Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Field Testing:


It usually takes me weeks to psyche myself up for a long drive south as frequent congestion makes our roads painfully slow these days.  So when I eventually got my reluctant backside into gear the plan was to kill several birds with one stone.  Fulling Mill have been banging on at me for a while now to pay them a visit and update our existing range of flies.  Better still, technical manger Steve Carew and I decided a spot of field testing might be an idea, just to be sure the latest patterns still worked!  So following the usual mundane office stuff, we hit a nearby chalkstream.


                           ~Steve Carew finds success with a potential new pattern~










Friday, 24 February 2012

Day of days:


~Mat McHugh displays what’s on offer in the land of the long white cloud~


Once in a while (and I mean a while) a day comes along that pretty much blows everything else out of the water.  Fly Odyssey’s Mat McHugh followed his nose to a remote backcountry stream that according to many didn’t seem too promising.  However, always up for a punt, we decided to check it out.  Four of us split into two groups, one going upstream the other down.  The first couple of hours passed without incident, in fact, we were thinking of canning it when bingo…things began to happen.  What followed was something I doubt any of us will experience ever again.  Capturing one 8lb plus trout in a day is an achievement, but eight of them (including a trophy of 10lb 4oz for Dormer) is nothing short of extraordinary.  And that wasn’t counting a number of six or seven pounders either!  Struggling to come to terms with this incredible event a few cool beers helped us reflect.  One thing’s for certain, we have the place firmly etched in our brains and plan a return visit in 2013.  Anyone who things they can handle such an adrenalin rush should contact Mat quickly:


~Spots like a leopard with the shoulders of a buffalo this brute pulled my arm off~



~Birthday boy Dormer couldn’t have wished for more than this animal~


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Terminal Tackle:


Chasing big trout requires more than a bit of luck and good judgement there’s a need to have total faith in terminal tackle if you’re to consistently land fish.  Supple with abrasion resistant qualities I found Orvis Superstrong in 4X (6.2lb) and 3X (8.5lb) outstanding.  This might sound heavy duty tippet by our standards, but believe me it was more than warranted… 







Equally, to prevent trout from reaching their preferred bolt holes, strong hooks are necessary.  For my money they don’t come any better than the Fulling Mill competition heavyweight and super heavyweight grub models which helped me lever many a solid trout out of a tight spot.  Tried and thoroughly tested, not a single one opened out…


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Birthday Boy:


I’ve fished with Dormer Treffry before, but couldn’t think of any better place than NZ on his birthday.  Dormer had hummed and hawed for a while whether or not to make the long trip this year.  And following a slap up meal topped off with a slice of cake, I’m sure he thought it worthwhile as guides and close friends sat down to a wee dram or three…  Admittedly, we hit the ale a little too hard, so heaven knows how we managed to drag our sorry backsides out of bed at 6am the next morning?



Friday, 17 February 2012

Where’s the sun?


Surrounded by oceans a  maritime weather dominates New Zealand’s climate.  This might be likened to our own weather back home because conditions always seem changeable.  With that forecasters have trouble predicting certain lows, highs and fronts.  Sadly, those sunny days they promised have yet to materialise.  So with more gloomy conditions on the horizons we headed for smaller streams in a bid of sighting a few trout.  Thankfully, calm conditions helped and we managed to target a handful of good sized trout. 


~This stunner brightened up a damp, dull day by latching onto my dry fly~


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Persistent Cloud….argh:


A blanket of heavy, persistent cloud decided to park itself over us during the last few days.  With a molten lead sky reflecting off the water sight fishing has pretty much come to a halt.  Apparently, forecasters predict an improvement so fingers crossed there’s a heap of blue sky heading our way.  We eagerly await with bated breath!


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Searching out livestock:


New Zealand is famous for its wool trade, gathered from the famous merino sheep.  One knock on effect of these vast flocks is the number of blowflies and bluebottles they attract.  In turn these nuisance flies end up getting scattered on to nearby water, presenting hungry trout with a protein packed snack.  We found a few streams where trout were clearly locked onto the naturals.  Using an appropriate imitation in such circumstances often means fishing can be nothing short of spectacular.   Paul~

NZ Day Five (27th) 017







~Easy prey, bluebottles equate to trout fodder~















~A size 14 foam blowfly-the ideal imitation~





~A victim of the blowfly, perfection personified~


Thursday, 9 February 2012

There’s bruisers about…


With clear skies holding we headed to larger rivers with the hope of big trout.  Warm winds got the cicadas buzzing and where tussock grass draped over the margins, many of these chirpy terrestrials took a tumble.  Spotting fish wasn’t any great issue, but holding close to undercut banks they proved difficult to lever out.  The usual anxious moments followed though thankfully our leaders held to reward us with a string of heavy shoulder beauties…  Paul:

~Fly Odyssey’s Mat McHugh leans on a fish which bolts downstream~



~With spots from head to tail it’s difficult to imagine a more pretty NZ trout~


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Here comes the Sun:


A two day window of glorious sun gave us opportunities beyond our wildest dreams.  It doesn’t get any better than peering down from a high bank to see trout swaying close to the margins. After picking your way down a steep incline, presenting the right medicine with a delicate cast completes the job.  Of course, hooking good sized trout is only half the battle as what usually follows is a nerve wracking fight.  With luck (and a little skill…) the net should eventually fold around a solid, spotted lump!   Paul~ 


~Pure gold caught on a beetle pattern~


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Cloud nearly stops play:


Good light is pretty much a necessity where sight fishing is concerned.  So, when a belt of heavy, threatening cloud rolls in the mood often takes a downward turn.  That said, if you look hard enough there’s usually a trout or two to be had.  We also hedged our bets by targeting spring creeks.  Here, towering mountains provided a solid backdrop which helped betray the tell-tale shapes of stationed trout.  All that remains is to fire up a measured cast (often easier said than done where large trout are concerned)…  Paul~                                         


~Careful vigilantes rewards Mat McHugh with a solid first fish~


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Lasting memories of the North Island :


~Good friend Gary Lyttle preparing for another day in the office~

Catching up with Gary Lyttle and his family was always going to be fun and exciting, especially considering the fishing he’d lined up for me (nice one Gazza).  As with any fishing trip there are plenty of highs which are unfortunately evened out with a smattering of lows!  However, my lasting memory of the North Island will be stalking the edges of a lowland river in search of topping trout.  Of course, cicadas helped things along by encouraging a string of feisty browns to feed.  Anyone visiting Taupo region really ought to look Gary up at


~It rarely gets better than casting to a cicada feeder on a North Island river~


~This story had a happy ending~