for full size image:.
Photo1: Teamwork is the key to success!
Photo 2: The net never lies
Photo 3: Dennis with a big rainbow that
ran him ragged
Photo 4: One of Peter's big browns
Photo 5: The cast
Photo 6: The rising fish
Photo 7: Strike!!!
Photo 8: Slugging it out
Photo 9: The jump
Photo 10: A decent fish
Photo 11: Stunning landscapes abound
New Zealand Trip
Report Feb-Mar 2003
again a highly successful round of trips to the South
Island. The fishing was again brilliant despite the
drought that they were suffering and we have already
booked more than 80% of those who participated for next
seasons trips. Read on for a brief report on the fishing.
The first team of David,
Rohan and Cameron on the first of February. This gave
them the opportunity to reconnoiter the streams before
the main parties arrived in the weeks to follow.
Needless to say fabulous
weather gave them lots of opportunities and some great
fish to 7.5lb were taken. Lots took cicada patterns,
lots rose to our dun patterns and many took big stimulators
and other attractors. Evening rises were to caddis early
and then the duns later towards dark.
Lots of exploration took
them to many streams back into the hills where trophy
resident fish exist. Identifying the best reaches of
the rivers before the surgical strike team arrived on
the Friday night.
By the time the first group
made it in they had amassed a large file of digital
photos and a quick scroll through them had the guys
drooling and anxious to hit the water first thing in
the morning. The urgency to forge up rivers led to early
mistakes until David put his foot down and explained
the techniques required i.e. a slower, more cooperative
approach! Enthusiasm must be restrained by concentration
on utilising the opportunities to their maximum.
Roger, Peter, Dennis and
Grahame as well as David, Cameron and Rohan set out
in teams of two or three to different locations. Collation
of results each night listed their success and all the
photos assembled. Have a look at the photos on the right,
all the participants caught trophy sized fish.
Excursions into stunning
landscapes and river valleys, where trophy sized fish
could be found on station and polaroided to provide
terrific fishing. Most of the fishing was with the dry
fly. Terrestrials (cicadas and beeltes), attractors
(Madam X style, Stimulators and Wulffs) and on one
occasion a nymph!
Legendary streams that
are listed as the best in the world were traversed and
gave up some of their monsters to be released after
their portraiture pose was completed. The party were
lucky to have continuous good weather for their week
so they could maximise every opportunity. Noone was
disappointed. As they left for home and the next party
arrived the weather began to deteriorate.
Antony, Rob, Matt, Andy,
Jason and Zoltan arrived to snowfalls to 300 metres.
Photos of the boys playing in the snow at Garston tells
its own story. Recovering from this disadvantage the
guys got on top of the situation and the pictures tell
an story of spectacular fishing towards the end of the
next week. Sequences of shots show Thommo taking a great
fish from the Mataura in an early afternoon dun hatch.
The guys had some interesting
nymph fishing especially as the snow melted and the
river had a touch of colour. This brought the larger
resident fish out to play. While the Mataura fish average
in the 2-4lb range it was great to consistently catch
fish in the 5-7lb class in the cold conditions. The
fish were easily polaroided and most took a small beadhead
flashback once the correct drift was achieved.
A consecutive run of blue
sky days at the end of the trip (and four of light winds
blowing upstream 5-10 knots!) allowed us some great
polaroiding in a very braided section of river where
the numerous fish averaged about 5lb. They had a lot
of fun with big dries, rubber legged patterns and cicadas.
Andy and Matt finished up the trip with a seven and
six and half pound fish respectively.
The next group of Geoff,
David M, Tom and Joe to take over the baton. Antony
stayed behind from the previous two weeks to make five.
It seems the gods test us in the first two days with
tough weather that doesn't stop us fishing but does
test us to the limit of our skills. Soon the sky cleared
and the fishing improved remarkably. Soon all the participants
had their trophy photos and encounters with fish as
big as your arm!
Persistence paid off and
the guys were soon expressed into the best dry fly fishing
in the world on legendary rivers (see Reflections on
New Zealand article). Joe's great seven and a half pounder
rose to a cicada after we stalked the rise pattern on
a slow bubble line. It makes you twitch to see a great
dark snout gulping down floating insects in a bubble
line. A few seconds of seeing a great big fish rising
is enough to get anyone's pulse rising!
Antony, David M and Tom
did the big trek right to the headwaters of a legendary
river. This trophy water lived up to its reputation
with the boys hooking some hawgs in tough surroundings.
In one section pulling out only one of three hookups
despite 8lb Maxima as the tippet. These fish are strong
and amongst the boulders more than a little luck is
required. Tom landed a brilliant 7.5lb brown that took
Soon the week was over
and the memorable fish recorded onto the computer as
the boys made their way back to Christchurch. Antony
and Geoff were to follow four days later on a later
flight. Four days of trophy fish and spectacular fishing
followed as the weather gave us beautiful clear skies
for the last two days where Antony and Geoff had the
Ahuriri to themselves. The last session left them desperate
for more when they picked up about eighteen fish between
4-6lb in a sensational session that lasted little over
two hours. They lost count at six (Antony) and eight
(Geoff) in a bout of outstanding fishing.
Ho hum, roll on next year!
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