Until I got dogs my passion was fly fishing. I spent as much time as possible fly fishing, including managing to avoid getting a job for most of my career. The working relationship with a really good dog means I now prefer to hunt with Bruce or Mabo, but that is only four months of the year and fly fishing is still extremely compelling.
The series of articles here are based on some pillars that inform just about everything I do in the field. I am a minimalist fisherman. I do not carry a lot of gear. Twelve years of sight fishing taught me that the key to catching fish was presenting the fly to them first cast. Being colourblind I don’t have a lot of choice of colours, but sight fishing taught me that a generic fly pattern that was quick to tie and always swam right was a far better option than an exact replica that may not present naturally.
I learned a lot about fishing on the Tukituki River, especially fishing the evening rise where a good presentation is essential to get a take. I can usually predict if a cast will take a fish the moment the fly lands, and so can the guys I have taught to fish the rise – presentations have to be precise but are predictable.
There are a series of articles on strategy & tactics for fly fishing, explaining some of how I fish and why I fish that way. I am pretty brutal on gear, so the stuff I have has to work, and I have reviewed it here, as well as explaining some of the real basics of fly fishing gear and what the benefits of different types of gear are for different types of fishing.
I’ve written a pretty extensive series on how to fish the evening rise, because if you get the evening rise right you can catch a lot of fish. Get it wrong and it is incredibly frustrating. Its a bad day when the Tuki is clear and there is not much wind and I am not fishing the rise.
Like many other anglers I have become fascinated by Trout Spey, and despite having a Switch rod since 2012 I have not really mastered it. The 2019 spring season I am attempting to master Trout Spey for fish that rise once just before the evening rise really starts firing, meaning I am fishing not sitting around waiting for fish.