The Firefly

Although this is simply a pheasant tail variant. I was impressed by Aaron’s style of tying where he minimises the number of wraps at the tail to get a nice taper.

I am sure this fly will work very well and uses one of my favourite fly tying materials for the thorax -Siman’s peacock dubbing bronze.

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Nymphomaniac Reunion

It was like Neil had never left. The banter and the laughter started as soon as we got together and didn’t stop the whole time. The trip had been organised by Neil’s wife to mark his coming of age (50) and most of us had not been freshwater fishing in quite some time mostly due to having kids and different priorities so most of us where hanging out for some fishing, time out and god forbid a sleep in.

we had some heavy rainfall during the week and we were keeping an eye on the river levels as we had already had to re-schedule once because of bad weather.

We had hourly updates on the river as we travelled down and realised it was going to be touch and go as to how fishable the river would be.

On arrival the owner told us about going to the RSA for dinner as they have a courtesy van that can pick you up and drop you off for free so you don’t have to worry about driving. What a freakin awesome idea!

The RSA is fine dining of Taumaranui and the service was friendly and accommodating. We drank beer ate till we were stuffed before getting back in the free service home. After a hard day on the water it was just what we felt like.

The  water in the morning still looked quite milky but possibly fishable so we thought we would try up from the pump house as the water here is lower and easier to navigate. I had a woolly bugger on and put it in the first hole and was into a fish within my first couple of casts which turned out to be a nice 2pnd brownie. Moving up I found the fishing hard with a lot of trees and black berry but with the water so high you couldn’t wade in to the water and work your way up. I switched to some have nymphs and was sorting my line when my indicator disappeared. Thinking I was snagged I lifted my rod and it was fish on. What a fluke!

I moved up the hill and found Neil and the banks a bit clearer to cast. i started casting backwards to prevent tangling in the trees. as i entered the water i saw a nice brownie rise about 3meters in front of me but after a few casts realised I must have put it down.

the boys had gone to the other side and were fishing a small island with much smaller water flowing through the middle and periodically you could hear them yahooing.

i caught and dropped a few more fish then went back to find Neil and the other boys. By now we weren’t sure if were still there or gone back to the car as it was past lunch. we waited for what seemed like ages before heading downstream and finding them still fishing the island. they had apparently found the mecca and had numerous fish between them.

We headed to the pump house where we had lunch a quick fish but had no luck before heading to Mahoe road where the river had changed considerably and fishing harder than usual. i picked up one fish before the boys came from upstream and toby handed me his rod and asked me what do you do when you catch a fish. strike. then what. I reached for the reel and went to wind but found no handle. yup toby had to land his last fish with no handle on his rod as apparently it had fallen off. by the time we had finished the river had cleared considerably and was a lot more fishable by the next day it was reasonably clear but still high.

at this point Neil still hadn’t caught anything so we took him to our secret spot and put him in the zone. although toby was the fist into a fish right were we had come out of the bush. i started fishing lower end of the pool and went to reel in some line only to find my spool had fallen off into the river because i had forgotten to tighten it up.

I went downstream to fish a pool but struggled till i put on some heavier flies then i started catching fish. i got 2 and lost 2 before we moved on.

our last stop was the Turangi bridge where boys went upstream and I went to my usual hole downstream. I had switched to my Gloomis rod and it was spectacular to use and still able to fling some heavy nymphs. within a few casts i was into a fish. it  was a great pool with a big sweeping pool and slack water to the side. I manages a few more fish and dropping few others before running out of time.

the fishing was a little slow at times hard especially not being able to get into the water to cast in the right place and also getting the right depth but we all had a great time.

So the main question on the way home was when do we do it again. well that now is the question?

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Tying the Stud

I found this fly on the hatches website but the guy who ties it also has a number of great easy ties that look like they would be effective. i have used this fly successfully

Here is is the website to his other flies



Bead: gold tungsten
Hook: barbless scud
Weight: lead wire to match hook wire diameter
Thread: beige
Tail: wood duck flank
Rib: pearl Sulky thread
Abdomen: tan STS Trilobal dubbing
Thorax: Siman peacock eye dubbing

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On a recent trip I had a mate interested in my flytying dubbings as I now have my favourites in one box so here it is.


  1. Arizona dark
  2. Arizona dark brown
  3. Arizona pheasant tail
  4. Arizona peacock
  5. Arizona bronze
  6. Arizona black
  7. Arizona light
  8. Siman peacock dubbing bronze
  9. Siman peacock dubbing red
  10. Siman peacock green
  11. Siman peacock bronze
  12. Siman peacock black
  13. Gleamy dubbing claret
  14. Siman nymph body dubbing brown 06
  15. Siman hares ear plus natural
  16. Siman nymph body dubbing olive
  17. Siman pearl hares ear plus dark
  18. Waspi super bright peacock dubbing
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Waipawa River Christmas 2013

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year because I get to go back to my parents place which is right across the road from the Waipawa river. Oh how I dream to own my own place as close as this to a trout river. Maybe one day.

So this river always catches me out a bit as I forget how small it is and how flighty the fish can be. Some stealth is required and also smaller flies and lighter tippets. Also to save time I should only cast to sighted fish as this year there were fewer fish than last year. I think this is because a lot of the fish come up when the water has warmed and this year there has been a lot more rain and the water level drop and warming hasn’t happened yet.

So after a while of thrashing the water and scaring all the fish I start by changing to size 16 flies 5lb tippets on my 4 weight rod.

By the way I just got my new replacement Gloomis rod and although it is not as soft as my old rod man does it have some power. Long casts seem effortless.

The first day was great for casting and getting the hang of it but by the time I saw fish it was time to go. Then the second day I got out the wind was really strong and made casting a nightmare but I was still able to fish. This may not have been possible if I wasn’t using the Gloomis.

So anyway I did manage to catch a couple of nice fish in some faster water before heading back. Hopefully I will be back again before next Christmas.

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Waihou Nightmare

It all started when I reached the motorway. In my excitement to get to the river I had gone the wrong way and was now sitting in traffic trying to get to the motorway. 3 hours later and I was just getting to Tirau and it was 10.15. the Oraka was dirty and I had to make a quick decision so headed to the Waihou knowing it would be fishable and I wouldn’t need to mess around. Now this part of the day was quite enjoyable with 18 fish caught but while pushing myself to break the magic barrier of 20 I moved a little to hastily to a shallow shingle edge to find it was a little deeper right at the edge and I fell face first into the drink.

But then I was still keen to break the magic 20 so I kept going thinking it would only take a few minutes only to get my line stuck in a tree. The water was quite swift and I made the mistake of holding the end of my rod while getting the line out only to slip an break the end of my Gloomis rod. My favourite rod and one that I knew was going to cost me a bomb let alone be a mission to source the part.

So home I go right into peak traffic so that by the time I go hoe I was more stressed than when I left and I was left wondering if I should have bothered getting out of bed.

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Waipawa 10/5/13

It was a typical clear HB autumn morning, there was a slight nip in the air but the sun was shining and would soon warm up. I had some new fly designs I was itching to use and the river was calling. The fishing was a little slow to start but as the morning warmed the action hotted up and the fish were so quick that I struggled to hook the little buggers as they were spitting the hook quicker than I could get a good strike. I had my indicator only one metre from my flies and even then I missed a lot but I did manage to land 14 so how many would i have got if I had caught them all 20 maybe 30 who knows but not bad for a couple of hours fishing.

I had not seen as many of the big fish as I had the last time I was here and most of those i spooked as i made my way home and I wondered where they might have moved to, upstream maybe.

I am tempted next time to try Czech nymphing or French nymphing and see how many I could pick up. Here’s to competition fishing again in 2026 when I might have the money and time to start again.

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