My final days in NZ, I didn’t do much fishing. Instead I got sick, and spend my last days in bed with a mancold.
Now I’m sitting at the Christchurch Airport with some bittersweet feelings about going home.
At least I know that this Paradise hopefully will stay this was until I go back.
Before I got to NZ, I didn’t really know much about what to have with me, or what to wear.
I got some tips from people who’ve been here before, but then I just tried to find out thru the webz what to bring.
And I think I solved it pretty well.
I’m just a n00b about this, but almost 9 weeks in this country teached me what I’ve done well, and not.
So, my plan is to just tell you about that and maybe can give other n00b’s some tips, and maybe get some new one from people who know better.
Because I had a good collaboration with Vision Flyfishing, my product placement will ofc for their advantage.
When you see a lot of flyfishers fishing in NZ, you can notice that almost 100% is only wearing boots, socks, longjohns and shorts. Some also use a pair of quick-drying pants.
Some of them also use neoprene-waders in the colder months.
I actually met an american dude who wore a pair of breathable waders.
So, my plan was to do the wet-wading-thing as much as I could, but I had the luck to try a pair of waders from Imago Flyfishing. More about them in another entry.
Let’s start from the bottom.
In this case I think the best is to find a pair of boots/shoes which are light, and with a good grip.
I’ve seen many wearing Gore-tex boots, and Gore-tex sneakers, and my plan was just to find a pair of boots which was like I said, light.
I will actually not give you the name of these boots, because they suck.
Already after 22 days they were torn and started to fall apart.
I was really disappointed.
Not from Vision Flyfishing tho.
Extra pair of shoe-laces.
I got the tips about using a combo of thinner neoprene-socks and pair of wadingsocks.
When I visited one of the rivers, and waded without the neoprene-socks, I really felt the big difference.
I would never deselect my neoprene-socks. In this case I used the Vision Neoprene-socks.
The wading-socks is not that important, except that I think it was much nicer to wear a pair which was a bit thicker.
Both for warmth and comfort. And also if you find a pair that goes up to the knees is way better for some protection from grass, and the incredibly annoying thorns/thistles.
I had a pair of Vision Subzero-socks. Really warm and comfortable.
For my “long-john” I had two different variants, depending how the weather was, and the the temperature of the river.
One thinner in synthetic material/bamboo and polyester, the Vision First Skin Layer, and one thicker in merino-wool.
Both of them is quick-dried.
I also wore the Vision First Skin Layer-top.
And for shorts, you can use almost any shorts. My tip is just to find a pair in thinner and quick-drying material.
Always nice to get a dry pair of clothes the following day.
A normal t-shirt, a shirt or a long sleeve will do good for the top-part.
Hoodie, or a thicker shirt if it’s colder.
The jacket is mandatory!
A nice, water and windproof jacket could save the day.
I hade the opportunity to try the Vision SADE-jacket.
I was pleased. Even if it’s a bit thicker than a Just-In-Case jacket, it’s nice to have a jacket which provides some warmth aswell. Hood is preferable.
Think about the colors! Lighter colors, big no no.
Headwear and other.
A normal cap, and even a nice hat like the Vision Willa Beanie. Perfect! You don’t want to get cold.
I actually bought a pair of gloves. The saltwater-model. I’ve seen a lot of fisherman use those, but I probably only used them for a couple of days because of the sun. They actually helped a lot when tailing fish.
Buff. I guess a lot of people use them because of the sandflies, but for we it was just in the way.
In cooler days it was nice tho.
Shades or glasses, very important.
Even tho the most rivers in NZ is very clear and it’s easy to spot the fish in most situations, a good pair of polaroid-shades/glasses could be the key to success.
In the really sunny days it also gives the eyes a bit of rest.
AND of course, for the safety.
Amber/copper is the preferable lens-colors, but I think even a grey/dark would do good.
Especially in them lighter/sunny days.
For the evening-fishing a clear/yellow lens.
Backpack, chestpack, hip-pack, vest?
I’ve tried them all.
The thing is, it’s all about how much and what gear you’re bringing to the water.
For shorter daytrips, a couple of hrs, a vest or a hip-pack will probably be enough.
But if you are like me, having a lot of different shit with you, cameras, a couple of flyboxes, something to drink and eat, you need something bigger.
A daypack, smaller backpack is therefore way better.
And for me, it’s mandatory it’s waterproof.
I tried a new thing on this trip, with a waterproof backpack and a smaller chestpack.
Best thing ever!
I could bring my cameras, my food, boxes and a jacket in the back, and then have all my tippetmaterial, some flyboxes, clipper and forceps in the front. Best solution when you’re walking a lot, changing flies and leaders.
The setup with the Vision Aqua Day Pack and the frontpiece of the Vision Mycket Bra Vest Pack was just perfect.
Rods, reels and lines.
Here is where anyone can go bananas.
Which classes, lenghts, actions?
Which lines is to prefer?
For me who’ve been flyfishing for trout for almost 20 years, It wasn’t that hard to know what to bring.
But you always learn some.
Normally I only fish with a 5-weight, but this trip I brought a 6-weight for those windy days, and also because of the flies.
A Cikada-pattern in size 4 with some wind isn’t that easy to cast even with a 6-weight.
And sometimes you even have a tungsten-nymph tied to it.
In calmer days, a medium-soft rod, 9 feet, 5 weight will do good.
For those windy days with big flies I used a fast-action rod, the Vision MAG 9 feet 5/6 weight.
And calmer days I used the Vision Cult, 9 feet, 5 weight.
Even tho the Cult-rod is a soft-action rod, it wasn’t a problem casting indicator-dries with a small nymph under it.
To catch a 5 lb-trout on that rod was just ridiculously nice. Just sayin…
All rods, 4-pieces.
The reel for me is just a line-storage. But when fishing for big trout, close to 10 lbs it’s not that bad to have a good reel with a brake to rely on. A good brake system is always first priority.
And choose a reel who manage at least 60-70 meters of backing.
Both the Vision KELA and the VISION RULLA didn’t prove me wrong.
Here you can think the same way as with the rods.
In which situation are you going to use them?
When throwing big, or heavy flies I think a good line, with a shorter belly and shorter front taper is to prefer, but when casting lighter/smaller flies to wary big trout, you need a line who present those flies well.
For the presentation-line I should therefore choose a line with a longer belly, and longer front taper.
The one I used the most was the Vision Brownie 95.
A good allround-line for both situations.
NZ, South Island, where the most rivers are clear as tapwater. You will need longer leaders.
When I arrived here in the middle of January, the season was about 3 months in, and even tho a lot of people been fishing a lot of the more popular rivers, the fish wasn’t that wary.
I fished with leaders about 15-16 foot, and tippets of 4X = 0,18 mm/ 6-7 lbs.
Sometimes thinner when the flies got smaller.
Leaders in nylon, but the tippets in fluorocarbon.
For each day into the season the fish became more cautious and easily spooked, and the leaders therefore got longer and longer.
20 feet at least, and 4X, but sometimes even 5X. ( 0,15 mm / 5-6 lbs )
Bring at least 3 spools of each.
If you’re fishing in the night, or with streamers, 0X-2X will do.
Other accessories, chemicals and stuff.
Clippers, forceps, bring at least 2 of them. You will probably loose one or more.
And 2-3 good retractors.
Some good floatant, like the Tiemco Dry Dip Super is probably the best shit ever!
Works for any flies.
But also a silicone-based floatant for hackle/foam-flies.
And then a powder-floatant like Loon Top Ride. Very good!
I actually didn’t bring a net, and didn’t even bother to buy one.
Ofc it makes it a bit easier to handle the fish, but I didn’t have any issues, even with big brown trout.
The rainbow trout tho, can be a bit tougher.
If you wanna go deep, or if you some tiny nymphs that you want to brake the surface a bit easier, some sort of tungsten-pasta or splitshots is not entirely wrong.
I prefer the pasta. I know that Loon Outdoors provide with some good stuff.
A tape measure, if you’re interested in length. And ofc a scale if you’re interested in weight.
The McLean-nets is a good combo of both a net and a scale.
The sandflies can make any man a maniac.
The best one is called Bushman, it’s sort of a gel-repellent.
You will find them in the local fishing/sport-shops in NZ.
Good shit, and fun stuff.
Perfect if you not want to get lost in the backcountry, like I did a couple of times.
Bring also a compass.
If you’re doing some bushcrafting and living in the wilderness, there’s some other things to think about.
A good reliable tent.
I had some problems and got rained in, with a really piece-of-shit-tent.
Leaked in, and all my stuff got wet. No fun.
A warm sleeping-bag.
Did the same mistake and bought a bad one.
Or well, not bad, but to thin.
Even tho it’s 25 degrees in the day, it could easily be close to 0 in the night.
Some sort of warm, a bit thicker sleeping mat. Doing 9 days in a row, with a bad mat, makes you feel alive.
If you don’t make your own pillow out of clothes and stuff, buy something for the head.
The inflatable ones is to prefer.
Both for fishing, but also for the darkness.
In NZ-summer it goes from decent light, to complete darkness.
Not for killing bears or any other dangerous animal, cuz there is none in NZ, but a knife is always useful.
In a lot of situations.
I actually had 2.
Lighters or matches.
As with the knife, I had 2 of each.
Making a fire in the wild could save your life.
Some sort of a thin, but strong rope.
Both to make a laundry bar to dry your clothes, and also to tie up the tent if needed.
And at last, but almost one of the most important things.
A First Aid Kit.
You never know if/when a accident happens.
Another thing that actually could be good to buy, especially if you’re traveling alone, is a PLB.
PLB or a Personal Locator Beacon, is a tracking transmitter which aid in the detection and location of people in distress.