Saturday, 2 November 2013

The Catlins

After an insanely busy NZ winter work wise, I couldn't wait for October 1 and the start of the new trout season.  Opening day was literally a blow out, with gale force winds and dust storms putting a damper on the day, even though a few decent trout made it to the net. When the skate/snowboard shop I run closed for a few weeks for renovations, I packed the car and hit the road, not really knowing where I was going but knowing that I needed to get the hell out of Queenstown for a bit to put life back into perspective..

After a few Glenmorangies around the campfire the first night out of town I decided to head down to the Catlins, the south-eastern most part of the South Island.  It was an area I had wanted to visit since reading Derek Grzelewski's description in The Trout Diaries last year and now seemed like the perfect time to do some exploring.

My tin shack home for the week. Luxury compared to being out in the rain/hail storms that came in like clockwork every afternoon.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

A Good Day For A Float

We decided for a change of pace we'd go float a local lake while the cicadas were hatching.  We got a few great brownies each for the day, and the best part...floating back to the car at the end of the day. No walking like suckers...

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Summer In The Backcountry.

A few good days on a backcountry river, lots of nice rainbows smashing Cicadas and streamers.

 The only brown of the trip.

A Good Day On A Favorite River.

We went to a favorite local river after a weeks worth of torrential rain, curious what we would find.  The entire river had changed, splitting into new braids and leaving some of our go-to pools high and dry.

I managed to get this rainbow swinging a big streamer across one of the remaining deep, stable pools.  8.5lbs on the scales, my new personal best.

Getting there with the switch rod.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Epic Day.

Finally, an epic day!  Today was one of the rare times in fly fishing when everything goes your way, 10 fished hooked, 7 landed between two of us.  All Rainbows in great shape with bright post spawning colors.

The first fish and first jump of the day, there would be a lot more..

The hook up.

The Result.

First fish landed for the day, another wool head sculpin pattern.

The best fight of the day, it smashed the stimulator between two crazy currents, it took a good 15 minutes to land scrambling across the boulders.


I definately learned not to take stupid shots like this one when your camera battery is flashing at you.

Because when you hook and land your best fish of the day on your new rod and the camera dies it really sucks...

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

New Season So Far...

This picture sums up the new season so far.. Lots of rain has meant that that most rivers have been high if not completely blown out for most of October and now into November.

 Matty managed to hook the one and only fish opening day on the Routeburn.  The river went from a perfect level to raging torrent overnight..

Not all days have been bad though, high water means perfect streamer weather.

This decent Arrow River rainbow fell for a new sculpin pattern.

Friday, 28 September 2012


On our second day out with Brad, we went for Muskies.  He warned us they were super hard to catch, if we landed one fish it would be a good day.
Coolest fly box ever, we tossed huge 8-12 inch flies on 9 wt. rods.  Casting the flies on sink-tip lines was some of the hardest but funnest casting I've ever done on a fly rod.
I ended up hooking the first muskie within a few casts from the boat launch.  I was just getting the hang of casting the parrot-sized fly when a huge mouth came out of nowhere and inhaled the fly.  He came off before I knew it and thought had blown my only chance for the day.
Finally hooked and landed this beast after what felt like a thousand casts.  Not big by Muskie standards, only 30 inches and about 12 pounds, but my best fish on a fly to date. Definately didn't fight like a trout, more like tug of war with a bulldog.

The fly and the damage done, I'd worn a hole in my finger from all of the casting, stripping and fighting.  All worth it for one of the best days I've had on a fly rod.

Coho Salmon

I just spent the last few weeks camping and fishing in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.  It's a really remote area, mostly dirt roads and where plaid shirts have never gone out of style.  The fishing is amazing, ranging from small brook trout streams to major rivers with large runs of King, Coho, and Pink Salmon as well as Bass, Pike, Muskies, etc.
My Dad and I fished a few days with Brad Petzke of Rivers North Guide Service, he is a really cool guy who knows his stuff, it was like fishing with a good friend I just hadn't met yet.

The first day we fished for Coho Salmon, they don't get very big, 3-5lbs max, but fight like hell, especially in tight quarters.