Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Glenorchy Region

The Glenorchy Region offers what we feel as some of the best fly fishing in all of New Zealand. Boasting everything from good food and drink & hospitality in the remote south west coast of the South Island. We made our home in the Glenorchy Hotel & Backpackers, as this provided the most central base for us to operate from. Leaving us only a 30 minute drive at the best of times to access the major Rivers, this location made it ideal to get around without spending a vast sum of money.

The Glenorchy hotel and backpackers accommodates some of the best food and wine available. Both their pub menu and restaurant menu has some great choices that come from the local area and just reading through the menu makes your mouth water.  Most evenings can be spent enjoying the bar entertainment and sharing fishing stories with locals and other visiting Fly Anglers visiting the area. But the one thing that stands out above all for me is the warmth and informal approach we received from the Landlord Tim. Everyone that comes to this region of New Zealand NEEDS to come and visit Tim & The Glenorchy Hotel & Backpackers as this can ensure some of the best, if the not the best fishing they will experience here in New Zealand. It certainly paid off for us, as we found ourselves over 2 weeks worth of top quality river and lake fishing with ease. And man we caught a lot of fish.

Tim welcomed us with open arms and was happy to share valuable and up to date information, with regard to the local area and the fishing it had to offer without having to flee out of the region. And get this, they even had flies that they sold from their shop that were all carefully selected for the Rivers and lakes of the area (thats dedication towards helping the fly fishers. 
This is the only point of our adventure in NZ where we actually made base for longer than 4 days. I mean this in a positive way, as it allowed us to slow down on tearing around the country folking out money for food & fuel every 5 minutes. 

Throughout our stay at the Hotel, Tim made the effort every day to come see how we were getting on fishing each venue and offered advice on where would be our best bet to fish the next day, depending on the weather conditions. Tim just seemed to be this file-a-fact of knowledge which all worked in our favour. The best bit I loved about the hospitality we received was the fact that all the staff were so friendly and always happy to have a conversation and seemed never too busy to have a chat even when run off their feet made this a memory that will never be forgotten. 

One night in particular, Steve had headed off to bed for an early one. It was a friday night and I decided to head to the bar for a few pints. As I walked in the bar there was a great atmosphere with the locals and residents talking away or watching the football on the live sports channel (which us Brits cant live without for too long). I could see Tim at the far end of the bar chatting with some customers and drinking a glass of wine. Tim kindly invited me over and introduced meet to some of the local guys, who were also keen fisherman. We drank quite a few pints that night and had a laugh or two and even shared fishermans tales long into the night. In my eyes a perfect way to spend an evening. 

During our stay in Glenorchy we visited 5 rivers of Tim's recommendation and everyone was true to Tims word. From numbers and size of fish and also rivers we should avoid for various reasons such as, Angling pressure, Floods or weather. Making the experiences hassle free and a joy because everything ran smoothly.

Towards the end of our stay, we experienced some pretty unstable weather, which can be a nightmare as it can mean hard fishing and can even ruin existing plans due to river flooding. But Tim ensured us that even though we were keen River Fisherman, the lakes within the region were not to be missed and would still perform during the low pressure we were stuck in.

With this information, we decided to go hit up a couple of lakes close by. Once again we were amazed at how accurate Tim's advice was. Catching stacks of fish that were easily sightable even in rough overcast conditions. The pictures that follow speak for themselves.

The Accommodation.

During our stay we made home in the backpackers accomodation as this allowed us the freedom to stay up late and just kick back and relax. It also allowed us to use the facilities such as the washing machine & drier available, to get all our dirty stuff washed. With a tv and self service cooking area it allowed us to have a quiet one on days where we were feeling a bit tired and just fancied a relaxed evening before getting to sleep.

By staying in Glenorchy and under the care of Tim we had an unforgettable & definitely memorable experience that gave us the best heads up on places fishing well and to also get straight to the point. (Catching fish and enjoying the fantastic scenery that New Zealand has to offer.)

In my own words, "Go to Glenorchy book a couple of days in the Glenorchy Hotel and Backpackers and enjoy the amazing experience and service that we received for yourselves as you won't be disappointed". 

The perfect way to spend a holiday whether traveling, tramping, shooting or fishing or even just sight seeing in one of New Zealands most beautiful regions. This destination and its accomodation will provide you with the ultimate experience. 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Charm of New Zealand.

The Charm of New Zealand.

There are not many countries around the world, where we can truly say that have set such an impression as New Zealand. 
Fly Fishing has taken us to some pretty cool places. But none come close to the hospitality and friendliness of the Kiwi's. 
People seem to go out of their way to help you and make you feel at home. Whether it be asking for information on how 
to get somewhere or permission to access their land for fishing, these guys just seem more than happy to help and always 
give you a smile. 

This isn't something I have really thought about much before as I have always had my head focused 100% on the fishing, 
but these last few weeks have just proved that New Zealand has the whole package. Not only does it undoubtedly have
The Best Trout Fishing and Sea Fishing in the world and some of the most breath taking scenery but the people just seem
to be pleasant 24/7 which is almost unheard of now a days. This has just added to the overall experience of the trip and is
without a doubt rated as The Trout Trackers No.1 Fishing Destination in the world.

So thanks to all you Kiwi's for making our experience every bit better.


We had heard through the grapevine about a River in the North Island where people had been catching good numbers of trout averaging between 4-7lbs both rainbows & Browns. 

It was said that on a good day it was possible to catch 20+ fish in a session, depending on if the river had received high levels of fishing pressure or not.

We arrived at a car parking area close to bridge that crossed over the river and had a quick glance. The river was clear, fast with some deep pools, but full of promise. There wasn't any visible entry point where we could climb down to access the river as the bridge stood below a small gauge. So Steve and I decided to take a 10 minute walk down a narrow forest pathway created by conservation workers.

Pushing and fighting our way through the undergrowth we emerged out onto a glass surfaced pool. We could tell that the pool had to be at least 20 feet deep and as we were here to stalk the fish we decided to turn a blind eye to the pool and head further upstream. We approached a section of bouldery water where large stones had created a series of back-eddies in the water, that looked very fishy. 

Sneaking up along the bank edge I spotted a large brown trout moving side to side taking small nymph's just under the surface. I pointed the fish out to Steve and he prepared his flies ready to take that all important first cast. With an accurate presentation, Steve's fly landed in a seam to the left of the trout where the fish had favoured his attention. With this the fish lifted up in the water and sipped down the cicada imitation. 

With a nicely timed strike, the fish rocketed into the fast water and stripped all the flyline off the reel as Steve tried to follow him down river. After a hard 10 minute scrap, the fish found its way into the pan of the net and boy what a fish. An immaculate conditioned Brown Trout.

After covering a few hundred meters and Steve was constantly telling Lewis to slow down due to the 4 trout he had managed to spook by racing up the river (A sense of over enthusiasm). They slowed down the pace and stubbled across A large flash mid river. It was a Rainbow trout feeding frantically. The Rainbow had a bright pink translucent stripe down its latteral line making it clearly visible. It was moving all over the place taking anything in its path.

Lewis dropped back downstream in order to not grab the fishes attention and made his way out into the river to get in line with the fish. He cast up into the seam where the fish was feeding with no response. He tried a few more casts incase the trout had not seen the flies drifting pass it, but still nothing. 

Steve mentioned to me that it could be worth changing the flies as the trout may not like what he had seen and also to not educate the trout by seeing the same flies come past him so many times. With this Lewis said, "Just on more cast". This cast must have just landed in a spot where it caught the fishes eye, because the Rainbow shot up to the surface and nailed the large cicada imitation clean off the top. 

To this Lewis shouted with joy and battled with the fine trout. Once netted I took the fish out the net for a quick picture and man did this trout look amazing. The colours on this fish looked like something out of a painting. It was one of those Rainbow that we had only seen from watching 'New Zealand - The Source' DVD that we had spent early 2011 fantasizing over. But this was now the real deal.

Even though we only caught a few more fish after this, it had been every bit worth visiting this river as the fish we caught were insane. Good fishing...