Hey All, I can’t get out on the water today as it is Lelsley’s Birthday and I have to do Hubby stuff with her. Here is an article I wrote ages ago on rip fishing. I have been recieving a bit of interest in this style of flyfishing so have a read of this.
The Waitahanui Rip
Out of all the different methods of trout fishing available, fishing the river mouth, or rip fishing as it is also known, is by far my most preferred form. There is always the chance that a group of trout will show up at any time of the day or night making reels scream and rods bend. The fact that you are fishing wet line style, retrieving the line back towards you, means you are in direct contact with the strike when it occurs. More often than not it is a sizzling strike at that. From January through to the end of March there can be some fantastic action as both Rainbow and Brown trout feed up on the smelt which are spawning in the shallow water.
Many people will avoid fishing rips such as the Waitahanui as they are intimidated by the large numbers of anglers that congregate there at times. This is known as the ‘Picket Fence”, as they stand in a straight line and cast out to where the fish lie. In general there is never a problem between anglers, and in fact the atmosphere can be very friendly and relaxed, if you follow a few simple rules. When fishing the main current you must always use a sinking line. A type 3 is enough to get you down. If you are going to fish the edge of the current then an intermediate will do.
The only time a floating line should be used in this Rip is when you are away from the group, fishing further down the beach. The reason for this is because when a Trout is hooked it will automatically come to the surface. If the person along side you is using a floating line there is a good chance that your fish will wrap around their line on the surface. If they then strike believing that a Trout has taken, you may lose your fish. I have had this done to me and have seen it happen numerous times. Anglers do get titchy when they loose a trophy fish this way.
The second big rule is when you have hooked a fish don’t try and walk directly back to the beach going backwards. The correct thing to do is get the fish under control, (it should be on or near the surface), and then holding your rod high, go around the back of the other anglers, who will automatically drop their rods. Once clear of the line then you can play your fish in the slack water away from everyone.
My favorite flies to use are Green Woolly Buggers, Heave and Leave, Orange and Red Rabbit, Taupo Tiger and Parsons Glory. When there are smelt around Gold Bodied Ginger Mick and Silicon Smelts do the trick. All of these flies come in different body colors and it is a good idea to have a selection of each. I only use size 8 hooks in the rip unless it is very rough and then I go to a size 6.
Night fishing can be fantastic, but this method does take time to master. If you are new to this try using shorter leaders and stiffer Fluorocarbon, this will reduce wind knots. A very slow retrieve can be deadly for big Browns cruising around at this time of year. The best flies to use are Black Phantom, Scotch Poacher, Doll Fly, Burglar and Green Marabou. Some of these you want in size 6 as big trout love big flies on a dark night.
Rip Fishing is a fantastic way to learn how to cast and retrieve and you can be rewarded with some brilliant action in the process.