NZ 2013: Day 4 – 5 – Tough Rivers

Posted by on Jan 30, 2013 in Fly Fishing, New Zealand | 4 comments

The last 2 days have seen me on two different rivers. The first was the same as mentioned in the last post but a bit further upstream and yesterday was on another gorgeous, clear water mystery river. The going’s been tough, there’s been a lot of walking with limited rewards although some of the blame lies firmly with me this time as opposed to the flies as I have had my chances. Both rivers have seen some spooked fish, you know, those you don’t see until you are standing on top of them. It’s about that moment that every inch of your body wells up into a little rage and screams when you see the size of the torpedo shape swiftly bolting off!

Day 4 saw a 4lb brown, with a fair set of gnashers, to the net. The photos below are screen grabs from video footage hence the poorer quality. This fish put up some good tail-walking action across the river, something I’ve only seen from pike before so fair props to this guy! A little size 16 brown wire nymph trailing behind a heavier tungsten nymph did the business.

4lb on the button

Release time

Yesterday saw more blue skies and sunshine and this time it was the infamous blowfly humpy’s time to shine. I really have no excuses for the first fish, I cast over it, up it came and just before reaching the kill zone the fly started to drag. The fish immediately turned away and settled back holding station. Next cast was spot on, better drift and this time the fish took with 100% commitment, unfortunately yours truly managed to miss the strike, you win some, you lose some but I really do hate losing those ones.

Next fish had a similar story with a refusal and then a solid take. This time was in slower water and the fish inspected the fly and refused. The only conclusion I could make was that it must be the tippet (it was 3x I think from a prior nymphing setup) I did a quick chop and change, downsizing and hey presto fish on. Only to come off about 10 seconds later leaving me with a sinking feeling watching the fish bolt away to his hide under the opposite bank.

Regardless of the missed fish, I take some comfort knowing my spotting and casting are up to the mark, just need to sort out the final piece now and everything will be running more efficiently than a VW plant.

Tonight was simply glorious – campsite meal, couple beers and spectacular views in Te Anau. What a place to be on a perfect summers evening. I’m planning a big trip at the moment that will hopefully yield some big trout, fingers crossed!

Mystery river

Te Anau - a place with a view

Happiness is


  1. Love the updates Scooter. Good Luck in fiordland mate!

  2. Happy days mate, off and running.

  3. Just like fishing in Scotland Scotty!! A tad drier I expect! I’m glad to see that you returned the baby brownie!!

  4. Scott what’s happening you got lost???


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