Jake Williams from Ballingers Hunting & Fishing fills us in with the gear that helped him get through this winter in fine fishing style.
"After having experienced one of my most productive winter seasons ever - I can put my success down to merely a few key factors. Bear in mind that winter fishing isn't always windy and grey, I had many beautiful sunny days that one would have believed to be our beautiful New Zealand summer. But, of course, as winter would be she didn't always play kind. And after a night of casting the Scott Meridian NZ Special #6 into gusting freezing winds, I realised I had found a rod that would probably stay by my side for some time."
"The Meridian is a rod I was lucky enough to play with at the end of our last summer, a stiff, strong blank I quickly had a liking for. It was throughout the last few months it proved itself to throw perfect, delicate loops at sight fished rainbows and browns cruising lake flats, and to punch flies into strong southern winds, ice, snow and sun. Matched with the Lamson Speedster, a reel that can fight fish while frozen and hold enough backing to cast a full line to a pre-spawning fish full of energy. There's some serious fun to be had with either of this pair."
"The second key factor I thank for my success is the ever important and always difficult, choice of fly. And where would I be without the small but mighty Belinda's Bitchslap. Through the heart of winter, the Orange bead Olive body version of this skinny bugger produced me fish from some very deep and dark places, where I'm sure fish go into hibernation, and the simple olive/black gold bead is worth exactly that, gold. Having produced fish from all the waters I fished it, my favourite moments of the winter season will be that of cruising browns of up to 6lb turning and swimming meters to pick up an Olive Bitchslap twitched up off the bottom."
"Awesome! A series of flies I found perfect for sight fishing on the flats and to edge cruising fish, and for blind fishing at night or prospecting lakes in the day. It's fair to say that winter was fun, but summer is coming and with it a whole lot of fish that are about to get "Slapped"!!"