Monday, December 29, 2008

Back Country Browns

My 2 friends have just finished 3 days of fishing in NZ. It was there first time to fish here and it was a very steep learning curve. With only a few days vacation my friends needed to get their basic skills into action straight away. Strong fish, heavy water and slippery rocks were a big challenge for these 2 rookies. After some focused instruction, 3x tippet and some home tied flies finally they landed some good fish. This experience taught me a lot about the skills that are needed to be successful when fishing in NZ. Accurate casting, fly selection and tippet/knot quality are essential. Then the biggest skill of all, spotting the fish. Most anglers will miss those ghosty shadows hugging the rocks and walk past them. On a river that gets a lot of pressure these are the fish you are most likely to catch.

I am happy to say that this trip was a really nice experience for my friends and they were able to catch a few good fish. They were happy to stop fishing after 2-3 fish and relaxed, soaking up the atmosphere at every opportunity. After a tough walk with heavy packs these 2 were rewarded with some lucky events in a river with few fish.

Have a safe and enjoyable trip home. Please come back one day.

Thanks to Mr. Kato for the fly box and the Ishii Bro's for the hooks.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mother Nature and the Art of Camoflauge.

After fishing I am sometimes surprised to find a small friend, who has hitched a ride home to my house. This fellow was on my hat and to me represents the best camo of all. At first I thought it was a stick, but something caught my eye. The shape was too perfect. After a few photos I released it back onto a Red Beech tree outside my house. I wonder what the adult looks like??


In the city now days you can easily find imported Japanese food. So I still like to enjoy the flavours that tantalized my taste buds when I lived in Japan. Here is my version of the Nabe. It's quite hard to get thinly sliced beef here. It's usually sold in large sized pieces. Vegetables are plentiful, but good Tofu is hard to find. Oh well this particular Nabe was really tasty. Yum!

Tell him he's Dreaming!

A bit over ambitious! I wanted a glory shot here , but surprise, surprise no fish. Super place.

Fishing with Dad and Ashley.

2 weeks ago Dad and Ashley came up from Christchurch for a weekend. We spent Saturday and Sunday fishing. Trying to think of where to go is sometimes a bit of a challenge when you are new to an area. We ended up trying out 2 new spots, the first was quite heavily covered in didymo weed which wasn't that pleasant. The fish were nervous, flighty and seemed to know we were there. It was good to be out on the river though. Ashley had a good run, trying his best to catch rabbits to no avail.

The second spot was a little better, but the foot traffic was clearly visable as it is used by guides quite regularly. As my friend said you don't need access maps around here just follow the tracks! Dad hooked a good fish only to be busted off due to brittle line and a cunning fish, who knew a bit about rocks. I landed a small pretty, (Japanese sized trout) on my 3 weight rod. That was fun.

We all had a great time including the dog, who was being watched closely by the local tenants.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rivers With Gold.

The rivers that flow from the mountains around me still contain gold. Some mining companies have moved in on a fairly small scale, while others prefer to do it the old-fashioned way. With a shovel, a sluicing box and a die-hard attitude they take to the rivers in search of the precious metal. Just as the flyfisher will pursue his quarry for hours ( I think my record was with my mate Andy, 2 hours on one fish), so too does the miner in his unrelentless back-breaking hunt for gold. Here's my northern neighbour doing it the hard way.

Mayflies with a Golden Glow.

A month ago in a stream near my house there was a hatch of mayflies. I have seen this type of mayfly before and I was lucky enough to see a small, but steady hatch of them again. I believe them to be collorobiscus mayflies. The trout didn't come out of their hiding places on this day. So the mayflies were free to hatch, only bothered by a few swooping bush birds.

Oh the water !

Last weekend I had a days fishing with my neighbour. We came across many feeding fish. Most of them were focused on nymphs. The most difficult thing about hooking them was setting the hook at the correct time. These trout were very weary and would spit the hook out in a split second. We missed a few fish on the strike and others just disappeared before we even took the fly off the hook keeper. We were lucky enough to land two fish. After fishing there was a brief discussion about, how if you catch a fish in the opening moments of your trip, it can be very hard from then on in to land another one. It's a phenomena that many fishers have experienced.