Last summer in Auckland was not the greatest for the swoffing -inclined (especially land-based) – almost constant gusty winds and plenty of rain made it difficult to juggle places and times to find suitable locations that didn’t have churned up mud or sand in shore.
Now the spring has arrived and have managed to get some windows in the weather to get a fly into the mostly clear water. And God be blessed for kahawai – nothing else was turning up even when I tossed some berley in to wake the fish up.
And a pleasant surprise after the last 5-6 years of catching mainly juvenile fish in the sub 25cm cohort around the harbour, this year has provided mostly 35-45 cm specimens who definitely bend the 7 weight rod and even rip into the backing on occasion.
The weather cleared up and the high aligned with dawn high tide, so time to see if the elusive kingfish were back on the flats, with the water crystal clear and a slightly overcast sky.
However no rays or kingfish were in evidence on the top of the tide, so it was off to the sandbank to prospect for ambushing kahawai on the ebb flow. The first fish hit at the end of a fast retrieve but dropped off after a few seconds. Then two fish came the fly and stayed around long enough to be photographed:
Kahawai hit hard and fight hard
And best of all they jump, no matter what size they are!
A quick pose for the camera and then back to grow up some more
Then on the last fish, not a big one by any means, the leader snapped at the fly – on the loop while the knot was intact. Very strange – especially on 10 kilo fluorocarbon against a 500g fish!
And yes in the rush of early morning I left the line tray behind – and fly line knows how to find boot laces no matter how careful you are.
Roll on the warmer temperatures to bring the fish into the harbour and start patrolling the shallows!
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First outing for spring and five kahawai obliged in the chilly but sunny conditions on the Sunday afternoon on the upper Waitemata Harbour. Unusually for these speed-orientated predators, the only retrieve that worked was a slow, deep presentation that is effective for snapper.
A typical early autumn morning – cooler temperature, mixed cloud and sunshine and on and off again breezes. The fish were in tune with the season with their response: one came in for release and all the other hits failed to connect.
Meola Reef fly fishing club meeting. Lesson One: First Catch your fish! (more…)
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!
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.
All in all good fun for Chris as well:
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.