“Damsels in Distress” on a New Zealand Stream

Absolutely amazing footage…

“ My wife and I were fishing with friend/guide Dean Whaanga in New Zealand when a combination of bad weather and good timing resulted in a fish giving us the experience of a lifetime. I crawled on my stomach with my camera to the water’s edge, hit record, and watched what was one of the coolest moments I have ever witnessed.”

It only runs for two and a bit minutes, but my guess is you will repeat view several times. Watch in HD and full screen.

See it here.

Four Day Trip to Taupo NZ Area Produced Great Fishing

Just back from a four day trip to fish the Tauranga-Taupo River near Taupo, Central North Island, New Zealand.

On the face of it the fishing should have been hard, the river was low and very clear, the sun was summer shining, and it was blowing hard, at times very hard.

But the river was stacked with fish. There were good numbers of rainbows making their way up-river to spawn, and bigger numbers of fish making their way back down to the lake. Even managed to bag a nice 5ish pound Brown trout – nice surprise.

The fish were not big, but big enough, and the fish in the photo was pretty typical.

tt61212

The river may have been stacked with fish, but there were very few anglers about, most of the time I was alone. Bliss!

Mostly used a ‘hopper-dropper’ setup; the dropper being one of Chris Dore’s Glister nymphs. I had these in a range of sizes and weights (including un-weighted). The ‘Hopper’ was a  butt-ugly foam fly of my own twisted imagination which despite appearances was monstered by more than a few fish.

I don’t think I casted ‘blind’ over the whole 4 days – just cast to sighted fish.

Just a quick note, my trip was timed on the basis of a very successful trip same time last year, and year before. I am not a regular diary keeper, but do keep notes on successful trips.

Terrific Fishing Despite Heavens Opening

oct7tt

Arrived down at the Tauranga-Taupo river, just south of Taupo, central North Island, NZ, just after 1pm, last Sunday. Thirty minutes later was on the river, which was clear and as I found, full of fish. Brilliant fishing for round, fat and fit rainbows in the 3 to 4 lb. range. Better still I had the river to myself.

Tucked myself into bed that night, happiness filled and expecting more of the same next day.

Well it was more of the same that Monday morning, but by afternoon the rain Gods decided to exert their superiority over the river. Very heavy rain persisted down all afternoon, all night, and Tuesday morning revealed a  river risen to flood, and I contemplated an early drive home.

I decided to stick it out, and see if the river dropped on Wednesday – it did and became fishable if not still high and slightly milky coloured.  Not only did it remain fishable by it seemed that several big pods of fish decide to use the increased water  levels to make their  way up the river from the lake.

But the drop in the water level was accompanied by a mini invasion of anglers. Locals know that extra water means extra fish in the system. But by walking further up the river I was able to find un-populated water – and heaps of fish.

So despite the weather interruption had an excellent 3 days fishing.

CATCH THE MOMENT: Fly-fishing New Zealand 2012

goaloneinnz

This, mostly, solo record of a 5 week fishing trip is possibly the best video I have seen on fishing in New Zealand. It shows the huge variety in landscapes, terrain and water. It also shows the wind, occasional rain, sandflies, and roads that test driving skill. All in all, everything that makes fly fishing here a true test of fishing skill, in superb surroundings. Wonderful piece of work.

Documentary of a fly fishing trip – New Zealand Jan./Feb 2012, 5 weeks / one ‘flyfischerman’, a German, and one "Go Pro – Hero 2".

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.

Wonderful little piece on backcountry New Zealand

Frontsidefly.com produce some very high quality fly-fishing films, and just gone up on on their site is a 3 or so short edit, “You won’t see me”, from a trip to New Zealand earlier this year.

Magic stuff.

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.)