Posts Tagged ‘John’

The Mataura.

May 6th, 2014 6 comments

I realised during my recent 10 day fishing stint that there are 2 distinctly different types of angling which I indulge in here in NZ. One is fishing for fish; the pursuit of incredible looking, usually large, rare specimens. The challenge is in the hunt and the first cast, possibly the only cast of the day. Or it’s in slinging an 8wt di7 from morning till night over a drop-off at a west coast river mouth. The other is fishing for fishing; the pursuit of any feeding fish of almost any size, usually in medium to large numbers. The challenge is in having your fundamentals absolutely right and adapting to keep them right without wasting any time.  It’s easy to get lost in one and forget about the other. I did last season, I got lost in big fish hunting, but if you look at the archives from last March It’s easy see why. I did this season too, but not as much. Probably because there were fewer big fish about. Before my break I realised I was craving some fishing, not hunting, so my 6 days on the Mataura were exactly what I needed… after a quick big fish fix!

The Mataura.

After catching a few fish in a riffle I was happy to stand in the river, watch and wait. 12 noon. An odd fish is moving but I’m not bothering with them. I expect the fish to move properly at about 2. I wait. I stand up on a log to allow my feet to warm up. Waders are essential here, once I walk a few paces from this log there is no place to stand out of the cold river. 1pm. Nothing moving. I’m not moving far, a few paces then back to the relative warmth standing out of the river onto a wobbly log can give. Watching, waiting. Some fish are trying to move but it stops again. 2pm. Nothing moving.. I’m too far from the comfort log now to go back. 2.15pm, a few fish move… lots of fish move. It’s on. Now every cast is to at least one rising fish. I’m casting almost constantly. I resist the urge to walk up passed rising fish to get to more rising fish. I’ll move very slowly and try to have a decent attempt at as many as I possibly can. I’m catching fish. My emerger (or whatever it is) is working well. As many fish as there are moving, each cast needs to be placed in front of a feeding fish. A few inches left or right and my fly will not be seen. I keep casting, keep fishing, keep catching, stay focused… I stop and take a deep breath, a quick glance around, a smirk and back to it. Loving it, utterly engrossed, there is nothing else. This is as good as it gets..

I’ve fished the Mataura from the source almost to the sea. It’s a fabulous river which offers virtually every facet of NZ river fishing. My favourite one of these facets is “the mad Mataura rise”. I’m not the only one!

It was great 10 days off. I fished with 2 great friends, Robbie Mcphee and Mark Adamson. I made a few new friends too at the holiday park in Gore. Russell and John, Great to meet and have the craic with you two. And great to meet and briefly fish with Pat Kennedy on the river. We have some mutual friends. Sometimes the fly fishing world is a small one! Hopefully we’ll cross paths again.

The season is not over yet!


Kylemore Lough in a Howling Gale!

July 17th, 2011 No comments

Conditions at 9am were perfect. Within the first hour John landed a hard fighting 2lb+ seatrout on a Silver Stoat. During the battle I noticed a wall of wind and rain charging down the lake in our direction. It was with us for the rest of the day. We battled on fishing known salmon water drift after drift, A drogue made the drifts last a reasonable amount of time, without it the fishing would have been even more chaotic than it already was. At times, going back up into the wind to start another drift really got my adrenalin pumping. Wind and waves so strong at times the boat hardly moved forwards, To open up the engine would mean disaster, even as we were going the boat occasionally took on water. This is fun though! Watch the waves and gun it when you can. There was so much water coming back on top of me from the boat breaking through the waves, Sometimes stinging my face and eye’s, that wearing a hood or cap was pointless! Your getting wet, that’s all there’s too it, keep bailing. We would always start the drift well above where we normally would to allow the drogue to grab. Then we had relative peace again until the end of the drift, a little wetter than the last.

Kylemore Lough is a stunning place to fish. I’ll be back when the conditions are more favorable!

For bookings contact Nancy on 00353 95 41143 or



Lough Na Fooey, Finny, Co. Galway, Ireland.

June 22nd, 2011 No comments

The only information we had on Lough Na Fooey was from a book by Oscar Wilde’s father from 1904. All it said was that there were huge pike present. Good enough we thought! The reason for fishing the lake was that we were going to a 30th birthday party on the lake shore that evening so we killed 2 birds with one stone. The fishing was bad. John and I rose a small trout each and Nigel lost 2 pike. One of those could (almost!) have been counted but John managed to knock it off with the net while attempting a new netting technique.

The party which followed lasted at least 2 days!

Dad and I had been on Ballinlough near Westport in Co. Mayo the day before (Friday). We had lots and lots of Rainbows between 2 and 4lbs on many methods including Big wets, lures, small wets, big dries, small dries, buzzers and nymphs. We were constantly changing to stay in control of the opportunities we were given.

I’m not sure what to do this week but whatever it is I’ll report back about it.. There are good numbers of seatrout and salmon entering the Ballynahinch and Lough Inagh system so maybe I’ll target them.

Good luck!


Handlining Pike and Eating my Words!

June 7th, 2011 No comments

John was attaching a braided loop to his fly line on saturday morning. He asked me if I had superglue. I didn’t. I recommended that he tie the leader direct as those loops can come away on reverse contact with the top eye. He did it his way without superglue. I hoped i wouldn’t get a chance to say “I told you so”… A while later John’s rod broke about 18 inches from the tip at a previous repair (dont use old glass rods to fix modern rods!). He fished on with the considerably shorter rod without a problem and soon after hooked a pike. The fish was on the way to the net and the loop touched the top eye and slipped off. Down went the fish with fly, leader and almost the loop. John dived over 3 rods lying across the seats and grabbed the loop and handlined in a decent pike. I netted the fish and laughed. We both did. It’s nice to be able to say “i told you so” when the result is positive!

On the last drift of the day we were approaching rocks coming from deep water. When nothing but limestone was visible beneath the boat i said “Time to go, Pike never live around rocks. Fact!” With “fact” just out of my mouth a pike made me eat my words by nailing my fly. She was about 14lbs and came off at the net. John laughed and I know pike like rocks.

We’re out again tomorrow or Thursday.




May 11th, 2011 No comments

It was yet another big weekend on Corrib starting at 5am on Friday morning. We first targeted pike to no avail, then John went to work and I focused on trout. The mayfly is up early this year and thankfully the trout are responding to them. For the first time this year I really want to be trout fishing. Gales, thunder, rain and squalls made the going tough all weekend. I met about 12 or 15 trout on Friday but only landed 2. They were good fish though, the best was around 3lbs. I hooked another of about 4lbs on the middle fly (a long shanked invicta) which quickly broke at the knot, then foul hooked him on the tail fly which also broke at the knot! Bad leader i fear. There were not huge numbers of trout showing but there were enough to keep me interested and focused.

No joy for me on Saturday but John had a great fish around the 4lb mark on a wet Green Drake. There were much fewer fish showing. I only moved a few and straightened a Royal wulff in one! Angling author Nicholas Kearns joined us and moved a few fish to the dap..

Sunday was blowing a gale so we decided to avoid the main lake and target Pike in a sheltered bay. We had 2 and lost a few more.

All in all it was a tough weekend on the water but I’m glad to say trout are finally feeding on the top.. not many but enough to fish for and they are catchable. Also, from the fish I’ve seen and heard about, the average size must be up at least 1lb.

All the best! Ronan..

Ps. If the wheels on your vehicle take 5 nuts, 4 wont do.. i nearly learned the hard way…. again!











The early bird catches dam all!

May 4th, 2011 No comments

John and I were up at 5am, 4am and 6am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively. We were expecting great things with big pike. We were both confident the larger fish would feed at first light for a few hours but it did not happen. At least not to the extent we were hoping. I lost  4 fish in the 12 -20lb bracket all weekend and john landed 2 nice pike in the heat of the midday sun on the last day. We’re still exploring and trying out new tactics. Little can be learned from doing something once so there will be more early starts and reconnaissance.

The best hit I had all weekend was when John hooked my rod during a wayward cast and sent my entire set up into the drink. It quickly sank to the bottom of a deep and dark  section of a river mouth. Thankfully an ingenious dredging technique invented by John retrieved it.

I hope to be on the water from Friday to Sunday again and will report back as usual! Have a great week all..



Lough Lene

April 14th, 2011 No comments

I’m a bit late with the blog this week because i’ve been out fishing every evening. I’ve been chasing small trout from local mountain lakes. They keep me sharp! Anyway, here is the news..

Dad and I enthusiastically set off on Saturday morning hoping for a decent day buzzer fishing on Corrib. Conditions were good. We fished hard all day and rose one fish for our efforts. Reports from the lake are terrible.. Competition results really sum it up. 20 anglers out in a competition on Sunday for zero fish. Yes, ZERO.

As planned John and I set off early on Sunday morning  to meet up with other Irish pike fly fishermen. We are all members of the PFFA, the meeting was arranged through the forum which is for members only. The Irish Pike Fly Fishing Association has very few members so why not join us and come along to the next fishing meet! Here is a link..

John and I arrived 10 minutes late and the lads were already on the water so we got rigged up quick and started fishing. Johns fly resembled a dead parrot and i suggested he change it.. the words hardly left my mouth and i was made eat them! John was in (he asked me not to tell you that this was his first pike of 2011 so I wont because I’m a true friend). After a good battle I netted johns superb 20lb plus pike. We need a scale (and a bigger net!). That was all our pike action that day. One of the other lads had an 11lb fish and moved lots more.

For the last few hours we targeted trout. This worked out well because they started rising in the evening to adult chironomid (duck fly we call them over here). We had 14 on buzzers, small wets and dries. That was 12 fantastic hours on the water.

Tomorrow I’ll be on corrib (for pike! but I’ll have a trout rod too).. or maybe somewhere new? not sure yet…

Good Luck! Ronan..