Hawkes Bay with Tony Hildesheim – Rewards of guiding
The expressions on these guys faces says it all, they are stocked.. over the moon even.. on cloud nine.. and why wouldn’t they be, this is one of Roberts first trout on fly rod and the day before was he’s first ever trout on fly. Good on him, he took the challenge some 12 months ago of learning the artful sport of Fly Fishing. How to cast, the fly set up, learning the river in which the trout lives, gaining more experience and knowledge every time he ventured out onto the river and every visit to the local tackle shop gaining more information every time and he is finally rewarded with 15 odd nice Ruakituri trout.
Robert and Glen’s expectations for their guided fly fishing trip was to catch and KILL at least a couple of trout for the smoker, after them having a couple of beers on the 3 hour drive north, I broke the news that my guided fly trips were catch and release only. Oh yeh Tony, we’ll see, I think was the comment. Well by the second day of fishing and getting in tune and learning the trout’s behaviour in this amazing river and hooking heaps of fish, killing one of these beautiful trout was the furtherest thing away from their minds. Even with me saying on the 2nd day, hey maybe take one home as a special treat, not one trout was banged on the head. It was a trip of a life time for these guys and not one trout was spared.
Share the fly fishing experience… When the satisfaction of sharing the sighting of a fish, then the hook up, photo and release with a mate or a client is nearly as good as catching that fish yourself, then for me that’s what the fly passion is all about. If you take a mate, share the trout equally, help each other spot fish, enjoy the experience together.
It’s been a brilliant summer here in the Hawkes Bay. Long hot days. Excellent trout fishing. Spactaulater salt water fly fishing and Sting concert at the Mission.
The Tuki Tuki with its mixed bag of opinions, seems to provide local and visiting anglers with some very rewarding fishing. Not only is there the odd big 10lb brown’s laid up in back waters, but trout are very plentiful, particularly those fat little 2 to 3 lber’s, real good fighting fish especially on the dry fly. You’re always guaranteed some surface actively at some stage of the day. Try Blue Dunn & Parachute Adams or Elk Caddis dry flies. Fish the faster runs with a 2 nymph rig dropped below a stimulator dry fly. Try green, white and yellow caddis nymphs as your 2nd small fly in size 16/18’s.
This river always has controversy to the state of its cleanlence and pollution. Thanks to local long-time (I want say veteran) fly fisherman and fly tier John Scott, who is actively lobbing the powers to be, reminding them that there is a great many users of the famous Tukituki river system and that we all need to be accountable for our actions that may be detrimental to the future of our beloved Tukituki river… Many thanks John for your long time efforts.
I had to laugh and grin the other day while re-reading the 1974 book Trout with Nymph by Tony Orman and his innuendo of trout condition in the Tuki Tuki. Quote “ Another day on the Tukituki River in Hawkes Bay, it was only the use of a deep sinking line with a No. 14 Bradshaw’ s Fancy, which prevented a fruitless day and gave me instead 4 rainbows which were in grand condition even for the Tukituki”. So after some 35years of human pressure the Tuki Tuki is probably not in to bad a condition considering, and fish are still being enjoyed by many anglers.
The best 2 months are coming up for the Mohaka, all the trout have been going crazy on Cicada’s over summer, conditioning themselves up for spawning. From now till the end of June is my favourite time for this river. You can fish the main river and all its tributaries. All the holiday makes have gone home. You can’t go wrong with a couple of nymphs below a stimulator, try Beadhead Stonefly & Tungsten Hare and Copper nymphs with unweighted Brown Horn Caddis or small flash back mayfly imitations. Should be a late cicada season so use them right up till they stop buzzing, or use a big simulator dry fly to entice the trout into a take this works well on both big and small rivers, you’re be amazed what comes up out the off deep to take a big tasty terrestrial, its properly like eating 30 nymphs. I like Crystal Stimulator Rubber Legs Royal in size 8 & 10 and Parachute Madam X Peacock in sizes 6 & 8. I have so many customers raving after selling them stimulators…
The buzz this season for saltwater fly has been the influx of kingfish in Hawkes Bay. Sure the last few seasons have been good, but this year’s amazing. It’s not uncommon to see schools of 20 to 40 Kingi’s under the boat while bottom fishing for snapper. I find the bigger the fly the bigger the fish you’re catch, try roll casting with a 12wt, big flies, fast sinking lines. Always look for fish chasing your fly before re-casting, often they’re take right at the boat, especially if the Albacore tuna come to play.
This last summer I have had great pleasure sharing time with visiting French Fly Fishing Guide Guillaume Durand. The experience has not only been beneficial to him and I as crazy fly fisherman learning each other’s methods and habits, but to my family, our friends and a few clients who came into contact with this joyful, passionate and knowledgeable young French man. Guillaume is not only an excellent fly fisherman, he’s also a very competent chief, cooking simple French cuisine matched with lots of kiwi red wine, so needless to say we eat and drunk extremely well this last Trout fishing season..
Photo of Robert Scholes and Glen Roberts, Staff Elephant Hill Winery Hawkes Bay