Posts Tagged ‘John the Pom’

It’s All About Attitude!

January 14th, 2019 No comments

If fly fishing for you is all about hooking, playing and landing fish then New Zealand is not for you. The New Zealand fishery, certainly the South Island, is much more about the pursuit of trout then it is about catching high numbers. I’ve been really lucky in my guiding so far in that I have rarely guided people with unreasonable expectations. I got a text from one of my guide mates the other day in the middle of a multi day trip with a fella who cant walk far or cast well but expects fish after fish. When he does catch the experience means little to him and he doesn’t like seeing his wife out-fishing him. His own abilities coupled with a negative attitude are making sure that he’s not catching many or having much fun. A situation like this is tough for the angler and the guide. All we want is to see our clients having a great time. If the client has the right attitude then he’ll generally do very well. Understanding a bit about the NZ fishery is a huge help. It’s no walk in the park, its usually windy and as outlined already it’s not a numbers game. Practice casting, short and medium distances. Speed and accuracy is the key. The rivers and lakes can be pretty hard going physically. Of course, if a client is unfit then we can design a trip to suit but the fishing may be compromised. In my opinion, 2 fish is a good day. Four is really good and above that is cream. I try to go for fish bigger than the NZ average most of the time which might help put these figures in perspective.

Recently I had the pleasure of guiding KC and Mark. Both in their early 70’s, they said they were 4/5 US fit and 3/5 NZ fit. They’d been here before! Day one we had an easy day, mainly so that I could get a feel for their approach to fly fishing and their fitness. Straight away I could see that their attitude was great. Really positive with a true understanding about what fly fishing really is. They were also as tough as old boots. This was going to be a fun trip! There were times over the 8 days that fishing was tough. Early in the trip I was feeling the tingle of stress that I can’t help feeling when the fishing is hard. I’d look back at the lads to see smiles, contentment and enjoyment. They were enjoying it, no matter what. That was the end of any stress for me and the fishing went from good to better and better. Even with wading through acres of mud, bush bashing, long hard walks and tricky crossings, I could not knock the smiles off their faces. The trip is documented in the photos below. They could cast very well and they were fit giving them a huge advantage over many, but their biggest attribute was their attitude. Thanks fellas!

Tight lines, Ronan..

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Food, Friends, Family, Fly-Fishing & Festivities!

January 21st, 2012 No comments

I’m back in Miena in the central highlands of Tasmania and it’s just as I remember it! It’s been difficult so far, reliable lakes and methods seem to have changed slightly so I’ll have to adapt. That’s my first observation and it could be wrong, time will tell.

After I left kevins company on the morning of December 26th I went to Te Anau. Feeling a little lonely and unmotivated I went to the Waiau River and quickly became motivated and content. There were fish about and they were feeding. I had excellent sight and blind fishing on both nymphs and dries. I had lost a lot of interest in this river of late because I thought fish quality and quantity had deteriorated. I was wrong; the fish were in top condition so I was in no rush to any other river for the time being. I had a few days fishing alone averaging 11 a day before Sean arrived to join me for a few days from Railton in Tasmania. You may know Sean from such films as “Big Fish Week part 1 & part 2″. We tried some lake edge fishing which was pretty unproductive so it was back to the river! Stefan from Sweeden was not too far away so he came to join us for a while.

On the last day of 2011 Stefan and I fished together. That morning session on the Waiau with Stefan was everything I love about fly fishing. Stefan was easy to fish with and sharing the water was a pleasure. So I guess that’s the first thing, good company. The second thing was the weather; we had a perfect blue sky day with a gentle breeze in our favour. The fish were out in great numbers and feeding. The condition of the fish was as good as I’ve seen on this river. Sight fishing with nymphs accounted for most fish but the dry also worked. My “Standard nymph for NZ” nailed ‘em, particularly a size 10 grey version. (There’s a blog about it’s tying from about 2 years ago!) I gave one to Stefan and he started cleaning up with it after a slow start. It was pretty much constant action with superb fish; many of them were around 5lbs, both browns and rainbows, which is 2lbs over average. I had one of about 7.5lbs which is a trophy on this water and my personal best off it. Another angler came to fish the same water and since we had such top class fishing already we left it to him with half the water untouched. We blanked on the section we went to next! Perfect!

This was of course the festive season so Sean, Stefan, Myself and Ruth (a friend from home working in Te Anau) took part as one would expect. Good food, friends, fishing, festivities and The Redcliff Bar made it a Christmas and New Year season to remember.

And so after a very fast 3 months in NZ my visa was almost up, so I was Australia bound. Melbourne for 10 days catching up with my brother Conor, Matt (also in “Big Fish Week”), Paula 22, Tim, James “the rock” Simpson, kate and Jess. Lots of good times, eating out, pints and pubs. The highlight of the trip was The Great Ocean Road. Some say it should be renamed The Good Ocean Road or even The Ok Ocean Road but I thought it was pretty great.  Conor and I borrowed Matt’s car and spent 3 days driving down the coast. We got lost briefly while wandering off a marked track to check out some serious ocean swell and stunning cliffs. We had to bush bash back to the car which is not a good idea in Australia.. Especially if you’re wearing shorts! All’s well that ends well… Sincere thanks to you all for all your help with accommodation and lifts to and from the airport! Matt, when I visit you in Canada I’ll expect my own bed!!!

The next blog will be up soon and it will be all about fly fishing in the Tasmanian Highlands.

Do what makes you happy!


Ps. My good friend Bob Toffler broke his leg recently but this has not stopped him fishing. River access is a problem however! Bob lives in Balfour. I have a favour to ask any of you who can help. If you know of any river in the Balfour area or beyond where a fella could easily drive to, set up a chair and sit on it and wait for a fish to rise please let me know. or facebook me. I’m the only Ronan Creane.

Thanks in advance!