Tag Archives: bamboo fly rods
Queenstown fly fishing can be particularly good when all the water opens at the beginning of November and you have the full array of water to choose from. A lot of the water which opens up for Queenstown fly fishing in November is rainbow trout dominated waters and sometimes they can produce some spectacular trout.
This fish was caught using a interesting set up. My father had passed me a message from an old family friend saying hi which reminded me that I had not yet this season got out the classic Pezon et Michel bamboo rod he had given me. So the old bamboo rod with a spanking new reel, the Lamson Konic. Yes it does sound a strange set up but hey if it can catch fish like this…….? The Konic was great during battle with this hog as it has a fantastic smooth powerful drag system and even with my bamboo being bent like it has never been bent before this fish succumbed after about 10 mins to my strange set up for the day. Needless to say the old friend wants his rod back now with the fish of course.
The other thing is that many anglers rush to these newly open fisheries and leave the water that has been open since the beginning of October alone for a bit and this offers some great opportunities for some exciting brown trout fishing.
The last few days has reminded me about how important it is to watch the fish (if it’s possible) and ignore what may be going on with your indicator. In fact if you can see the fish take the indicator off. Unless your cast is so perfectly accurate the fish will need to move to take your offering. Maybe this is only a few inches or maybe a few feet. As soon as the fish stops the sideways move …… hit it. Chances are he has chomped and if you don’t do anything the fish will spit it out. Many times I have seen fish chomp and indicators not move at all, I have been calling strike but the angler has been convinced that as the indicator hasn’t moved there is no possible way the fish has taken……wrong! Removing the indicator also has the advantage of reducing the chance of spooking the fish. If the wind is blowing it can also help reduce windage on the line. Recently I saw a fish come up to an indicator and engulf it, I was patient and did not strike, the fish spat it out turned and promptly took my nymph …. dumb rainbow (not the one above)! Yet another reason not to use an indicator if you can get away with it.
Queenstown fly fishing book now but remember one day is good but it’s really just a tease, book a multi day trip to really get amongst it!
I just got back from 4 days looking around Southland over the opening of the 2010 – 2011 New Zealand fly fishing season. As expected the biggest storm in 50 yrs has had some effect on many of the rivers in Southland. Some big flood flows have moved channels around and in places covered good structure with fine gravel and turned over rocks. Snow melt is still coming off the mountains and many of the bigger rivers are still a wee bit on the clean green side but as the fine weather goes on this week they will continue to clear but remain on the full side.
Some of the smaller rain fed streams have seen some big flows as well and finding fish has not been easy although wherever there was good structure fish were found and most of them were in pretty good early season condition.
After two days of windy weather with high water flows and deciding to go exploring some new water with a mate from Colorado (and to be fair not finding much to get excited about) it was time to get into some fish so it was back to some tried and true old fav’s that even through the flooding looked as though they had remained in good nick. Sure enough they had and one river produced 8 nice browns to the bank followed the next day by 10 to bank using a bamboo rod (made by Pezon et Michel) just for kicks – I just love the way the ‘boo bends and you can feel every twitch of the fish during battle.
All the fish ranged around the 4 – 5lb mark and the vast majority were caught in rocky riffles using a double nymph rig with the dropper nymph being a size 16 mayfly emerger style nymph doing the damage.
It’s certainly been nice getting back out on to the waters I love and hooking up some early season brown trout. If you are looking for a guided fly fishing trip this summer make sure to get in touch with me and lets get you set up for a great session fly fishing on stunning New Zealand water.
Skues was a nymph man, then Halford went dry.
When we see the way the press and media go on about events in our lifetime, you have to shake your head. And think fly fishing is the best. Wet or dry. A kind of escapism with the best possible conclusion. A fish. Be it a brown coloured one or a rainbow coloured one or a funny coloured one. They all count be they small or big.
So, it’s refreshing to know that for some of us the only argument going on in life is the nymph and the dry argument. Things could be much worse.
The history of angling has come far. I think that’s why it’s called History.
Skues, whose full name was George Edward MacKenzie Skues, had a mouthful of a name and so stuck with just Skues. But despite the name he managed to write “Treatyse of Fysshynge Wyth an Angle” in 1885. Whether our language has progressed since then is debatable. He also wrote “Minor tactics of the Chalk Stream” in 1910. More major tactics are required these days. Booking flights to NZ notwithstanding.
Both books make excellent bedtime reading though.
In those days they used the term “angle”. Which was all well-and-good when you had a mobile sundial and a good angle on things. Especially an angle that hooked you a fish for dinner in the days prior to Catch-and-Release.
He wasn’t a bad tier of the fly either.
Interim: A good song to have running through your head when the fish are Spooky or Spooked though is this. And if the music doesn’t tickle your fancy the images are a pretty good representation of the best films ever.
Rod technology has come a long way, too. From silly underwear with spears, to greenheart rods, to hexagonal bamboo, then impregnated hexagonal bamboo, to high-tech graphite, all in the space of a few decades or two on our human timescale. I’m just hoping that it will never come to wearing Kevlar vests and using bazookas.
Yet we find ourselves in not a dissimilar situation to our casting brothers from times gone by. And we still catch fish like they did. The bloke with the fish-stick is entirely responsible though, and what he can hook he can land under the right circumstances. Even with a horrible Nor’ Wester.
And if all else fails, there’s always the trout-tickling option, although I’ve never seen it done myself. My last experiment with the TT maneuver was most amusing, but sadly just had me lying in a prone horizontal position tickling algae-covered rocks all afternoon.
Now, obviously, I’m not fortunate enough to have lived through the generations of those that have been amongst us fisher-people who love to simply be by a river with a rod and await a hatch.
So, I’ll continue with the not-so-latter-day-take on recent fishing events.
To the Land of the New Zealand Land. The Land of the Beautiful Scenery, with the fish that care not a dot about Skues’ or Halford’s issues about dry vs wet.
At the end of the day, trout, whatever their colour, are much like ourselves:
They need to eat.
As humanoids we have decided to put this into a 3-part daily thing. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Trout however are far cleverer than us and just eat all day. They don’t pay for delivery and don’t worry if the food hasn’t arrived in 30 minutes as one of their brothers or sisters downstream will happily pick up what’s missed, clung to a small rolling stone or just floating by on the surface.
I’m not a statistician, but I reckon the chances of one of those bugs whizzing past with a hook attached to some furry or feathery size 20 and up hook is pretty remote. Yet we land the odd one sometimes.
The Nymph v The Dry
Nymphs run deep
I’t's their very nature
Dry flies float high
It’s there nature, too
But both get gobbled from under or above
By fishes that want a meal
And hence the Human invention of the hook
Funniest River Names
Nile. Should have been called Miles and Miles and Miles River. ‘Cos it is.
Wangapeka. Beautiful river to fish on even if you catch no fish. You can always have a giggle about Woodpeckers and Rivers.
Ribble (Lancashire, UK). Never ripples. Always in flood.
Upukerora. When I first heard the name I was baffled by the sound. Later on though I realised it meant, “If you pack her, you gotta wear her”.
And I’m lucky enough to have a wife who doesn’t mind a day out fishing.
Tight Lines to anyone who reads this. And slack lines to those that don’t.
I am sitting here in my house in Lumsden watching it sleet outside on day three of the 2009 -2010 New Zealand fishing season. I haven’t been sitting here on my arse today – in fact I have been for a bit of a drive – headed towards the storm to get under the leading edge of the front and escape the very strong winds and spent a bit of time exploring a spring creek – I didn’t take the rod, just had a walk and a nosy and found some nice trout then decided to come home via a few different spots to see what the water was doing after all the rain, sleet and snow (which is still going) to help choose in my decision making for tomorrow’s river.
Back to day one of the season, due to the nasty weather that was coming in I decided to abandon my first call spot and revert to plan B. We were out on the water early – in fact we pulled up at our designated place at 0530 to give us a very good shot at not being beaten to the water. To our dismay 2 vehicles were already there but after a wee bit of investigation we realized that they had come in the evening before and walked downstream and camped the night planning on fishing back up to their vehicles. This was a poor display by these cretens as this particular area prohibits camping and you are not allowed to get on the water from the parking area until 0500 – pricks! At least the ranger got their plates – I am sure they will get an infringement notice.
Plan B was altered slightly and we decided to head upstream instead. – sweet. Another set of (for want of a better word) wankas drove past us while we were setting our gear up at day break – never stopped to say gidday, discuss plans and options and promptly parked up the road about 1km (giving us only 2kms of fishing water) and walked across to the river and started fishing. This kind of behavior is very poor and most definitely not good fishing etiquette in the South Island of NZ.
Well with clear clam conditions and 2kms of available water untouched water I chose to get the 3 piece 5 wt bamboo rod out for the day and proceeded to hook and land 5 lovely big brown trout. My good buddy enjoyed his fishing but with a string of gear failures resulting in 4 lost in decided to toss (in the rubbish bag) the nylon he had just bought the day prior and use some airflo fluorocarbon sightfree G3 (5lb) and straight away got onto another good fish and this time all the gear held and he was a happy NZ angler. If it wasn’t for the gear failures in this short stretch of water we would have had 10 big brown trout to the bank. All the fish we landed were in reasonable condition for early season ( an easy late winter/early spring) but they need to get stuck into putting on weight from now on.
Day 2 arrived with high winds and shitty weather inbound so we drove into a spot intending on fishing a very small creek (a good long jumper could easily get across) for the day. Unfortunately the weather had already affected the water clarity so we again went to plan B. A long walk upstream on the main river through rain sleet and snow spotting and prospecting as we went. We only saw one fish which we promptly hooked and had to the bank but we really enjoyed a beautiful walk – it looks like in this system the fish have already dropped back due to the relatively low water levels for this time of the season. I will be investigating lower down on this over the next few days me thinks.
Keep reading — will be more coming.
Since my last post we had a few good expeditions to finish the New Zealand lowland river season and some nice mayfly hatches to boot. The mayfly were turning a darker shade and the trout were taking cleanly off the surface allowing for for some nice dry fly action. Still seeing the same old addage with “God save the Queen” being forgotten in moments of heat but all in all happy clients into trout.
The trout in these systems now have 5 months of peace and quiet for spawning before we can start attacking the again in October.
I managed a quick burst down to the South Coast to prospect for some of our sea/estuary sports salt water fish, the kawhai, and managed to hook into a few – so next time it will be a more seroius affair on Salt Water Fly gear.
Also a quick mission to the West Coast fishing from a boat proved to be fun against the Kawhai again and also opportunties on Albacore Tuna were available and proved to be great fun with some hooked and lost. We are going again soon with luck.
The duck hunting season has just started with opening weekend here being crystal clear fine weather and tye ducks flying high keeping our numbers low – it would have been better to go fishing! The weather is turning for the worse today so that will help and the next couple of evenings may prove to be much better.
The still open high country rivers (close end of May) usually produce some great fishing during May for big Fat Browns that have headed up system for spawning and also rainbows that get some feasting on the eggs although the days are much colder now and the amount of daylight much shorter as well making one really make the most of each opportunity.
One of the things that I see on a regular basis from visiting overseas anglers is a tendency to set the hook in a dry fly take far to soon resulting in the fish going “what the”, the angler repeating something very similar as the trout slides under a rock, spooked – a great opportunity has been missed.
As subjects of the Queen of England for many years a common phrase used by many NZ anglers to get the timing of the dry fly hook set right is to say:
“God save the Queen”.
This quaint saying allows enough time for the trout to take the fly and start heading back down, closing it’s mouth before the angler lifts the rod tip setting the hook – battle on!
This simple approach of a phrase can be adjusted accordingly to “God save the President” which was much better when GWB was in the hot seat.
There are of course some variables to getting it right and really only personal experience will teach it. No matter how well you’ve got it figured out, sometimes you still miss out – that’s why it’s called fishing!
Here are some of those variables:
Smaller trout will need less of a pause than larger trout.
The speed of the water is a factor in the take – slow water, slow take – fast water, faster take.
Rainbows are often a faster take than Brownies (who can be extrodinarly slow at times).
A downstream take is slower than an upstream take.
Certain food sources such as Cicadas can make a complete mockery of the above.
An example of conditions that would result in a super slow take may be a 5lb brownie in a very slow, deep edge beside an undercut bank picking off random blowflies.
The first cast is on the money (you proably won’t get a second). The sleek golden submarine sees your black gnat late, it turns and siddles lazily downstream to follow it. Lifting from about 5 feet down in the water column it’s already moved 3 yards downstream when it’s snout finally comes to the surface. You see a gaping white cave as the trout’s mouth opens and the fly is gently sucked in. Right now you start saying the mantra (with a twist) “God save the ex-president and all his henchmen”.
While you have been whispering the trout has had the time to head down, close it’s mouth and turn back into the current before you begin lifting the rod purposefully to set the hook – you are on and the fish is hooked well!
On the otherhand I have seen big brownies in seam edges fly 3 feet sideways into the main current to slam a cicada like a sidewinder missile smashing a tank and the appropiate timing has been more like saying “Holy Shit”