Grant Petherick knows a bit about Fly fishing and Wine, he’s ok with people too, but you have to be approved by his faithful canine pal “Noodles”.
To repay a favour for showing me another side to winter Trout fishing in the central north Island and to Mike who had let us stay at his place we did a little saltfly fishing on my home water’s of Waiheke. Grant had wine stuff to do later in the day but the morning was ours and the weather was superb!
Mike admitted to me that his saltwater fishing had become “ho-hum” but the prospect of catching snapper on fly in the shallows was interesting.I feared that I had talked it up as our first spot produced just a single fish for Mike , it was his first on fly and it was from water under a meter deep, but I knew we could do better.
The tides suggested a move to the bottom end of Waiheke was the right choice and once I found a sheltered bay with a few fingers of reef it was just upto Mike and Grant to get the flies into the likely looking edges, snags and holes.
Mike and I both share a long history of fishing conventional gear in the salt and conventional wisdom would have suggested we were in the wrong place at the wrong time of day. When Mike came up solid on a scrappy snapper in very shallow water under the bright mid morning sun the surprise and delight were obvious.
I went into guide mode and manourved the boat quietly along the edge of the shoreline pausing so they could take turns at placing casts to the very visible rocks and weed edges. Every second or third cast produced a hook up and when one angler stood down to fight a fish the second caster often produced a double hookup.
It pays to keep moving, foot noise and rod bangs can spook an area but if the pace is smooth and the casts long, multiple fish can be caught before the next quiet corner is explored.
Grant has a very smooth cast ,the fly lands softly without extra line splash and his favourite 7wt Sage Salt is the perfect rod for this style of fishing.It has become evident to me that a smooth casting style is probably the greatest asset for this style of fishing, sure my flies are working well but presentation is key. We were experiencing a “Hot” bite but Mike and Grant fished it very well.
Grant caught the larger fish due to this smooth style but the smile on Mike’s face was the real Trophy.
We finished up and then meet with my Wife Carmen at Te Motu for lunch, while Grant and Carmen did wine talk ,Mike and I raved about how cool this new trick for old dogs style of snapper fishing really is!