Friday, October 29, 2010

New World Record

News filtered through yesterday that Nik put his Aussie (grrr hahaha) client onto a 37kg kingi, which they landed - and get this on an 8kg class leader. That's outstanding, easily the biggest kingi ever caught on a fly rod, plus most people after big kings wouldn't even dream of fishing class tippets. And the 8kg class to boot. For those who don't know, the IGFA lines classes for fly fishing are:

Metric U.S.Equivalent
1 kg 2.20 lb

2 kg 4.40 lb

3 kg 6.61 lb

4 kg 8.81 lb

6 kg 13.22 lb

8 kg 17.63 lb

10 kg 22.04 lb

So this is more than just a meritorious catch, if ratified. Ratification involves weighing the fish on certified scales, and then providing photos, the official weigh cert., the leader/fly setup and a few feet of fly line to the International Game Fishing Association where they test the leader for length/construction and the class section of the leader for breaking strain.

Nik does it all by the book, so most likely this herculean effort will dominate the record books, perhaps forever. Even better and as a mark of his skills, his prediction was that the WR kingi would be taken in October based on their spawning cycle, relative 'mood' (let's not get into a debate, he has his theories and this one is borne out) and location. The thing to remember here is that its a team effort, yes the angler has to hook play and bring the fish close enough to gaff or net, but putting the angler in the right place to get his part right, well that takes some doing.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mudding one's blind

My internet deal layout blind arrived this week God bless the AU$ for dragging the kiwi up against the Greenback; internet deals are better than they've been for a couple of years. Got the blind set up and it was immediately inhabited by the Justin Beiber fan club.

So it was an immediate hit. Even SWMBO ignored us as we were having fun. But here's the thing about deals - you don't alweays get quite what you would have bought if you were not bargain hunting. Check out the camo - its Avery Killerweed which seems to represent sun burned corn stalks. It's pretty bright. It's horribly bright. The instructions recommend "mudding your blind". A quick internet nosey turned this up.

Oh yeah, mud soup, and its JB Fan Club's birthday, a match made in heaven you'd think. Except JB Fan Club has inherited her mum's clean freak genes. So it's my mud fest.

Into the bucket goes the mix and hey presto we get this:

So as you can see the difference, here's a bit of mudded and unmudded blind:

Next step is to let it dry and broom off the dry stuff. As one sage person noted, you pay up the $100 extra for the name brand camo pattern and then put mud on it until it looks khaki... why not just buy the khaki one in the first place?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Saltie guide in the fresh

Sounds kinky... but nah, Nik and Si were thwarted by persistent southerlies so embarked on a troutie mission.

Here's his 3 weight victim. The fish is the victim. Just to clarify.

8 good old fashioned pounds with a 3 weight is a good effort. (Those lighter rods, in my opinion, are better suited to slower actions. I've an 8'6" Sage XP in 4 weight and its not a great rod. Put simply once the tip folds its a stiff stick with not much give and I've bounced the odd fish off).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tying with wire

I got these beaut new "Lucent" tungsten beads on the weekend. The motivation was that I lost most of the flies from the's member's forum "FlySwap - The Bling Bling Swap". A flyswap is quite a cool notion. You enter your name, there's a limit of up to 15 tiers, and if you're in you tie the same pattern of fly for each of the 15. Oh yeah, and a few extras for the bloke/blokess who handles the swap, coordinates it, photographs the flies, sorts and dispatches the final set out to the participants.

On the day (opening) "Bling-Bling" seemed very apt for the conditions. I wanted flies that the fish could see, and that carried enough weight. (Shoulda used a glo bug and a chunk of split shot like Milo did). Anyway, Jack Kos' fly was one that got away from me, hooked in a tree, or on a snag I, can't remember which.

I liked the effect of the wire on the abdomen, in this case a green/red combination. The legs and hairy thorax are good triggers too, but I felt it could be enhanced with a bead, and a bit of Masterbrite (type that into your spell checker and see what you get.... ok I'm not the first person to make that joke but still).

I ended up tying up some pretty weird stuff. I dropped the tail off, got a Partridge "Klinkhamer" hook as the base (beautiful hook but the sizes are like no other manufacturers sizes so my size 16 and 14 order arrived looking likes 10's & 8's). The central theme in each case was the wire abdomen. This style of tie is as old as the hills; flies like the Brassie have been around forever. I tied one of those when I was 11 or 12, and thought I'd invented a new fly.... then of course there's the very famous Copper John series from John Barr, etc etc. Like I said, nothing is new.

The beauty of these flies is:

1. Construction is slim and heavy - they beat surface film and water tension and sink well
2. Construction is heavy duty, they stand up well to trout teeth
3. The are visible
4. They are easy to manufacture (relatively)

Copper Johns

Anyway, it was a good exercise in refilling my depleted fly box. Hope the fish appreciate it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Canadian Hunting & Fishing

I'm sort of in limbo at the moment, no major missions planned until Dec. But anyway, more hunting tales from dad who is in a big big country:

"Saturday morning, Bill and I got up at 3-30am to go on a goose hunt with a friend of his called Norm Palmer. We arrived at Norm's place at about 4-30 and hooked up his trailer and headed off into the dark for a place Norm had only briefly seen a few days before. Ater a long drive and a bit of tiki touring we finally arrived and set up at his chosen spot. It took about an hour to set out the 40 or so goose decoys, which were in perfect condition and then set up a round hay bale hide for Bill and myself and a layout blind for Norm. A brisk and rather cool northerly was blowing and Norm's mobile wind operated decoys looked great. We settled down and waited for it to get light and Bill and I saw that we'd been staked out on a huge lawn with two small lakes nearby and a very large and expensive house only about 100mts away. About a dozen flights of a hundred geese or more passed over head, heading south, honking and talking to each other. It was quite spectacular. Only one small group of about 7 birds flew past about 150mts away and that was as close as any came to us".

Imagine seeing 1,200 geese go by. Man that would be worth watching.

Now the fishing bit:

"In the afternoon, Bill and I went fishing on the lake without any luck. The trees had already started losing their leaves and the colours were also changing and a cold northerly was still blowing. I really enjoyed it out there on the water.

On Sunday morning, Bill and I went out again, this time to the southern end of the lake. We fished around a large island called Providence Island for small mouth bass and I managed to catch a little one about 12 inches long. They're a lovely looking fish, with green flanks and a bronzie coloured back and they put up quite a fight for the size taht they are. The island is owned by a Canadian company and they have driven pheasant shooting on it. There was a shoot on while we were there. How it really went, we've no idea as the island shore is wooded. We did see a couple of cock birds sneaking along the lake edge and there was no one in sight."

Sounds like there's plenty to get up to in Canuk land.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Duck hunting in Canada

Mum & dad are in Canada doing a trip of a lifetime, in fact they've been there about a month already and are due to fly home tomorrow. Dad and his brother, my uncle Bill, have spent a bit of time hunting waterfowl Canada style.

Some comments regarding how they do it:

"Duck shooting Canadian style is quite different from how we do it in NZ. They're allowed to shoot ducks on the water over here which I refused to do. All my ducks were taken on the wing after Bill and Dave had water shot. Also, Bill had said that they don't use duck calls over here and hope that the birds will decoy.I didn't use the call the 1st morning in deference to their wishes, but for the evening shoot I saw a flight of what looked like mallards 700-800 mts out over the lake and got to work on them. Much to Dave's and Bill's great supprise I decoyed them into the blocks 15mts from the hide. They took one each on the water and i got the last bird on the rise. They turned out to be black ducks which made the display even more special as far as the two of them were concerned. The next morning I did the same with 3 lots of mallards as well as a flight of blue bills. Why they should have responded to my calling, I don't know ,as their call is a burring sound. Anyway, later that morning, some other hunters paddled by and asked who the guying calling was and congratulated me after being told by Bill that I was a visiting NZer".

Sounds like its a pretty relaxed low intensity style of hunting. Given that (generalisation coming up) Canada one of the great homes of waterfowl in the world, I would have expected something a bit more full on. Anyway, they were going to go out after Canada Geese at some stage. I wonder how they got on?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nik's season is underway

What's a saltie guide do when faced with 20 kt southerlies when his mate is coming up from Dunedin? Looks for freshie options. I'm jealous, they have 4 or 5 days chasing spottie mud fish on the East Cape region.

On the other hand, here's what the weather is forcing them to miss:

20 odd kg of kingi on fly. Yeah.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Walking Access Commission

In case you've not tried the mapping system, have a look here:

You'll need to register to have a play with the BETA version. It's quite good... except... I reckon that lots of land owners who always thought some sort of right of way such as Queen's Chain existed on their property, may suddenly realise that it doesn't. Will attitudes towards recreational users change as a result? I guess we wait and see....

Opening day

Ok, I've had time to lick my wounds, but I'm not quite ready to look at the dilapidated state of my fly box just yet. Met up with Milo at the appointed time and place, stuck my head over the bank and sheesh, the best bet of them all was running high & murky. Stikll, we popped in and said hi to the land owner before nipping down the confluence and fishing our way up. Milo with a big pink glo bug, me with a more sedate mix of hot bead UV inveigled nymphs. Nothing bit in the first run, or second, nor third... in fact nothing bit in the whole beat. I caught trees, rocks, snags and lost a bunch of flies. All with an outward good grace that I really wasn't feeling. We upped sticks and bolted over the hill to another spring creek, in similar order. Milo redeemed himself in the lower reaches, a skinny rainbow munching his glo bug. I lost a peewhacker. And a bunch of flies, fark I was out of practice.... we moved upstream and stopped in to see the farmer before hitting some better reaches. The water was clearing fast and the rain had stopped. Things were looking up.... we fished some holding water that had coughed up fish so many times in the past. By now we were fishing apart, leap-frog style... and still wondering where the pet fish were. Coming to a farm track I looked up as a bloke on a mule came across the stream above me. He had a sour look on his face and asked what I was doing on his land, and who had given permssion. I told I was fishing, was on Queen';s Chain and stuck out my hand. Told him that the bloke downstream had given permission to access the water, but this guy was having a bad day and asked me to head back from where I'd come. We parted ways and I wandered up to find Milo. As I told him about the exchange I'd had, he hooked into a nice 'bow and played it ashore. He was pretty pissed, in 15 years of fishing this water it was the first negative we'd ever had. So we moved back down to talk with the guy who had given us permission and his advice was to "tell the prick to f*ck off!". Probably not the best move really. I had to hit the road so Milo sought out Mr. Grumpy and set him straight on who had right of way. Some semblance of an agreement was reached for future occassions. Ok outcome I suppose.

The day really did remind me of past high water rain sodden openings. Roll on summer when the flies hatch, the fish sip from the surface... and my casting is up to scratch! At least Milo caught fish.


I'm not cooler than Justin Beiber. My daughter has changed her mind. Stoopid child.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Goose problems

The problem with geese is that they provide a focal point to polarize people. Last week I had a conversation with a guy up north (far north) who has taken to laying into the geese with a .308. I opined that shooting at geese in paddocks showed a complete disregard for safety; however he was quick to point out that:

1. He's in the arse end of nowhere, on his own land and knows who is there (no one)
2. He's sharing his own land and his spring grass, with 350 ravenous parries and 150 geese
3. F&G's gas guns scare geese for approx 2 days, after which they ignore them.
4. He hasn't got time, or money, to go about trying to move geese on with dispersal methods more agreeable to the average sportsman.

You have to feel sympathy for a guy who is watching his livelihood get turned into goose and parrie shit. The goose is divisive, isn't it?

What do you get for $360,000?

$360k could buy you many things. F&G's Eastern Whangamarino block has swallowed that much already, with only 3 ponds and the car park completed. The next round of funding from Waikato Catchment Ecological Enhancement Trust (WCEET is due to be contested soon. With 16 ponds and a car park area to be funded, there is a feeling of being on the knife edge - if funding is not forthcoming we're pretty stuck. I say "we" because like it or not, any enduring or legacy business from old council is now ours.

Here's a link to progress

I'm not against this type of project at all, and in fact congratulate councilor Cocks and ex councilor Williamson on their resolute and unwavering ambition to get this done. I really hope that mistakes of the past have been learned from. Stuffing ponds in for the sake of stuffing ponds in, in turn stuffs the ducks. A gun per 3-4 hectares = bye bye ducks.

But, I really am feeling a bit mystified about where the funds have gone. For $1,800 we (our party) got a day's machine & driver time. By my calcs that would be 200 working days under the WCEET funding. 200 working days is more than 3 ponds worth. Ok, gotta acknowledge the crushing and clearing that happens prior to a sod being turned... but still, I'm uneasy with the dollar amount expended for the return.

If we follow the normal model of cost recovery at pond ballot time, then shooters winning the ballot ought to be ready to shell out (to date) $22,500 per pond. But whoops, there's more to come. I know I'm being glib, it is after all granted monies. But still this is worth more than a passing thought.