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.

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.

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):


“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

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

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..

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


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.



Just One of Those days

Jason, my middle son and I sneaked away one evening for the three and a half hour drive to Taupo, and on to Te Rangiata. Bright and early next day we headed for the Hinemaiaia River.

The Hinemaiaia is a pretty little river, but it is very difficult to fish. First the bush grows right to the river’s edge in most places and the bottom is a veritable minefield of snags. But there can be some good fish in amongst the jungle especially this time of the year, and some very big browns are regularly pulled out around this time.

The upper Hinemaiaia is closed from end June to December 1 to allow for spawning, so by going just a day or two since the river opened we were likely to be fishing to trout who had not seen too many anglers. Well, few anglers or not it was hard and hot work. The early summer sun was pretty fierce.

Jason got 4 or 5 fish, I managed two or three, nothing big, but all over 45cm (18”).

But the highlight of my session was seeing two fighting Jacks, swirling and turning as they drifted, fighting, downstream. They passed just inches from my legs, totally oblivious to my presence. Twice they chased each other to the top of the pool and then drifted down again, once I thought they were going to touch my legs. Magic moment.

By early afternoon Jason and I had had enough of re-rigging from flies lost to snags and we headed off to the Tongariro.

I fished the bottom of a shallow run, below a guy at the head. I watched as he pulled out three fish without me getting a touch. But when he left I slipped in, and fished without a touch. The guy who I had watched, moved down the run, I little below where I had been fishing and pulled out another fish.

Then he moved to another braid of the river and I watched him pull out another fish. That was it, frustrated and still fishless I wandered over to see what brand of dynamite he was using.

His rig was basically the same as mine. A gold ribbed Hare’s Ear with a bright orange tungsten bead on a  #12 hook, then tied off the bend of that hook, a Gold bead Prince Nymph #12. We had roughly the same length leader.

So why was he catching fish, and I watching? Who knows. But I have seen this happen so many times before, sometimes I have been on the successful side, often not. I guess it must be that quite subtle differences in the weight, shape, colour and bulk of the flies, and the way they drift that determines which will get bit and which will not.

Still it might be my turn next time, and that is part of what keeps me coming back.