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Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre

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Click for full size image:.
Teamwork is the key to success!
Photo1: Teamwork is the key to success!


Photo 2: The net never lies

Dennis with a big rainbow that ran him ragged
Photo 3: Dennis with a big rainbow that ran him ragged

One of Peter's big browns
Photo 4: One of Peter's big browns


Photo 5: The cast


Photo 6: The rising fish

Photo 7: Strike!!!

Slugging it out
Photo 8: Slugging it out


Photo 9: The jump

A decent fish
Photo 10: A decent fish

Stunning landscapes abound
Photo 11: Stunning landscapes abound

New Zealand Trip Report Feb-Mar 2003

Once 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 the stimulator.

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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