Now it’s almost 2 weeks since I came back from New Zealand, and I sure can tell you that my schedule been full!
2 days after my arrival my friend Henrik Wallberg/Scandi Flyguides picked me up and we went up to the swedish Sportfishing Fair in Jönköping.
Great fun to see a lot of both old and new faces for 2 days.
Some sweet hangaround with the dudes from Fishline, which actually will be my new workplace, and I met up with the guys at the Vision-stand and snatched the new KUST rod and the KUST reel.
And the following week me and some good friends went to Denmark to have a nice together and fish for some seatrout.
The conditions was perfect, but the fishing was really hard.
Last year we caught almost 80 fish, but this year we only caught 45 in 3,5 day.
At least I had the opportunity to try the Vision KUST-combo.
And it was not only love at first sight, also in the first try.
Light rod, with the perfect action for the type of fishing I mostly do.
And the reel is just sexy.
You can find some nice pics from our trip here ——> Flugfiskebloggen
And a short clip here ——–> The Warm Up
A couple days later at the 1st of April, our trout-season i starting.
Normally I use to spend my first day by a river to see if I can find some rising browns, but this year me and some good friends went out to the coast for some searun browns.
Good conditions with a light cold wind and some warming sunshine.
Didn’t take long before I had a good bite on my fly, and the fish took both my leader and fly.
I bit dissapointed, but after a while I caught a decent fish.
All three of us caught fish that day, and this was a perfect start on the season.
The last days the fishing been really good, with good amount of both fish and size.
This year the fish is a bit thinner than last year, but hopefully they will feed properly and we will catch some fattys following months.
A decent fish caught on my new Finkel Fly
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.
Me and my new friend Ryan headed up to Nelson for a couple days of recovery from our fishing.
Well, more like having to many beer and dancing til morning.
We had some fun days in the City before Ryan went out for a guided trip with Mike Kirkpatrick, and I was left alone in the middle of nowhere.
High up in the headwaters of a bigger river, in remote deerhunting-ground.
A gorgy river in a canyon.
Low water, clear as tapwater.
I had some mixed up feelings about it, but Mike, who gave me this spot told it would be good.
Not many fish, but if I will catch any, they will be big.
First day I actually walked a 3 km stretch, but saw only 3 trout.
It was decent fish. Not decent, really good fish.
Spooked 2 of them, and missed the last. Cikada.
The amount of cikadas around this river was insane.
Sometimes you couldn’t even hear your own thoughts.
The following day I walked a long stretch of the river, and in the first 3 km’s I didn’t see a single thing.
Didn’t polaroid any fish, didn’t spook any.
So I started to get a bit frustrated, and almost wondered if Mike the guide had sent me to a “bad” spot.
After those 3 km’s I sast down to eat my lunch.
2 good ham & cheese-sandwiches.
While sitting there, a few meters from the bank, I saw this shadow.
Yes, a fucking fish.
I finished my lunch a little quicker than I normally do, and then walked a couple of meters downstream from where I saw the fish.
Now I have no time to make a fool of myself.
And there I saw it again.
A nice fish just standing in the stream just in front of a big rock.
The wind put my fly almost 10 feet to the right of the fish, and the riffles makes it difficult to see what happens, but then…
A big mouth brakes the surface and my Cikada disappears.
Strike! And the fish jumps right out of the clear water, not once, but 3 times before it runs towards me.
After a couple of minutes a tail the fish which is close to 7 lbs.
This could actually be one of them mousefeeders.
Short, and fat like a kid that loves cake.
Just a hundreds of meters upstreams where I caught my fish, I see a big rock in the middle of the river.
A typically spot for a trout to have its feedingspot.
I slowly get behind the rock, and then takes one step up on it, and then I see a fish about 20 feet upstreams the rock.
I get in position, casts my Cikada for the second time this day, and also this cast throws the fly a couple of meters out to the right.
The fish slowly swims out to get it, and even follows the fly toward me for almost 2 meters before it grabs it.
A good fish + 5lbs.
Couldn’t almost believe it.
2 casts, and 2 fish over 5 lbs.
After a couple of more days of fishing, but not with the same luck, the rains comes the last night.
Ryan comes and picks me up, and when we’re crossing the bridge further down, the river are coming down towards the bridge like a brownish tidalwave.
In 5 second the river by the bridge is almost 1 meter higher.
The following days we are trying to find some clear water, but the rivers which been TOO low, is now high, but with no fish in them.
After a day and a half with chilling and some making some plans, we decide to fish a small river which we fished the week before.
Good levels, and good clarity is greeting us when we arrive.
Just after maybe 30 minutes of fishing, Ryan misses a good trout, but get 4 more chances before it actually hooks the fish.
A beautiful 5 lbs trout.
I’m really happy for his sake.
This was what we both needed.
We go a bit further up, and I’m blindflogging a really sexy reach of the rivers with a overhang of willows.
Fast water, balls deep.
I get a perfect cast right up, close the bank, and I is just about to say to Ryan, “That was a fucking good cast”, and he yells,
“STRIKE!!!!”, and by the same time I saw a shiny glittering shadow grab my fly.
Another goodlooking trout, a bit bigger then Ryans was landed.
Our day is made.
The next day the bigger river have cleared up enough to be fishable, and we went up to the gorgy bit.
But the river is a bit high, and even tho it’s clear enough, we just don’t have the “this is nice”-feeling.
We see a few fish, but we just don’t have the beliefs bout this one.
Going back further down, and trying to see if we could find some fish was probably our best idea this trip.
The 2 following days Ryan catches 6 fish, and myself 13.
Half of them is probably over 3 lbs, and I have the luck to catch a stunning 6 pounder amongst these fish.
But also a couple of them close to the same digits.
After my days in the south, I arrived at the eastcoast and then took a bus to the west to see if I could find some rivers with water, and maybe some good fish aswell.
Found a nice little Backpackers, and the good thing was that the manager actually was a flyfisher. We talked some and I got some info about the rivers being low and warm.
And the fish was easily spooked.
Had to find out that by myself I guess.
First day I went down to the local sportshop and had a chat with the owners, showing me pics of big trout with mice in’em. But they also said the same thing as the manager of the BP.
Low water, heavily fished rivers.
Had to find out that by myself I guess.
Fished one local nice river later that afternoon, with some rain, clouds and some wind.
But still managed to see 2 trout. Spooked them both…
What they told me was true.
Heard a few rumours that the fishing should be better further upstream, so the next day I decided to do a tramp to a small Hut some km’s outside town.
Took me 3 hrs of walking, but the scenery up there was amazing. And a lot of fish. But the same thing here, the fish was so easily spooked. Probably saw around 50 fish in those 2 days I was up there, and many of them was good size. + 6 lbs fish.
When heading my back “home” again a man pulled over with his van and waved at me. It was this guy from Australia, named Ryan who also was a flyfisher, and we started talking bout the fishing and our plans, and then we decided to meet up the next day and go looking for some new rivers up north.
The following 3 days together we fished some bigger rivers, and some smaller.
But the fishing was also hard in those.
Easily spooked, or they was just standing still on the bottom.
Warm water, low levels here aswell.
But I actually caught some fish.
Now we will try to recover for a few days, and then I’ll be heading out in the wilderness again for some days. C ya!
It’s been a while.
But after my stay in the jungle-river, I had some days just chillin and recover.
Last friday I went out to another “jungle”.
Not really, but my and my tent had to spend some time together.
My new tent.
My last one didn’t made it so far.
Took the bus to a small town in the Southland, hitchhiking my way up to this river of normal size.
We can call it “The River with a lot of fish”.
When I arrived close to the river, I found a small hut nearby.
And there was a man there, packing his jeep.
I saw almost directly that it was a flyfisher, and that was perfect.
I could talk some about the area, and maybe if there was somewhere to set camp.
The mans name was Casey Cravens, the owner of Wildangler.com.
A guide from the US, who been living at NZ for more than 20 years.
We had a good talk, and then he gave me a ride to another smaller river a bit north of the first one.
He showed me a perfect place to set my tent and a beat of the “new” river.
The next following days I had really good fishing with a lot of trout, some smaller, but some bigger.
Caught close to 50 fish in 6 days, and the last 2 days was with my dear friend Magnus and his girlfriend, also travelling the NZ.
One of the days we went further up the river, above the farmlands, and just where we parked the van we could see some big trout cruising the first pool below us.
That days we had a really good days, with some really good rising trout and a decent evening rise where we both caught some nice fish.
Especially me who after a 30 minutes of stalking a 6 lbs trout with feeding frenzy.
And we got some of it on tape actually.
And the Cikadas are starting to pop up here and there. Niceness!
Today we arrived in Christchurch, but they are leaving for Australia tomorrow, and I’m heading to the westcoast.
Visiting some good river hopefully, and catching some nice browns.
Some pics for ya.