New Zealand Fly Fishing Guides - Ben Kemp

New Zealand Fly Fishing Guides - Ben Kemp

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Lake Brunner

"Where the Brown Trout Die of Old Age!"

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Angling Report: Nov 2002 Lake Brunner Fly Fishing Report

11th November

Tim and Cheryl McGill. from Missoula, Montana arrived late afternoon, followed by brothers Ron & Don Edlin who appeared just as dinner was being served. The weather in the past week had been rough - snow on the alps, gale-force north-westerly winds and heavy rain. All the local rivers were in flood, and the lake had risen around 4 feet in a couple of days. Fishermen are optimists, but the promise of fair weather on the following day seemed unlikely given the conditions...

Angling report Nov 2002 Kingfisher Lodge fly fishing reports Lake Brunner

The morning dawned fine, and the sun duly appeared. Tim set off with guide Tony, optimistically en route for a spring creek a half hour away, but with the boat on behind in case creek levels precluded angling. Tim hit the jackpot - the first fish, on the 1st cast, was just over 5 lbs! The second fish, on the 3rd cast... his 3rd fish and his 4th came soon after. Tim, who is an incredibly good sport, asked the guide to take him back home, and to take his wife Cheryl back out to fish the balance of the creek. Cheryl had stayed back at the lodge to look after son Harry. Cheryl had a good afternoon, but only got one to the net.

Ron & Don opted for the drift boat, and Ron caught a nice fish of 3lbs on his first cast! They had both landed a couple by lunch time, and lost a number of others, including one large trout that charged a streamer fly from 20 feet, and hit it like a dog on a 3-legged cat. Their afternoon was a little tough, as the onshore westerly kicked in - and windy days and 5# fly rods are not always compatible.   

12th November

The day dawned fine, with some high cloud. Activity on the lake was slow to start, despite Cheryl catching a 3lb fish with a few minutes of getting started. All morning was slow - few fish seen, a leisurely follow-in or two on the streamer, a half-hearted take or two on the dry/nymph combo. By lunchtime, Cheryl was up to 4, while Tim was still fishless but not discouraged. 

We had our picnic at around 12:30, and soon afterwards the temperature suddenly soared as the sun finally burned through the overcast. Within minutes the lake came alive, and we caught fish after fish - on the dry, on the nymph, and on a streamer... right until the afternoon breeze finally started at 3:15, we were still seeing and catching fish with ease! 

This big bad boy at left pounced on a #14 Orange Stimulator, like a cat on a mouse, charging from10 feet in a surging, splashy take!

How many for the day? - none of us were sure, but Cheryl certainly had at least 10 to the net, missed/lost as many again, and Tim sure was smiling! This was the first day I can ever remember actually losing count of the fish caught, it was just great!.     

20th November

Bob Lynch stopped by for a half day fishing. This was something of a challenge, as Bob had only recently purchased his Shimano fly combo setup, and had never fly fished before! We had a few minutes tuition at the launching ramp, and then spent a couple of hours harling behind the boat, landing two by morning coffee break using a #6 Red Shadow streamer. Around mid-day the temperature started to climb sharply, and we moved in close to the foot of the mountain, and before long a few fish started to rise. Casting to cruising fish is a nerve-wracking experience for many experienced anglers, but for a beginner its pure hell....  :-)

We persisted though, and after a couple of fly changes, a lot of muttering, and some occasional interest from the passing trout, Bob eventually landed cast, hooked and two fine fish! A few days ago, an Orange Stimulator #12-14 was all the rage... not today! We had a few fish slide over, eyeball the fly from 2 inches, then slide off into the deep. One cheeky beggar even "pushed" the fly with his nose! Today, a little Parachute Adams seemed to do it for them,  All in all, a very successful mornings work for a newcomer to the sport of flyfishing! 

All of which, as Bob's wife Carol agreed, means you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

24th November

After 8 straight days without significant rain, lake levels have fallen substantially. This period has been notable for the number of days the wind has been coming from the east to south-east quarter. 

Today was also notable as being the first time my 13 yrs old nephew Laugharne has caught a trout on his flyrod. We've had several sessions trying to make it happen, but for a variety of reasons, it has not quite happened before. 

Last summer, we had an afternoon where he had 5 takes on a cicada without one hookup- mainly due to slow reactions!  Oddly enough, whilst he fish take the cicada really fast, they often reject it equally quickly, hence the need for a quick response as soon as they hit it. Reciting "God Save the Queen" before lifting to strike just does not do it under these circumstances.

28/29 November

A little rain changes things - and a falling barometer makes it all more difficult, as the Ding family from Malaysia discovered.  Conditions were difficult, with very little surface activity, the fish all apparently out wide and deep 

V Phan holds up his first ever trout. and a close up shows the lovely colours of this fish
Angling report Nov 2002 Kingfisher Lodge fly fishing reports Lake Brunner
C H Ding, with his first brown trout  V Phan, with his 4th...
 

A common phenomenon - the first-time fisherman catches all the fish. Mr Phan had never been fishing in his life before, whilst Mr Ding has fished a  lot! The first day, Mr Phan could do no wrong - we changed him to the opposite side of the boat, switched rods and flies, but still he could catch them, but his father-in-law could not! Very unfair! :-)

Angling Report: Nov 2002 Lake Brunner Fly Fishing Report

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