Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday morning fish

Met Tim at Okahu Bay just after 8. Weather was primo, about as flat as it could possibly get. We set off for Waiheke to look at some foul... semed that others had the same plan so we left them in peace and wandered over to David Rocks to chuck some bait and plastic. Nothing home so over to Takapu Rock... nope, nothing at all there. At 12 we picked up and headed off, really nothing showing on the sounder. Seemed that Ahaahas was place to be, there would have been 15 boats anchored all over them.... one thing about that place is that if you have it to yourself it can be magic, but as soon as the next boat turns up, she's normally all over as the fish escape back out into the depths. Beaut day but everyone reported the same thing - hard fishing or no fish at all.

55.1 Km round trip... almost used a tank. Had the tote aboard so thats another 40 odd km. Now, where can I go with 90kms worth of gas in a smallish boat......................?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Secret subtle message

Not sure what Andy H is trying to say.

Cryptic, hmmmm, may have to go and see what those big signs mean.

A Good bastard

On Friday night I went and met a good bastard. A bloke from an internet forum, who graciously offerred to show me his estuary duck boat set up. He ran me through his rig and it all makes sense... everything set up according to his needs. We talked everything from boats to deer hunting - which he happens to be very good at, and which I happen to suck at - and then when I was leaving he gave me a whole bunch of not quite export quality but expensive none the less orchids for me to give to swmbo.

I've met lots of good bastards through the internet, add another to the list.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Booger at Sea

Me and TT took The Booger out today for a sea trial to the Noises. We ran all the way to his spot at full noise and got pretty wet. Fishing was hard and we only boated some smallish snaps. Coming home took a while longer as the breeze had got up. Nice to be out.  Some things I still have to shake down - rod holders and a bait board. Fish finder worked fine.

Round trip is about 42 Km and she used about 18 litres of fuel. Not too bad. I think I can trim her a little better too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Addressing the Nth Shore Fly Fishers Club

Did a speaking gig last night at North Shore Fly Fishers Club with Darryl Reardon, another of the AW F&G councillors. 30 members came on a freezing night. Rather a good turn out under the circumstances.

I don’t view myself as a political animal at all; but somehow my discussion topic about the arrangement of F&G became an impassioned discussion. I suppose that I’m not surprised really, but the disconnect between ‘shareholders and their company’ (anglers and F&G) was certainly highlighted.

Hopefully some good came out of it, I expect that the club will become a F&G User Group and begin to ask for and share more information. In return I expect to become slightly financially lighter as a result of joining the club!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Phooooaaarrrrr - what a cast

Check this out, Rene Vaz is a STANIC and FFF certified casting instructor. Check out this shot for a good wee biff.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

More work on The Booger

Got the transducer for the fish finder installed today. Drilling holes in your baby is pretty nerve wracking, but anyway it all came together fine. Not much to do now, just the blind to finish up and some rod holders to go in.


Ok ok so I promised an epic, but if you're expecting piles of venison and hog ribs then its time to put that one to bed!

Tangahoe is a station west of Retaruke, run by a wild eyed ex horse trainer bloke, and pokes its bald head up out of a magnificent surrounding of heavy native bush. Its eastern edge is bordered by the Wanganui (no farkin H there) River. Given that grass actually "grows" there its no surprise that deer find the place quite appealing. Even though its a working farm (sheep & beef), I'd rate it as a pretty hard farming venture.

My adventure started at Whenuapai air base where I handed over my driver license in return for a pass to enter the base. I met Chris, my flying buddy (lucky he's a pilot huh?) and we packed our stuff into his plane and took off.

We took off and headed up to Nth Shore aerodrome to refuel.

After gassing up we headed south via Manukau Heads. Being quite a good wing shot, I felt qualified to hold the steering wheel and make brrmmm brrrmmm noises. I did quite a bit of that, from Port Waikato to past Te Kuiti. We arrived at Taumarunui and Chris brought us in. (can't embed the video - too big).

We unloaded Chris's plane, put the covers on and 10 minutes later our bush pilot arrived. We packed our gear into his Cessna 206 and were on our way. The flight was over some stunning countryside, and 18 minutes later we approached the station.

And we landed just like that on a strip more akin to a goat track on a 20 degree slope. Hairy, but not so bad on a fine day.

This is the sight that greeted us - taken from front deck of the homestead:

We got settled and went down to sight in the rifles. I put 3 bullets through the same hole at 80m - just one problem, I was aiming at a black target top right of the patterning sheet and the bullets were going through the top left! Right in the middle mind you...

We all set off for an afternoon hunt, Luke and Chris going down a big valley from the lip of which we'd seen 3 fallow grazing. Me and Si headed to a set of clearings, where Si put me onto the "Hinau Flat". Only a nanny and a mini goat were at home, so I got back up to Si and we moved slowly around some more clearings. Finally we spotted a fallow but he winded us immediately and was gone. We made our way back under a setting sun for a meal of some devilish concoction that Simon had made earlier. A blind beer tasting session and an introduction to Mexicali Dice (or something like that), a fantastic game. The beer tasting session went well. I recognised Lion red and scored it 100/100 - those long gone days as Shadows, the Ak Uni bar have stayed with me.

Friday dawned fine but foggy. Si and I hunted together for the morning, spending a heap of time covering the ground slowly in the fog. After a few hours and on the flat that we'd spotted our deer on the day before, I spied a fallow in the fog. I crawled closer and closer but even though I could see it with my bare eyes, I simply couldn't scope it. (Later I was shown that the scope was wound up to 12x... a bit of an amateur error). I decided to sidle round but spooked a mob of goats that I'd not seen earlier and the deer was gone.... We carried on and then a shot rolled out of the fog, then another. Si radioed up the boys and Chris had scored a nice spiker.

The boys made it into a back pack and lugged it back to base

Si and me parted ways and I headed back to Hinau for a look. A good billy was holding a mob. My shot hit him in the mind, quite nifty from 80m I thought! Given that wild-eyed Dave had said not to shoot goats, I dragged him way way back in the bush. Not sure why no goats allowed, since we'd seen at least 2 dozen dead ones around the place over the past couple of days. Luke helped Dave pump out a bunch of venison salamis in the afternoon, into the smoker they went.

We had a wee nana nap in the afternoon before Luke spotted 3 deer through the spotting scope, on a clearing that Si and I had hunted the day before. Me and Chris packed our stuff and headed down for a stalk. We had everything in our favour but the deer had fed on in the 40 minutes it took to get there. We decided to sit and wait at the clearing where I'd had my stalk interrupted by goats, but nothing showed. We got back to base on dusk. Another few games of Mexi Dice and then Dave took Chris spotlighting for a pig. Within 5 minutes we heard the boom of a rifle and a nice hog was in the bag. They continued on their way but despite spotting numerous pigs they only took the one.
Saturday dawned clear and fine. I got up and me and Luke headed down to check out some flats. We soon spotted a nice red hind grazing, and planned our stalk. 30 minutes later we were within 100m. The deer had fed towards cover but I could see her clearly enough. Luke wanted to stalk in closer so we did. We got wayyy closer but I couldn't see her at all when suddenly our wind hit her nose. She upped and ran and Luke told me to shoot. I got her in the scope, swung through and fired and a cloud of hair blew out. We moved down into her escape gully where Luke asked me if I'd seen the other deer with her.... umm nope. We searched for about 60 minutes but no blood at all, just that cloud of hair... so we came to the conclusion that I'd undercooked the shot and taken a patch off her bum. I genuinely wish that I'd not fired, but given the lack of blood I'm convinced that she's not wounded. Convinced maybe isn't the right word because there's a nagging doubt...

We covered quite a bit of ground before getting back to base where the cloud was rapidly closing in. We knew that we were not going to be able to fly out any time soon. Chris the bush pilot confirmed that Taupo was blanketed and he wasn't going to be able to get off the ground. Dave gave us a bit of news - if we got our gear together and ourselves down to the river, one of his rellies would give us a jet boat ride out. Si arranged a mini van to get us back to his car in Taupo. We quickly got our crap together and headed off down a precipitous track down to the river. It was quite a neat walk. Somehow Dave had years ago got a bulldozer up the track - with which he had created the "air strip" among other scrapings & tracks. We arrived at the bank in a gorge down the river.

It was cool down there. Cold more like it so we got extra layers of clothes on and waited for a jet boat. And waited. Set up eeling line. Waited some more. Luckily Luke was there to entertain us.

Finally our ride arrived. We had what I would rate as a "Must Do" ride down river to Pipiriki, stopping for a River Burger and milkshake before our hosts piled us into the mini van for a drive encompassing Raetihi, National Park, Turangi and then finally to Si's car in Taupo. Getting 4 bods and all our gear in was fun - especially since Luke's 10 pointer from a previous trip dominated the back seat. But manage we did. It was 6pm now. Now as Si's wife is Russian and given her taste in music, we had 90 minutes of sheer musical terror before finally, the rugby started. At about 9.50 we arrived at Simon's for a coffee, then Luke drove me to Whenuapi to get my car. I finally got home by 11.

Now that was what I call an adventure. I can't express enough thanks to Simon (Aunty), Luke (Cowboy) and Chris Patterson. May the hunting gods smile on their smelly socks forever.

Some video and photos are courtesy of Luke Robertson.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flymage magazine

I do have a pretty solid epic story to come, about the trip to Tangahoe Station that Aunty took me on. But it takes time to post and I don't have much time.

Anyhow, check this out: Flymage magazine who are celebrating 1 year on online publishing. There's some magic work in this one.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trout blamed for damaging water quality

More dredging of the bottom of the barrel by Lachlan McKenzie of Fed Farmers. Ok so the article is 3 weeks old, making me slow on the uptake. It is plain that Mr. McKenzie is barking mad, or evilly cunning. This sort of obfuscation must be the highlight of his year in that he has tried to draw attention away from what he obviously knew was coming - NPS

More later.