Flies So Realistic They Fool Flies

by Tony Bishop on January 3, 2007

I am awestruck at the fly tying realism this man achieves, so are real insects. It is a must visit site if you have any interest in fly tying, and even if you don’t.

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Kahawai Tactics

by Tony Bishop on January 3, 2007

The kahawai is a truly wonderful sportfish found only in New Zealand and Australia (where it is often called ‘salmon’ for no obvious reason.)

I have over the last few weeks spent some time chasing kahawai on fly fishing and light spinning gear and re-igniting my respect for the fighting qualities of this fish. (Between dodging the almost never ending run of strong winds that have dogged our Spring and Summer.)

For the full story on this fish head to the link

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Wonderful Wee Wets

by Tony Bishop on October 28, 2006

Harvey Clarke has a nice piece in today’s New Zealand Herald on wee wets.

” I spent three hours on the Tongariro River Hydro Pool one evening this week and landed nine trout. One was an excellent fresh-run rainbow hen, three were recovering spawners in pretty good nick and five were the fish I was targeting – fat juveniles up to 1.2kg that fight like angry little bulls on light tackle. All told, I got more than 20 hits.

Three other anglers visited the pool in that time. They were using traditional nymph and wetline techniques but caught nothing – and they were watching me closely.

So what was my secret, what was I using? Nymphs? No. Woolly Buggers? No. Must have been glo-bugs then? No. Well, what else is left – worms? No.

I was using what I consider the most deadly of all flies for evening river fishing, flies that were brought here 140 years ago by the first anglers arriving from England, flies long overlooked since the explosion in nymph fishing relegated most other techniques to the sideline.

I was using the long-forgotten fly: the wonderful wee wet….(more at link)”

I have been a fan of wee wets for over 50 years. I was first taught to fly fish by a friend of my Father, and we used dry or wee wet flies exclusively. Nymphing was yet to be ‘imported’.

Now I often see anglers using a dry with a nymph hanging off the bend of it’s hook. Basically they are using the dry as an indicator that might get bitten. But using a wee wet under the dry is actually covering two bases, the dry and a normal imitative emerged insect, and the wee wet as the emerging insect. As Harvey explains it can be a lethal combination, especially in the evening.

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Fugly Foam Floating Flies.

by Tony Bishop on October 22, 2006

Sexy Loops have just put up an article of mine on foam flies. I am a convert. Using these flies is much more fun than being grown up.

Just a Quick Content Warning: Anyone of a purist dry-fly persuasion or of a delicate disposition should proceed under caution.

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Sneaky Buggers Catch More Trout

by Tony Bishop on October 22, 2006

“Trout aren’t stupid. They might be brainless and lack creativity (a lot like the creators of Gilligan’s Island), but they’re survivors. And they didn’t get that way by offering themselves up as a meal for every predator that wanders by. Which – if you stop to watch most fly fishers on the water – begs the obvious question. Why don’t more fly fishers act like predators?”

This piece on the Trout Underground offers good advice on getting close to a trout, in a fly-fishing way of course.

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Booby Fly Variants

by Tony Bishop on October 19, 2006


I promised some time ago to put up a photo of Booby fly variants on the Booby fly article, and finally I found my round-to-it, and it is up there, and as a special bonus it is here as well.

Top is a Rabbit Booby, next a Mink Booby.
The third from the top is a Sparkle Booby, good daytime fly and on moonlit nights.
The Viva Variant Booby is good at night and during the day – yes I know the rule, dark flies for the dark bright flies for the light – rules are for the obedience of fools, merely guides for the wise.
The Little Black Number is good at night and in the day – read the rule above.
The bottom fly, a Blob Booby works well at night and daytime too.

There are tying and fishing instructions for all variants in the original article.

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The Words Get in the Way

by Tony Bishop on October 17, 2006

It was interesting, the reports in US web-sites about a Kiwi angler who “snagged” a 700lb tuna. Great fish and all, but the reports show just how different Amglish has become. The reports I am sure were meant to indicate the angler had caught the fish, but in English snagged means to foul-hook a fish, by accident or worse.

The list of the differences between English and Amglish are many, but some can lead to great embarassment – like when I asked a Secretary of a company I was visiting in the US for a rubber. Fortunately help was at hand to explain I wanted an eraser.

I can still remember my reaction when a female US client of mine asked me to hand her, her fanny pack. In English ‘fanny’ is not the backside, and only females have one.

Still I suppose that all these differences only serve to enrich the language, because if English is nothing else it is constantly evolving. But there is one word that Amglish has invented that has no place in anybodies language, and that is ‘gotten’, it is ugly, it is inelegant, and the originator should be shot at dawn 🙂

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Better fishing pictures: Under Expose

by Tony Bishop on October 17, 2006

Underexposure is a way of getting better colors and avoiding burnt out areas.

The excellent series of articles on fishing photography has a new addition. As usual it is detailed and chock full of great information. The photographs that accompany the article make what is expalined in the text very clear. Go there..

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The Trout I Did Not Want To Have to Catch

by Tony Bishop on October 17, 2006

He was my oldest friend. From age 10 we have fished, dived, and generally had a hell of a good time, with lots of “frivolity”. It was his Birthday just on a month a ago, and I rang him to see what he wanted for his birthday.

He replied that he wanted the gift of my company, and if at all possible a trout for dinner and a bit of frivolity. I could not refuse, especially as this birthday would be his last.

So I took off for Taupo the afternoon before the party, filled with performance anxiety. Providing fish to order is usually the kiss of death. Not this night. On only the 3rd or 4th cast I hooked up on the wonderful fish you see here. I duly landed it, killed it, gilled and gutted it, and packed it in ice in a chilly-bin, and back I drove the 3.5 hours back to Auckland.

I arrived before the other guests, laid the trout on a very big square of aluminium foil, splashed on the liberal dose of white wine, lots of pepper and salt, plenty of chopped corriander and mint. Then I pulled up the sides of the foil, and formed a ‘tent’ over the fish by wrapping the edges of the foil over themselves, several times. Then I popped it on the barbecue to allow the trout to slowly steam. Just as my friend had ordered it cooked.

The trout went down a treat, so did plenty of wine, and there was lots of frivolity – just what my friend ordered.

I did not want to catch that fish, I did not want to face the reality that he and I would never fish together again. And we won’t – he died last week. But, the rivers are still flowing.

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Better fishing pictures: Macro

by Tony Bishop on August 30, 2006

The macro setting is one of the really great aspects of modern digital camaras, and macro photography has a lot of potential.

In this, the ninth article in Global Fly Fisher‘s series on fishing photography, the subject of getting in close is covered. Just like all the other articles this one is full of good advice.

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