Fisherman stands contemplating a wide, wild and beautiful backcountry river in New Zealand
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About

As long as I can remember I've been crazy about fish and fishing.

 

When I was a boy my goal was always to catch as many fish as I could, as long as I was using a fishing rod.

 

As I grew older I chose whenever possible to catch fish on a fly.

 

These days I like casting dry flies to sighted backcountry trout, fishing streamers and swinging dry flies on moving water with Spey gear, casting flies to fish on salt water sand flats, or casting poppers into workups.

 

On this website you'll find articles on:

fly fishing for trout and kahawai,

fly tying and fly design,

selecting suitable outfits for Trout Spey,

and fishing gear and fly tying equipment I’ve tested and reviewed.

 

When I'm not fishing - or reading, writing and thinking about fishing - I'm a fisheries scientist and live with the Mermaid (and our two cats) on the west coast of the lower North Island, New Zealand. She edited and designed this website.

 

We've walked many, many miles together, in and out and alongside rivers - the sea and lakes. She prefers taking photographs while I fish, and many of her images grace this website.

 

Woman with a rucksack on her head, wading waistdeep in pool of backcountry river, New Zealand



Designing flies


In 2003, I began fishing for New Zealand trout on the lower North Island - in the the Hutt, Wainuiomata, Ruamahanga, Waingawa and Waiohine Rivers. I knew that accurate and delicate presentation were key to catching spooky trout in glass-clear water, so I lengthened my leaders and worked on my casting and line management.

 

While good presentation was always essential, I was surprised to find that the fish often snubbed impressionistic standbys, many accepting only good imitations of what they were eating.

 

This set me on a fascinating path of observing, researching and photographing the insects and fish trout liked eating, so I could design better imitations. I explain more in the section here on Fly Design, where several of my tried-and-true fly patterns are available, including their design and step by step tying instructions.

 

I've published my fly patterns in fly fishing and fly tying magazines, including: The Fly fishing and Tying Journal, and Fly Tyer (USA); Fly Fishing and Tying (UK); Flyfishing (South Africa); and Flylife (Australia/New Zealand).


Upcoming book


Many years downstream, and I am turning my research on trout, trout food, rivers, fly fishing and my most successful fly patterns into a book about designing flies - which I'm near finishing. My intention is to inspire others on their own fly-tying and fishing journeys - and also increase awareness and protection of New Zealand's magnificent but often threatened waterways, and the creatures that inhabit them.


All the fish that appear in photographs on this website were returned alive and well to the water, except for some kahawai and a few Tongariro rainbows.

 

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a trout being released back into shallow clear water of a New Zealand river, silerwaterfly.fishing





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