Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Spring Creek Bows:

Snapshot 2 (31-01-2012 20-47)

Gin clear water and exceptional light gave us a day to remember on one of the many spring creeks close to Taupo.  The link below illustrates how hard you need to boss fish to prevent them from finding snags (note the groaning rod…), clearly not for the faint hearted.



Monday, 30 January 2012

Off the beaten track:


The pull of fishing more remote rivers took Craig and I into rainforest territory.  Here, warm humid air makes flying difficult for cicadas and consequently many take a tumble into the water.  Thankfully the fishing Gods acknowledged our epic walk with fat trout holding station, waiting to wallop our cicada patterns.  Better still, naturals could be seen drifting down the margins which is never a bad thing.   As for us, we were happy as Larry for it doesn’t get any better than hooking up with tenacious trout in idyllic surroundings.   Paul~

                                                                                          ~Tree ferns everywhere-stunning~


                  ~Finally we reached pristine water~


~Craig pitching at a fish holding midstream~



~100 percentage of speckled muscle tested both our nerve and tackle~


Sunday, 29 January 2012

In the back of beyond:


~A remote stream…somewhere in the North Island~

Apparently there’s some debate as to what constitutes a Back Country river.  However, many agree it’s a stream inaccessible by road or tracks with little sign of human interference.  In other words, you’ve got to pay your dues with a stint of leg work before stringing up a rod.  So, linking up with a like minded fishermen Craig Cunningham, off we went to bag ourselves a “back country” experience.  Hailing from America, Craig is no stranger to the more remote streams of NZ as he spends the best of six months researching them each year.  Naturally, I was in good hands then and our day couldn’t have started better when a fit brown trout latched onto my cicada pattern.  Then Craig went and found himself some plump rainbow trout with attitude.  From there we took it turn about as we negotiated a productive little stream!   



This well marked beauty couldn’t resist a cicada plopped into his field of vision



~Craig piles on the pressure to stop an angry trout from reaching cover~


Friday, 27 January 2012

Dreaded Cloud…


Intermittent cloud often hinders those who prefer stalking river trout as ever changing light prevents your eyes from tuning in.  With that, any hope of getting our string pulled today involved lake fishing. A trip to Lake Otamangakau seemed like a plan.  Known as the “Big O” this upland water contains a head of truly giant trout.  And following a slow start we finally got amongst some serious rod benders that climaxed with me hooking and eventually losing a monstrous specimen.  Talk was that it would have dropped the scales beyond that magical 10lb mark, but I for one was not qualified to make such assumptions.  However, a string of thumping rainbows as fat as pigs more than made up for any disappointment.


~A plump hen fish well over 6lb, not a bad consolation prize~



Our drive to the lake took us through Turangi which has an impressive welcome sign of a fishermen leaning into a fish-this town certainly has its priorities in order.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Cicada City:


Cicada season ranks as a high point in the Kiwi fishing calendar, yet due to wet weather of late, few if any of these large ungainly terrestrials failed to stretch their wings.  Thankfully, my arrival coincided with a much needed warm spell and guess what…the cicadas came out to play…talk about being a clarty so and so!  Better still, possessing little aerial deftness they struggle with even a faint breeze which sends them crashing to the water’s surface.  And to trout, struggling cicadas represent your five-a-day.  Searching the banks of the Tongariro river Gary Lyttle and I dropped onto a nest of hungry brown trout that eagerly scoffed our cicada imitations.  Then came the difficult part of steering headstrong fish through a maze of sunken branches.  Bar one, amazingly they all stayed on giving us a day to remember.  Paul~


~A small head and broad shoulders indicate fast growth for this Tongariro Brown~



  ~Gary Lyttle displays what’s on offer when cicadas play ball~


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Trout Bum Country:



~Gary pokes his nose over the margins hoping to find dimpling trout~


Many of us would be lying if we didn’t admit to a fishing lifestyle of a Trout Bum made popular by john Geirach’s work.  Apparently, such people travel the globe blagging, begging and making ends meet to fund their fly fishing addiction!  Given this I didn’t feel so bad turning up on Gary Lyttle’s doorstep in Taupo NZ pretty much unannounced.  Gary (bless him) already had a house full of fishing junkies and not wanting to turn me away offered me a comfy sofa in the garage.  Full of every imaginable fishing paraphernalia (including a boat) this was pure luxury to yours truly.  Following a good night’s kip we were up early to check out a spring creek in search of rising trout.


~No prizes for guessing where this road leads to…!~


Saturday, 21 January 2012

New Zealand “The Great Outdoors”

Dobson view

~A pristine NZ trout stream-pure wilderness waiting to be explored~

Funny how things turn out, those who know me probably saw it coming a mile away!  However, New Zealand wasn’t on my agenda this year, yet a week and a half ago I found myself trawling websites in search of a budget flight.  It took a while but eventually I stumbled across one.  Of course, friends from down under convinced me to press the “confirm” button (not that difficult).  With final plans completed and packing just about done the epic journey to Auckland begins today.  They’ve been having some pretty shabby weather down there, so let’s hope things take a turn for the better.


Friday, 13 January 2012

Ascension Bay…Oasis:


Fly fishing in a tropical environment involves interaction with all kind of exotic species and not all of them fish!  For me, such sightings only add to the excitement when it’s possible to catch critters bearing teeth without even using rod and line (below).   Honestly, some outings unfold amidst the day to day drama of live and death when apex predator like sharks or crocs mercilessly hound unfortunate creatures. Of course, sometimes you might come across more sinister signs, like the tracks of a prowling jaguar on the fringes of a mangrove forest…proper Tarzan stuff!  As far as I’m concerned these distractions make flats fishing a rich and varied pastime. 




~Pugmarks of a large jaguar stretch along the shoreline~


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Brightening up a dull day:


Our recent trip to Ascension Bay, Mexico blessed us with plenty of sunny weather, something we’re desperately lacking back home right now!  Anyway, our groups enjoyed chasing the usual suspects of bonefish, tarpon, cuda, shark and those enigmatic permit.  Naturally, an arsenal of rods allowed you to swap at a moments notice, depending what species decided to swim past the skiff.  Though at times it seemed we had enough hardware to sink a battleship!  Despite occasionally grabbing the wrong rod for the job things generally worked out OK. Of course there’s more too it than nailing fish after fish.  Taking a break from a spell of hard core fishing brings certain rewards and allows you to compose yourself for round two (the afternoon session)!  Paul~


Thursday, 5 January 2012

NZ Trout Diaries for Christmas


A nasty virus grounded me over the festive season, so wrapping up warm I lost myself in a good book.  Full of interest, event and sound information they really don't come any they don’t really come any better than “The Trout Diaries” written by Derek Grzelewski.  A former guide, Derek takes you month by month through a fishing season in New Zealand.  And to say I became totally consumed would be an understatement.  A big fan of the crystal clear streams down under, I found myself wanting to be back there more than ever. What really does it though is how wonderfully crafted this book is.  An honest and philosophical account, you actually feel you're pacing a riverbank with the author, step by way.  Having digested every page from cover to cover, back to front and inside out, I’m fighting back powerful urges of jumping on a plane to fly some 12,000 miles and sample those huge spotted beauties……A must read even if you have little intention of visiting NZ.  Published by Bateman the book is now available from www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com