We could not resist repeating this delightful dry fishy humour from TRM Facebook:
Columnist Deborah Hill Cone has been having some fun with Clarke Gayford.
(For West Island readers – Gayford is the partner of NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern)
I think she is wrong on one point. He is not the First Man of Fishing.
Now, all you journalists who worked with me over the years, how many smoked trout have you had from me?
Also, he is one of those Clarkes with an “e”. A commoner. The real Clarks don’t have an “e”.
We are descended from Clark Kent.
We are a line of supermen.
OK? So in this exciting new era of searching DNA’s to determine your pedigree, or not, who is this Superman imposter?
That is him above on right slumming it at TRM telling war stories with another legend, Tony Bishop (aka Batman, in drag).
For many years Harvey provided a regular column that was compulsory reading for all keen anglers as he was the Fishing Editor for the NZ Herald for over 20 years.
But every now and then he sneaks down south to fish the Tongariro River as there are no other rivers quite like it near Rotorua. As indicated above, the company here is much better too.
In fact he left today after fishing a few days with his son Anthony – aka Robin? – yesterday’s image on left.
For his “retirement” (?) he has remained very active in encouraging young kids into fly fishing and operates fly casting schools on Lake Rerewhakaaitu.
For all budding wannabe anglers, he is an absolute gem – highly recommended as a mentor for all sorts of good sound practical trout fishing advice.. and how to fly without wings.
Harvey Clark, the Trout Man based at Ngongotaha, has been returning to the Tongariro this spring after an absence of three years, and he has been impressed with the fishing.
“I couldn’t fish the river after a couple of serious operations three years ago and I expected to be well out of touch with what’s been happening,” he said. “Also, I’d heard the usual complaints about river deterioration, poor fishing and poor-quality fish. But I found it just the opposite.”
In five two-day trips, fishing about five hours each day, he landed more than 100 trout, including 34 on one trip and 30 a week later. “Of the catch of 34, all but two were fresh-run and all between 3lb and 5lb. Of the catch of 30 a week later, only about six were fresh, the rest all spawners.”
Clark said he didn’t have to move around a lot to find action. He caught all his fish between the No 1 Bridge Pool and the top of the Island Pool, mainly using a hare-and-copper beadhead bomb with a No 14 or 16 unweighted pheasant-tail underneath. “And I used a big silicone lumo paddle-tail smelt on a shooting head in the Bridge Pool with excellent results.”
At one stage he met a Turangi resident on the Bridge Pool who declared it was the worst season he’d ever known on the river. Half an hour later on the Island Pool Clark met another resident who had landed 11 fish in three hours and who said: “It just doesn’t get better than this.”
Clark said he also met an American on the Blue Pool who was on a three-week fishing holiday, and in one three-day burst he had hooked 80 fish. “That bloke will be returning to the US to tell some incredible stories about the Tongariro, and he’ll definitely be back.”
Clark said he learned 30 years ago not to pay too much attention to the complainers. “Negative anglers don’t have much fun. Stay out of their way and enjoy yourself.”
He’s looking forward to the upcoming dry-fly season, in particular returning to a rig he has found deadly over the years: a large Royal Wulff or caddis with a No 16 or 18 Pheasant-tail and a wee-wet Red-tip Governor tied a couple of feet below.
In particular you need to listen closely to Harvey’s contribution to TRM’s inmates interviews series below… as everything he says is absolutely true!