this fish I didnt see him for years. I caught him again in 2020 and again in 2021. Still the same weight and still looking good. Assuming this fish was 12 when I first caught him, he’s 18 now and also still going strong. I caught this fish from 2 adjacent pools. The first fish mentioned has been in the same pool for every sighting. This really proves the territorial nature of some trout. It also proves their resilience and ability to be caught and released many times. There’s photos of both trout on their first and last capture at the bottom of the list below. One has certainly changed a lot. Rasmus told me about brown trout from Norwegian high country lakes reaching 30 years of age. I wonder if we have a 30 year old brown trout in NZ? I think we could.

I’ve picked these two examples because they were such memorable fish. It’s also easy to know that they are the same fish. I have other examples too of old trout being caught many times over many years. It seems very normal for them reach a certain size and then maintain that weight. Some older trout stop spawning, making reaching old age more likely. Spawning is very hard on trout and claims many every year.

In other news, it’s been a great couple of months of fishing. I’ve been out a lot myself and had some big and beautiful trout. I’ve done some guiding. I didn’t expect to guide a double figure fish this season with so few guide days due to Covid travel restrictions, but Brian from Christchurch proved me wrong. We flew into a wilderness river on day 3 of 3. Fishing was slow – the only way to make it work was to cover kilometres and maximise opportunities. With this plan we found fish. At the end of the day we found a monster! He took the dry but Brian briefly foul hooked him in the tail on the strike. Luckily the trout didn’t seem didn’t seem too bothered and continued feeding. He took my #14 brown nymph a few casts later. This fish faught hard and Brian played him really well. At the very end, almost in the net, he made a dash under a rock. Fully under. We couldn’t see a fin! One chance before the tippet abrades off the rock – go and pull him out! I walked out to the rock and slid my hand under feeling around for the tail – taking a shot of water down my waders as I did. I felt the tail and got a firm grip and pulled him out and put him in my net. What a relief! I was expecting it would be a “one that got away” story! The fish weighed just under 11lbs. To me he looked like an early lake run trout. He was twice as big as any other fish we caught that day.

With the travel bubble open between Australia and NZ, the end of my season is pretty much full but there’s still lots of availability in May. Still plenty availability between now and April 18 for anglers within NZ. Feel free to get in touch. ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Tight lines, Ronan..

Boating, Fishing & Guiding..

January 2nd, 2021 No comments

I’ve had the boat out a couple of times now with the family. She’s lovely! Not built for speed but she gets along just fine. I played with the trim on the engine trying to get the bow down with the throttle opened up. It seems weight up the front might be the only option to get the bow down to plane properly. I’m not convinced that more power would get much more speed but I could be wrong. Even with the 15HP Evinrude I found myself throttling down for optimum performance. I remember learning about “hull speed” years ago – that a yacht cant go past a certain speed based on its hull shape and weight. I’m looking forward to seeing if I can knock a bit more speed out of it with somebody up the front. Maybe with correct weight distribution more power would equal more speed. Time will tell! Cant wait to get it out for an exploritory multi day lake trip. There’s enough room to sleep on board and heaps of space to carry gear. Now to find the time to do it! She also needs a name…


Plenty good fishing lately. I’ve put some highlights in the gallery below. My annual pilgrimage into one of my favourite and most physically demanding gorges was successful. Just like last year I found only one fish – turned out it was the same fish as last year. I’m starting to think he’s the only fish in the river and I’m not joking! I’ve watched fish numbers decline since I started fishing it 6 years ago. No idea why. Such a pristine backcountry river. Great to see my friend for the 3rd time. He’s still 9lbs, in great condition and still in the same part of the river. Funnily enough he was the first fish I ever caught on the river 6 years ago and currently he’s the last. Now he seems to have the whole place to himself. He must be old. 6 years ago he was 9lbs so he must be at least 15 assuming 1lb growth per year til he reached 9lbs. No science behind that, juat a guess. Hopefully when I go back next season I’ll find a new fish in one of the pools – and maybe I’ll see my old friend again too. (this is the blog he appeared in last season. I’ve spent the last hour trying to find the blog he first appeared in but I can’t find it!)


The weather has taken a turn for the worse. Bad timing as I’m supposed to be fishing down south with Robbie today and tomorrow. It’s been raining heavily for about 30 hours now. All rivers in flood. I might hit a lake myself tomorrow. I spent today sweeping water out of the workshop while trying to make some furniture. Guttering and drainage around the house need attention. I’ve added it to the infinite list of jobs!


Feel free to get in touch about a guided fly fishing trip. Plenty spaces in my calendar this season! Check out my website or email me directly ronan@sexyloops.com.

Tight Lines & Happy New Year! Ronan..

Some of the Biggest Trout on Earth!

October 28th, 2020 No comments

Last winter we had a little treat! Fish & Game opened a river to anglers to fish for monster rainbows on their spawning run. These fish reach incredible sizes from living in a man made canal system. Like a giant spring creek, the canals have a constant flow and they’re always cool. Perfect for trout to grow year round. They have a diet which consists largely of cockabullies, snails and fish pellets from under the salmon farms, all aiding their rapid growth. For the most part, these fish spawn in the canal system itself but some have the opportunity to spawn in a river – the one that was opened to anglers last September. I spoke to Rhys from F&G about the decision to open it. He said that by that stage in the winter all the redds are already full of eggs so no damage can be done to future stocks by fishing to the new arrivals. He also said that the river would not be opened in September again. This decision was due to the expected onslaught of foreign anglers next year. A pity I thought. I sugested making it for residents only. This year it was for residents only because there were no foreign tourist anglers due to the Covid travel ban. The river was busy at times but there was room for everyone. The perfect case study. In my opinion, making it for residents only would be a very easy management system and we could keep this unique fishery open in late winter. Last Septembers successful opening provides strong evidence that it would work. We also chatted about leaving the river open in May to allow people to fish for the first run of large browns which have all but gone by September. Who knows what will happen here in the future. I think the closed season in NZ in general is in need of a total overhaul. Many closed seasons make no sence and protect little or nothing – especially on lakes and still waters.

Needless to say I had to have a crack at this river. It’s possibly the best large trout river in the world at this time of year. I fished it for 3 days over the month landing 10 between 13 and 25lbs. It quickly became clear to me what I loved most about these winter rainbows. Not the fish or the fishing but the fight! Usually I like that trout are not like bonefish. I like that I can get them in quickly so that I can get back to the fishing. These were different. Unique because how often are you not worried about loosing a 10 to 30lb trout? I loved leaning into these brutes with heavy gear. Get them in fast and returned after a quick snap. I used an 8wt TCX, a Lamson reel with a decent drag and 12lb Maxima. No playing around with 5 or 6 weights. In the great scheme of my fly fishing I rarely fish for anything over 10lbs so it was great just to feel that weight and power on the other end. Watching a 20lb trout run, jump and thrash with the rod hopping and reel screaming was some of the best craic I’ve had fly fishing!

I chose a method at the start of day one which I stuck with each day I fished. I blind fished a weighted streamer (possum and marabou of course!) on a long leader fished on a floating line. This worked well because I could get the fly deep with some simple mends. Depth was key for me to blind fish the deeper water. A sinking line can be a disaster with heavy didymo and large boulders so more reason to use a floater. I love the control with this method. I can get the fly to the depth I want and make it move how I want. Not so easy with a sinking line since you lose much of your ability to mend. Dead drifting the streamer through deep bouldery runs or moving it slowly was the most effective for me. 9 out of my 10 trout over 3 days were bright, healthy hens. Just what I wanted. I saw some fellas happy to fish for coloured up jacks off redds at the tails of pools. This was not for me but each to their own. I did throw a few casts at these fish but when I got the feeling that they were spawners I left them alone. One thing I learned from this trip was that I really dislike fishing with egg flies – so I didn’t!

In more recent news – the new season has been fantastic so far! Some very big fish about too. I’ve already had 2 over the mythical 10lb mark. More about those and the season to date in my next blog. The boat has not been out yet but I do have an engine on the back of it now so I’m just waiting for the opportunity to get out there. I’ve had a couple of very successful guide days with clients landing trout to 8lbs. Some more work coming up too so very happy about that! Myself and Jeff have another epsiode of Pure Fly NZ coming up soon. We have a plan to watch it at the pub since neither of us have whatever channel it’s on. Duke I think. I’m looking forward to watching it. We had a some great action. It’s always a lot of fun filming with Jeff and Nick. We’re all on the same page. Anybody within NZ who’d like to get in touch about some guided fly fishing, I’d love to hear from you. ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website. For a look at some of my fly patterns available at Fulling Mill click here.

Tight lines.. Ronan..

A Wilderness Float Trip Adventure…

June 12th, 2020 No comments

Every now and then the prospect of a fishing trip is incredibly exciting – more than the average trip. I get that buzz if I’m going abroad to experience a new fishery, or exploring new water, maybe in a new wilderness area. I think the key word is new. Seeing a piece of water for the first time is always exhilarating. A trip myself and Bryan put together last January was one of these. One of these with bells on! Not just one piece of water to explore but lots. We pooled our resources and planned a wilderness float trip. NZ was our oyster! Where do we go? After studying google earth for ages I had an idea. I knew very little about the chosen system which included lakes, rivers, streams and backwaters but that was the point. Some real adventure! We took plenty safety precautions. We went in with one sat phone and a PLB each, life jackets, raft repair kit, plenty food and first aid kits. The NZ wilderness is no place to take lightly. The river looked pretty safe to raft on google earth. Once everything was prepared and packed, it was time to hit the road to get the helicopter into the wilds!

On arrival, the pilot came out to greet us. As we chatted he gestured towards the raft fully assembled on the trailer and asked if that was the pack raft – sarcastically of course. There was a breakdown in communications in our correspondence. They thought pack rafts and we though they could sling-load the 40kg raft in. It turned out that they can’t sling load with passengers and even if they could it would be a very slow and therefore expensive trip. No problem though! We disassembled the raft and the pilot easily got it onto the back seats and into the pod on the side of the helicopter. We were off!

The flight in was spectacular. They always are. Mountains, rivers, forest and then our destination became visible. The weather was good and excitement was hard to contain. We landed and got our bearings. We had a rough plan for the 3 days. I had marked every place of interest on NZ topo 50. To fit them all in we had to get cracking. Once I reassembled the raft the trip was underway..

The fishing on day one was pretty poor. Lovely lake flats with only a few small trout. Then a river to explore. Lots of potential and reasonable numbers of mostly old looking trout – spooky trout! Some of the spookiest. We blanked on that river, but it was a magical spot and I’ll certainly have another go sometime. A few riffles and runs but mostly glass calm, slow moving pools. There were some stunning big lake like pools too but these were inaccessible due to treacherous soft silt.

After fishing the river we had a pretty major piece of water to cover to get to camp. Lots of rowing and drifting. The rain had come in as we fished the stream and it kept coming. As we travelled down the system the un-forecasted rain got heavier. Our gear and ourselves were getting soaked, even through rain gear. Camping outside was not too appealing at this stage but thankfully there was a backcountry hut not too far downstream. We jumped out now and again to fish likely water but the rain was getting to the point that the hut really started to beckon. With the GPS function on NZ Topo 50 it was easy to find the hut. We pulled up the raft and secured it to a tree well up a sandy bank in case the river rose with the rain. Once we got the gear into our home for the night we could relax a bit. I got the fire going while Bryan put on the spuds, then we hung up all the wet gear – almost everything! We demolished a couple of rib eyes with black beans and spuds. Some nice wine too. We slept well to the sound of rain even if we were a little anxious about the state of the river in the morning.

Day 2. The raft was still safely secured to the tree. The river had doubled in size over night but was perfectly clear and fishable. This was a huge relief since the rain didn’t quit until after we ate breakfast. With great excitement we took on the river. We started blind fishing all likely water and Bryan quickly got a nice 3lber to put us on the board. Then I hooked and lost a better fish and sighted another. As the sun broke through the clouds the cicadas started chirping and the trout responded. We had a spectacular few hours of fishing in the afternoon. One spot took us ages to pass because every time our flies passed the drop-off a trout would eat the fly. Dream fishing. All beautiful, healthy 3 to 7lb trout and mostly on a large Stu’s Cicada. The water was quite diverse in its make up. Lots of bouldery pocket water, some large pools, sandy glides, cut banks and fallen trees. A real wild river. We were sad to have to leave it to continue our mission downstream but we had more water to explore in our limited timeframe. The thrill of new water never waned and once we were back on the raft we couldn’t wait to see what was around the next bend. Before we made it to the next camp spot we had some good fishing on a small, tannin tributary. Very interesting spot. I got a follow from the same fish to my streamer about 10 times without an eat. Bryan had a nymph a foot under a dry. I suggested that I’d tease the trout in and then remove my fly quickly so that Bryan could cast to the fish. It worked a charm and the trout took the nymph while wondering where the glister disappeared to!

Back on the raft it was time to think about making camp. We had heard about a bushman living somewhere in the valley and that he didn’t mind a visitor. When we saw smoke coming from a chimney we decided to go and investigate. Sure enough it was Bruce. He opened the door with a big smile on his face and invited us into his house – which he said nobody owned and we were welcome to stay. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth we did stay. The craic was great! We took out our bag of wine and filled up everyones cup, steaks on the pan, cheese and crackers to start. This was one of those unforgettable experiences and we both knew it and made the most of it. Bruce regaled us with stories about many topics from eels to DoC to politics to topless women. We tried to take it all in while adding a story or two of our own.

Day 3. In the morning we had breakfast together before taking on our respective days. There were a few flags on my map yet to explore. Bruce was able to put me wise about which ones to avoid – not because there were no trout there necessarily, but due to the logistics of bush-bashing in to them. We said goodbye to Bruce but he said he’d be down to the helicopter later to chat to the pilot and to see us off. He took off down the river with his 15hp while we took a more leisurely pace. Over the day we found some really nice water. A pool with a waterfall that really must be right up the with the most beautiful places I’ve caught a trout, a backwater off the main river with lots of eager but pretty small trout. The size really didn’t matter to us though. The location and the quality of the fishing more than made up for that. Then a tiny spring creek with some quality trout that we didn’t catch and finally another lake edge to explore while we waited for the chopper. About half way through the day the rain made another appearance and quickly closed in to the extent that we weren’t sure if the helicopter could fly. Bryan got on the sat phone when they were a bit late only to get no solid information – they weren’t sure either! The pilot was stuck somewhere due to the weather and fuel was an issue. A short time later we heard the helicopter in the distance. He landed and seemed a little panicked by the weather closing in and fuel was indeed an issue. The helicopter had no pod on the side this time, so we quickly loaded everything onto the back seat of the helicopter. It was a tight enough squeeze but no problem. After we said farewell to Bruce it was time to go. Bryan and I both fitted in the front. At first the pilot thought he’d have to drop us to a road about 50ks from my truck but thankfully as we flew we caught a gap in the weather and made it back to the heliport. Absolutely pissing rain again, we hurriedly unloaded the helicopter and jammed everything into the back of the truck – far from the tidy truck that arrived here a few days ago. A quick change into dry clothes and we were heading home. What a trip – certainly, one of the best.

Let me know if you’d like to book a trip for next season. With all the uncertainty in the world right now my season is filling slowly so there are plenty spaces available. Email me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website. I do not offer guided float trips by they way! But for anybody interested in this style of fishing you should contact Wanaka based Greg Dougherty.

Tight Lines! Ronan..

Top 5 Trout, 2019 / 20

March 31st, 2020 No comments

I thought I’d be putting up this years Top 5 list in May or June, but with the season virtually closed over here, now is the time! It was a big fish season. Right from the start they were big, way before the mouse plague hit. Some say it was due to the mild winter which preceded the season but who knows. The mouse plague certainly happened down south and up north (on the South Island) West Coast too. Some insanely big fish were caught in those areas but I concentrated most of my effort away from mousy areas. I heard some stories of pressure on rivers which was enough to deter me. Only twice I ventured south in search of mouse fish and both times we came up with the goods. However both times we encountered anglers not playing by the rules / etiquette which tarnished the experience. Three of the top 5 trout, including number 1 were not mouse fish. My own double was not a mouse fish either. The top 5 trout came from 4 different rivers.

I’m delighted to see 3 regular clients making this years Top 5. Hopefully the other 2 will become regulars! Well done to Chuan, TopRod, Andrew, Bryan and Marcus. Also thank you all. My thanks of course extends to all I guided this season. I appreciate your custom and friendship and I hope to see you all again once we get out the other side of this pandemic.

I am taking bookings for next season although I appreciate that people may not be keen on paying a deposit under the current circumstances. This I understand. If you’d like to make a booking without paying a deposit just let me know. It’ll give you a chance to secure some dates assuming you can travel to NZ next season. The deposit can be settled if and when the travel ban is lifted. I returned all deposits taken for my 25 lost days due to the virus – apart from one! Thanks Barry! I wont forget that.

I thought I could write this without referencing the Corona Virus but it’s so relevant right now and it effects everyone, I just had to give in! Next blog I won’t mention it! Thats all for now..

Stay the feck at home everyone! Ronan..

Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Number 1 – For the second year running! A smidgeon over 11lbs. This cracking fish from December. Congratulations Chuan..
One more quick pic before the release.
Number 2. A very close 2nd at 11lbs on the dot. A cold day in February. Well done james!
Back he goes..
Number 3. Andrew with a brute of a fish just over 9lbs in weight from last November. I didn’t mean to make him look like a 15lber! It was my clients camera with a fancy lens.
Number 4. Bryan with chunky, mouse eating personal best during March! 9lbs.
Number 5. Just under 9lbs for Marcus in February. I’m delighted to see 3 regular clients on this years Big Fish Board!
This picture does him justice. A beautiful specimen.
My own personal best for the season (so far, hopefully we’ll all get out again before season close!), 10.5lbs last October.
Just before swimming home. I’d like to see him after 2 months eating cicadas!

10.5lb Trout.. Yes!

November 11th, 2019 No comments

It takes at least 300 days to catch a trout over 10lbs. At least it does if you fish like me. I don’t target them all the time of course, just when the mood hits me. It’s all about the fish, not the fishing so it really is mood dependant. Every one has been a super high. The emotions and feelings have been a bit different for each one. Some have been strangely anticlimactic (but still great!) while most have been utterly fulfilling, thrilling experiences. There are a few big fish around this year. Jeff Forsee and Paul MacAndrew have also cracked a double already this season. Some mousy stuff happening too so this might be a year to spend more time chasing the elusive doubles. Lets see how it pans out as the season progresses..

I haven’t guided many days so far but the days I’ve been out have been superb! Plenty fish, super quality and big! Between guiding and fishing I’ve had 4 over 8lbs to the net. It’s been a pretty wet spring. Some rivers had just come right and were fishing really well but recent rain has put them all out of commission again. They should bounce back quickly as long as the rain eases off. Come what may I’m excited about the season ahead..

A few days ago I took out Oliver and James. Oliver had never cast a fly before so we had a 1 hour casting lesson before advancing up river. It was enough to get him throwing a decent line and he managed 3 for the day. A great achievement for someone fresh out of the gate!

My season is starting to fill up but I have plenty spots available for the season to come. Contact me ronan@sexyloops.com or visit my website.

Tight Lines, Ronan..