Saltwater fly fishing around Auckland

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Dawn Patrol

A bit after dawn I turned up at Pt Chevalier and found another swoffer in the water ahead of me – obviously Auckland is becoming crowded!

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The angler in this case was Chris, a new acquaintance, who was giving the spot a try on the recommendation of fly fishing guide  Matto Von Sturmer.

We chatted a bit about our fly fishing experiences and eventually moved along to the one of the channels where the current flow was more focused.I finished off some left over pilchards into a berley trail and we both hooked a number of small kahawai and some snapper that didn’t quite make it to legal size.

My first snapper, aglow in the early morning sun.

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All in all good fun for  Chris as well:

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Morning Snapper

Out on the last of the ebb at Pt Chev, with a handful of berley,  and the Vapen vanquished a 40cm snapper – my best in the harbour for maybe 3 or 4 years.

Kingfish meets my Nemisis

Got out this morning in the NE and no rain. The stalking area was tea coloured. Almost turned around and left, but then decided to walk 15 mins along to the point at the end to see if there was any shelter around the corner. Fortunately there was and I started tossing a smaller 1/0 clouser pattern on the new Nemesis with the brand new Sage 2280 fly reel I spooled up last night.
No hits or fishy signs for first 60-70 minutes, but as the tide turned and current picked up I hit about four small kahawai that all fell off.

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I was just about to leave and while wading back along the sand bar when a stingray came up alongside me. It was a couple of meters beyond my rod tip. I didn’t see any escorts but then spied a slight boil of water behind it. So I dropped my  fly in the area, a couple of strips and wham!
Long short short (my first video alone of the fight is 22 minutes long) the nasty beggar used the current to his advantage and had me following him about 200m then I walked him 200m back then I followed him 100m out again and had to walk him back. Keeping fit while fishing!
When I finally landed him he only measured only 68cm !!!!

I’d hate to think what would have happened if he was any bigger …

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And a video of the release (sorry for freeware logos!)

On the way back – maybe we’ll meet again …

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This was also the first outing for my complete new outfit, a Nemesis 7wt with a Sage 2280 fly reel. It is a sweet combo. And the fly was one I tied the night before to be visible in the slightly turbid water of the estuary.

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The reel had a grueling first test run, getting soaked in saltwater and I had it cranked up during most of the fight. The drag is smooth and the setting knob is large and graduated clearly.

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And the next outing for the combo will be for trout in the Rangitikei River, for which I’m sure it will be more than adequate!

The Swoffer at the Gates of Dawn

Dawn , in summer, is a special time to be waving the long rod over the warm shallows at juvenile kahawai enjoying their breakfast …PC211348wPC211386wPC211373wPC211377w

Summer Snapper in the Shallows

First time out with the Nemisis it scored within ten minutes on my first upper harbour snapper. Not a bad start for the rod and for the season. Casts nicely and great sensitivity feeling the Worthington Worm bounce its way across the cockle shells.

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Meet my Nemisis

I have met my Nemesis – and so far I’m enjoying the experience!

An Airflo Nemisis fly rod, that is, a 9ft 7 weight 4piece rod to replace the light saltwater duties that have been ably carried out by my twenty year old Composite Developments IM7Plus rod. The Nemesis is a range designed and made for Manic Tackle Project for the New Zealand market.

I have a gallery of detail shots below to show it in all its shiny newness, even the cork plastic is still in place. The green blank has a lustrous depth of colour. A quick flick with my Cortland 444 line confirmed the fast precise action was there that I wanted for my estuary work.

For an under $300 rod it is well presented, and even comes with an extra tip section. The only slight quibble is that I would have preferred a double locking reel seat, but my CD rod had a single locking ring and I never had a reel fall off. First world problems …  now time to get a fish on it. Who knows, over Christmas holidays I’ll take it south and see if I can extract a trout from the Rangitikei River with it!

 

 

Wind, Rain, Mud and … Snapper!

Wednesday , 16 December 2015 was not a great fishing day. Westerlies breezing away at an average 20-25 km/h, two rainy fronts passed through and the low tide and wind made for a muddy in shore margin that extended out about 12 meters from the waters edge. Not the best conditions to chase fish with a fly.

PC161201webThe front loomed overhead like something from a sci-fi movie.

 

PC161218web Then the rain … and the muddy water along the edge.

The Redington Vapen with a Rio Outbound enabled me to still drive out 90ft casts despite the wind and the heavy flies. After the tide turned to the flood, some clear patches of water appeared. Into these I managed to deep drift a snapper bug (invention of Craig Worthington) and around 7pm hooked and landed my first snapper of the Summer 2015-16.

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Hope the El Nino winds aren’t going to mess up the water too much this summer.