Sunday, 30 January 2011

~Easy does it-casting to a big trout holding in shallow water~

~The first fish always calms your nerves~

The Big Boys are looking up:

Cloudy weather has plagued us for days now. And because bright weather equals good spotting conditions, imagine our excitement to see a couple of sunny days on the horizon. Guide Steve Carey couldn't have timed his days off better. With that we winged it up to one of New Zealand's fabled trout rivers the Oreti. A long walk put us on some remote water where we were rewarded with a string of thumping trout. Better still, I managed to tempt all of them on various dry flies. Of course there were a few stubborn fish, but overall we enjoyed sensational fishing....


~Steve Carey charmed this Oreti stunner~

~This bruiser beat me up during a hard fight~

Friday, 28 January 2011

~Preparing to fly~

Heli Trip:

Naturally, some of the best fishing nestles in the more remote areas, well away from the usual access. By way of begging and borrowing (though not stealing), I managed to blag myself on a heli trip into an unnamed river on the west coast of NZ. Part of the deal was that this river remained secret... As you can see, it was back to gloomy weather, pity really. Anyway the cicadas were singing and better still, trout were looking up. Using large foam dry flies we managed to tempt some stunning fish from the deep, crystal clear pools. This is perhaps one of the most memorable days I've had ever. Not because we caught heaps of fat trout, but the whole experience and seeing a river from the air gives you a totally different perspective on things. I'm already scheming to arrange another trip!


~Flying into a secluded river~

~Touching down next to the river~

~A trout rises up from the mossy depths~

~Uncharted trout...........stunning~

Thursday, 27 January 2011

~Clear skies......ideal for willow grubbing trout~

High pressure at last:

In the more remote areas of NZ internet access is understandably patchy. However, I've managed to get on line for a quick update. The weather has been ropey at best down here (I thought I was escaping that when I left London.....). Anyway, we had a high pressure for a few days which brought out the sun and encouraged willow grubs to hatch. These are grub like larvae that cause blistering on the leaves of willow trees. Many of these grubs emerge and fall into the river below, a welcome meal for watchful trout. Now, when willow grubs are in full swing they're present in their teens, so a good representation is required, as is some accurate casting. And when it all falls into place, you can expect some fairly explosive sport. Ian Cole and I had such a day when we tangled with trout up to 5lb. Granted, not double figure specimens, but bloody good fun on a 5-weight and size 20 fly. We're heading west now to more remote rivers in the search of cicada falls.


~about the size of grass seeds, trout relish these tiny willow grubs~

~Willow grubs cause blistering on willow leaves~

~Persistence and careful casting will get you trout like this~

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

~Ian is the first to taste success~

NZ Final Arrived:

I've been quiet the last few weeks-planning a trip to NZ. With the help of Mat McHugh of Fly Odyssey, everything finally fell into place. Mat's bringing a bunch of folk down next week and has sent me out early to do a little bit of scouting (a lame excuse on my part...). I'm lucky enough to be spending a week with top guide Ian Cole We checked out the rivers yesterday and not surprisingly they were running high. Coloured water pushed us onto nearby lakes where trout were found cruising tight along the margins. Some careful casting was reward with a handful of fat, hard fighting browns. We're currently praying for fine weather and no more rain!


~My first 2011 NZ trout-not bad for a weary traveller~

~Trout could be found foraging along the weedbeds~