Sunday 22 February 2015

Salty Fly Fun

We have been giving the salt fly thing a bit more of a nudge recently and shot out on Tuesday to Tauranga Harbour. We met our buddy Lucas over there who has the advantage of local knowledge and first cast at first light saw him hook into a solid Kingfish on a popper fly. That one wrapped him around the marker so he proceeded to pull a little one out from the same spot.

Nice fat Kahawai, went a little way into the backing!

That was all we saw of Kingfish for the day but there were more than enough Kahawai to keep us happy, as well as discovering a few new spots for next time. The Scott Tidal and A4 rods performed admirably and the Hatch Finnatic and Lamson Speedster reels provided more than enough stopping power.

Josh with a nice little King Country Brown

The next day we changed pace entirely and returned to one of the spots we grew up fishing. Good to know that some things stay the same!

Saturday 7 February 2015

Tough Love

A few days at the start of the week saw the 2 of us heading for the hills, well the rivers between the hills anyway. Tuesday greeted us with bluebird skies and a searing hot day, although a rather tough 30 knot wind was also randomly present. The thought of this wind effing up our fishing was definitely not a good one but it did lend a hand in cooling us on the walk in. It did also load the surface of the river with some fat cicadas so we weren't complaining too much...

Once we got to the river, the wind had buggered off almost completely and the fishing was on! The river was relatively low and very clear, making it easy to spot the fish. This being said, it soon became apparent that they could spot us even easier than they usually do. A few were feeding, but nothing was going batshit crazy.

After studying them for a little bit, we decided it was larger nymphs and if at all, smaller dry flies. It proved to be somewhat accurate but we had to really work for it! If a cast was off line by even the slightest, the fish were off upstream or the browns would sulk on the bottom.

All of the fish that we saw were in really good nick and certainly weren't going hungry. The fact that they were sometimes rather shy (or probably just smarter than we gave them credit for) is probably the abundance of food in the area. Both myself and Cameron had really good fish take intense looks at several flies before deciding they were either not hungry or our flies too ugly

Although it was tough going and at times I was left wondering why I even bothered fishing, the few we managed to get made it doubly worth while. It certainly was tough love but the challenging fishing can't be matched by anything else. Back country fishing just can't be beaten! Especially with fish like these playing the game! Nothing huge from the trip, but the privilege of being out in the hills even being close to them makes the landed ones doubly special.

Typical golden Brown Trout

Typical back country Rainbow. Lots of spots and colour!

Super spotty Bow! Even has spots on its eyes!

Typical specimens of both Brown and Rainbow Trout. Both in pretty typical environments too. The Browns were generally seen on the edge of very sunny runs while the Bows were holed up under the cover of trees feeding mentally in slightly deeper but faster runs. No doubt there would have been a Big Dog Brown hiding at the base of one or two of those runs. Until next time. Then we will see!

Friday 30 January 2015

Things are Heating Up

Literally, it is really bloody hot. This is good though, as abundant insect life means fat and energetic trout who are on the feed. We are coming into what I believe is the best time of year for the fly fisherman. The months of February, March and April are a time where fish look to put on condition for their winter activities and also start to make their way upstream.

Playing around with headlamps and slow shutter speeds on the DSLR

Myself and another keen guy from Fish City who is just starting out fly fishing, recently headed into one of our favourite headwaters to see how things were shaping up before we really get into into the headwater season. Numerous fat bows presented themselves and had a nudge a few dries too. The water was a nice swimmable temp too, which was just as well a seeing as the hike in was out of control hot.

First cast, not too bad!

Typical colourful back country bow

It's always good to spend time outside but the weather we have been having has been just stunning. Make the most of it as it won't hang around forever.

See you out there!

Wednesday 7 January 2015

A Hike in the Hills

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has had a fantastic start to the year and that you managed to get out for a fish over the break. We have been doing bit of everything, including some salty fly action in amongst some schools of kahawai and trevally. Nothing like double bent 10wt to start the year!

On New Years day, my girlfriend Aymee and I heading onto the hills to stay the night next to river. I had heard some good things about the fishing in this area and wanted to scout out the place for myself, as well as just get away from the city and spend some time sitting around a campfire. 

First outing for my new hiking tent - really impressed

The 4 hour walk in was pretty flat and the couple of hours fishing I did manage to do was pretty hectic. Quite a few solid fish in the 4-5lb region and very, very fussy. I had just started to work out what they wanted as it was time to head back. I ended up only hooking a couple and making a complete meal of a classic dry fly take and was given plenty of encouragement to make me want to head back there.

Cheese Kransky's over an open fire

Time to play "Spot the Brown Trout"

Last river crossing before heading out

Fishing aside, it was a spectacular couple of days and a great way to start the year. 

Other than this, the Rotorua stream mouths should be firing, there are tuna and kingfish in abundance offshore and the cicadas are starting to sing. This combined with the settled weather we are enjoying should make the fly fisherman very happy. Get out and get in amongst it, it won't come to you!

Tuesday 23 December 2014

I Hope Santa Brings You a Radian

It's that time of the year again. Soon the sweet sound of cicadas will be filling the air and the trout will head to the surface to feast on any that are clumsy enough to fall into the water. We have been flat out at Fish City making sure that the Christmas wishlists of fishermen are checked off. We haven't really had the chance to head out fishing due to the nature of the retail beast, however there are plenty of trips in the pipes for the New Year (Josh just bought a boat, salt fly adventures to follow). Stay tuned for some results...

We just thought we would take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Also, make sure to stay safe on the roads this time of year as there as there are some absolute muppets floating about. Most importantly, get out and catch some fish and make the most of this amazing country that we call home.

Thanks for continuing to support the blog and sharing in our passion.

Cameron and Josh

In case you missed it, below is the video that was featured in Fly Fishers Inc.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Enjoy The Simple Things

With the season fully under way now and summer trying it's best not to show its hand too early, it is very easy to head straight for the big water as soon as there is a break in the weather. This is so tempting as there are likely to be (bigger) fish that haven't seen too many anglers in recent times and the thought of them hitting flies with a totally reckless attitude makes it the seemingly obvious decision. Just like everyone else too...

Don't get me wrong, fishing these great big waters with potentially larger fish is possibly the pinnacle of fishing here in New Zealand, especially when the fish are looking up and feeding off the surface. It can also be very challenging! Gotta love it! This is going off on a bit of a tangent but what I'm trying to get at is that you shouldn't forget the small streams! Going out with a 3 or 4wt rod and throwing dries at maniacal little rainbows that are full of spirit and act as if they have just snorted something potent is easily as good as catching big mooching fish. Definitely not being selective in my fishing but if the option is there then take it! There just seems to be something special about being in really personal waters that not many people seem to give much thought or credit to. Just enjoy keeping it all simple and let everything else going on in the world fade.

This was all proven on the weekend with a visit to a local small stream where I managed to land a few really fat and feisty rainbows along with a really nice brown in the 4lb size range. A very successful day I thought!

One of the crazy little rainbows that smashed the dry!

Anyway, a side note to all this and definitely something to be excited about is the release of FlyFishers Inc. The boys up at Manic have worked really hard (we think) to bring this wicked magazine out. Full of good stuff from tips to cool fishing shit and a bit of info on a few of the people in the industry. A bit of an insight into the happenings in the Fly Fishing scene in NZ. Anyway, here is a link to the newest volume of FlyFishers Inc.

Have a good read and let us know what you reckon! There is even a guest apperance from the FlyGuys on there!

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Making Hay

I was fortunate enough to have a day off coincide with some reasonable weather and managed to sneak out for a fish down National Park way on the weekend. I was down there to guide on the Saturday so went down Friday to ... uh ... ensure that the rivers were fishing well for my clients. I had an epic afternoon with plenty of FAT fish eager to eat a multitude of flies.

Typical National Park fatty
The guiding day was equally as good with clients who were brand spanking new to fly fishing getting a few fish (and getting dusted by a few more!). The guys were really surprised at the ability of the trout to fight by using the current to their advantage and had a really enjoyable days fishing.

Alvaro with his first ever trout

I also managed to get down to Rotorua last night to see how the stream mouths are going as the water is starting to warm up. We encountered a few really good conditioned fish however the cold current was a bit all over the place so we had to work for them. Really encouraging signs though.

These guys formed a bit of a gallery for me

It looks like some more average weather is on the way but there will be the odd good one in between so take advantage of the good days when they come along.