Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hand to hand combat

Possibly the best way to describe fly fishing for kingis against structure is hand to hand combat. There's no real secret that over the summer months, Auckland Harbour's channel markers are littered with yellowtail kingfish from tiny in size to very respectable. I've seen what (for the location) can be described as 'large' fish in the 12 - 15kg class out there.

What time and experience teaches is maximising your success rate. It can be a costly pastime - over a summer I'd expect to destroy (completely) at least one fly line and to make several repairs. Time had conspired against me getting out there, so much so that I'd had to plan this trip a week in advance, to fit in around other commitments. to begin the day I needed a WOF for the boat trailer. I wiggled the dodgy light until it worked, crossed my fingers and headed down to the station. No problems, it sailed through. Mid afternoon I had my stuff packed and set off for Torpedo Bay. Unfortunately the southerly which had been forecast to be waning wasn't anywhere near done, so she'd be a tad bumpy out there. Torpedo Bay in a sth wind isn't the greatest ramp, but I really enjoy launching there. A friendly neighbourhood, good (free!) parking and you can grab a coffee after retrieving :).

I trundled across the harbour and picked up TT at Okahu, then we tied off to a buoy while we prepared the fly gear. Having battened down the hatches, first stop was Rough Rock which was holding plenty of fish down on the reef but nothing showed to TT's fly so we set off up the channel. At the #1 marker we had immediate success. My first and second casts both were bitten - nice to start the 'season' with a bit of success.

TT got on the board soon after.

His first fish was pretty damn close to legal - and pretty damn close to finding its way into the smoker.

We hit fish after fish - and the kingis weren't all that fussy about what flies they ate. Gotta love un-hassled kingis, after they get to see flies a few times they tend to wise up. After perhaps a dozen fish, we moved on. Seemed we'd left the treasure trove, but in reality the tide was turning and the fish switch off on slack current.

Still, I was able to see the occasional sizable specimen - but I didn't see the one that smashed my piper fly as it sank down the face of a marker - what I do know is that it was a larger fish and it hit the marker chain in a second flat.... cutting the damn fly line. lucky it was cut in the head, so still serviceable. I tied a stopper knot in the line and barrel knotted on a new leader.

Fly carnage

By 7pm, with wind against tide it was getting damn unpleasant for any type of fishing let alone fly casting, so we cut a track back to Okahu. Then across to Torpedo where I was able to skim the boat in in only 60cm of water.

This morning I had a bit of a repair job to do.
Ugly but functional repair


I made record time putting on and testing the new loop. Everything just flowed.

New loop
Will have to tie up a few replacement flies at some stage.

Merry Xmas everyone.

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