Photo Album: New Zealand 2008

Seeing as this blog is basically a diary and photo album of mine I thought I should make a series of photographic blog posts of past fishing trips and adventures. Since I have just come back from New Zealand, I thought it appropriate that my next post is on the fantastic few weeks of fishing I had on the South Island in February 2008. I was joined there by one of my best mates from university, Mike Avery, or Tex as we know him. 

We were relatively unprepared and I hadn’t done a lot of reading on the fishing over there.  As it turned out we learned as we went and ended up catching plenty of good fish over our two weeks of exploring the back country rivers. We concentrated on 3 rivers: 1st we fished a day on the Eglington River which was poor. Then we took a ferry ride to the North end of Lake Te Anau to fish the Clinton River. We spent about 6 days up the Clinton River. The last river we fished for 5 days was the Wolsley River, which also flows in to Lake Te Anau. We chartered a boat to drop us off and pick us up again. That’s the only was it’s accessible other than a chopper ride. You will see why Lake Team Anau and it’s rivers are high up on my list of rivers to fish when I return to the South Island. I know there are literally thousands of good rivers in NZ but the wildness and remoteness of the rivers in Fjordland National Park are tough to beat.    

I will let the pictures tell the story. 

Tex and I at the junction of the Clinton River and the Northern branch.
Tex over the moon with his first fish in NZ.
A freezing cold day where I had all my layers on after I fell in the river. Hence the poor camouflage.
Tex fishing a likely run high up the Northern branch of the Clinton River
Tex on the lower Clinton River
The Wolsley River. If there is a god, and he created this river, the he surely must be a fly fisherman and the Wolsley his finest creation! The Wolsley River is about as perfect a river as I can possibly imagine. Every bend that you round is another WTF moment.
Higher up on the Wolsley I hooked a big fish upstream of the log in the picture. Predictably it tore off downstream under the log and snapped me up.
Tex fishing a deep run on the Wolsley
One for Tex’s wall. Tex throwing loops on the Wolsley.
This stream comes tumbling down off the cliffs hundreds of meters above the Wolsley valley floor. This waterfall was a hundred meters off the main river through the forest. I ventured up to see what the water was like. I spooked a good fish in a foot of water on the way up which I caught on the way back down. However what lurked in the pool below the falls was the biggest surprise!
A hog of a Brown trout. Caught on a dry fly in the pool below the falls. This is my best ever brown trout and river trout.
The fish that I spooked and then caught on my return to the main river. The fish was lying in a back eddy and in a foot of water. It doesn’t get much better than that!
This Brown was caught while waiting for our boat charter to pick us up. We only “discovered” the amazing fish that can be had by sight fishing for the cruising Browns. This is very normal for New Zealand lakes as I subsequently discovered, and this is how the browns are targeted. Their shallow water cruising habits makes them an ideal sight fishing target. It makes me wonder why we don’t have more Brown trout only dams in our country. I would absolutely love to fish a still water that’s stocked with browns. Imagine sight fishing them as the cruise along the dam edges. That would be epic!
You can see me wading the shallows around the Wolsley River “estuary”. I caught 4 or 5 fish in a few hours before the boat arrived. All sighted, on the dry fly, and in a meter of less of water.
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