Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sharking Hell!

Got an email on Saturday night from Nik. One of his regular clients, Bob Seddon from Idaho is across. Bob has a penchant for big fish on the fly rod, and last year had an epic day on the kings at East Cape.

This year Nik had a wee accident with his boat trailer and some roadworks. The springs popped on an unsealed ridge in the road. Reminiscent of our Parengarenga trip 3 years ago, except we walked away pretty much unscathed. he wasn't so lucky this time.

So he took Bob on a mission in Tauranga Harbour to look for ooglies. And boy did they score!

Burleying no less than 3 bronzies up, Bob flicked out a fly, got a hook up and an hour later was posing with his prize. Not bad I reckon!!! There is definitely room for the 15 weight in one's arsenal!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Forum bowhunt

It has been many years since I pronged anything of significance with the bow. Over the years I've killed a number of goats including a really big fecker in the Awakino, so once the forum bowhunt was in planning I just had to jump aboard. I'll say upfront that Shanks did a marvellous job of managing quite a reasonable crowd of hunters - not an easy task by any means. Got to meet a bunch of new people and enjoy hearing their stories. Plenty of high jinks and high drama, all in good fun. Rather than a blow by blow I'll just say that my interest in shooting a pig with the bow has increased significantly.... I did get some chances but my shots went high, even though I held low on the 20m pin. Practice makes perfect and not practicing is a poor excuse, but missing at 10m is ridiculous - especially 4 times in a row. Overall a marvellous day's hunting. Good people, good times...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Day II

Imagine this - waking up in paradise next to a pristine stream, under a fly camp and right by your parked chopper. Very surrealistic. A quick breakfast of porridge and stuff and Pete warms up the taxi, then takes off with TT to find our fishing water for the day. As it happens we're pretty much gorged in at camp, with a canyon upstream and deep water and cliffs downstream. Mark and I wait until Pete reappears and then we're off, flying upstream to wide spot in the riverbed. We land and set up, this time taking the rifle.
The fish are sharper here, less apologetic or forgiving, almost as if they have received pressure - and who knows? They may have. TT gets on the board but I muff my only decent shot by hooking the bottom right in his face...

Mark gets a nice piece of water to prospect, so I grab the rifle and move up to inspect a small gulley. Poking my head around the corner and holy hell there's a deer looking at me. I freeze and tell TT to keep still, throw up the rifle, centre the cross hairs on her neck - CLICK! Empty chamber! Cranking a round in I marvel that she hasn't moved and again take aim and drop her cleanly with a neck shot that takes out her spine. And that's my first 'do it yourself' bush deer in the bag. Mark's got some kevlar twine so we hang her and I take out her guts, remove her head and prop her open with a stick to cool off. We fish on upriver but after an hour have reached the next impassable gorge so we turn and head back down. At the deer spot, I decide that a carry would be unecessary and biff her in the creek on a string - and walk her down! The lazy man's carry!
Soon we're back at the chopper and we discuss fishing options. I'm conscious that the carcass is heavy so tell the lads that I'll butcher her while they head out to the next spot in the chopper. Pete tells me he'll be an hour tops, so I get to work skinning her and have the deer processed in roughly 45 minutes. Back steaks, eye fillets, legs and rump. All bagged. Now's where it went a bit scary... after 2.5 hours there's no sign of the chopper. Away to the south its getting a bit darker. I have my day bag, fire lighting stuff, knife, light, a deer of course - but my jacket's in the chopper and if they've gone down and hit the EPIRB its still an overnighter by the time we're found. So I set to work building a biv. I need wind and waterproofness more than anything so build sturdy walls with logs, lay over a roof of ponga fronds and the deer skin, put down a comfy bed of dry grass, make a fireplace, gather wood and generally make the shelter as comfy as I can. I have on my merino mid weight top and longjohns and a pair of shorts... but christ it's gonna be a chilly and wet night if I spend it out here.

Deciding to try and get everything dry before a night out, I prepared my fire and took off my boots and socks. Just as I was striking the first light, the chopper came over the ridge and Pete brought her in. We had a quick chat and Pete explained that his fuel load was lower than he liked so he's not come back until now, and that with weather approaching we were pulling out. All good as our plan b flight path was dodgy to say the least. Packing the meat into the chopper we took off and met the lads on the Motu. A quick hop back to Opotiki and I put the call through to the olds to meet me at Thames in an hour. A terrific flight back and I was on the road, reflecting that just over an hour ago I was preparing for a night out - and now here I was in my car.

All in all a great trip, thanks to generosity of others.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The time between blogs

.. has been spent being 'busy'. Just had 2 full days training on effective leadership, which was to incorporate ways of finding an extra hour per day by changing work habits. Stuff like planning your day in advance, not letting email interrupt you... in theory that stuff is fine, but its not really my style. I already prioritise, I mean everyone does, right?


The pre Xmas bash was a beaut. I must confess though, that it didn't 'feel' like the normal pre-Xmas bash and I can't quite put my finger on why. Not to detract from the whole thing though, I mean it was really great but the inclusion of the 'third person' in the trip sounds like it might be sort of permanent, which is ok, but not really what the pre-Xmas bash has been about so far. Ok, must acknowledge the effort that TT put into making this trip happen. Landing permits, organising the absent minded (pre-occupied) surgeon, leaving me alone to sort my work crap out, he really did a sterling job. Thursday before the trip, well I took it off to spend with family - until 1.30 that was, when I got the call from TT to get over to his place so we could go to Mechanics Bay, meet the pilot, weigh in etc. Pilot was late, and DOC still had not given the permit to land, which itself required much toing and froing and frantic calls, most of all it needed the surgeon's signature as it was his chopper we were going in. So a bit of frantic driving around town and we ended up with our crap together - and I also ended up with a stinking pounding headache, like I haven't had in years. Not having kids means that TT doesn't understand time pressures, so I was late home to get Rilee's stuff together. That taken care of, finished packing. The key things was that in a Robbie R-44 Raven II, there really isn't too much space available. Literally, the seat you are sitting on has a cavity under it, and that's your storage. Up early Friday, check forecast and she's good until Saturday night. Into car, rod (check!), rifle (check!), fishing gear (check!), sleeping gear (check!), day bag with ammo, survival stuff (check!), food (check!).. and already its looking like too much to pack in the chopper. I have to drive to Thames aerodrome, as taking off from Mechanics Bay under full load with tail wind is dicey. So the plan is to meet at Thames at 7.30, load me in, refuel and then get on our way.

So we meet up and our crew is:

Mark Gray (plastic surgeon to the stars)
Pete Matheson (pilot)

Amazingly, everything fits in the chopper. Pete gives us safety drill and we're off over the Kaimais. Our beeline takes us from Thames out to the coast at Whangamata, then we turn south along the coast and 'track' (chopper term) towards Tauranga. Air Traffic Control clears us and we're on our way down the coast, Whakatane, Ohope, Ohiwa and then presto we're in Opotiki.
We land and refuel, check GPS, discuss emergency escape options for inclement weather and then we're up and into the Raukumaras, and down into the Motu bed. Our target is a Motu trib, a beautiful stream that I've fished upstream, that holds a good head of nice brownies, including some beasts. The first thing I notice is that there are tracks everyhwere - deer, pigs and goats. The second thing I notice is the fish on the feed at the head of the pool we've landed near. Its all over the place in typical brownie feeding mode, holding in the slacker water and covering metres scooping up food. A couple of promising casts but then as the nymph is entering the zone the current picks up the line, induces drag and I can imagine the fly zooming up in the water column past the trouts nose. He doesn't appreciate it at all and melts away under the fast water across the pool. Damn, rusty, not good.

We leve Pete with the chopper to meditate and read his book. He's quite observant, pointing out the hoof marks of a decent sized deer and where it entered the bush quite recently. I imagine someone with a strong hunting nose would have been salivating! Never the less, the rifle stayed with Pete along with instructions to shoot any deer or pigs he saw. Away up the trib we went. Beautiful crystal clear water, gravel runs and deep pools. I rigged for the deep stuff and TT went light with a bead strung under a dry. Mark went for the Tongariro rig. I struck first, taking a brownie deep in the eye of a blue green pool. It gave an ok account of itself before it came ashore for a photo. Mark got one ashore after multiple chances, and we moved up the stream fishing the likely spots. Fishing with a newbie can be stressful, especially after mutiple duffed attempts, and Mark gave us a few of those. Bombing sitters... anyway that's the name of the game. Then we really started finding fish, out and about and on the feed. I picked my way up one side of some real holding water, while TT and Mark played with fish on the other. At the head of the run on my side was a shed sized boulder, pinning another smaller boulder and a series of smaller and larger boulders downstream. Overall it created a 5m square patch of deep holding water with conflicting currents, and in that conlict lived the biggest fish I've seen for a while. Took a few 'subtle' casts with the biggest tungsten bomb I could muster, to get it on his nose. He took, I hit and he went for it, boring downstream under the boulder at the tail of the pool. Fought him hard for a minute but nah, he got me. Sob. Looked up to see TT into a good fish which he landed and killed for dinner.

We fished up to 3pm then turned and headed down to meet up with Pete and fly upstream to find a camping spot. A bit of circling and we came down on a likley spot and set up camp. A fire, some pasta and smoked chicken, and then a bit of sniper time at goats on a face opposite the stream. The goats were about 200m away and steeply elevated so shooting was a challenge - and I ended up with an 'eyebrow'. Day 1 done.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The fruits of victory would be ashes in our....

Well, prelim results are out for the election and it looks like we've nabbed 4 places on the council. Craig, AJ, Guy and me got on. Not quite what we'd hoped for and the margin between getting a place or not is tiny overall. The highest poller (no surprises) is John Atkinson, sure enough the hidden, non-vocal angling contingent paid off for old (76 years old..) John-boy. He took 477 votes. Guy was the lowest poller to 'win' a place with 384. A spread of 93 votes across the 'winners'. Horribly, Tim for now has missed a spot on council by 12 votes. I am certain deep down, that people we know didn't get out and vote. Its been quite an emotional time, and I for one feel drained by a combination of frustration, from time to time some real rage, and the long year that this has been.

So what can we hope to achieve? Well, in the background the plan has been to look and learn for a period, and then slowly apply pressure change. So we will.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Around the traps

Things are happening, despite the SW misery that is gripping the land and has done so for the past 5 weeks. I'm beginning to think that my tomato crop is doomed. The passionfruit vine has some flowers, but not as many as usual. Hell, this is miserable weather, but then again, I do get to play outside in my new jackets - even if i do look like the suburban commando try-hard (that i don't want to be)action man type. Bloke at work told me its La Nina or something like that. All I know is that yesterday I lept from bed, ready for a nice fish, checked the forecast and went back to sleep. 30 minutes later the sky clouded, the wind picked up and I knew I'd made a good sensible decision. Looking ahead 2 or 3 weeks to the expedition, I can pretty much guaranty that we wont be flying into no low lying fog banks in the area we have in mind... maybe we will get lucky and have some decent weather but sadly I'm not that hopeful. Tim left message last night, he's been out after BOOOOAAAAAARRRRRRs again and has shot a nice big animal. Good to know that the fiddling he's done with the rifle seems to have worked. Fingers crossed that i can use it in anger in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and found this on the whaleoil blog, i quite like it:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Less than 7 days

F&G election voting closes in under 7 days. Then we'll know whether all this work has been worth it. And then I'll publish what I've learned about cornered animals. In the mean time some nice new prezzies have arrived for the duck party, and for me.

Item 1 - 7 dozen 4 oz GHG "Keel Grabber" deke weights on bungees. A great idea, someone's thinking.

Item 2 - Kobuk neoprene wading jacket. I plan to use this on very rainy days, and also on the yak

item 3 - Drake MST Strata coat. MAX4 camo, my favourite pattern.

in return I'm coughing up a Columbia Quad parka that is simply too 'tall' for me in XL Tall size. Mossy Oak Shadow Grass II pattern, zip out liner, "zap fleece" lined detachable hood. 3 watchers on Trade Me. All good.

Work is getting on my nerves again. Home time.

Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention our bro' Hone. Hone's family has a rich history of abusive behaviour and the country bows before them. Maybe not this time. Maybe the 'one rule for the Haraweras, one foe\rveryone else" crap is over. I doubt it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pre Xmas planning

For the past 3 years TT and i have got together for a boys pre Xmas bash. To date we've:

> Camped on the edge of hydro lake catching huge numbers of trout over the weedbeds, a perect December passtime

> Flown into the headwaters of the Mohaka after trout

> Headed to Murchison and fished and hunted some pretty special country

This year I've left the organisation to him; work has been busy and the election seems to have taken on a life of its own. And my, what a good job he's done. A private chopper, pilot is his mate, some vague murmers about heading east and I've been told to "bring a deer gun!". He means a rifle of course but that's just me being pedantic. So I'm looking forward to this, I love chopper flights as much as anything else i've ever done, and a lot more than some!

Tonight i'll call hime and work out the finer details, already Tim's said i can borrow the 7mm....

Long live the Pre Xmas bash!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First hint of fine weather

I was lucky. Lucky to be able to get away for a fish, specifically a small stream mission its certainly been a while. I had a water in mind, the minestromeaha, sometimes called the aromathinseme or the mistrahmeenoa. I didn't vist her last season at all, as i concentrated on my still water trout fishing in the hydro lakes. It's hard to pass up 20 - 50 fish days casting to slurping trout over weedbeds... Anyway, she's a grand little stream the mistrahmeenoa, small enough to feel intimate, but holding enough early season volume to feel that its not quite summer yet. I know Milo had fished her twice, and Jax, each accompanied on one occasion by another angler, so in 31 days she'd had (at least) 5 angler days not including mine. Any fish holed up would surely have seen the other anglers (they're good, but not invisible) but she's a feeder out of a bigger water so every chance of fresh blood moving in. The forecast was for fine sunny weather and only gentle breezes - a 4 weight day! The 7'6" 4 weight can be a joy to fish, but she can also be a nuisance in waters where lots of repeat casting is a must. Never the less, of the 2 rods I packed I reached for her over the 5 weight because hell, some days you just have to take your chances! The first fish I saw was hard to pick in the early morning sun with ripples on the water, I just saw the tail move and put the fly across to cover the fish and the dry fly indicator slid sideways. A good wee fish, typical of the early season, a bit skinny and on the lighter side of a pound and a half. That was it for the next hour - although I scanned the water carefully and had perfect spotting conditions I couldn't pick up a fish anywhere. I fished the holding water anyway, to no avail. One of the things about this stream is that the bed had been artificially modified some years ago, and she's still settling down. This means that pools move, or are still developing each season - new water for the price of old! Anyway I moved up to a stretch that had been nice to me before, slid in behind the big old flax bush and moved the leaves for a view. Bugger me if I didn't spot 6 fish almost straight away! And bugger me if one at the back of the pool that i hadn't seen didn't spot me straight away and bolt through the rest, sending them into a mad panic! The next run was a beaut, deep slot, slower edges and cover in the form of a willow trunk. I saw a fish slash at the nymph second or third drift and lifted for him; no dice. I covered him again and again, but when I moved up to view the pool nothing at the tail. The nymph must have spooked him, perhaps he had recently bitten something artificial? I re-rigged to explore the deeper water of the slot and discovered one of those unnerving backward swirls up the side of the pool that drags your line off to the side, upsetting the drft. The nymphs were swimming bang down the middle but line was curling back upstream despite me keeping as much off the water as possible. Suddenly, everything stopped. I hadn't seen any giveaway movement but lifted anyway and the water erupted and a fish bolted off under the willow... the 6lb leader popped like a popping thing. That put my heart in my mouth. Rerigged I fished out the slot for nothing else and then went to a lighter nymph with wiggly legs and red shiney head and prospected some shallower water behind a low hanging willow. I sensed the fish rather than saw anything and raised the rod - locked up tight! And what a surprise, this bow was a good 2 lb's heavier than anything I expected from previous experience in this water - and it proceeded to drag me downstream the poor little twig bent in half. And I snapped him (a very good jack) off within feet of the bank when he did a final mental blast off downstream. Too much, I was getting spanked! It only got better though, with a few fish getting banked much to my relief. And the browns - holy smoke I found a couple of eye popping bruisers and even got one to the bank - and he was pushing a solid 5lbs. A bigger one further upstream held position in a deep slot but spooked off when I moved my arm to cast. A couple of deep bodied 'bows in the 3-4lb class, a smaller model and that was my 5 hours on the stream.

I doubt the bigger ones will hang around much longer as the days warm. She holds a solid head of smaller fish over the hot months as well as the odd bigger brown, but nothing of the size that i had found today. I can say with hand on heart that I was surprised out of my skin at the size and condition of the fish, definitely bigger by a good pound to pound-and-a-half than ever before and a sign of a health fishery.

The 5 weight would have been a better option, more control. (excuses excuses)

But those bust offs will stay with me longer than if i had caught everything, and to me that's imprtant, it'll keep me coming back.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trapping the ponds

Suddenly a very good and very viable mustelid/rodent trap is available on the market. I say suddenly because I had heard about them, the forum had chatted about them and now they are being delivered! Guy has 10, Mike O'Donnell has some and I plan on getting some for our ponds and for around the hut.

The trap is called the "Henry", named after one of NZ's early conservationists (without googling and from memory I think the dude ended up in Helensville - or Dargaville - killing himself? A far cry from the wilds of the deep south...)and it is a gas operated trap that beans the predator when it sticks its head where it ought not. The single biggest issue of trapping the ponds is resetting the traps. They are always triggered but its a waste of time if the only get reloaded every 6 weeks.

Borrowing Guy's description of what happens - "the rat or mustelid sticks its head up in the clear cowelling to get at the bait (which it can't as its in the little pottle on the right hand side. They have a bait that currently stays active for 6 months and are working on synthetic bait that will last longer. The victim pushes a small trigger that releases a piston. This piston smacks the vitim in the head at 30kg/cm2 which is more than the DOC 200's.
The piston then resets as its spring loaded ready to go again, apperently the dead victim encourages more vermin to come and often they eat the victim 1st before entering the trap!"

Now that's some punch, that's gonna wreck your day if you're a baddie! At $180 a pop and enough CO2 to fire 12 times, 2 traps could feasibly knock out a couple of predators per month. With the rats in the swamp i reckon we'd need more than 1 cartridge per trap per year though....

Thursday, October 29, 2009


There's this really cool university study from some years ago into the infectiousness of people who give off a good vibe. It goes something like this. When you test people for optimism at age 16, and test again at age 60, people tested will tend (strongly - overwhelmingly strongly in fact) to have the same degree of optimism or pessimism whatever their age. In other words, it remains very constant. People who think the glass is half full, Vs. those who view it as half empty. Barring acts of god, violence or traumatic events which deal to everyone no matter their outlook, you can say a person on the whole has a pretty stable outlook on life. Now, the study was by way of an experiment and it went something like this. A group of strangers were judged on their optimism and then a room was filled with people - half who were optmists and the other half pessimists. They were not allowed to speak, only to look at each other. When they were taken from the room and their outlook tested, the pessimists actually scored far more optmistically - happily maybe? In other words, the optimists give off a vibe of some sort that can catch on. In the real word we all know people who we would rather not be around when we feel ratshit and all know people who can cheer us up.

Where is this going?

Well.... the current (soon to be deposed) AWF&G Council has 10 pessimists, one perhaps optimist (I don't know he's too sick to go out in public) and one known hippy partaking of hippy activities invlolving a type of tabacco frowned on by the police. The sky must be falling! We have no money! There are no ducks!

Some positivity would be in order, and it catches, so even 6 new councillors with a positive outlook, will be a very very good thing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Empire Strikes Back

It was I guess, inevitable that the current AWF&G councillors would mount a challenge of some sort against our campaign. Which they have, by way of a sort of open letter that justifies their existence. Unfortunately the content just runs down our ideas, there's not a sign of anything new there at all. God it's laughable, our campaign has sparked a whole lot of back-stabbing of current councillors by other councillors, and now in a 'united' front they come out with a half arsed newsletter. The best part for me though is that whoever put pen to paper, spelt the purported sender's name wrong!

And that about typifies what we have to put up with.

Vote for change... please.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Boaaaaaarrrrr!!!!!!!!!!! (Part III)

It was with much anticipation that Friday rolled around and then departed. Saturday saw a leisurly drive to WOPWOPWOP (place name undisclosed - after all, how can I be sure who's reading this?) arriving at Craig's place around noon. We rolled up in a cloud of Prado mud & debris, had a nice cuppa and a campaign catch-up. A few test shots to make sure I could hit the ~100m target (which I could) then Craig showed us how its done by taking out a turkey at roughly 300m. Holy fishbait! Tim and I look at each other with raised eyebrows.... Then we set out with rifles for a walk around the place. The area is steeped with history, and Craig's knowledge of the property is second-to-none so he was able to describe how the potato crop was growing by the ancient storage pit, and how the burial mound was likley to have at least 15 long deceased persons in it. We walked past his duck ponds - spectacular, followed the main river to the bush (I WILL fish up there)and then set off on a walk around the property boundary to see if we could find a goat or 2.

Walking up to the brow of a hill I spied two billys, one carrying a great set of antlers! (oh, ok, horns). I hissed "get down!" and then we sneakily-snuck to the top of the hill, crested the brow and set Tim up for a shot on the big boy. Well! Tim took it upon himself to create a world wide lead shortage and increase the value of global lead ore mining stocks in his attempt to bring the goat down. The futile fusilade (yeah yeah Tim, I know, you'll get revenge later)sent the big ones packing, while some nannies and kids stayed around... safe as houses as it turns out because Tim's ammo supply was expended. Having taken care of my usual trip 'unexpected lay down on my back' (this time courtesy of catching my foot on the top wire on a fence crossing), i felt replete, the day having offered all it could. Good mates, spectacular scenery, a great fireworks display care of Tim, yes, we certainly had it made. But WAIT! There was more! A caving adventure. Sliding off into a little flooded gully, Craig lead us through a sneaky little tunnel.

This was going from awesome to freakin spectacular - especially when we then ducked down a real hidey cavern where Tim had a gulp of underground water. Back to the car and after negotiating some feral mud (the Prado ate it up) we got back to Craig's for a bite and a cuppa. As we ate I sensed his urgency so we forced the final couple of gulps of steak down Tim's gullet (he's getting lots of stick just because I feel like it)we jumped in the Prado (have I told you how much it loves thick gooey mud?) and drove up to the get out point. (Nick promptly falls on ass down bank). At this stage the wind was swirling from the south East, ok for our shooting position. Glassing the area prior to our arrival revealed 6 little piggies coming down to the baits - had to be a great sign! Walking (at Craig's pace that's jogging for a mortal like us) to within 50 m of the shooting pozzie has us within easy range of the little piggies, who moved here, ambled there, and trundled off here and there munching grass. It was great to watch, and with me settled in to shoot I made sure I had the cross hairs on each of them at one stage or another. Craig tells us the piggies are probably only a month old - NO WAY!!! They look like targets to me but ok, I'm with the expert. Now the wind is really playing up, we're facing North and it's swirling around the hillside we're on. Little piggies are on the move so we do as well... and darkness is closing in. The glasses and scope reveal a bigger beast out at the 400m+ mark, but suddenly the wind is right up our jacksie and "wooof!" the pig calls a warning and they're all off. I'm just stoked to have had the rifle on 6 little piggies because I know that I could have taken each of them at some stage or other. No jangling nerves or shakes.

So we head back home and then up to another spot, picking up a spot light on the way. Not anyone's preferred method of hunting, but this is a pork trip so checking out other baits makes sense. Another mud bath for the Prado to wade through, which she does admirably. :) We stop and get out. I'm travelling with the red night light on the Led Lenser on, Tim's got his white light on and Craig just strides through the pitch black, occasionally flicking the light on for a look. We get above the bait and suddenly there it is - a pig! A shootable one! Quickly I take a rest on a rock, Craig's down beside me, god knows where Tim is :D Craig switches the light on and I quickly line up the beast he's got lighted up - hell no, its a possum! So I say "Its a possum". In the darkness I sense Craig sighing and thinking "why do I do this to myself?" (he's far too nice to say it) before saying "no, the pig's behind the tree" (you berk!).. and out it ambles. I line up on the chest area behind the leg where Tim has told me to aim and BOOM the pig folds up. Cranking the bolt back ready to chamber another round, I realise the pig quite dead. The autopsy later reveals a perfect killing shot that has smashed through the spine for an instant result. I'm quite proud, because you gotta know what was happening at the time;

"Ignoring the lava flow, I made a quick adjustment to take into account the flash flooding and thunderstrom that were threatening to mess up my aim. Off hand shots at 520m are never easy, especially when blizzard conditions and falling meteorites come into play. All in all the passing tsunami may have upset a normal mortal, and knowing that a small black hole was bending the bullet's trajectory, well heck, only a pro could have made an allowance for that...."

Craig made quick work of gutting the sow (maybe 70lb?) and I had her on my back and back to the car. Hanging her in the shed I felt pretty damn stoked at the result of our evening's work.

Next morning we got up pretty early considering. Craig fed the calves while Tim started firing test groups and reloading, in his quest to work up a magic load.

We all then set off to see if we could find a goat to shoot at. Up by the scene of the 6 little piggies from the night before, we are suddenly looking at a small mob of goats. Craig offered me his .280 so I grab it and (not kidding this time) drop the running billy at 80m. A spine shot too (very proud moment). I have another shot at a goat thats looking unhealthy and find we have 3 goats down. Tim takes the back steaks and wheels from a small tasty looking goat and we then take the bodies to add to the bait pile.

Arriving back at Craig's its time for home. We stop to see Guy in Te Awamutu and then rumble home in a cloud of mud dust and filth. A great trip!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who We Are

So, with elections upon us, its a good time to talk about who we are and what we want to do. Here goes -

Andrew John (AJ) Buttimore

AJ’s a 27 year old business owner, operating in the building sector. AJ was first introduced to our sporting way of life at the age of 5 by his father, and he continues to hunt the Waikato area. Wing shooting is AJ’s passion, and he’s a very active upland game and waterfowl hunter and is well known in the Waikato region. An advocate for the German Short-Haired Pointer breed, AJ participates in both the Auckland and Provincial GSP clubs. Living on a farm in the Papatoetoe area has given AJ the opportunity to work very closely with ARC and local schools to plant over 4,000 native trees on land unsuitable for farming over the past 4 years. He’s been an Eden Papakura Clevedon Miranda (EPCM) F&G Club committee member for thirteen years; and is interested in youth education and as such has been the club’s youth convenor for two years.

In AJ’s view "The traditional concept of anglers and shooters organising and controlling their own sport is the correct base model; and local people need to be involved in resolving local issues, so the regional concept carries a lot of weight. I believe in the fish and game having a closer relationship with licence holders. This should go hand and hand in involving youth to ensure that our recreation today is still the tradition in years to come. Habitat must be maintained, managed and expanded to ensure waterfowl and upland bird numbers don’t decay, and that water quality issues are managed for the improvement of our region’s resources”.

Craig Carey

Craig's a 36 year old farmer from the Te Kuiti district. Craig's been a passionate hunter and angler all his life, and wishes to follow the example set by the previous 3 generations of his family who have put something back into their sports by taking up roles in Fish and Game and Acclimatisation societies. Many may remember Craig's grandfather who served hunters and anglers for 28 years, and his uncle who served as an honorary ranger, and is still a dedicated and knowledgeable fisherman in the region. It will be their examples and knowledge that Craig will draw on.
As Craig says "Hunting and fishing have defined large parts of my character, and farming has given me a good insight into conflicts between the different groups that should, in reality share a close relationship and similar goals. I’ll bring an ethic of hard work and a common sense approach to getting the best from our resources".

Nick Foster

A 40 year old born and bred kiwi, Nick lives in North Shore City with his wife and daughter. The past game bird season was Nick's 31st, and he's actively pursued trout and game fish both nationwide in NZ and also overseas for the past 30 years. An ardent wing shooter, he spends a good deal of time hunting upland game throughout the upper half of the North Island, and in summer can be found chasing trout in the Auckland Waikato, and other regions. Nick's a member of the Upper Piako Wetland Management Association, and served as the Association’s Secretary in its formative years. Having held management positions in various multi-national businesses, Nick has the skill set as well as the desire to make a meaningful and positive contribution to Auckland Waikato Fish & Game, and to serve the best interests of the region’s license and stakeholders. Nick leads a group of avid waterfowlers who manage and maintain a wetland area on crown land for the public good and he regularly invites new participants to our sports to enjoy new experiences.

Says Nick "Helping a kid or a newbie bowl their first duck or hook their first trout is the pinnacle of enjoyment I can get from our sports. Teaching them responsibility, and about ethics - its all part of being a sportsman".

Tim Holland

Tim's a 32 year old Sales Engineer from Auckland. He's been a passionate hunter since he was young, for which he thanks his dad. As a lifetime hunter and occasional fisherman, Tim's committed to ensuring our right to hunt and fish, and our success whilst doing so, continues unabated into the future. Tim has a 7 year old boy that he takes out hunting and shooting as often as he can and Tim's determined to make sure his boy has the same or better opportunities as Tim had. A member of the Upper Piako Wetland Management Association, Tim's also a key member of a group of hunters that maintains a significant area of publicly accessible wetland in the Upper Waikato.

Tim's responsibilities to his group include annual recruitment of a junior shooter to join and enjoy the opening weekend of each shooting season.

James Pettley

James is 33 and has lived in the Waikato most of his life, working in the rural sector. A well travelled sportsman, James has hunted and fished throughout New Zealand and overseas. James is very active in field sports, and has witnessed first hand changes to habitat resulting in the reduction of sporting opportunity, something he wishes to help slow the progress of. James sees access to game birds and fish for all as a birth right that needs to be protected for future generations. "Standing as a councillor I will bring a determination to improve our sports based on my experiences both here, and overseas".

Guy Ralph

Guy is 36 and is married to Rachel. Between them they have a family of 6 spaniels and 2 labradors. Guy lives near Te Awamutu and owns a number of businesses in the rural sector, including Auckland Waikato's first licensed Registered Release Site for upland game. Guy is hugely passionate about field sports and fears that we are losing opportunities for current and future generations. Guy is avid in his pursuits of upland game hunting, gun dog trialling and conservation of habitat. A member of many clubs and associations (The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Te Awamutu F&G for 9 years, Ohinemuri F&G 5 years, Working Spaniel Club 8 years, Waikato Gundog club 2 years and Waikato Gunclub),Guy is a recognised expert on game bird husbandry and management practices, as well as being an enlightened and environmentally aware dairy farmer. Guy has been active in the last ten years encouraging more newcomers to our sports; and regularly takes juniors out hunting. He relishes putting a fly on the water, mainly fishing in waters outside the AWFG area but see similar issues facing other regions.
Guy's been a regular attendee of AWF&G council meetings for many years.

Dickie Sansome

Dickie is 43 years old, married to Helen and has lived and worked in the Northern Waikato for 6 years. He lives on a small farm and earns his living growing crops. Dickie's been a game bird hunter for over 30 years, but probably has spent more time controlling predators & pest species than hunting game. A very active member of Te Kauwhata Fish and Game Association, Dickie was elected Secretary of the club this year. Currently working on a project to encourage young hunters by teaching youngster’s gun handling and safety skills, Dickie is also coaching them to improve target shooting.
In his own words "I have been an entrant in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, and am working towards an award by implementing the Judge's advice on my own farm. I believe that farming with respect for the environment is key to maintaining and increasing both fish and game populations".

Grant Summerell

Grant is a 42 year old native of Morrinsville, where he lives and works as a solicitor. With his Labrador Jeff, Grant is often seen in or around the region's wetlands, rivers and drains hunting duck and upland birds. Grant is active in the creation and preservation of habitat and considers that now is an opportune time to make a deeper contribution to our sports. While Grant is not presently an avid angler he says "It is my intention to use my skills to improve hunting and fishing conditions, and hopefully encourage more people to be involved in order to preserve the future of our sports".

Following, is the group's vision:

Group Statement:

"As a group, our vision is to maximise opportunities for the region’s anglers and game bird hunters. We aim to do this by changing the focus of AWF&G to an organisation dedicated to protecting and growing the available resource – doing so while we keep to the statutory role of the council which is to set the objectives that AWF&G paid staff are tasked with achieving.
The AW region is blessed with abundant (but shrinking) game bird hunting and angling resources and we aim to ensure that those resources are enshrined for our children, our children’s children and so on, in perpetuity.

We aim to set Auckland Waikato Fish and Game paid employees the following objectives:

1. To be at the forefront of the bridging of the relationship between rural land owners and the angler/hunter
2. To mend the relationship between AW and National F&G councils
3. To work with the rural land owners to offer guidance and encouragement to not only preserve wetland and recreational waterway resource, but also access to the resource. This will entail education and assistance, rather than continued negative publicity.
4. To become an organisation that undertakes (or pays other institutions to undertake) research with regard to population trends amongst our fish and game bird resource within the region. Only with research can informed decisions be made as to bag limit setting (applies to both fish and game birds). Thus our intention is to sustainably grow and harvest the game resource.
5. To move towards a more educational focus, with greater communication with license holders. Only by communicating F&G’s vision and strategy can plans be put in place to tackle issues and individual objectives. Education of individual license holders will increase the overall knowledge of not only WHAT F&G is, but HOW F&G best works for them.
6. To increase revenue generation. This is to be done through increasing sales of licenses (rather than simply raising license prices), encouraging recruitment of new participants (junior or otherwise) to our sports while retaining our current existing license holders, and through selling of consultancy services to the areas of the community that stand to benefit from the skills of our expert staff.
By achieving our stated objectives within a 3 year period, AW F&G will be well placed to further the organisation's ability to consult, educate, organise and generate additional income streams.

Why your vote is important to them:

"As both a group and individuals, our team members are passionate about our sports and what they mean to us. Each of us recognise that we have an ongoing commitment and responsibility to our outdoor angling and game bird hunting pursuits, and that recognition has brought us together. Our backgrounds and professional skills are diverse, however we share a united vision of the future and will use our skills to best serve the resource, and in turn the hunters and anglers who enjoy using the resource".
How you can help them:

"We know that kiwis embrace an attitude of “she’ll be right mate”. That’s what makes us kiwis! But the fact is, that unless you vote in the election, and encourage your hunting and angling mates to as well, you can expect another 3 years of the same as what you are currently getting. Now for some of you, what you are currently getting may in your view be perfectly adequate – but we need you to think outside of your own circumstances to those who are not so fortunate. For every license that is not renewed, that’s one more ally that your sport has lost".

D Day

Tomorrow the elections begin. By now we will know who we are up against in each ward. I shall place my candidate profile on-line, and i shall behave like a good boy so no one can throw me out of the election for breach of regs. I have every reason to believe that the current crop would... but we've been oh so careful with our approach to the election, even to the point of having the Returning Officer verify what we can and can't do. And it turns out that we've been a bit, shall we say... cautious in our approach. So we'll open fire tomorrow and see what happens when smoke clears a bit.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

God help us

The NZ Fish and Game model is unique in the world, in that license holders make up councils, that drive the direction of the paid staff, set rules and regulations and ensure that F&G sticks to its statutory obligations. In theory anyway - but the system is easily corrupted. Self interest, commercial gain... all the vices that humans are succeptible can rear their heads within any group of people. Which is why, I guess, each region has 12 councillors.

So, it was staggering at yesterday's meeting to witness the council members present unanimously vote to close F&G lands too all but the pond holders ion those blocks for the first 9 days of the duck season. The value of the blocks is over a million bucks, paid for - and this is the critical point - with money taken from license holders, or more accurately, paid for via the license revenue take. In other words, everyone who bought a license of any sort in NZ (game bird or fishing), and who is a shareholder in those blocks, just got told "no, you can't go on the land that you bought".

2 of the councillors driving this 'initiative' happen to shoot on those blocks. So they just got paid for exclusive shooting priviliges - these are the same councillors who fought tooth and nail to keep upland game preserves out of Auckland Waikato under section 23 of the Wildlife Act - because they are perceived to be paid, exclusive hunting. The conflict of interest is staggering, as is the lack of foresight. I trust that the repercussions are that these councillors are voted out.

They should be, they just ripped us all off.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Opening Day Reports

TT rang to say that opening on Tarawera was legendary, with many, and big, fish caught. Milo texted to say he was heading over to Waikato spring creeks in search of clear water. Early season's not really my thing in terms of stream fishing, dark rainy days and skinny fish - well, let's just say the best is yet to come. One of Guy's mates got '50kg' of trout at Tarawera today - just another indication that it could be a bumper harvest there this season. I really should pull finger and chase a trout or 2, but quite frankly a skinny little early season trout is a poor comparison against a fat and fit Albie. When they start looking up and sipping their morning tea and lunch off the surface, well then its time to see to the spotty fish. Not long now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spring Weather

Spring weather is the curse of the trout angler, almost every opening day (Oct 1) is greeted with rain, wind and grey overcast skies. And this time its undone the albie expedition - at 7pm the prediction for Tauranga was 20kt Nthrly and 1m swell, that's just a bit too much weather for a comfortable day. This morning irts a different story - 15kt but still a decent swell. So mission goes on back burner, thems the breaks. Work now owes me a day so that's nice to have up my sleeve. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Big albacore

3 years ago Nikolaj rang and told me to get my ass down to Tauranga - pronto! The big albies were smashing bait on the surface - 'foaming' as the yanks call it - and one of his clients cast 10 feet, hooked into a beast and 40 minutes later landed a 21kg horse on the 12 weight. Nik got on the phone that night and implored me to get down there - work got in the way, I didn't go, the Capt De Souza steamed in, set a net round the big albie concentration and POOF that was it. The chance for a real horse - gone. Yeah we've got onto the albies since - but definitely not the horse sized ones we really want.
Nik rang me today - almost 3 years to the day and the fish are back, the BIG albies we want. So we're off all going well, on Tuesday. The fish are deep so I'll tie some heavy weight flies to just get down there fast. 20M is hard to get at with a fly when you're drifting fast, and there will be wind for sure. We may have a jigger on board, could be handy at getting fish up the water column, if he agrees to a hookless jig.
Now, to the planning part.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Politicking & Prados

First - politicking. What a difference having a network of good contacts makes. Our group's mandate includes mending broken relationships with the rural sector - and this means a big time smack bang schmooze up to lots of land owners, who control the means to access many of the resources that we hold so dear. Enlightenment. Inclusiveness. I'm not saying more, after all, the internet is an open forum, but watch this space. The power of networking will play out.

The Prado - impressions after a couple of weeks (the one in the piccie is someone elses):

1. Comfort. The seat is soft and not to my liking. The leg room is lacking, for such a big vehicle. So far, the Forester has it hands down.
2. Ride. Big tyres, big suspension, big knocks over speed bumps. Let's face it, the Forester with its road suspension eats the Prado.
3. Economy. I've been watching the fuel gauge like a hawk. So far I must admit its been quite good, especially as I've learned a smoother driving style. So far on track. Maybe even better than forester (doubt it)?
4. Cool features. No Cruise Control. (Go Forester!). Blue tooth phone thingy. Tick. MP3 player. Tick. Sun roof Tick! Tick! Tick!
5. Coolness. Look I don't care, anyone who wants to argue about coolness can stand in front while I test the bull bars!!!
6. Towing. No argument.

7. Interior space/room. Bizzarely, the Forester eats the Prado. With flush fold down seats, the subbie gave me a ton of room. I slept in the back a few times, something that's not looking likely with the Toyoyta.

Overall the Forester is/was a marvel of a car for its time. Pity that Subaru make their engine parts out of shit. I mean, after all these years of building battle ships (among other neat stuff), I would have thought that Fuji Heavy Industries would have their shit together in terms of bits that don't rust. Just goes to show. Toyota on the other hand, they make parts to last. Talk to any mechanic - or those guys down at the testing station, they would just smile when Marce's Corolla came in for its warrant. It failed once, a blown lamp and a small fray in a seat belt. That's what I'm talking about. Not that the forester ever failed in testing, its just that it began to cost an arm and a leg in repair bills - like over a grand a year in the past 2 years, not counting normal servicing.

Would I change back? Probably not. In fact, nah, definitely not. I think it will be a matter of getting used to the Prado. Everything is a bit more relaxed. More power and auto transmission means no frantic gear changing on hills and corners, which is where the 1980cc boxer (non turbo) Subaru motor fell down. Driving in peak traffic is a doddle. (Although I need to figure stopping distances. The subbie was particularly good in the braking arena).

Anyway, those are my impressions.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Swamp hut maintenance

33 years ago or thereabouts, the second (current) swamp hut was built. The original was burned down by a cockie who was pissed with my granpop for getting his free range grazing restricted. It was illegal anyways, but back then you could do what you liked to a far greater extent than today. Want to put in a dam? Fine, no RMA constraints then. The old guys in the party (Grand dad Foster, Dave Dudding, Brian Dudding, Dad, and David Dudding) decided on a pole structure to provide security, shelter and maximise the space available for building on. I remember quite well (I was 7) the construction zone, the hole boring, transportation of materials, the erection of the building... it was a great time to be a 7 year old. 33 years on and with various modifications in the between years, it was like the old hut sort of sighed, had a shake and said 'look fellahs, I need some work'.

So this year, we've replaced the guttering and just yesterday we got together to replace the rotten jammed windows and the floor by dad's bed. Rick reckoned we should have installed a slide so dad could roll out, slide down into his waders and be away.

Rick, Tom, Tim, Paul, Quinn and me made up the work party. The day got off to a great start as I suffered my first unintended Piako dip.
. Combination of Tom's motor not idling, the boat not only being in gear with hammer full down, but wheel turned right over... well when I pull started her motor it zapped into life, nose went up, tail down - were were off! I had no chance and went arse over into the drink. Anyway, a good days work wnd we got done what we'd hoped to, maybe even more. Oh yeah, venison chilli sausages and leg steaks for lunch - thanks Rick!

Should be good for another 33 years I reckon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boaaaaaarrrrr!!!!!!!!!!! (Part II)

Tim and Andrew took up Shanks's generous offer to partake in a King Country boar hunt. Given that I was away from the country I missed out, but I'm not jealous - honest! I'll get there sooner or later.

But the boys... well rthey scored big time, check out these hawgs! (Photos courtesy of either Andy, Tim or Shanks)

This photo is meant to depict Tim's big boar running off even though he was already dead. It seems that he just didn't know that you can't live without a heart, liver or decent chassis. I mean from what I got told it was busted up to all hell, so doing a runner tells me that they are as mean and adrenalin filled as I've been told.

And for the record, Tim deserved to get a big one beacuse he's put in lots of leg work this year.

Quality of service

Well it has been a while between drinks. A family holiday to the Gold Coast proved extremely relaxing, and a popular move especially with Rilee who not only hugged Wags the Dog, but took a ride in Magenta (a round-about ride sort of affair), her favourite Blues Clues character.
Yes, Dreamworld is the place to be. We saw Australia Zoo, rode on the Aquaduck (Rilee drove it), took in some shopping adventures... it was great.

Except for one teeny weenie thing.... the accommodation. The 4 Star listed Sunset island Resort should be renamed the 2 Star Sunset Island Rort. What a dive. First of all, we requested a downstairs apartment, especially with a toddler. instead we had 8 flights of stairs to contend with. Ok, so they were booked up, fair enough. The room was filthy. Hand prints on the walls, thick black dust in the light fittings, a half smoked cig butt in the cupboard. Cig butts floating in the swimming pool. One of the dining room chairs had a seat that wasn't fixed on. The couch/fold out bed was sprung - if you sat on it you were swallowed up by the couch and ended up sitting on various bars and springs. The bed was hard as rocks. As a Mediterranean styled resort it could be argued that Mediterranean folks like sleeping on rocks. I doubt it. Insert bread into toaster, depress handle - BOOF! Fuses blow. Light bulbs didn't work. Marce went to reception with a small list of the inadequacies of the place, they said "oh, we rely on our guests to tell us about stuff that is wrong, like blown light bulbs.."

While Rilee and I avoided floating cig butts in the swimming pool, the complex manager (hmm, he was pretty simple, but managed the complex - you know what I mean) visited Marce in the room with a huge bucket to catch the filth from the light fitting while he changed the lamps. No eye contact, no apologies nothing.

So if you happen to Google Sunset Island Resort, I hope that you read this blog and take heed - there are much better places for you to take your hard earned dollars.

And just so we get high up on the Google Search Engine:

Sunset Island Resort Gold Coast
Sunset Island Resort Gold Coast
Sunset Island Resort Gold Coast
Sunset Island Resort Gold Coast.....

I feel better.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Taking the pulse of the waterfowlers

Last night's meeting was very interesting. Over 100 (maybe 120?) concerned waterfowlers gathered in response to EPCM F&G Club's meeting, called to discuss concerns being raised and pushed by other ward clubs. Apparently Ohinemuri Club started the rumblings, which turned to rumours, which filtered through quite fast to main stream clubs and associations. The rumblings involved numbers of ducks being seen and harvested being much lower than in previous years in some areas.

In response, Councillor Williamson sort of made it his duty to crusade for shorter seasons, limited magazine capacity, less decoys... unfortunately his overbearing, arrogant and stupid nature caused everyone at the meeting offense - well at least the 99% of attendees who didn't agree with his views. In fact he labelled everyone who didn't see fit to agree with him as 'idiots'. Given that he reminds me of an oafish twat, I shall refer to him as OT from here.

Now dear reader, I'm not a particularly avid follower of politics, but the one thing that OT did manage, was to raise his profile in election year. If I believed he had anything resembling two brain cells to rub together, I may have marvelled at his cunningness and ingenuity. He reminds me of that other OT, Sue Bradford, she who has made a career of public disturbance, and more lately, social engineering.

The main difference being that she's impossible to get rid of under our crapola MMP political voting system. But OT on the other hand...... remember, we have an election coming up.

And what do the waterfowler's think? Well, they think that being labelled 'idiots' for having their own free wills and ideas isn't a good thing. A bunch of different points of views and ideas were promoted and discussed. However the real outcome was that a survey based on OT's views was circulated. Apparently the majority view will prevail as the recommendations promoted by EPCM F&G Club to AWF&G council.

Let us see.

Oh and on the pulse check.... the demographic at last night's meeting was alarming. 2 of ~120 attendees were under 20. 80% were over 40. Now I admit it was a school night, but even so to this observer it didn't look too fresh faced a crowd.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

EPCM F&G meeting

Sitting at work killing time before I take off to this meeting. Essentially there's a bunch of old farts, including a current F&G councillor, who are talking about lobbying for reduced bag limits (ducks), reduction of season length, and restriction of number of shots. Their motivation is driven by the fact that they no longer can harvest birds in 'their' swamp in the numbers that they did 'in the good old days'.

Why we ask ourselves? Could it be less ducks this year after harsh breeding conditions the past 2 seasons? Or could it be that our ducks are these days being served up great wholesome meals of maize silage, moozlie and other easy to get at pickings on dairy farms. Let's face it, go to your local pond now and there's no scarcity of ducks at all. Well maybe the hens are noticeably absent, but that's because they're barefoot and pregnant, sitting on their nests. The other day at Chelsea sugar works there were something like 40 mallard drakes, 1 hen and a few greys eating the bread that Rilee was serving up (oh, and a big fark-off eel).

So let's go and see we'll be competing against at the election. This could be a laugh, but it also pays to know your competition.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dickie's turkey shoot

Dickie sent a PM to invite us out on his big turkey shoot. Damn, it's on Sunday; and me and the famdamily are going to be heading away on holiday. I've been looking forward to this shoot, so maybe next year I can get away. Leaving it until later in the year is flirting with bug tainted flesh, so its Sep or nothing.
Hopefully Tim can swing it, so that King Xiphias and The Evil Minion are represented.
Oh yeah and the money went through for the Prado last night.
I could run over lots of turkeys in my Prado and not even notice.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Beater's Shoot

Got the details in from Andy this morning. I did edit the details a weeny bit.

"11 for the day, one of the young English lads shot a Canada, it was coming into Aswan and they were standing on the dam, he was using a semi (ummmumumumumummmmmm naughty….). Teal retrieved it to the bank but couldn’t get it through the rushes so Mason helped out. I think there were 8 guns including Guy and Jono, The English crowd, Paul, Kevin, Aleisha. 8 Dogs, Teal, Cass, Class, Mason, Visla (lola?), Indy, Bear and Bibby."

Sounnds like a great little informal shoot, lots of dogs! Would've been great to see all the hounds in action.

Edit: Andrew just sent me this photo of "Beater's Day".

Caption Contest is now open :D

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last day

And today of course is the end of the pheasant season. Yesterday Andy shot at Lakelands and reported a few birds - but they were wary. MEB got a final rooster up north as well, he's very chuffed with his new sport. :)

The pheasant bug couldn't have bitten a nicer guy.

Tim's having pheasant for dinner, a bacon wrapped concoction. I have some fallow. Life is pretty good!

Not stopping there...

'Weedless' flies are designed so that you can fish them in snaggy water and escape the inevitable bust offs that happen when you hook a snag. The 'Bendback' is s tyle of fly rather than a pattern, and it rides hook point up. With weight added along the shank (lead wire in the tie) the hook is indeed guaranteed to ride point up.

The thing about so many of our desireable salt water species, is that they hang out in kelp, around rocks and in generally shitty places for catching them. The ones in fly-rod range that is.

Using a lot of chartreuse makes sense in fly design, its one of the last colours to 'disappear' under water (red is the first). A few embellishments and bingo, we have a contender for a weedless snapper fly.