Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Proudly South African

Ted, Thanks for the pic's. Awesome to see a father and son enjoying the same passion.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

From Ausie - Trout

Hey guy's

Though you may be interested in some of the Australian trout. These are a

couple I caught last week. Believe it or not the one with the cropped tail,

I caught back last November and it has put some summer weight on.



Once again , thank you Neil. These are some awesome fish.

Monday, May 3, 2010

PATAGONIA - Manuel Greenland

You know how you silently creep up the river bank and seek out a quiet bankside eddy, browns are sipping downed trico spinners from the surface at the tail end of the pool,

their rises rippling the golden surface the river taking its last rays of sun from the setting autumn sun? You cast out a size 18 spinner imitation on a 15 foot leader, allow the fly to drift into the feeding lane and rely on the supple bamboo in your hand to protect the 6x tippet as you raise your rod into the unsuspecting fish.

It was exactly like that.

For about half an hour every three days.

The rest of the time you were chucking massive minnow, leach and matuka patterns on a short 2x leader attached to a fast sinking line – into cover, against the bank, into holes, behind trees etc.And for those of you that like to spit out the word “Mrs. Simpson”, regarding the fly as little more than a stockie bashing invention – think again – one morning it was all that would raise browns on the mighty Chimehuim.The fish were generally larger and harder fighting in the cold water.

Would I recommend it? If big fish are your thing – definitely. We saw a Rainbow that must have been at least 4kg or 5kg, the guy I was fishing with snapped off using a 2x tippet on a huge brown. I broke my personal best for wild trout more than once on the trip. On the flip side it is freezing cold – real feel temperatures usually below 5 and well below zero at night. There were virtually no hatches and infrequent surface activity – so if fishing heavy nymphs and large streamers is not your idea of fun, rather leave it out. Other problem with big streamers is that if cast carelessly they end up stuck in the guide’s face – check the pic. The barb had not been removed so we had to pass it back out of the guy’s face, break the barb and then pull it back out. Our man was not happy – for the record I was not the offending fisherman…

If I were to go back at this time of year I would do a 2 day float on the Chimehuim, a 2 day float on the Collon Cura and stay two days at a lodge on the Collon Cura just above the dam into which it empties to have a go at migratory fish. I would not bother with wading. The Rainbows and Browns were almost invariably in large schools (Rainbows) or hunting packs (Rainbows and Browns). It was interesting to see this hunting business – you’d see three or four large fish swimming in tighter and tighter circles herding minnows into a smaller group and then they’d slash through them. Was awesome to cast a long line straight through the middle of it, start stripping fast and then feel a massive yank on the line and see a fish leap into the air.
The large groups of Rainbows congregated on stony flats – it was almost like flats bone fishing because you’d sight the fish and cast a hopper dropper rig above it, and allow it to drift down. Very exciting fishing, but it did not produce the largest fish.

So the problem with wading was that you may not find the schools or group. A group of four of us fished an entire morning on the Malleo and neither caught nor saw any sign of any fish. People we were travelling with who did not do float trips had very erratic experiences – some days brilliant fishing, some days really poor. With the float trip you keep moving until you find the fish and then either slow down or stop.

I also caught a lot of the native perch (perca – I earned the nickname of “perceiro”). It is ok to catch – fights hard but predictably – stays down a lot. They look a little like smallmouth bass, are pretty and come off the hook easily – so while they are broadly regarded as a nuisance, they are mildly entertaining to catch and nothing like inadvertently getting your last leech pattern stuck in a barbel. They only become a nuisance when they nail your fly while you are targeting a specific trout.

At this time of year gloves, scarf and beanie are essential, as is a quality sleeping bag for camping out. When we camped out I stuck my waders and boots in a carry bag, put it on top of my fishing backpack next to my camp bed in my tent – in the morning the waders and the boots were completely frozen – we’d have to stick them next to the fire to defrost. I fished without gloves the first couple of days and literally got frost bite in my fingers and pains in my hands. Ice would repeatedly form in the rod eyes during the mornings. There were also very strong winds at times – Miles look at the sandstorm pic – that was taken on the Malleo – would you believe?

Another consideration is fishing time. There is no point being on the water much before 9:30 and you want to be out of it by 17:00. This compares very negatively with the mid-summer where you can fish 06:00 until 22:00.

It was awesome as expected, and I tried to make the best of it. I got 3 fish at the boca of the Chimehuim (so I never have to go there again), and I got some very large fish – but really honestly I don’t think it is for me. After this experience I seriously doubt that I will make trips far to the South to catch huge trout. The kind of fishing and the cold and wind are just not my thang…

Manuel Greenland

( Thank you Manuel , now we need something from the NORTH )