3 DAYS OF FLY FISHING IN NORTHERN SOUTHLAND-

3 DAYS OF FLY FISHING IN NORTHERN SOUTHLAND-

Our guide for the next three days, Paul picked us up outside our Queenstown accommodation early next morning and off we headed south. “Well fella’s” he said, “the bad news is there’s rain forecast tomorrow, maybe even snow, and so the planned trip to the Upper Oreti River is not a good idea. The good news however is that we’ve got other options. So, I’m reckoning we start today on the Aparima river”. It took around an hour and a half to get to the quaint little town of Mossburn which would be our accommodation for the next two nights. We dumped our bags, picked up our packed lunch that Paul had pre-arranged and off we went. We were on the river by mid-morning.

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Something Different For Opening Day.

Something Different For Opening Day.

For as long as I can remember I have always headed to smaller rivers and streams to sight fish on the 1st of October but this year I decided to change it up. Ive been bitten badly by the double handed fly fishing bug this past winter and decided to swing flies with a couple of mates on the Waitaki river this opening day. Trev and I left a 6am to meet good mate and fellow guide Will Spry in Omarama before heading down to Kurow and then onto the river from there. It was a bleak cold morning and the fishing was pretty slow for the first couple of hours,so we changed locations and drove down stream anoher few km’s to the next acess. The first big pool I nailed a nice wee 4lb brownie and Trev hooked a big bow that unfortunately came unstuck.

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A Day Of Sea Run Trout Fishing

A Day Of Sea Run Trout Fishing

The white bait season is under way now so I'm hoping to get over again next week end to hopefully find a few more sea run trout than my previous trip !  The white baiter's now occupy many of the best spots to fish with their netted stands or as they walk the mouths with their scoop nets so you have to mind where you fish, but I love chatting with the many folk who make the pilgrimage from all over the country to try their luck for the white gold ! You get too meet some absolute characters and get to hear some very fishy stories too !

 

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Epic Streamer Wallet | Fly Fishing New Zealand

Epic Streamer Wallet | Fly Fishing New Zealand

The team at Swift Fly Fishing have produced a stylish leather wallet handcrafted in Europe by master craftsman Tuby Muchlow who hand cuts and stitches each wallet from genuine cows hide, then lines them with sheep's wool. The wallets are generous in size (13cm-25cm) and securely hold around 30 fairly large streamers. I particularly like the fact the wallets are open ended allowing the flies to breath if put away wet or damp, I will often open the wallet completely after a day on the water and place it on the dash of my truck in the sun if required.

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Stroft ABR Tippet Review

Stroft ABR Tippet Review

The abbreviation "ABR" stands for Abrasion Resistance, which is gained through a variety of heat & pressure treatments. Stroft ABR has the same strength characteristics as Stroft  GTM but is made from a more abrasion resistant material - It is slightly stiffer and harder than Stroft GTM (soft and more supple) making it an excellent choice for turning over bigger nymphs and dries.

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Simms Way Point Sling Pack | Fly Fish New Zealand

Simms Way Point Sling Pack | Fly Fish New Zealand

It has a very user friendly "horizontal" fold down work bench and internal elastic dividers which keep every thing neat and tidy preventing things rolling around inside the pack. I opted for the smaller 10L version over it's bigger 27L brother as I was after something for when I fish with my Switch rod over the winter months and not venturing to far from my 4WD, as all I needed was something to hold a couple of spools of tippet ,fly boxes and a leader wallet.....this is perfect !

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Clutha River Trophy Rainbow Trout | Wanaka Fly Fishing

Clutha River Trophy Rainbow Trout | Wanaka Fly Fishing

So after 30 years of fishing on the Clutha river I finally caught my first Clutha river trophy rainbow trout ! A cold grey old day with fog shrouding the river greeted me as I pulled into a favourite stretch of the Clutha river, just outside of my home town of Wanaka . A stretch where I've seen several big fish sitting on a drop off over the winter months for the past 20 + years, but have never managed to entice one to eat my flies !

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Getting Into the Swing Of Things | Fly Fish New Zealand

Getting Into the Swing Of Things | Fly Fish New Zealand

Im still relatively new to the double hander fly fishing scene and am learning more and more each time I venture out. I have really begun to realise the importance of the speed of the fly as it swings across the current and into the view of a fish. Fishing over the winter months here in Central Otago region on the bigger rivers such as the Clutha and Makarora usually means targeting migratory fish, fish that aren't usually actively searching for food. For this reason it is important to get the flies in their faces and most hits are more out of aggression than hunger, so getting your fly down and having it swing at the correct speed becomes very important. Below are a few ways in which you can slow down the swing of the fly making it look more appealing and keep it in there faces for longer !

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Tacky Fly Boxes | Fly Fish New Zealand

Tacky Fly Boxes | Fly Fish New Zealand

Below are a few of the reasons why I think they are quite possibly the best fly box on the market at present and nothing really comes close in my opinion. Its silicone slit storage system holds flies like no other fly box I have ever owned , no more open your fly box to find all the heavier tungsten weighted nymphs rolling around inside only to drop out when you open the box.

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Going With The Flow -Fly Fish New Zealand

Going With The Flow -Fly Fish New Zealand

We don’t always get to fly fish the rivers and streams we want here in New Zealand when the weather gods throw a curve ball at us , sometimes we have to fall back on plans A,B,C and D. Still waters are always a great option when all seems lost and are over looked by many anglers. I thoroughly enjoy stalking fish along the lake margins and try to get out as often as possible throughout the season.

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Tips For Handling-Releasing And Photographing Trout

Tips For Handling-Releasing And Photographing Trout

We all want that shot of our New Zealand trophy trout right ? But the welfare of the fish should always be the first thing on our minds once we have hooked, played and netted it. Here are a few tips for handling trout, getting a quick photo then carefully releasing them. The shorter the time they are a out of the water the better ! Using a lager soft mesh or rubber net helps prevent fin/gill damage as the fish isn't jammed in as you net it and also protects the skin of fish once netted. I use a McLean short handle Large net that easily attaches to my Simms fly fishing vest.

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The Stuff Memories Are Made Of | Fly Fish New Zealand

The Stuff Memories Are Made Of | Fly Fish New Zealand

I recently spent a day guiding father and son Hugh and William Spalding on the upper Mataura. We encountered a magic day of weather and the usual fussy brown trout that reside in the upper reaches of this beautiful stream. The first few pools we found a couple of fish nymphing in and hooked one fairly early on but unfortunately it popped off. Things were quiet for the next hour or so with limited shots at feeding fish. We stopped for lunch by the riverside and watched a nice fish feeding off the surface while we hurriedly devoured our filled rolls hoping the fish would continue as we ate !

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Denver Outfitters Rod Vault | Fly Fish New Zealand

Denver Outfitters Rod Vault | Fly Fish New Zealand

The Rod Vault can take three rods up to 10’ long and reels up to 4” diameter. The reel cover is lockable, and you can even padlock your Rod Vault to your roof rack so your gear is safe and sound. The soft plastic tube inserts are also a thoughtful touch.

Breaking rod tips in the car doors and snagging flies on the upholstery are now a thing of the past and the extra space in the vehicle is great for those multi-day trips when things can get messy.

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Inflatable Swags From Intents Outdoors | Fly Fish New Zealand

Inflatable Swags From Intents Outdoors | Fly Fish New Zealand

I recently purchased an inflatable air pole freestanding Queen swag from Intents Outdoors and am thoroughly impressed with what I received. I rang Len Goon the owner of the company on the Monday morning as I had a few questions for him regarding the inflatable swags and had one on the courier by the end of the day. It arrived 2 days later well packaged up with clear instructions on how to "season" it to make sure that it is waterproof, I was instantly impressed with quality of the product. A great combo of durability, comfort and convenience - the Orson Air Pole Swag has the all the traditional features of a tough, quality canvas swag and combines them with the benefits of the latest in air pole technology to give you the ultimate camping experience.

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