Archive for August, 2013

Mataura Trout

Mataura trout 30 August 003They say that the fishing on the Mataura river, in the South Island of New Zealand is the best in the world and, having lived a little while Southland and fished it myself, I wouldn´t argue.

David Murray-Orr guides on this river and knows it intimately. He was kind enough to tie me up a bunch of flies for a book I am writing and, by way of thanks, I painted a Mataura trout based on fish shown in the home page of his web site

If you ever get a chance to visit the Mataura it is worth getting in touch with David. I doubt that anybody knows the river better.

David pointed out that I had forgotten to sign the painting that I sent him and asked me to send on a signature he could add to it before putting the thing in a frame. I managed to find another painting of the same fish which I painted at the same time. I have touched it up a little and sent it on to David. I made sure I signed it!

If anything I think this second version has a slight edge over the first due to some little tweaks I gave it to liven it up a little.

Of course no painting of a fish can ever be as pretty as the real thing but this is my best effort. I hope that he likes it!

Back from the river

29 August 010Today is likely to be my last chance to visit the river before work resumes next week. The fishing continues to be good and there are plenty of fish around although getting them to take a fly can be tricky. They seemed to feed best in the late morning and in the early afternoon the carp decided to take it easy and bask in the sunshine. Who can blame them?


The carp here are really lovely fish with very distinct pattern to their scales. I was fortunate also to catch a couple of gipsy barbel which have beautiful yellow bellies.This is particularly noticeable in larger fish.


Just before arriving at the Guadlhorce river I passed alongside so29 August 006me citrus groves and had the good fortune to see a booted eagle circling low overhead. There is just so much wilderness within a stone´s throw of where we live. How lucky we are!


29 August 013

The first carp finally surrenders

The first carp finally surrenders


Finny´s trout

I had hoped this year to catch a trout on Lough Arrow in County Sligo and Finian Dodd was good enough to let me take a boat out in July. The kids, Leo and Pippa, were with me. The trout kept to themselves and there were no rises to the big murrough and green peter sedges we were hoping might tempt them to the surface. The kids were sufficiently provided with wagon wheels and cup cakes to avert a mutiny, particularly when the heavens opened and it pissed rain on the three of us.

I had been hoping to catch and photograph an elusive Arrow trout with a view to painting it later. Thankfully, Finny saved the day by providing me with a few good photos of Arrow trout, one of which I painted. Finny is a great bloke and I don´t imagine anyone knows more about the Lough and its trout than he does. He and his wife Mary have revived me on a few occasions with hot tea and biscuits after the trout have ignored me and my flies. I sent the trout painting to Finny as a gift and hope it gets to him okay. I am a little worried. It has been nearly three weeks since I sent it and no word about its arrival!

Lough Arrow trout display some of the great range of colours and patterns which characterise brown trout in general. Finny recognises a number of local variants from different parts of the Lough. I catch too few of the damn things to know!

Here is the painting of an Arrow trout based on one of Finny´s pictures. I hope the original finally gets to him!


Finny´s trout Aug 13 002 cropped

Guadalhorce trip

25 Aug 13 006I managed to sneak out to the river this morning and took a couple of carp on a little pink nymph. The fish were very pretty and I took a few photographs which, I hope, will help me to make some watercolour paintings. Both fish were taken around 10 in the morning. Once they had been recorded for posterity the fish were gently returned and swam off strongly.  The carp seem to be locally abundant and there were plenty of fish in this stretch but almost nothing in the long stretch of similar water upstream. It is well worth being prepared to walk!

25 Aug 13 005