Hi guys,

Finally things seem to have got back to normal and this week reminded me of many good times in recent years of guiding . We have had some pretty shitty weather over the past few months with rain, wind etc but this week stayed settled enough and I had some awesome clients to explore some water I have not looked at for quite sometime. Four days this week I guided Raff, Dom and Roman from Switzerland and lets just say the Swiss can fish. I have been itching to get into the backcountry with some strong clients which can fish for a wee while and wanted to beat the Christmas rush and New Years craziness so I grabbed these guys with both hands. I always see a difference in the fisheries over this period from pressure and they don’t return to great fishing till February in same cases.

Our first day we caught over 20 fish of various sizes in a small backcountry river, I was so happy and loving the day which pushed me for an early start the next day. All fish were moving well in pools and responding well to well placed nymphs under a small indicator. Levels were still a little high but things were clear and there was not a pool where we didn’t hook up or miss a trout in someway. So happy to be guiding on days like this client satisfaction means so much and seeing these guys bonding and enjoying the day was awesome. All I heard all day was how big NZ fish were , Swiss are only generally catching stocked trout under a pound.

The following day we fished in a similar area and once again was into the first trout in just a few casts. Much of this luck was put down to the effort we put in to getting to those places most would not try, we saw no foot prints on these two days and no anglers in four days. I felt like we were fishing virgin water and it was nice to know that when we spotted a trout it should react in a positive way if we made no mistakes. Of course we made plenty of mistakes and missed some of the best browns we saw but that’s fishing and we are wiser for next time. Although we had clear conditions the wind at times was a bit nasty and it made for casting between gusts as not to have it land in a heap. The bigger water opened these anglers to new skills and learnt how to read wider water, fish generally will only sit in a certain area of any given pool. Today we caught about 15 or so which were all in great condition including Raff’s best brown which was rewarding. In the back of my mind we still needed a brown on the dry for them so I kept my eyes out for all opportunities.

Another long drive with two stops for coffee saw us again arrive at a river which is very public but again free of any anglers , suprizing given it was a nice day and a Sunday. I am told that in Switzerland it would not be unusual to run into 30 anglers a day on any river, NZ can be quite special like that. NZ fisheries could not handle that pressure from fisherman especially with the degree of management which is carried out here. Switzerland is another country like many others with tough fishing rules and a good stocking program, still …….fish are small due to pressure and food source.  Fly fishing encourages many tourists for NZ , we loose sight of how special we actually have it here almost taking things for granted !. Again Dom hooked up on first cast and lost a brown at the net and to be honest it was the last fish we saw till nearly lunchtime!! It was certainly a slower day but I think we pulled up stumps with 6 or so good sized fish and yes Raff got that brown on a dry which slurped a Adams from the foam line in the tail of the pool.

Still….the lake continues to produce fish to all which slip the boat in. I took these guys out for a few hours one evening and had good luck while jigging smelt patterns. All fish were in nice condition, some were not huge but still hard fighting and plenty of them. Summer will be great on the lake and most fisherman should do well with all methods. Since taking these guys I have been in the upper reaches of the Whanganui, all the way to Napier and fished locally so will leave that stuff for next time, its all good.!!!

Tight lines

Andrew