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Title: The New Zealand Troutfisher
Author: Peter Storey

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www.nztroutfisher.co.nz


December 2014/January 2015

FISHER

NZ

TROUT

147

Two Whoppers

Heavenly Angling

A Matter Of Ethics
The MILION METRES Project

WATER QUALITY
RRP $9.90

Welcome to ISSUE 147 of NZ's only dedicated trout fishing magazine
Kiwi owned and produced, it promotes the sport in the spirit of public ownership
CONTENTS
HEAVENLY ANGLING
Tony Walsh makes a campervan trip out west . . . 2
WARMING UP/COOLING DOWN
Talking Plenty with Peter Storey . . . 4
GONE DIRTY
Todd Storey hits a local stream . . . 5
BACK ON THE WATER
Eastern Bay of Plenty with Dave Barrett . . . 10
READERS WRITE . . . 13
TALKING TAUPO
With Andrew Christmas . . . 14
TACKLE TALK . . . 16
A MATTER OF ETHICS
John Giacon's Angler's Chronicles continue . . . 18
HOOK IT & COOK IT
Trout Saltimbocca with Zucchini and Tomato Salad created by
Stephan & Brigitte Baumberger . . . 20
WATER QUALITY
An outside view from Geir Sogn-Grundvåg . . . 24
THE MILLION METRES STREAMS PROJECT
By Claire Warren . . . 28
THOUGHTS ON A TROUT STREAM
By Tony Orman . . . 30
WEIGHING-IN WITH TUNGSTEN
Behind the fly tying vice with Russell McKendry . . . 34
THE GREEN, GREEN BANKS OF HOME
New CSI columnist, Tony Smith, is also a chef . . . 38
TROUT FISHING IN SOUTHLAND
New Southland columnist, Maurice Rodway, with a few holiday
opportunities and a mass of YouTube clips . . . 42
SUMMER WITH HARRIET
Garrett Evans finishes up . . . 45

ISSN 1173-1761 (PRINT) ISSN 2230-6420 (DIGITAL)
No part of this magazine, in either form, may be reproduced
in any way without prior permission of the publisher. Articles
bearing (©) also require permission of the author. Spotcoloured text is an active hyperlink in the eMag.

COVER
Merry Christmas . . . (David Lambroughton)

HERE
. . . and a Happy New Year (Robyn Packman)

NZ TROUT FISHER
All enquires to the Editor & Publisher:
Peter Storey 1 Ronald Road RD 5 Rotorua 3076 NZ
peter@nztroutfisher.co.nz 07 (+647) 3628 914
0274844494 (text only for Tarawera)

Minimise to Maximise

T

he election sent a pretty clear message to the
government regarding the economy, I thought.
So with positive signs from both politicians and
business leaders since regarding the need to balance
developmental and environmental needs hereon, I am
feeling far more hopeful about NZ's future.
One thing I'm quite certain of is the notion that
maximising dairy cow numbers from sea to snow will
somehow benefit all New Zealanders, is not only stupid
but environmentally unsustainable. Why, I ask, so
much emphasis on dairy in the first place. Todd and I
consume little dairy product each day in comparison
to bread, vegetables, meat, fruit and fish. Are we that
different to anyone else, anywhere? I keep hearing this
'feed the world' tag and equally, cannot work out why the
world suddenly needs milk powder more than any other
agricultural product. I hope NZ has not been degrading
so much of its freshwater over the last 20 years just to
satisfy vanity . . .
Positives, Storey! Agriculturally it's my belief that
countries this size should logically aim for quality not
quantity and high end market rather than low. (It's the
only sure way forward globally too as far as I can see.)
We've got the will, the ingenuity and by and large, the
climate. Let's kick this turn-everything-into-intensivedairy addiction, get back to producing the highest
possible quality product from whatever the land is best
suited to and sell it at a price that makes the effort
involved worthwhile. Minimise to maximise.
Tourism has much to offer our economy but this
industry also needs refocusing. Maybe it was just
another knee jerk of the 80-90s monetarist mind set but
here too we've been chasing quantity rather than quality,
degrading resources that are quality plus. Where is the
sense in packing tourists onto our iconic landscape,
Queen Street-style? Leaving aside the question of
how the customer feels having travelled half way round
the world to get away from crowds, maximising any
human activity within the Conservation Estate defies the
meaning of conservation if not contradicts it.
Which brings me onto trout fishing. Here too I feel
NZ has been chasing the wrong end of the stick. Not so
long ago freshwater anglers bought separate licences
for each region and thought nothing of it, because
the system not only made sense but worked—we
paid members of the public to take care those bits of
public property we used most on our behalf. Overnight
'maximise angler opportunity' arrived unchallenged by
us and those caretakers had to do exactly the same job
with considerably less income. Is it any wonder so much
freshwater is under threat
20 years on. Who's to
blame? By default we are
and it's high time we too bit
the 'minimise to maximise'
bullet and in answering
the upcoming national
angler survey, resumed our
responsibilty for some of the
best and cheapest public
trout fishing in the world.

May the rise be with you in
2015 . . .

www.nztroutfisher.co.nz

1

HEAVENLY ANGLING
By TONY WALSH

I

’ve just been watching the antics of a tomtit as he flits from twig to twig in the mingimingi. He’s following the path that Sam
the dog took moments before. We are camped beside the Manganui–A–Te–Ao river in the Raetihi district under some tall old
beech trees. Through the campervan window I can see the boulder-strewn bed of a deep tannin-stained pool. Frequently,
large floating rafts of white foam are drifting by.
We arrived at this Ruatiti Domain yesterday afternoon down a long twisting metal road from Raetihi. Fortunately we met no
vehicles as there’s few places to pass and often a precipitous drop to the river below.
This must be a major tributary of the Whanganui. It’s big, boisterous and bouldery, making for uncomfortable walking. It’s
noisy too, twice the size of our local Waioeka with fast swirling runs leading to deep dark pools. I’m afraid I won’t be crossing it.
Yesterday afternoon after we arrived I
fished downstream casting a Woolly Bugger
across the river and allowing it to swing
back through the current. I began at a
pool beside our camp. From the papa cliffs
opposite a shower of drops fell through the
fern and kiekie splattering into the dark
surface.
Where the smaller Ruatiti stream joins
the Manganui there is a vast black pool
that must be almost an acre in extent.
Below a boulder’s shoulder a rainbow
took my cast with a savage jerk. Off he
sailed downstream, leaping as he went.
Line stripped from my reel way down to
the backing. Standing waist deep on the
slippery boulders it was all I could do to
hold him. There my fish settled to using the
weight of the current to his advantage. He
leapt twice more bringing my heart to my
mouth and then the leader parted company,
snapped, and my fish was gone.
I persisted, now casting into the Ruatiti
where its dark brown flow percolated the
clearer waters of the Manganui. Once
again I was rewarded with a fierce lunge
at my fly, so fierce the 4 pound trace broke
and left me forlorn, thinking of what might
have been. Taking no further chances
I replaced the light leader with an eight
pound trace and of course the only luck I
had thereafter was with fish of about one to
one and a half pounds. They breed some
big sharks in this river.

Manganui-a-te-ao photo courtesy Nick
Taransky

2

NZ TROUT FISHER 147

Awakino photo courtesy Ben Wilson,
Manager, F&GNZA/W (The colour and
'cloudiness' of the water is a natural
feature of King Country limestone rivers.
Ed.)

T

wo days later we took our campervan
exploring up a narrow metal King
Country road off the main highway just
south-west of Pio Pio. Our route followed
the upper Awakino river in its twisting
meandering passage through native bush
and steep sheep country. Each glimpse
of its waters portrayed a deep pool at the
end of a frolicking run, each sight enough
to make any angler drool at its perfection.
Access posed somewhat of a problem
though, the shoulders of the road between
our vehicle and the river often a dense mat
of blackberry. Soon we came across a
lichen-encrusted sign protruding from this
thorny mat. It proclaimed “Classic NZ Fly
Fishing Waters”. I couldn’t wait to try them.
Shortly we came across a fencer
ramming posts for a roadside fenceline
with three huntaways and an eye dog
lying peacefully and patiently beside him.
We paused and chatted before moving
on to the very end of the road. Here a
homestead stood on a prominent knoll
beside its attendant sheepyards and
woolshed. I walked up the driveway to
request permission to cross the land to fish.
No one was home so after putting my gear
together I went anyway.
I chose to start in a series of riffles
flowing into a shallow pool. My second
cast produced my first fish, a fine silvery
rainbow of about twelve inches. I returned
it to its home to grow old gracefully and
crossed the stream to where the bush edge
reached its fringes to the riverbed and
there I found the local garden, pig rooting
as fresh as the afternoon, the upturned soil
not yet dry in the warm afternoon sunlight.
I wondered if he’d watched me cross the
pasture.
The next two pools and runs yielded small fish, fun to play with but a bit of a nuisance disturbing what looked like interesting
waters. A pool below a beech tree beyond an island divided run looked interesting and a torpedo shape followed my fly from the
shadows below the further bank until it decided it looked suspicious and turned away.
Two young nannies and a kid goat ambled into the cover of the bush ahead of me seemingly used to humans. After I’d
passed I looked back and they’d ventured into the open again, grazing the river bank.
The river then lazily flowed into a shadowy corner and a longish pool, the rocky further bank falling away into the depths
providing cover and shelter, classic trout water indeed! There just had to be a fish in here I felt.
Cautiously I dropped a fly alongside the current its drift bringing no return. Again and yet again I cast and maybe this third try
was better designed. A strong take rewarded me and I set the hook. My fish leapt amidst a rainbow of sparkling drops, cavorted
the length of the pool before settling for the depths and the current to continue his fight. The eventual landing on the fine gravel
completed a marvellous never-to-be-forgotten afternoon.
Heartened and happy I trudged up the hillside towards the road a mob of nosey heifers dogging my footsteps. I climbed the
fence to the roadside and made off for Noreen and the campervan until my aching knees reminded me I had left my walking stick
beside the river where I had landed my fish. My steps were reluctantly retraced for the unfortunate conclusion to a heavenly
outing.
Tony Walsh has published two books on hunting and fishing, The Black Singlet Brigade and Boots 'n' All, featuring
stories set in back country NZ throughout both islands. Available through Trade me under "Books" and Nationwide
Books: 03 312 1603 or books@nationwidebooks.co.nz

www.nztroutfisher.co.nz

3

One month into 2014/2015 and things are . . .

Warming Up
TALKING PLENTY with PETER STOREY

T

odd and I visited the local stream which featured in the
last issue mid-October and while it's good to be able to
say the aquatic invertebrate population still looks much
the same as 2012, there was considerably lower water clarity
both times with no rain. It looked more like silt than effluent
to me and there's forestry upstream but whatever, it always
makes me angry to see freshwater treated with contempt.
Anyway, I keep hearing people say that spinning is the
easiest way to get kids interested in fishing and maybe that's
because most parents start them out on big water or in the
sea. Personally I believe it's easiest for anyone to get a basic
understanding of fishing on a small stream like this. Here
the whole picture is laid out in miniature and it's easiest to
show what's involved; what fish feed on, where and how. It's
like picking up a pocketbook on the sport rather than an
encyclopedia. Just what a beginner needs, whatever age.
As this was Todd's first serious outing onto a river I showed
him how to fish wet fly first. Why? Because wet fly fishing is
angling in its simplest form. Anglers have been 'wet anything'
fishing from the first time someone tied a hand line onto a rod,
after realising that not all fish feed on the bottom of the stream
but in the water column and right on the surface. The method
would not have been restricted to trout and salmon either. So
many other common freshwater species surface and drift feed
in the northern hemisphere. Some, Chub for instance, make
trout look puny too.
The combination of flyfishing tackle and a small stream's
flow makes wet fly the simplest and most natural way to begin
fishing I know. Presenting the fly without any other tackle in
the line of sight, it's also one of the most effective and exciting
ways to hook both ends of the line at once.
That day was pretty disappointing to be honest. This
stream has a large population of small, hungry trout and I
expected Todd to be into fish quickly. It took nearly three hours
to hook three in the first place most would target, but I saved
for last. It's tempting to say it was the silt but, personally,
I think it was the combination of poor water clarity and a
full moon. Nonetheless, a gold bead Green Caddis tied by
Clayton Nicholl certainly did the trick in that pool head.

4

NZ TROUT FISHER 147

I

t's now early November and both trout and smelt have been
in the shallows for nearly three weeks, when normally they
would be just beginning. The reason's simple—the lake is
warmer than it was this time last year. After another mild
winter and a pretty warm October it's already showing signs of
stratification, where temperatures in shallow lakes like Rotorua
or Rotoehu are pretty uniform top to bottom and warmer still.
As a result whenever surface temperatures have reached
15 degrees there's been some excellent shore-based sight
fishing available—why 15 and not the +14 it's mostly been is
beyond me but the difference in trout activity is plain. On one
particular 15 day with a westerly airflow I hooked 5 from the
grass just walking down to shake off the effects of sitting at a
computer for an hour or so (tough work but . . .). On one visit
there were multiple trout in view, just 10 metres from the edge.
Next day another southerly got up and no other since has
reached the same level. This is actually good news, because
it means smelting is still not fully on and that good surface
sport should still be available when this issue goes on sale.
The bad news, of course, is that by the holidays it will be
over and I expect to see a band of steeply cooling water on
the Lake Tarawera monitoring buoy. It does not matter what
method or tackle you use once the thermocline has formed.
What matters is that you fish inside it. If you don't have
internet access that generally means around 70'/20m.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the condition of the fish I've
been catching. We get a lot of smaller, inshore-feeding wild
fish around here but without question, the average 2-year-old
hatchery fish Matt Osborne highlights overleaf leaves them for
dead. So while I may be questioning hatchery operations, that
represents a clear indication of the value of selective breeding.
There have been a number of LP/Ad May 13 releases around
here over September and October and their condition has
been superb. Autumn releases tend to be more salmon-like
in build for some reason—rangy, torpedo-shaped fish with
exceptional fighting strength. Great sports fish.
Another good bit of news for holiday-makers is that there's
been very little angling pressure on the lake since opening
day, so there are plenty of fish around. I suspect this is

Gone Dirty
TOMORROW'S STARS with TODD STOREY

O

ne Sunday we went fishing a small stream near Rotorua
where the water was a challenge. First I learnt to cast
a fly fishing rod downstream at a spot where dad caught a
brown trout. Nothing bit this time, so we decided to move on.
Next bit of water we thought we had a fish attacking the fly.
Then my dad showed me how to fish upstream which I found
to be really hard, yet it got easier. The moving water made it
hard to control the line and there were trees that made it even
harder to cast.
We kept moving up stream, trying to find a place where
the fish would hit but it was no use. All the time the water
was getting dirtier than before for some odd reason. The sun
started to set and it got a lot cooler but we didn't give up we
kept moving up until we hit a pool where dad had been before
and where he last saw lots of hungry fish ready to eat.
Here we cast the line into the pool head and let the fly
drift downstream. At first nothing happened but then we got
attacked by a trout and it started to get interesting. We put
the line back in the same place and another fish attacked. It
ran, swimming, jumping and splashing but we landed this one
and you can see it's a nice fat little rainbow trout.
We eased the fish back into the odd-looking, dirty water
and decided to hop in the car and head back home. On the
way we looked at the river where it passes under the bridge
and it was to hard to tell if the water was clean or if it was
dirty, because the shadow of the trees covered the river.

Find Mum Competition
If you're under 16 and find my Mum in this photo, tell us where and you win a copy of the next issue. This first one's easy . . .
@todd8765 or TODD@NZ TROUT FISHER

www.nztroutfisher.co.nz

5


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