Why Does No-one Bow to a Trout Anymore?

I recently noticed I was losing more hooked fish by way of broken leaders or hooks pulling out. Why? I checked the leader material I used and found no problem. Still tough as old boots and broke just over the line weight. No answers there.

Maybe it had something to do with today’s ultra fast-action rods? Rods I mostly used over the last ten years.

I think I am on to something. Here is why.

Understanding line weight.


This short but very clear video explains why it’s ok to up-line or down-line your rod depending on the distance you’re fishing. Use the rating on the rod as a guideline and find the line that suits YOU.

I was especially surprised by how little weight difference there is between fly-lines – how about the weight of a business card for one line type/weight.

Unexpectedly Great Fishing: Again!

A couple of my previous articles, ‘Expect the Unexpected’ and ‘No Great Expectations’, were based on the sometimes fabulous fishing that seems to pop-up out of nowhere.

I have just had five days of truly unexpected and exceptional fishing.apr5rainbow2

Like other trips like this, it all started out pretty much as usual. I was going down to the Taupo region of the central North Island of New Zealand, for what I hoped would coincide with the start of annual run of brown trout into the rivers and streams that flow into Lake Taupo.

I arrived to weather that was also pretty much as expected for autumn, clear skies, (maybe too clear) and a hint of a chill in the air. The main river I was going to fish, the Tauranga-Taupo, was low and very clear, again, maybe too clear. So, I was not expecting great fishing.

The next morning I set off up the river, and found there was no one else on the river where I was fishing. Big plus tick for that.

I also noticed lots of fish in the river. Well, to be truthful, for the first hour or two, most noticed me about one second before I noticed them fleeing to wherever it is where trout go when they notice fishermen.

But soon enough I shook off the city cloak of unawareness, and began to notice fish before they noticed me, and fling a fly at them. Sometimes they liked the fly and bit it, other times they treated the fly with utter disdain, and after repeated casts slowly moved off to that secret trout place.

Now, you may remember I was down at Taupo to catch browns, but I never saw one, but rainbows where there in big numbers.

Big numbers of rainbows was encouraging, but what was even more encouraging and unexpected was the size of the fish. In recent years the average size of Taupo area rainbows has been in decline, to the point where any fish over three pounds was considered a good catch.

Recent reports however suggested that the average rainbow size and condition coming up to spawning was well up on recent years.

The reports were spot on. That first day I caught and released 16 or 17 fish, not one of which was less than 3lb. Most were over a pound or two over that weight, a couple may have been even bigger.

The fish were in wonderful condition, deep and round, fat as butter, and fought long and hard… [full story]

(Terrible photo I know – but left my camera at home – and my phone camera is, well you can see.)

10 best ways to break your fly-rod

Over the fifty and more years I have been fishing and sometime guiding I have seen some truly inventive ways of breaking a rod, here are ten of the most common:piontloading

1. Hold the rod tip up to near vertical with the line running down parallel to the rod while trying to net a fish over three or more pounds – it’s called ‘Point Loading”.

2. While walking in to the river, hold the rod with the tip lower than horizontal to the ground – when you trip the rod turns into a javelin, and a four piece into a many more piece.

3. When your fly is snagged, heave back on the rod, with the rod tip behind your head – it’s called Point Loading’, again.

4. When pulling the leader and fly-line out to get ready to cast, pull the line near -parallel to the rod, yes, it’s “Point Loading” again.

5. Lay the rod on the ground, anywhere, anytime, taking a photo, changing a fly, eating a sandwich, staining the bank – you just have to know, you, or your about-to-be ex-friend is going to stand on it. Most effective in long grass.

6. Fail to make sure the rod joints (spigots) are firmly seated. Best outcome, the joint separates – annoying at worst. Worst outcome, the shortened overlap of the joint area breaks – heart break at best.

7. Forgetting to check if the motel has a ceiling fan while you gear up for fishing tomorrow has lead to many a long morose trip home.

8. Strongish breeze, open vehicle door, fly-rod in immediate vicinity – say no more.

9. Hook-up on the blackberries on the back cast again – rod rage – say no more, again.

10. Most spectacular fly-rod demolition? Two words – helicopter blades!

Would love to hear about your rod-breaking experiences.