The project was to net, count and sort Males from Females placing them in on stream collection pens; eventually collecting eggs and sperm for hatchery use releasing the parent fish back into the home stream environment.
Every year outdoor enthusiasts flock to the Provo River to enjoy the fruits of Mother Nature for months on end. The Brighton Anglers are no exception. With this being said, Brighton Anglers teamed up with Fish For Garbage three years ago to create an event that gives back to the river we love and use so much.
Stalk Site Present - 4 days in the Southland NZ
By Clay Wells @clayflies
Living in Melbourne Australia, I frequent my local shop ' Hurleys Flyfishing' and have become friendly with the owner Gavin Hurley. Gavin has recently opened up a shop in Lumsden NZ where he has a holiday home which doubles as accomodation for us fisherman looking for some trophy browns. Trawling through his Facebook posts on NZ, I had to work out a window of when I could get down there and try my luck. Thankfully a 6am direct 3 hour flight into Queenstown, an airport pick up from Gav's wife Deb and an hour later driving along lakes, rivers and through valleys I am in the midst of trout Mecca.
I settled into my room, unpacked my fishing gear and set up my rig. Being so keen I had a little time to kill before Gavin was back from a morning fish to pick me up. I did a quick walkabout tour of Lumsden. A quiet little town with a small skate park, an old train line, the Lumsden Pub, a couple of cafes, supermarket, chemist and of course Hurleys Flyfishing store where you can meet and get local tips and flies from Trevor the store manager.
By 2pm Gav had us site casting to some big browns in some backwaters of the lower Oreti River. There had been a little rain the night before and the Barometer had dropped so the fishing was a little tough. The fish were spooky and sitting in close amongst the trees and shadows. It took some Tippett and fly changes before anything took but once they did we sure knew it. I have fished and landed some big fish but these browns have some fierce power that I don't think I was ready for. Watching a brown circling around to find your fly, sipping it off the surface setting the strike only to feel the rod bend, the reel scream and be busted off in a matter of seconds definitely got my adrenaline pumping. Unfortunately this was the theme for the afternoon and I was unable to bring anything to the net, but my trip was not over and I was determined to fix that outcome.
The timing for my trip was impeccable to say the least. I had managed to be over there while Gavin's wife was also there and we arrived home from fishing that night to an amazing NZ Lamb Roast. I am sure you are all aware of NZ and it's affinity with sheep, well I definitely now know why. A score of 10 lambs out of 10 and it was off to bed in preparation for the next days fishing.
We were headed to the might Mataura River around a 15 minute drive. The weather was perfect and the decision to wet wade was made. We walked a few Km's through local farm land and settled on a backwater to get the day started. The water was crystal clear. The first pool we fished had dozens of 4pound + browns patrolling it. Once again however they were mighty spooky and a couple of perfectly presented lies were all but refused at the the very last second. We changed from Gav's favourite Blue Blowfly to spent spinners, unweighted nymphs and a willow group but all were denied. My anxiety was running hard 'was I ever going to land a fish?'.
We moved up into a slightly less clear water under the cover of some willow trees. We heard the slurp of a brown, sighted the fish and Dave, the other fisherman with us cast into its patrolling zone... Waiting waiting and then BAM, the brown was off! To say there was some pressure on Dave landing this fish was an understatement. Sweat from his brow, the premature call for the net were all signs that this fish was the monkey off our backs. Thankfully the wrestle was won and the fish landed. A beautiful brown to start the account for the day
From then on the fishing lifted and we had many fights on our hands to land these brilliant browns. We moved back onto the free flowing river and transitioned from fishing nymphs to dishing up spent spinners, willow grubs and Gav's favourite blue blowfly.
To say these fish were cunning and evasive would not be a lie. One fish I hooked launched no less than 6 feet into the air, through a willow tree to freedom, busting me off and leaving me red faced..... arghhhhh.
I finally landed (after hooking and busting off around 6) my first fish of the trip by 10am on the second morning. From then on my 'performance lifted and the pressure and winding up from Gav slightly subsided.... It was on!
Walking up the river, with Gav on the stalk we would be presented an opportunity every 50m or so. Fishing slurping a grub under a willow, rising mid stream and or spotting them sitting on the bottom of a nice gravel bar. The clarity of the water was something to remember and the scenery fantastic. Not to mention the fishing! After a long day and 9km of walking at around 8:30pm we decided to head home for a local BBQ cooked by GAv. Once again, a delicious meal was served up. The beauty of NZ is at this time of year it is light at 6am and gets dark at around 10pm. If you wanted to break up your day you could easily have multiple sessions throughout and get that evening rise on dusk!
On the 3rd morning we woke to a slightly overcast day and the decision was made to go and fish the Waikai river. The river wound back and forth on itself from the access point with many opportuniotes to fish the best light possible for spotting fish. We arrived at the access point we had been beaten to the punch by a couple of guys. Luckily for us they had stopped in at Hurleys and picked up the 'Upstream' Downstream flyer on the inside of their windscreen so we knew which way to head to avoid them.
The Waikai was beautiful and we fished up until a place called Piano flat. We landed a lot of sizeable fish which were mainly on the willow grubs. There were still some bust offs but overall the odds seemed to be in our favour and another great day was had. I was surprised at how close we could get to some of these willow grub eaters and if you did startle them, how quickly they would return to post. From the fish's perspective I put it down to those willow grubs being so tasty that risk outweighs the reward :)
Below weighed in at just over 4 pound and was caught in between two willows.
On my final day we went back to the lower Mataura. It was rare to see any other fisherman however on this day the first 2 access points we went to had cars parked at them. Not to fear as Gav was there to take us to another honey hole and a brilliant day of fishing. We were working to a schedule this day as I had an 8:40pm flight back to Melbourne. We had fished up until that time every day so I felt like I was getting short changed hours when I was told we would have to leave the river by 5pm. The river was firing, fish rising everywhere and each good presentation of a willow grub was getting murdered. There was on section we rounded into a shallow gravel bar where 4 pound browns were tailing and smashing grubs off the surface. The right had edge was lined with willow trees and patrolling browns. The left was bare grass and a bubble line of spent spinners. In the 300m long section there would have been around 8 decent fish landed. I was trying to pack in as many fish as I could in those last minutes, I just had to get one more........ Thankfully right on 4:59pm Gav spotted a slurping brown. I had one opportunity and with a 'Don't F#$k it up' from Gav I laid up my group and Boom it was guzzled off the top. That fish felt like a 3 pointer in the final moment of a playoff! I was satisfied.
I loved NZ and I will be back there as soon as I can. Top things about NZ
The fishing The scenery Sleights Beer And NOOOOOOOOO Snakes!! I mean ZERO snakes. From a guy that comes from Australia and is always checking his step, this allows a lot more time to focus on my fishing!!
We want to send out a huge thanks to everyone who got involved in our Fish For Garbage Provo River Clean Up. It was a great success. We couldn't have done it with out you... A lot of trash was taken away from the river. We filled two dumpsters and a trailer full of garbage. Amongst all the flip flops, cans and plastic bottles we found some interesting junk as well, a sunken canoe, torn raft, blown out tires, money safe, mattress and inner tubes. Thanks again for taking time out of your busy week and giving up a Saturday to help clean up after other people. We had a great time and hope you did as well. Next years clean up will be held on Earth Day May 22. Mark your calendars. :) A big shout out to our partners. Waldorf Astoria Park City, Rocky Mountain Outfitters, Flut FlyRods, Hardy Flyfishing, Cabelas, Coalatree, Wasatch Guide Service, Rising, Fish On Energy, Tenkara Rod Co., Skullcandy, GoalZero, Fish In Peace, Souplefly, Tacky, Blue Halo, Drop Jaw Flies, Flycraft, Fishwest, Utah DNR, Trout Unlimited, Pepsi, Redbull and Cameron Kirby for making a sweet little edit of the day...
Last week we were fishing and Bryan hooked in to this 21" lunker of a Brown. What a amazing fish. We all were stoked for Bry. We took a few pics and then let the fish get back to its business. Then two days later I was fishing the exact same hole fishing a similar fly and technique as Bryan. I hooked into a fish and after getting it in the net we were looking the fish over and noticed it had the exact same scares as the fish Bryan had caught. I always look at fish with scares and feel bad. This time I was kind of stoked because we knew this guy. This is a great example of why I don't keep fish. I like to let them go to get bigger and give other anglers the opportunity to catch the same fish.
Each year we try to at least make one trip to Southern Oregon to hit up the Owyhee river. There's a 11 mile stretch of hungry Brown Trout infested water. The Browns in this section are the most picky fish I have ever fished for. But they are all large and they like to eat. So once you figure it out you're in for a good time. We really enjoy fishing this river because you sight fish. We wait and watch for fish and cast dry flies to them. It's challenging because these fish know whats up. So you tippet down and change flies often to find the one that a particular fish will eat. The challenge is worth it when you pull in a 18" brown caught with a size 22 midge using 6X tippet. This area does get a fair amount of pressure from fisherman so when fishing expect to see plenty of other fisherman. Be respectable and wait your turn. The fish aren't going anywhere and they seem to come back very quick. We don't cover a lot of water we change-up more and keep catching fish out of the same holes. Here's a few pics from our adventure. Fish On!
Mouse, JP and I hit up the Deschutes River last week while at MT Hood for a work conference. We were hoping the big bugs were out and the fish were keying in on them. When we showed up to Maupin we couldn't be more pleased to hear from the guys at the Deschutes Anglers Fly Shop that the bugs are everywhere and the fish are looking up. We talked a little shop and picked up a few flies in exchange for some local knowledge then went on our way down stream. The day started off well seeing fish jumping during the time we were setting up our gear. We were excited and scurried down the path to the river to give it a go. With in a few minuets JP had a strike and a miss. Then a few minutes later I hooked in to my first bow of the day. I fished that same run for about an hour and picked up a handful of fish. It was so much fun. Even a 14" fish is a fight and will give you a run for your money. I then headed up-stream to catch up with JP and Mouse to hear they both had similar success. At that point I was stoked and knew the day was going to be epic. We fished until the sun went down. We caught a fair amount of fish and missed a handful too. In all it was well worth the trip and each one of us couldn't have asked a better adventure. Enjoy the pics.
I was on my way to Southern Utah to meet up with some friends and family for a weekend of camping, fishing, dirtbiking and all other sorts of good times that can be had in the outdoors. I decided to take the long way there and I rolled up on this stream. I couldn't resist from throwing a fly at it. My first cast was no more then 50 feet from the car I had already hooked a fish. After releasing that fish I walked up stream 10 feet and took another few casts and again fish on. I pulled in the second fish fish of the day and with amazement of the size and beauty I quickly released the fish and then ran back to the car grabbed my GoPro. I set it up on a timed delay at the next hole and again another fish. I caught a few more fish and then decided I better get on my way. I couldn't be happier about exploring and being willing to take the long route. It payed off huge catching some rad fish and getting to learn about a stream I have never seen.
This spring a handful of the Brighton Anglers had the chance to catch another species of fish on a fly rod. Northern Pike! Kind of crazy we live so close to Pike water and how easy it is to fish for them. We all took plenty of time to learn about their habits and when the beast time to fish for them is. We all studied a bit about when they spawn, what water temps are best for fishing, how to fish for them, what flies to use and what depths to fish at. In a whole it has been an exciting and addictive new way to fish. By far we are not experts but all of us our having fun and are hooked on trying to land a monster. Here's a few pics of our first couple of trips out.
We have been hitting up the Provo River a bit lately. Its been cold but fish are staying active. We've found success in the morning on little brown and green streamers. Then as the day goes on we move to fishing the top water with little black midges and bwo flies. The Blue Wing hatch isn't here quiet yet but any day now. I would suggest running a peasant tail nymph as a point fly under your dry and you may increase your numbers. Have fun and take the time to look around you might see some wild life.