As it slowly fades into the background this Summer must have to go down as one of the best yet. The action was hot at times and none too bad for others. With more and more people getting a taste of salt fly the reports going around the country were constant and encouraging.
I have been lucky enough to get people onto fish and at times multiple shots during the course of the day. They all have made comment on what a cool fishery we have here and they’re certainly not wrong. From frantic workups out the front containing thousands of fat Kahawai to the flats style fishing we crave it has been hot, hot, hot.
The abundance of rat Kingis was very welcome over Summer, the sight of packs of fish jostling for your fly will never get old. Fast strip retrieves would fire them into action and if the first cast didn’t connect the second would be met in a vicious manner. In some cases the rays holding fish would stick around and allow us to pick off multiple fish and chance double hook ups.
With the onset of Autumn we get a few larger models in the mix, sightings of good sized fish around the markers being common. One muscled up king toyed with a respectable yet unfortunate Kahawai beside the boat last week. Later that night reports come in that Alex from Trippin on trout has bagged a 40lb specimen. This is one of the reasons Autumn is quite possibly the best time to go throw some flies. I have a few spots left so if you feel the need to come get into the action just drop me a line here.
A recent event that has further put NZ salt fly on the map was the Salt Fly Hook Up. This was held in Tauranga over a weekend at the end of February and saw some of the finest fly flickers gathered from all corners. It helped that the weather turned it on and the fish showed face, making this event one that is already being talked about for next year. Huge thanks to Dan Burt at Strip Strike and Grant at Loop Tackle NZ for putting it together.
The guys at Moreporks took an interest in this and made a day of it on the water. They had a great time out and documented it here as part of there ongoing quest to deliver some fine outdoors apparel to the world.
Something that has interested me for a while now is the behavior of flats kingfish. Each outing seems to unlock more about them. Paul Mills from revoflyfishing had started to undertake a tagging program a while back – we talked and one thing led to another. Since this chat we have a few more people taking interest, myself and Matt Von Sturmer from Saltflyfish adding our names to the tagging program. If anyone catches one of these tagged fish please carefully take details and preferably return it to the water. The more info we have on the worth of these fish to the recreational angler the better. More information on this program can be found here.
Another interesting tagging program is being undertaken in Tauranga harbour. This studies the migrational movements of our stingray pals. They are colour coded with a disc tag so if you see one please report it to Helen, she would love to hear from you.
Often I’m asked what flies work in the harbour. While there’s no wrong flies as such there are some that stand out from the pack. If a fish is fired up and you have a good looking fly working in the water then chances are it will eat. If that doesn’t work I’m taking orders. So if you feel your flybox is lacking or needs some winter attention let me know.
Lastly I’m starting to fill Summer 16/17 season spaces so if you want options for better days/tides get in now to secure a spot early.
Happy fishing, enjoy the cooler autumn and even hotter fishing.