Monday, July 25, 2011

A day with Dickie

Last couple of weeks have been a bit silly work wise, so not much posting. Besides which, if you have nothing to say, why bother saying anything at all? That’s where the pollies fall down I reckon, so much yap, so little content. Anyway stepped off a plane from Sydney some stupid time Thursday morning. Barely seemed to have got to sleep when the alarm was buzzing. Some time in the past couple of days I’d arranged to pay Dickie back for his generous donation of turf from his business Rolawn, for our pheasant rearing pen. Had a chat with Mick, he’d had a good day the previous weekend, having taken his first pheasant limit, nice work! Wasn’t sure what the weather would be doing, so arranged with Craig to get there on Saturday morning gentleman’s hours for a walk. Arranged with Helen to pick up Dickie at an arranged time, and before I knew it, it was Friday evening. I packed up the gear and chucked in all the rain gear as well, as forecasters were predicting steady rain.

Rocked up to Dickie’s a tad earlier than the “6.30 to 7am” that I’d promised Helen, and helped Dickie load his gear into the wagon. He had a few brace of nice birds hanging, as he’d been beating at Matangerahi Station the day earlier. We set off and made good time on the trip down, arriving to find Shanks’s house spick and span, him clean shaven, and the whole deal looking a bit more civilised than usual! The Aussie farm stay girls had certainly stamped their mark on the place! We grabbed the gear, waited for the girls and then headed out. The day was fine and relatively warm, got a bit of a sweat going on the first couple of hills. The first gulley saw a couple of birds get up and way out of gun range and that’s how the hunt progressed. It was one of those days where I couldn’t put any birds in harm’s way. Craig scored first after he and Dickie had missed a chance or two. We walked the release pen bush and Max the dog busted out a good bird, again away from the guns. At least I was seeing a few! We split and covered some good looking ground, but for not much. Down through the cavern tunnel, up and around some nice gulley area, over the top and down to the water wheel where I saw a couple of birds run up the hill. Caught up with Dickie and Craig, Dickie had knocked down a good long bird and was quite chuffed. Told them about the birds that had run uphill and we set up a pincer move. Craig busted a good cock that almost beat him and then Max made a strong downhill retrieve, quite pleasing dog work. Down one gulley a cock bird got off and I fired and folded him, quickly realising that Craig had fired at the same time. Even though we spent 30 minutes looking around some rocky outcrops we just never found him. Lots of hidey holes up there, so we knocked it off and continued on our way. We walked the farm boundary past the old release pen, then crossed the river. By now we’d covered quite a bit of territory – the birds were just not home so we crossed the river to work some relatively new ground, but nothing home. So we wandered back to the car and headed back to the house for a coffee then we hit the road – but not before Max tore the bird I was taking home to bits! (Sorry Craig, had to tell the tale). 2 tired boys arrived at Dickie’s house, and after a coffee I got home in time to make dinner.

Didn’t take the camera along so no piccies - sorry. Tally from PPPP around 65 birds now, well up on the 45 odd from last year.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Boy's trip report

Well I got to Hinehopu at about lunch time on Friday. Strolled down to the pipe where Milo was sitting and had a quick catchup before unloading the gear. The wind was strengthening from steady to stiff and coming onshore at the pipe... so we said hi to Pete the Coro farmer who roves the district at this time of year, and set off for Ruato which seemed the only sheltered spot. We set up with arm chairs around the stream mouth and watched, waited and cast.

Milo at Ruato

Some fish moved close in, which gave us confidence. The boys arrived after dark at about 6, and we fished for a while fruitlessly. Milo, Bri and Al then went around to the hut to get the late arrivals settled in, while me and Andre kept up the vigil. The good news is that the wind wasn't directly from the south.. the bad news was that my waders had a leak... but we weren't wading so no big drama. The boys arrived back and we fished without so much as a touch. Then anglers began to wade out. This spells death to the fishing as the fish move out because of the disturbance and is just plain rude behaviour. So we packed up and headed back... 6 hours for me, no bites... Milo and me got up early on Saturday and claimed our spots near the pipe. Me, Milo & Pete. We fished from 5 to 9 with no bites....  running total 10 hours, no bites. Milo saw 2 fish move. We did witness an amazing sight though, some piece of space junk hit the atmosphere in the west and tore across the sky spraying burning debris... the sky lit up in a green display easily as light as daylight. Fantastic, probably scared the fish though!!! Andre wandered down with some bacon sandwiches for our brekkie. We returned to the hut, the weather getting worse by the minute. We all sat around and decided on a game plan. Bri, Al & Andrew headed off to Tarawera, while Milo and me decided on Okataina. It was a damn sight calmer than we expected, but now the ran was falling steadily. We set up glo bug rigs on shooting heads and waded out to fire our longest casts out... then 45 minutes later Pete arrived and ambled down. He then fired his longest casts out... lets just say that his longest casts made our longest casts look pretty amateur by comparison. It was actually quite a lovely morning, beautiful lake scene, rain, bush bird noises, not many tourists. I got my longest cast of the day out - I knew this because the whole integrated line was outside the tip by the time I has waded back to the deck chair. And then...n ibble nibble... after 3 hours of casting... but i seemed to have missed the fish. I quickly retrieved to get tight to the fly and the rod bucked - fish on! We were both glad to hook and land a fish, but this fellah would've been lucky to be more than 2lb, even though it was fat as a horse. We fished until 1.30 then headed back for a nana nap - no sign of the other lads. They turned up at 4, having fished Kaituna exit, The Orchard at Tarawera and a bit of Okataina. We sat around and had a feed, gave the change of light a miss, then headed off. We didn't fancy a long drive so it was back to Okataina. We lined up along the beach and then Milo gave us a lesson in fishing... I didn't even hear a splash all night, and while me, Andre, Bri & All caught zilch , Milo took 3 nice fish from 4lb to about 6lb. We were quite chuffed to have scored fish. We got back and watched the rugby until about 2am, then I packed my stuff and got ready for an early trip home. I slept in! Said bye to Brian, drove down to the pipe where Milo and Pete were putting in the hours. Wished them luck and drove home.

Milo later got another 2 at Okataina during daylight hours... looks like the place to be!

A good lad's weekend. Roll on next time.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fly Fishers Inc.

Rene Vaz's online mag - Winter Fishing....

Catch Magazine is out

Catch Magazine is primo. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Winter lake fishing

this weekend has a boy's road/fishin trip penned in. Me, Al, Brian, Andre and Milo are going to dominate the winter spawning lake trout at Rotorua... which normally means:

1. Turn up feeling full of expectation about what's going to unfold this evening
2. Ignore biting wind, bitter frost and the fact that you're wrapped up like the Michelin man
3. Carefully tie knots while you still have feeling in your fingers
4. Cast gently into the inky blackness while marvelling at (a) the beautiful stars (means frost is gonna be super-heavy), or (b) adjusting your angles to ensure that the wind doesn't whip a hook into your back/side/waders/head/other angler
5. Cast again and again and again
6. Change fly - you never know, it may help! Surely the hoards of fish can see your fly, so why aren't they gobbling it down?
7. Cast/retrieve/cast/retrieve... tie on new leader, somehow wind knots have got in the old one
8. Strike at slight nibble, all the while knowing it was a koura
9. cast/retrieve
10. stamp feet to get some feeling back
11. Look at loose line you've just stamped on. Got any nicks?
12. New leader. and man, it's only 9pm. 3 hours to endure
13. Ignore whooping from lucky asshole next to you, hope his 11lb'er escapes. He can't fish, its all luck.
14. Torch running low
15. Change fly.
16. Hook swan.
17. Play swan
18. gently release swan in flurry of activity. Consider getting them on the fish schedule, man can they fight
19. It's 9.15, man that last 15 minutes flew by!
20. Stop saying 'just one more cast'
21. Some random jingle is stuck in your head
22. -- unfortunately it's a chick song from the early '90s
23. Hook freshwater mussel. Man they can't fight
24. ....

The most I ever caught in an evening lake shore fishing was 3, and they were comparative tiddlers at 3-6lb. Plenty of times I caught zilch, its just not a style of angling that I came close to mastering. I well remember casting for 9 hours in a biting southerly and finally landing a slab - to me it was a trophy, showing that perseverance can pay off! That fishing memory is forever burned into my psyche. It hurt bad.

Anyway, I rolled a few booby flies off the vice last night, Milo says they are what's needed....

Juicy morsels, hope the fish like them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mick's photos

Mick got away for a shoot on the PPPP on the weekend - some nice birds were harvested.

Photo credits: Mick Hutchinson

Another great hunt at PPPP by the sounds of it. Will catch up with Craig later to get the rundown. Harvest is definitely up on last year's.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Boat blind

Tim and I started work on the boat blind yesterday. We were on a short time allotment so didn't quite get finished, however its looking pretty good so far. Frame is all but complete, just need to install top doors and drill into the boat.... we could have started that yesterday but it would have been rushed which wouldn't have been a good idea. I'll stick up some photos later. Here's a schematic.

Doesn't look too hard huh? But The Booger is actually a lot beamier in the bum than at the pointy end, so a bit of pipe bending, cutting & what not was required.

Anyway, part 2 of the install promises to be more exciting...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Duckling Survival

Duckling Survival —John M. Coluccy, Ph.D., and Kurt A. Anderson