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Jedi Seadog
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Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:08 am    Post subject: NZ 2010

Got some photo's up on photobucket,but a slow process,but enough to do a report!

End of January flew over to NZ,was the first decent trip away for 12 months due to saving for a house,so was looking forward to it. I'd bought a squillion flies online for the trip that worked last time...in the end most of them didn't work :bonk:

Flew in Auckland and picked up the hire car from Apex rentals. Can reccomend them if you're travelling over there,very fast check in and check out service compared to other snail like company's.
Made the trek down to Rotorua where were to stay for the next week. I'd pretty much talked up the place to my Dad and uncle as a trout catching mecca on the fly...if you couldn't catcha heap here then you were a muppet! We'll see they said.

Before arriving at our accomadation I dropped into the awahou stream mouth just before dark to have a squiz too see if any were catching them. The 'picket fence' was about 20 blokes long,and 3 of them were hooked onto fish,so things were looking good. On arrival at the Waiteti trout stream Holiday park,Michael told us that the fishing had really picked up the last few days and people were getting there 20-40 in an arvo out at the awahou! Things were looking good,a good forecast,an improving fishing report, it was all coming together....

The next day we awoke with much anticipation on our expectant cricket score captures of trout on fly. My uncle was a fly fishing beginner,and dad had done a bit,but caught nothing in his life over 2lb on fly. That would all change I told them.
We went into stinktown (rotorua) and got supplies. The weather started closing in...that's strange,the forecast was for fine weather? Down the rain came....ah well,few hours of rain won't hurt I thought. It continued into the arvo....so we decided to head out in it and have a fish. I wasn't confident,I remembered last year on the last day it rained and I only caught one fish. The others remained optimistic and told me I was being negative...they were wrong. Completly shut down for the day...not even a take. Was a very disheartening start,no fish on the first day.

A damp start was a minor setback,but things should pick up I thought,the weather forecast was fine right? Sunday it rained,even harder than the previous day and it didn't let up...it came with 30 knot winds....it was supposed to be fine FFS?? However this was more like a deep low that had settled on us. I hadn't seen rain like this for years (apart from the NT of course). By sunday night I was fuming...I had the brace and bits well and truly up. The problem with all the wind and rain is not making a nightmare to fish,but the fact that it cool the water down.

Lake Rotorua is a shallow lake,and in summer the water temp rises,therefore the trout move in towards the spring fed stream mouths where the water is much cooler. Now with the lake temperature being cooler due to the dispicable weather,the fish had no need to move into the stream mouths...now making my much hyped cricket score captures talk now look like a pipe dream! The sunday I I caught one in the stream where we were staying about 2lb to put us on the board.....but the scenario was hardly bright.
The sunday night the rain got even harder...I remember lying in bed listening to it thinking if someone offered me a refund and a trip home right now I'd cut my losses and go. It was p!ssin down...NT like...farrrk!
The next morning it still hadn't stopped,and the news bulletins were reporting blocked major highways,massive floodings,etc,and let's not forget 'metservice' the kiwi weather bureau predicted fine weather...fair dinkum this had turned into a massive rain depression and they didn't see it coming.....never bag the Aussie bureau again.

Anyhow,enough whinging about the weather. It finally got better and cleared up,not before it dropped the shizen out of the lake temperature making the Awahou mouth dead as a maggot. So we had to settle for the Waiteti stream where we stayed. Now let me paint the picture for you with the Waiteti. It's a little drain,that flows through suburbia...dogs swim in it,the local kids jump off the bridge and swim in it,ducks and swans are abundant..and you fish in people's backyards along a little walkway. It's hardly remote rugged mountain fly fishing water,but it's all we had,and there were plenty of rainbows in there,with a few biggish browns lurking under cover.

The morning the rain actually stopped the stream had dirtied up,so I changed tactics and walked it with a sinking rapala. usually it's too clear for lures,soon as they hit the water the trout spook,but with the dirty water I thought they might hit it,and they did. It was a bit of fun casting at structure again,under branches and seeing fish come out and hit the lure. I had a good brown follow a lure to my feet and was about to strike but I just ran out of room,so i walked away and left him for half and hour. Came back and cast it under an overhanging branch where I thought it might be hiding and bang! Ended up having to jump in to land it such was my desperation at getting something decent.
Image

Ended up getting a few Rainbows that morning by doing the same thing. The others tolled away out the front with the fly and started to get the odd fish which kept them occupied. To do this however you had to get in line virtually and fish shoulder to shoulder...not my scene. Every now and then I'd have an hour stint and get the odd one drifting nymphs,but i probably had more fun walking away from the crowds just chucking lures under trees and that

Dad with a fish on at the mouth of the Waiteti
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One morning I got up at 4.30 and went down to the mouth where it flows into the lake in hope for a big brown on fly. Others were having success on tiny #16 nymphs on the 2-3lb rainbows,but I put on a big #4 black wooley bugger in hope I'd snare a big browny. Dad came down with me and was doing well on the rainbows on sunrise, then finally a take on the big wooley bugger,and not a monster brown by NZ standards,but a nice fish just the same at about 5lb,and was to be the fish of the trip
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As the week went on the weather became fine,and the water slowly warmed back up. I kept persisting on driving out to the Awahou in hope that the fish would turn back up, but it remained dead. A few started showing up after dark out there,and we started to get 2-3 a night after dark which was at least something. The lumo doll flies were the go....shine the headlamp on it every 3-4 minutes to glow it back up,and cast away into the night. Rainbows love them for some reason. Most of the fish range from about 2.5-3lb..with the odd one nudging 3 3/4lb.

One day we went for a drive out to some rivers in the back country. Finding acess to them was a nightmare,the country is overgrown with blackberries, and the hire car looked like it had recieved a mauling from a pack Tigers. ended up finding a nice little 200 metre patch on the Whirinaki River,and I landed this nice Rainbow
Image

On the last night in Rotorua the lake had warmed considerably,and Awahou was set to go off just as we were leaving (reading online reports a week later the cricket score captures were back!). The last night on dark there were 42 blokes making the picket line..unbelievable...coverd about 400 meters. I had to tuck in behind it as i wasn't fishing shoulder to shoulder with someone. Still mamaged a few on the lumo's,but they were cleaning up 50 meters further out on the picket line.
So that was to be Rotorua...we still managed 50-60 fish for the week and it was a disaster! So that's telling you how good the place is when it's right.

For the next few days a change of scenery and off to the coast up to Tairua on the Coromandel Peninsula. I had a mate flying in that day meeting us there...he was to somehow get to Auckland to there...for this guy in a foreign country was a feat,but suprisingly he was at the pub waiting for us. We were only going to have a couple,as a day out at sea the next day might leave us a bit green......it turned into about a 12 hour bender,which finished off with numerous shouts of Black Smirnoff...the next morning out on the charter boat was to be a mission..

So I booked a Kingi charter,not the one I wanted,ended up being stuck with the no frills charter...you get what you pay for as they say. First he was 30 mins late....then 30 mins getting ready. Took him 20 minutes to launch the boat...then we had to go back in as he forgot the bait...fair dinkum. When we finally got 20 minutes out to our first drop he then realised he forgot the ice too. Top service! Three hours in and not a fish. 5 out of 7 had spewed up,Dad permenently had his falsies out...I was chcuking down the sea sickness tablets...managed to fight it off and didn't chcuk up. We finally managed to come across a mass school of rat Kingi's in the 3-8lb range. They were in plagues. Not the big Kingies we were after but I was happy catching the little one's anyway,was great fun,they go hard even when there little!
ImageImage

My mate ended up hooking into a massive Mako at the back of the boat,which gave off 4-5 massive barra like jumps,but dropped him about 10 mins inImage

After that we headed back down to Mt Manganui to catch up with some friends i went to uni with over here. The next morning they took us out fishing,managed some small rats,a heap of small snapper,and a few good crays.

Then for the final week is down Mud's old stomping ground at Turangi. Here the aim was to fish the famour Tongariro river,and hope the fish were on the cicada's (dry fly),and also fish the stream mouths that flow into the gigantic and spectacular Lake Taupo.

The first evening we fished the Tongariro....but it was dead,and hardly any access along it,or places you could access already had a fisherman on it. More disenchantment.

The next arvo we headed out to a place on the western bay of Lake Taupo. The blokes house who we were staying in had given me some sketchy directions via email from London on how to get there. Said it was a bit of a drive, then a 15 minute walk down the scrub through a little track to the lakes edge and river mouth onto Maori Land.
Well we found the reserve easy enough after an hours drive,then what seemed to be the walking track down the hill. Now this was more like a pig track literally,and it was almost down a cliff face!! It took an hour of climbing to get down. There was no way we were going to get back up it after dark.....but now that we were down I just wanted to fish and worry about the small task of getting back up later.

This place was Waihaha river mouth,and let me tell you it was well worth the walk! I don't think I've fish a more spectacular place. we fished til after dark and managed only 2. Now luckily and old farmer had waled down the track also for a fish. I thought what a trooper to get down that at his age. Found out we weren't on the track.....we missed the proper track haha! Life saver.

The next night we decided to go back out there now we knew we could get out much easier. Not that the proper track was any walk in the park after dark,it was still steep and rugged. If nothing else we would just soak in the place,definetly reccomend it to anyone who ever go's over there. You'll need directions to get in,but it's easy enough. The walk up and down the track feels like a scene from Lord of the Rings...you're covered in by thick forest...at night glow worms are everywhere along the moss covered walls,quite mystic.
We ended up getting a few fish that night,which was an added bonus
ImageImage
ImageImage
Image

The last few nights decided to stay closer to home,and fish the Tauranga-Taupo stream mouth which I'm sure Mud you are very familar with. I fished this one for a few weeks when I went over in 2000,back then i always get 3-4 a night,so thought it would be worth a shot. Ended up being better fishing than the Waihaha,just didn't have the added scenery.
The best fly at the stream Mouths were the lumo silicon smelt just like back in 2000. They didn't work til after dark,once they could glow,they'd get eaten.

I gave the Tongariro river a few more go's. Was determined to get one on a cicada. One mid morning it was starting to heat up so thought it was time to switch from the nymphs over to a dry cicada. First cast along a nice run the cicada drifted along the pool,and as it swept across the run downstream a gentle rise and I was on! Then ,the weight was gone....broke me off on the light tippet. So upgraded to 6lb tippet and tied on another one,5 minutes later and same thing again,the slightest little ripple from the take and I was on. This time I landed it,a nice Rainbow of about 3lbs. Unfortunatly the camera on auto stuffed the shot up,so no decent photo. So I joined the club of landing a fish in the famour Tongiriro...they say US presidents,the Royal family,holywood stars etc,have all fished it. Now my famous name was to be up with theirs of having landed a fish in the Tongariro haha!

So overall,a bit of a dissapointing trip compared to last years,but we still caught some fish. A lesson for me is I need to lower my expectations,as it only leads to dissapointment when they're not met. No one trip is the same as the last and you have to take what comes. Unfortunatly I didn't do this at times,and was p!ssed off a lot the time. I spent so much time preparing it all and building it up....was a mental let down. My fishing holidays aren't holidays,there more 'fishing work',run yourself ragged staying up too all hours chaing fish,end up being more tired than what you'd be if you were at work! Need to bring a bit more relaxation into somehow. Anyhow this is turning into a marathon,and my hand hurts from typing

Next trip is to darwin in 6 weeks,and I don't really care if I don't catch much. I just want to get away back up to the top end for a bit and relax. Reckon I'll get thoughts of moving back when I get there...however I'm locked in here for sometime yet


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:56 am    Post subject:

That's a great read jonesy, congrats on the big brownie and surviving El Cheapo Charters :lol: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :catch:

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Post Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:26 pm    Post subject:

Awsome story there jonesy, makes me jealous, id love to get over to NZ in the summer for a dedicated fly fishing trip i reckon it would be great fun. i got some trouts in lake wakitipu on a snowboarding trip last july. Very cold though in the middle of winter, couldnt go fly fishing as it was out of season and way to cold to go standing in the river in waiders fly fishing, trolling deep lures in the lake was cold enough hahaha.


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject:

Awesome read :mrgreen: pity about the weather but as they say - thats fishing

:cheers:

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:10 pm    Post subject:

top stuff jonesy, :mrgreen: cheers for putting up the report! shame bout the weather.

bet your hanging out for april when you can catch a 'real' fish :lolpoint:

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Jedi Seadog
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:15 pm    Post subject:

Great report Jonesy,
Worked hard for your fish! It's good to read a report from somewhere different, I went out on a similar dodgy charter in Brazil late last month, just waiting for some photos to do the post.
Cheers Muntzy.

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:34 pm    Post subject:

What a great read Jonesy!! Took me right back to my roots....made me a bit homesick actually! Flat out this am so I'll write more when I get time. Thanks for the awesome report.

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