Saturday, January 4, 2014

Being guided

Being guided involves being able to take instructions from one who knows, and acting on them in the way the one who knows instructs.

(Wee aside - some people claim to be guided by little voices from the heavens. Noted for observing such phenomenon are Moses, Charles Mason and Rev. Brian Tamaki. If you HAD to choose one of these guys as an angling partner, who would you go for?)

I've really enjoyed the few occasions where I've employed a guide. They've put me onto fish and methods to catch them quite fast. Once they figure out that you can cast where they say to, can drift or work a fly where you need to, and can deal with a fish once hooked they visibly relax. As a guide though, I'm a fabulous astronaut. I once helped a guide mate out with a couple of anglers on a trout stream, both who claimed to be world class anglers. Neither could cast worth a damn, and they put fish after fish down with needless false casting, poor presentation and it was becoming my fault! I actually ended up grabbing the rod off one of them, casting to a rising fish, hooking it and handing the rod back. Ooops.

So when I got a text from Rudy, an angling guest from the Sth Island, who put disclaimers all over his ability to cast from land let alone a boat I relaxed straight away. This was a good sign! He couldn't lay out 50 m casts into the wind!

As I'd invited Rudy fishing, I wasn't so much guiding him as putting him in the way of kingfish in the best way I knew how, and I'm in holiday mode anyhow so the only anxiety I had was the wind. (Nah, I really do feel a bit anxious to put guests onto fish). The wind forecast had been changed 4 times over 12 hours on PredictWind so the only good news on that front was at least wind and tide would travel together so we'd be able to hold fine on the markers in the NW on the incoming tide. I arrived at torpedo Bay at 5.45 to a lower than expected water level - so after downloading The Booger I had to push her out about 30 yards before firing her up and getting going. I met Rudy at Okahu Bay, he jumped aboard, we shook hands etc, loaded him into a life jacket and got going. First stop would be Rough Rock. We set Rudy's gear up and tied on my deadly wee piper fly. I instructed Rudy where I'd hold the boat, where to cast, how long to let the fly settle and sink how to retrieve... the current was ripping so every chance of Mr Kingi being home. Rudy did everything just fine - BOOM! Fish On!

Fish on!

Ok there's a bit of grunt


Grunting it out
It was obvious that this was a good fish, it dogged away down deep and kept the angler busy. We'd drifted half a km before we boated the fish - Yeah!

A quick measure and then Rudy released it - getting a face full for his troubles.

Over the next couple of hours the fishing was simply epic - great overhead conditions, great tide and wind direction meant that we could maximise every shot. As we moved around to find fish we noted very few boats out - strange for Auckland harbour on a Saturday morning. Not that we were complaining - esp as we lost count of fish hooked and landed. With the average fish size reducing we moved Rudy onto the #8 weight from the #11 and he continued to smash fish after fish. On several occasions, kingfish were smashing bait as we arrived at their lairs - simply stunning to see.

having Fun yet?

Finally at 10.30 the tide petered out, and bites dropped away correspondingly, so my little voices told me to... oops so we decided to head back up the channel and check out some terns... which became a cloud of whirling terns and sooty shearwaters. The sounder showed solid bait sign from surface to the bottom, with a bit sparse snapper sign on the bottom. We hung around casting for half an hour to no avail - where on earth where the kahawai that should be joining the melee?

Finally we trundled back to drop Rudy off. Congrats mate, that didn't feel the least bit like guiding at all, just a damn good fishing trip!

(By the way - and not that I've thought long and hard about this - I'd go fishing with Moses. If it got really rough he could part the sea; plus it is written that he had some visions up a mountain with a couple of tablets. That would have appealed in my student days...)


  1. Cheers again for ruining my flyfishing forever - I'll never look at trout the same way again! Or be satisfied tying another variation of blingy nymphs or dainty dry flies... Good write-up too!

  2. " I once helped a guide mate out with a couple of anglers on a trout stream, both who claimed to be world class anglers. Neither could cast worth a damn, and they put fish after fish down with needless false casting, poor presentation and it was becoming my fault!"

    These guys must have been from California either the LA or Orange County areas. :) Its good to see these types are not limited to my area. A guide buddy of mine who guided all the Western US big trout states told me if he ran into one of these types he was almost certainly from that area. He actually ended up knocking out while he was on a day off and fishing the river when his guide buddy's client started mouthing off to him. Later that day at the only bar in town he and his guide buddy are drinking and the client shows up and ended up apologizing to him.

    Love seeing the rod bent to the cork! That's awesome!

  3. Hahahaha- nice - I like this article - so true - well written - And the comment above cracks me up - its all about the rod bending from the cork - not matter what weight you fish with - its always good.