Massive Yellowtail Kingfish

Mark Kitteridge who worked with me at my tackle shop in Auckland NZ for ten years scored this huge yellowtail kingfish off Tairua, NZ. Weighed in at 40 kg (88 lb.)

Released it too!

40kg yellowtail kingfish

Did you know that the IGFA has two records for Yellowtail kingfish, the so called California Yellowtail and the Southern Yellowtail yet they are exactly the same fish. Way past time the IGFA fixed this.

Don’t Put Your Fishing Gear Away Too Early

There’s still plenty of productive trout fishing to be had around the country (NZ) in spite of the onset of winter and the closure of some lakes and rivers to fishing. 

Fish & Game NZ is urging anglers not to put away their gear but to broaden their horizons – try the lakes and rivers that remain open over the winter months, different methods of shoreline fishing, and even sampling what other regions have to offer.

Anglers should consult their Sports Fishing Regulation booklet, or visit the Fish & Game website, where they’ll discover a wealth of fishing opportunities available over the cooler months.

More on where to fish over winter in both North and South Islands.

Distance Schmistance.

One of the South Island of New Zealand’s best known guides, Chris Dore, offers some sound advice about getting more distance, and the benefits of being able to do so. This is especially true in New Zealand where casting in a wind is a very common requirement.

“I tire of hearing people bagging distance casting. "its not needed here in NZ" and most commonly "all my fish are caught within a few rod lengths" are common justifications.

Well mate, that’s because you can only cast a few rod lengths. And how do you go in windy conditions? You don’t? I wonder why…”

The Trout Diaries: A Year of Fly-Fishing in New Zealand

troutdiarycover

As a New Zealand fisherman with over 50 years experience, I am acutely aware of the almost dreamlike reputation New Zealand’s trout fishing holds for many overseas anglers. Unfortunately much of that dream has been fuelled by over-hyping in print, TV and other media. Sure we have big trout in superb surroundings, but the big trout are hard to catch, and require for the most part good fly-fishing skills, where casting and presentation techniques are key.
Fortunately Trout Diaries is extremely well written, and through an anecdotal style reveals the true nature and reality of New Zealand trout fishing, and the techniques that can lead to success.
In many ways the books title is a misnomer, it is most certainly not a ‘I did this on this day’ book, but covers a years worth of fishing trips throughout both the North and South Island of New Zealand. On the way you will meet some of the true characters that fish our waters, and learn a lot.
I cannot recommend Trout Dairies highly enough.

Another review:

“This is such a fine book; one that is able to be enjoyed on several levels.
It has inspired me to fish some new water, and it offers some gems on how to fly fish. The Trout Diaries is occupied by some of the most interesting characters to inhabit our angling literature, and the author has captured their voices beautifully. The book will appeal to people looking for the adventure that comes from new places and people, but primarily for me, it was about an adventure of the soul. This ultimate adventure, so well described, is the most important journey of all, and is what will make this book appeal to an audience well beyond anglers. It is a book that can make you laugh and cry, which is quite something for a book supposedly about angling.”

Yet another:

“Derek Grzelewski sees what most others do not; his thoughtful observations are carefully wound into stories that are neither just about technique, nor about the requisite equipment but rather how fishing for trout, pounding miles of river bank, chance encounters with locals and peering from bridges into running water, feed us. He threads his 12 months of fishing with his life experiences. This is not a book about pounds, numbers or the one that got away. He recounts his meetings with professionals, scientists, cockies, novices, old timers, whitebaiters… for each of them a different slant on what they take from the fabulously fresh still and running waters of New Zealand. I couldn’t put the book down.”

Muddy Waters – Of Mud, Mothers, Eels and the Boy

Reading the story in my last post about a big eel attacking a trout here in New Zealand reminded me that the first story I ever wrote for New Zealand Fishing News magazine was about eels.

It was written about 22 years ago – don’t time fly! It was pretty well received way back then, so maybe it is time for a re-run. Have a read here

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.

‘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