Muddy Waters Yield Trout Bonus

another trout from muddy watersTrout from muddy waters

I have just returned from a week long fishing trip in the central North Island of New Zealand. The fishing was not easy, the river I was concentrated on, the Tauranga-Taupo, was very low and clear. The weather was sunny and mid-Summer hot.

Despite that I managed to keep myself busy catching fish in and around the old and current size limit, 45 & 40cm (18” & 16”).

But last Thursday night, preceded by a torrential rain warning from the met office, the rain duly came down, every bit as heavy as forecast. It rained all night stopping at dawn. The river rose by 4 to 5 feet, and spread itself out as it saw fit.

But by late morning the river dropped 3 feet as fast as it rose, and even though the water was still muddy I decided to try a technique I had used years ago in the same type of situation. I wandered down the bank swinging a Black Woolly Bugger into any little backwater, or under banks, big enough to shelter a fish from the torrent. And I hooked an awful lot of fish. I lost most, if the trout got out into the flood it was all over. Thing was, many of the fish landed were considerably bigger than those I had caught or seen in the preceding days.

Towards the end of the day I ended up at the Cliff Pool armed at last with a camera. Here the river pours straight down, hits the cliff and does a right turn. It is a big pool, in the flood, very big. The force of the flood hitting the cliff produced a big eddy.

I was not expecting much, but dropped a couple of little Caddis nymphs into the eddy, which when they reached the bottom were snaffled. That fish made it into the main current and left me behind.

It seemed that every time I dropped the flies into the correct drift a trout grabbed it. Some I landed – some taught me me who was boss. There must have been many fish stacked up in  that backwater. Finally it had to end, darkness and mosquitoes sent me back to my cabin.

The photos show two fish, one around 58cm(23”) & 52cm(21”).

I have just one question to ask myself about this episode – where in hell do all these bigger fish hide when the river is low and clear?

For a new article on fishing after the flood go here.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing how-to, my fishing trips

Five new fishy quotes and sayings – Feb 7, 2009

I have just uploaded 5 new quotes. (Numbers 740 –744)

My favourite:

Why do  sharks like kayakers? Because they’re crispy on the outside and soft  and chewy on the inside.” – Hoo Nose

Do you think they would want fires fries with that? (Don’t blog at 1am 🙂

I have whole heap of new quotes waiting for me to find my round-to-it – they will trickle in over the next few days.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing quotes

Eel or Trout?

First the good news, the 14th Issue of This is Fly on-line fly fishing magazine for the trendy, gung-ho fly fisher is out.

Not so good news from the magazine:

I have a real thing about some ‘poses’ taken when photographing fish. In this issue of This is Fly are two photographs that exemplify the “I will do anything to make this ugly fish look longer” attitude.

It it is based on the seemingly fashionable trick of the happy angler holding the head of the fish as close to the camera as possible and the  tail close to his body. The technique can work if the fish is in good condition, fit and fat. But if the fish is skinny and out of condition, oh dear, how sad.

So have a look at the photo of the trout, and I use the word ‘trout’ loosely, on page 51, is it a trout or an eel? No amount of camera tricks can disguise the fact that is a truly undernourished fish. Yes, I know it fits with the US obsession with measuring the length of the fish to the exclusion of all other factors that go to make up whether a trout is a good all round fish. Just make the fish look long in the photo. But the fish in this picture was so out of condition and hungry it would have chewed on a brick if you threw it in the water, and probably fought like a wet sock.

The felony is compounded on pages 43 and 107. Two more fugly fish, which no amount of camera chicanery using the ‘pose’ could make look good.

So guys, if the fish is shaped like an eel, under nourished and slab sided, do the decent thing; quietly un-hook it in the water and let it swim away to do some much needed feeding.  We promise not to watch.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing media, Fishing Photography, fly fishing

Four New Fishing Quotes and sayings – Jan 4, 2009

There is just no stopping me when I am on a roll!
Four new quotes have just been uploaded, numbers 736 to 739.

My pick:

“I told a lie the other day.  I said that I’d caught a “bunch” of trout.  What I should have said is that I caught a little trout that I named Bunch.  There, I’ve confessed and now I feel much better.”

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing quotes

Three New Fishing Quotes and Sayings – Jan 1 2009

Happy New Year – and to start the new year, uploaded three new quotes, number 729 to 731.

My favourite:

“The river flattened out into meadow stretches, deep bends, tempting sweeps, and undercut banks; sensual and flowing in the feminine form…”

– Scott Waldie – Travers Corners: The Final Chapters

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing quotes

8 More Fishy Quotes and Sayings – Dec 13, 2008

There is just no stopping me when I get on a roll. Just uploaded 8 more quotes, numbers 721 – 728.

My pick (723):

mayfly

“An errant May-fly swerved unsteadily athwart the current in the intoxicated fashion affected by young bloods of May-flies seeing life. A swirl of water and a ‘cloop!’ and the May-fly was visible no more.”
    – Kenneth Grahame – ‘The Wind in the Willows’

Find the quotes here

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing quotes

9 More Quotes and Sayings on Things Fishy – Dec 11, 2008

I have just uploaded nine more fishy quotations – numbers 712 to 720

My pick of the bunch comes via a book I raved about a couple of days ago “The last Best Place”.

“The value of the last best place is not the promise of big catches, nor big fish, but it’s rarity. In order to preserve a few last best places, they need to be far removed from mechanised access.”

– John Hayes – Fish and Game New Zealand

Find all the quotes here

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing quotes

If You Want Fresh Fish Chill Out!

This Christmas holiday and right on over our Summer Holiday period the following sad story will be repeated ad nausea – and nausea is the right word – all around New Zealand’s coasts.A perfect example of how not to keep fresh caught fish fresh.

The crew sets out in the morning and over the next four or five hours catches a feed of fish. As they are caught, the fish are chucked into the fish bin where they flap and struggle as they slowly drown in the air. As more fish are caught they are thrown on top of the fish already dead and dying in the bin.

By the time this bin of fish, as exemplified in the photo, gets to shore it should not be eaten. The fish have ‘cooked’ in their own blood and slime. What a waste!

By the time our intrepid crew get back to the bach, crib, campsite or home, the fish is a smelly, slimy mess. Cleaning and preparing the fish to cook is a long, slow job – the soggy, flabby-fleshed bundles of slime are hard to handle. But eventually fish fillets make their way into the fry pan where foul cooking smells begin to fill every nook and cranny in the immediate vicinity. The whole performance, in a word, disgusting. What a waste.

It is a sad fact is that much of the fish served up by amateur fishermen is passed its used-by-date. By the time it reaches the table it is well on the way to being rotten.

Many fishermen would be better advised to go fishing on an exclusively catch-and-release basis, and buy some fish to eat on the way home at the fish shop. The fish in the shop would be in better condition – the shop would not be allowed to sell (apart from legal problems) the amateur’s catch because of it’s poor condition.

If you want to keep your catch fresh all the way to the table read this..

Posted by Tony Bishop in salt water how-to and tips

‘The Last Best Place’ – a celebration of fly-fishing in New Zealand.

mirfincover

In a word, ‘stunning’, is the best way to describe this new book of photographs on fly-fishing in New Zealand.

In his introduction, Bob South, award-winning editor of Fish & Game New Zealand magazine, makes a case that Zane Mirfin’s superb photography confirms that New Zealand, head-and-shoulders above anywhere else, warrants the tag The Last Best Place for fly-fishing. South maintains that Mirfin’s uncanny camerawork allows us all, even the most cynical, to know that, in terms of fly-fishing, we’ve certainly come nowhere near the stage where all is lost here, either in the pollution-susceptible lowland systems, in didymo-invaded mountain streams, or deep in the fragile backcountry. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
Zane Mirfin – fishing guide, author, and award-winning photographer, has captured the essence of what makes fly-fishing in New Zealand unique and special. Over 100 remarkable images reveal the drama, splendour, and excitement that is fly-fishing in New Zealand. The images stand alone as a feast for the eye of any angler – each worth more than a thousand words. Each telling its own story.

In place of the usual narrative, editor Bob South has selected quotations from angling icons, writers, and celebrities to complement each of these stunning photos of The Last Best Place.

mirfinlanding

mirfingone

Posted by Tony Bishop in Fishing Photography, New Zealand Fishing