Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre
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Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre

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NZ 2006 - Some Photos.....


These first two photos are of the soon to be infamous 'orange hat'. We were sitting around one night thinking about how in cycling the leader of the previous stage wears a distinctive jersey and thought we needed something similar. However being evil mongrels we decided that the person who catches the biggest fish the previous day should not only have to wear something that lets everyone know he is in front but also hinders him on the next day by making it much harder for him to win two days in a row (the orange being a dead give away to any self-respecting trout). The winner of the 'biggest fush' hat signs it with his name, the date and the weight of the fish and then finally sticks the fly into it. So far no one has worn it out fishing the next day despite wanting to wear it around the homestead, in town and at the airport!

Just a couple of brilliant stretches of river. The photo on the left is of a magnificent pool that contains several fish over 10lb. David caught one 9.75lb a few years ago out of this stretch and it is heartening to see that they are always there, year after year, even after large floods move the ravel around. The other shot is of a typical run on one of the more exposed rivers that you only get to fish when the nor'wester backs off somewhat.

Two smiles, two great fish, same river, same fly........What a river! These are two typical examples of the sort of fish to be expected when the weather allows good polaroiding. Trophy fish on cicada patterns, it doesn't get any better than that. Bob's fish (on the left) was the result of lots of hard work. We walked a good 15km's of river that day as it was nearing the end of the week and we had just this one blue sky day left before the weather broke up.

I worked him very hard and the low sun (late March) and the cloud made spotting fish very difficult, that is until you were right on them. We spooked over 50 big fish for the day, the smallest being about 5lb and the biggest around 10lb. Skipping the marginal water we came across a couple of pools with the desired curve away from the sun and also back dropped by a high bank which removed the glare. The first fish we missed on the strike was an absolute hog at somewhere between 9-10lb. We were crestfallen.

Then walking around the corner with the angle perfect I stumbled onto this one. Getting Bob in position, retying tippets and measuring the line so that there were no stuff ups took a few minutes and then the cast went up. Slightly behind the fish and about five feet off the line the big brown heard the landing and peeled off and ate the fly coming towards him. The rest is history. See attached smile!;-)

The other fish was the also the reward of hard work on a tough afternoon. This river has plenty of large fish but they make you work for them. Again we were spooking way more than we would like but as with Bob's fish we hit a bend that was just perfect and found two carbon copy fish on station in crystal clear, slow water. Both fish ate the X-Cicada and in a matter of a half an hour the whole day was made. Two fish on dries, near to 15lb of fish released......

One thing that needs stressing is the work needed when releasing these big fish. While they are fit as a 'trout' and the water oxygen rich and cold, these fish still go hard and need plenty of care to recuperate properly. Here we see the correct technique being used. Head into the current out of the faster flows and gently cradled until the fish decides to swim off. This can be ten minutes or ten seconds but you have to let the fish recover at its own pace. When a fish fights particularly hard and is very tired this is the best way to get a photo. Lift it very gently out of the water just enough to get the shot, snap off a few in a matter of seconds and then get it back in ASAP.

Pink sky in the morning ..... &%*@(#)_# warning. We have all heard this a million times but for a photographer it is a great time to be out and about. This morning I couldn't sleep thanks to the humidity locked in over night by the cloud cover and was fortunate enough to be able to get some shots. Unfortunately to get the shots I had to crank up the ISO and hence they are a little grainy.....I am a fly fishing guide not a great photographer after all! Anyway enjoy the early morning light on one of Southlands best rivers.
Nice rainbow on a bright day. The rivers that we fish for rainbows down this way are all fast and furious and even the smaller specimens give you a torrid time. Two rainbows on on the bigger rivers actually ran out the full 180 metres (backing+line) before breaking the 8lb tippet like cotton. The second photos shows the moment of triumph. One of the more sedate rivers that has great hatches and plenty of fat browns. The south island is a fly fisher's paradise.

The old camera on a fence post trick! Three is the perfect number when fishing these rivers. Guide spots and the two fisherman support each other alternating fishing opportunities. Typical Autumn conditions on the bottom of the south island. The sign on the right is now to be seen on just about every river on the island. The threat posed by Didymo is very real and the consequences of its spread can be seen in some waterways. Please make sure you follow the instructions listed here. A note though, if you use the bleach solution like I did, make sure you mix it correctly. David's 10% solution turned my green waders yellow and my wading boots pink!

These rivers are stunning. Snaking their way across the valley floor and eventually into the ocean over a 100kms away they really are the perfect 'trout water'. Amazingly rich in aquatic insects they also have plenty of terrestrials in the form of beetles, cicadas and willow grubs. Group photo shows the largest group that we take each and every year. Smiles and sunburn in the living room of the homestead.

Another fish is released back to where it came from. These short moments shared between angler and fish are primal. To feel the kick of the tail and watch as a wild creature slowly swims away from your grip is something that you cannot adequately describe. Also the second shot is one only a fly fisher could relate to. Sitting back on the tail of a long, slow pool watching someone fish while eating your lunch. We live for moments like these.....




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