Friday, November 20, 2009

The fruits of victory would be ashes in our....

Well, prelim results are out for the election and it looks like we've nabbed 4 places on the council. Craig, AJ, Guy and me got on. Not quite what we'd hoped for and the margin between getting a place or not is tiny overall. The highest poller (no surprises) is John Atkinson, sure enough the hidden, non-vocal angling contingent paid off for old (76 years old..) John-boy. He took 477 votes. Guy was the lowest poller to 'win' a place with 384. A spread of 93 votes across the 'winners'. Horribly, Tim for now has missed a spot on council by 12 votes. I am certain deep down, that people we know didn't get out and vote. Its been quite an emotional time, and I for one feel drained by a combination of frustration, from time to time some real rage, and the long year that this has been.

So what can we hope to achieve? Well, in the background the plan has been to look and learn for a period, and then slowly apply pressure change. So we will.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Around the traps

Things are happening, despite the SW misery that is gripping the land and has done so for the past 5 weeks. I'm beginning to think that my tomato crop is doomed. The passionfruit vine has some flowers, but not as many as usual. Hell, this is miserable weather, but then again, I do get to play outside in my new jackets - even if i do look like the suburban commando try-hard (that i don't want to be)action man type. Bloke at work told me its La Nina or something like that. All I know is that yesterday I lept from bed, ready for a nice fish, checked the forecast and went back to sleep. 30 minutes later the sky clouded, the wind picked up and I knew I'd made a good sensible decision. Looking ahead 2 or 3 weeks to the expedition, I can pretty much guaranty that we wont be flying into no low lying fog banks in the area we have in mind... maybe we will get lucky and have some decent weather but sadly I'm not that hopeful. Tim left message last night, he's been out after BOOOOAAAAAARRRRRRs again and has shot a nice big animal. Good to know that the fiddling he's done with the rifle seems to have worked. Fingers crossed that i can use it in anger in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and found this on the whaleoil blog, i quite like it:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Less than 7 days

F&G election voting closes in under 7 days. Then we'll know whether all this work has been worth it. And then I'll publish what I've learned about cornered animals. In the mean time some nice new prezzies have arrived for the duck party, and for me.

Item 1 - 7 dozen 4 oz GHG "Keel Grabber" deke weights on bungees. A great idea, someone's thinking.

Item 2 - Kobuk neoprene wading jacket. I plan to use this on very rainy days, and also on the yak

item 3 - Drake MST Strata coat. MAX4 camo, my favourite pattern.

in return I'm coughing up a Columbia Quad parka that is simply too 'tall' for me in XL Tall size. Mossy Oak Shadow Grass II pattern, zip out liner, "zap fleece" lined detachable hood. 3 watchers on Trade Me. All good.

Work is getting on my nerves again. Home time.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention our bro' Hone. Hone's family has a rich history of abusive behaviour and the country bows before them. Maybe not this time. Maybe the 'one rule for the Haraweras, one foe\rveryone else" crap is over. I doubt it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pre Xmas planning

For the past 3 years TT and i have got together for a boys pre Xmas bash. To date we've:

> Camped on the edge of hydro lake catching huge numbers of trout over the weedbeds, a perect December passtime

> Flown into the headwaters of the Mohaka after trout

> Headed to Murchison and fished and hunted some pretty special country

This year I've left the organisation to him; work has been busy and the election seems to have taken on a life of its own. And my, what a good job he's done. A private chopper, pilot is his mate, some vague murmers about heading east and I've been told to "bring a deer gun!". He means a rifle of course but that's just me being pedantic. So I'm looking forward to this, I love chopper flights as much as anything else i've ever done, and a lot more than some!

Tonight i'll call hime and work out the finer details, already Tim's said i can borrow the 7mm....

Long live the Pre Xmas bash!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First hint of fine weather

I was lucky. Lucky to be able to get away for a fish, specifically a small stream mission its certainly been a while. I had a water in mind, the minestromeaha, sometimes called the aromathinseme or the mistrahmeenoa. I didn't vist her last season at all, as i concentrated on my still water trout fishing in the hydro lakes. It's hard to pass up 20 - 50 fish days casting to slurping trout over weedbeds... Anyway, she's a grand little stream the mistrahmeenoa, small enough to feel intimate, but holding enough early season volume to feel that its not quite summer yet. I know Milo had fished her twice, and Jax, each accompanied on one occasion by another angler, so in 31 days she'd had (at least) 5 angler days not including mine. Any fish holed up would surely have seen the other anglers (they're good, but not invisible) but she's a feeder out of a bigger water so every chance of fresh blood moving in. The forecast was for fine sunny weather and only gentle breezes - a 4 weight day! The 7'6" 4 weight can be a joy to fish, but she can also be a nuisance in waters where lots of repeat casting is a must. Never the less, of the 2 rods I packed I reached for her over the 5 weight because hell, some days you just have to take your chances! The first fish I saw was hard to pick in the early morning sun with ripples on the water, I just saw the tail move and put the fly across to cover the fish and the dry fly indicator slid sideways. A good wee fish, typical of the early season, a bit skinny and on the lighter side of a pound and a half. That was it for the next hour - although I scanned the water carefully and had perfect spotting conditions I couldn't pick up a fish anywhere. I fished the holding water anyway, to no avail. One of the things about this stream is that the bed had been artificially modified some years ago, and she's still settling down. This means that pools move, or are still developing each season - new water for the price of old! Anyway I moved up to a stretch that had been nice to me before, slid in behind the big old flax bush and moved the leaves for a view. Bugger me if I didn't spot 6 fish almost straight away! And bugger me if one at the back of the pool that i hadn't seen didn't spot me straight away and bolt through the rest, sending them into a mad panic! The next run was a beaut, deep slot, slower edges and cover in the form of a willow trunk. I saw a fish slash at the nymph second or third drift and lifted for him; no dice. I covered him again and again, but when I moved up to view the pool nothing at the tail. The nymph must have spooked him, perhaps he had recently bitten something artificial? I re-rigged to explore the deeper water of the slot and discovered one of those unnerving backward swirls up the side of the pool that drags your line off to the side, upsetting the drft. The nymphs were swimming bang down the middle but line was curling back upstream despite me keeping as much off the water as possible. Suddenly, everything stopped. I hadn't seen any giveaway movement but lifted anyway and the water erupted and a fish bolted off under the willow... the 6lb leader popped like a popping thing. That put my heart in my mouth. Rerigged I fished out the slot for nothing else and then went to a lighter nymph with wiggly legs and red shiney head and prospected some shallower water behind a low hanging willow. I sensed the fish rather than saw anything and raised the rod - locked up tight! And what a surprise, this bow was a good 2 lb's heavier than anything I expected from previous experience in this water - and it proceeded to drag me downstream the poor little twig bent in half. And I snapped him (a very good jack) off within feet of the bank when he did a final mental blast off downstream. Too much, I was getting spanked! It only got better though, with a few fish getting banked much to my relief. And the browns - holy smoke I found a couple of eye popping bruisers and even got one to the bank - and he was pushing a solid 5lbs. A bigger one further upstream held position in a deep slot but spooked off when I moved my arm to cast. A couple of deep bodied 'bows in the 3-4lb class, a smaller model and that was my 5 hours on the stream.

I doubt the bigger ones will hang around much longer as the days warm. She holds a solid head of smaller fish over the hot months as well as the odd bigger brown, but nothing of the size that i had found today. I can say with hand on heart that I was surprised out of my skin at the size and condition of the fish, definitely bigger by a good pound to pound-and-a-half than ever before and a sign of a health fishery.

The 5 weight would have been a better option, more control. (excuses excuses)

But those bust offs will stay with me longer than if i had caught everything, and to me that's imprtant, it'll keep me coming back.