fly fishing NZ 2019

skull

Yikes, that was brutal! Don’t know if I want to do that again. Tough trip. Dry-flies blowing upstream! Tough low-light conditions for sight-fishing. A lot of walking. Many days it was just a long hard slog: 10 miles plus. And in spite of our effort few fish were spotted. There simply weren’t that many opportunities. I think I averaged less than one quality chance per day. I saw less fish than in past seasons. Terrestrial fishing was almost non-existent.  Maybe the summer just wasn’t consistently hot enough in the regions that I fished? The angling was best when the sun was out. However, “blue sky” days were rare. Most of the time it felt more like winter than summer. In the end, I caught a few good brown trout on dry flies. Four of the best were spotted on a high plateau river that I’ve fished in the past. It is “known” water but receives less angling pressure than some of the other rivers I was on. Here are some photos…

lastone

nev1

lastfish1

 

windshop

most days water had a wind-shop

waik1

ahur5xx

rare still morning

ahurir 8

backeddy

nev6

5trees

nev9

morning

 

nev3

roman

roman throwing line

onehand

pairs

rays2

ahurir13

grasses

ahurir17

roman in the wind

lift

top

 

girth

 

nevv2

ahurir3

shadow1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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dreaming

Anglers are dreamers. The mind wanders off to a place. To angling possibilities. With the dream flies get tied. Specific flies for a specific place. For the specific dream. All possibilities contemplated with each turn of thread. Flies tied while dreaming…

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 28th

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Late October. It’s closing down. Hard to find rising fish. On Saturday saw a couple of trout surfacing inconsistently on my local river late in the day when the wind died down. Missed them. No other opportunities that day. On Sunday changed it up and took a drive through the mountains into British Columbia. Fished the Elk river in Fernie in the afternoon. Hoped for BWO’s. Hoped for some rising Cutthroats. Found some. Nothing big. Caught several. Missed several. Not a great hatch. Actually quite weak. As I said, it’s closing down. I had to search slow collector areas; back eddies, etc., in order to find some rising fish. Only saw one other angler as I worked my way upstream. It was a young boy and his grandmother. He was fishing. She was supervising. They were standing above at a deep, clear, calm pool next to a huge log-jam, spotting cutthroats and occasionally catching one. When they saw me they said, “We didn’t think there would be anybody else foolish enough to be out today”. With a big smile the boy showed me a photo of a Cutthroat he had just landed. A great fish. He didn’t know what fly he caught it on. I checked. It was a small parachute Adams.

I went just upstream of them and fished a slow area. Two fools casting dry flies in late October in the rain, sleet and snow. Two fools, a grandmother and a wet dog.

Some soggy, foggy photos…

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side channel

 

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one clear photo!

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more beaver cuttings

tail

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challenging walking river’s edge, busy beavers

cutt1

late october

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Nice weather for a change. Light sweater conditions in the afternoon and minimal wind. The dry-fly season on the Crowsnest river has been extended a little. Finding rising fish is getting harder but there are still some around. Bug life is weak but there are just enough midges and small olives around to entice some good fish to feed on the surface with the low, slow, clear water conditions. The river is still producing if you’re willing to hunt. I walked it this past Sunday. It’s an afternoon game. The low arcing Autumn sun creates long afternoon shadows and the trout like feeding in these darker river sections once (if) the bugs get going.

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I started fishing the Crowsnest river in 2001. Seventeen years later it still amazes me the quality of the trout that inhabit it given its size. Best of all you can search for them with your eyes and try to fool them, often in the shallows, with small dry flies. You get to watch the trout react to your impression; you get to see it all unfold. Engaging, visual angling. It’s why I fly fish…

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Here’s a nice Crowsnest rainbow that was located feeding on a shadowy bank. Caught on a size 18, BWO hacklestacker pattern.

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same rainbow

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