Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre
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Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre

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Click for full size image:.
The South Island. What a place!
Photo1: The South Island. What a place!

 
Peering over an unercut bank. Big fish territory
Photo 2: Peering over an undercut bank. Big fish territory

 
The rivers are as good as you will ever find
Photo 3: The rivers are as good as you will ever find

 
Meandering stream comlpete with 4-8lb trout
Photo 4: Meandering stream complete with 4-8lb trout

 
Keeping low they carefully stalk a fish
Photo 5: Keeping low they carefully stalk a fish

 
About to cast!
Photo 6: About to cast!

And finally the fish. Brilliant brown trout
Photo 7: And finally the fish. Brilliant brown trout

 
Another day another fish. This time as most were struggling to  get anything a customised ******** pattern did the trick
Photo 8: Another day another fish. This time as most were struggling to get anything a customised ****** pattern did the trick

 
A sight fishers paradise
Photo 9: A sight fishers paradise

 
The result of all the walking and stalking. A true South island trophy fish
Photo 10: The result of all the walking and stalking. A true South island trophy fish

Same fish...different view
Photo 11: Same fish...different view

Quick Trip Report, Feb 2002

Our last trip to the South Island again produced the goods despite it being one of the toughest summers we have seen over there. Lots of people on the fishable water due to rain affected rivers all over the island. A very unusual February with everything about a month behind normal.

Upon arrival the group headed south to our hideaway in the hills. The problem with driving during the daytime though is the number of brilliant rivers encountered along the way. You just cant drive over them when the sun is shining. And so it was on this occasion also. A beautiful creek that cut a meandering path through the valley floor surrounded by snow capped mountains was the temptation and the guys will to get down to our base that morning folded like a cheap suit!

It was not long before the first fish were being found and to the surprise of the guys who had never been there before the fish were in the 4-8lb range. It was incredible to see so many great fish in such small water. And this is not even a pet river of ours. Just one that when thumbing over the map on the drive down looked good.

Photos 4,5,6 and 7 show this water off well. Slow, careful stalking was a prerequisite but it was well worth it. In photo 7 you can see Peter with his first NZ brownie. What a way to start the trip and a lifetime of future visits.

Way Down South

Perhaps the best thing about visiting in mid to late summer is the fact that the area known as Southland is experiencing its most stable weather for the year. The river are often at lower levels and although at times spooky, the fish will readily take dry flies.

The difference this time round was the weather and consistent rain they had received all season long. We had earlier fished it in December and it was receiving unusual weather patterns then as well. Most people were struggling to come to terms with the conditions and obviously the waters that were in better shape were getting a pounding as people travelled a long way in search of fishable water.

Fortunately armed with knowledge of previous trips the group were able to find relatively unfished places although they did require a bit of walking. Photos 1 and 2 show the sort of rivers and the sort of walks mentioned. Covering up to 15-20 kilometres in a day and always searching for fish on station or rising. The fact that the fish were so large and that you can confidently search the water knowing you will see them made these walks easier than they would otherwise have been.

Most of the other anglers they ran into were struggling to get a fish. Many were fishing the correct pattern but the wrong colour. Without giving away too much the guys had worked this out and modified the fly everyone else was using with scissors and a waterproof marker and this made all the difference. From this moment they began to catch fish. I could tell you exactly what they did but I won't as I may be straining relationships if I do.

The fish in photos 8,10 and 11 are prime examples of the fish that they started catching after working out the fly needed. The fish in the last photos is what we term a true 'trophy' fish and the guys were ecstatic with its capture.

Evenings were spent having a quick dinner and couple of drinks and hitting the hay bushed. Anyone who thinks we will be keeping gentleman's hours on these trips should think again. Unless specifically requesting a more relaxed schedule on one of these trips we will be getting back late every day. After a long day of walking, stalking and hopefully catching fish we just fall into bed in preparation for the next day of the same.

One thing that a couple of recent clients mentioned was the fact that they thought that they were at the bare minimum level to take advantage of the trip. That is you should be able to cast well before attempting it, so that you get the most from it. If you intend to do one of these trips you should be practising throwing a fly in the wind as often as you can. Go down to the local park before or after work to practice for 30 minutes every couple of days or take 15 minutes out of your lunch break and go out into the carpark. You should be able to get a fly to a fish at between 20-70 feet in strong winds as they do occur.

Summary

It was a great trip with some magnificent fish caught in sometimes testing conditions. Lots of laughs, the odd bottle of red and plenty of fun although we heard that the guys are now having a holiday to get over their trip.

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