Once, I had a day off. So first thing I did was Call me buddy James Fraser. We put in about 16 hours of work and explored and fished and had a great time. I don’t get to fish too much on my own time anymore, (unless im in the Bahamas, New Zealand, Fiji or South America) but during the summers my time is spent guiding people. So when I get a day off I always enjoy fishing with buddies.
I had the privilege to fish private water in Idaho the other day with my buddy James Fraser. James works for Friends of the Teton River, spending his days studying rivers, and creeks, and fish, often times with a fly rod in his hand. Fortunately our job that day was to catch as many fish as possible, measure them, tag them and release them. James will be lucky
enough to fish this spot next week and compare his notes so he can get an idea of a population count on this river. The fishing was amazing, every cast we were hooking fish. Which also meant that every fish we had to pull out our clipboards and pencils and tapes and record every fish, it got tiring! On the hike down to the river we stepped over a four foot rattlesnake which I failed to get a picture of cause I was so scared. We also saw a lot of Bear sign, ripped open logs, and torn up brush.
I fished two days with my friends Bob and Jamie last week. It was a great time and the fishing was outstanding. Bob and Jamie are from Boston and they had a good visit to Wyoming. Every cast we caught fish on certain stretches, it was almost too good to be true. Great job Bob and Jamie Ill see you next year!!
This place is amazing, no matter where I go in the world I always love coming back home. Wyoming is one of the best places on earth, with numerous lakes, rivers, open spaces, grass, flowers, blue sky, more animals than people, dirt, rocks, and mountains. No matter where I go I carry where I’m from. A few days after I got home I got a call from my Buddy Jeff Currier to meet him at the Henry’s fork for the annual Ranch Marathon. He also mentioned our good buddy Mike Lesota was driving all the way from Portland Oregon to be there for it. So I better be there. I started packing my truck with camping gear and called my buddy James Fraser (who I spent the winter in NZ with) and told him Id be picking him up in Driggs. The marathon is kind of a big deal, and no matter how hard we party the night before we always wake up at 6 am to get the day going. The marathon is from sunrise to sunset fishing from the log jam all the way to Osbourne bridge followed by draft beers and massive Trout hunter burgers.
The fishing was tough. I didn’t catch a fish all 15 hours and the white caps were big. You couldn’t tell which way the water was flowing it was blowing so hard. We finished up the day of fishing with beer and food, and Woke very early in the morning to get home and get the day started.
I am finally home after an awesome winter of Fly Fishing travel and Sailing Through Fiji. Before I Talk about this summer and guiding I want to share a few more pics from Fiji. The last 2 weeks on the boat we were all extras in a Bollywood movie, Dancing on the beach, walking the beach through fake dance parties, enjoying cocktails with the actors and actresses, and just having a great time. Keep your eyes and ears open for a 3D Bollywood movie called “warning” and if your lucky enough to see it you will notice me dancing and partying with the best of India.
The food on Slow Dance was always amazing, as we had a personal Chef on board. Mahi Mahi or Wahoo for Lunch (when available). And all the coconuts you could ever want.
When I head to Bombay India I will be hanging out with some of my buddies from Bollywood. The movie shoot was a riot and I only wish I could have been there for more of it.
Alot has happened since the last time I wrote you all. I got to Fiji on April 12, and since then its been a crazy unexpected random chain of events, and its all been so awesome. We never made it to the Lau group like I had originally said, in fact Im not even on the same boat that I was on when I first came to Fiji. Everything happened so fast. In the matter of a week or so our boat broke down, the engine ceased, our head sail ripped, 2 of our three water tanks were not working, solar panels were not in order, we didn’t have enough anchor chain or for that matter a working anchor, and rice and noodles and beans were getting very old and with no refrigerator. Also, a 38 foot boat is pretty small when you have 4 people living on it. So none of those things were a bid deal and Elaine Eskil and I were ready to tough it out, until we met two South African brothers in a bar who needed a deckhand, a stuartess, and a first mate aboard their bosses 92 foot steel cutter catch. It didnt take long for us to make our decision and two days later we had moved off of “VAL”, (no hard feelings Nick) and moved on board “Slow Dance”, an absolute beautiful charter boat based out of Los Angeles (www.sailslowdance.com), with three fridges two freezers, two water makers, sea kayak, fishing gear, two Dingy’s, (our primary Dingy is 70 HP and we have a smaller Dingy as well) I have a flat screen TV in my cabin with bathroom, shower, granite counter tops, no big deal. My title on board is fishing technician/deckhand, Elaine from Ireland is the stuartess, Eskil from Sweden is the first mate, BJ from South Africa is the first engineer, Sean from South Africa is the Captain, Victoria From LA is the chef, and Ron from LA is the owner. Its a beautiful boat and we are having the time of our lives now. We are required 4 hours of work a day in exchange for food(amazing food) and beer and the chance to see some of the most amazing places on earth. On our free time we swim, snorkel, fly fish, climb mountains, fly fish, explore, and fish. We have seen countless islands now and have met amazing people, villagers, and people who come up to the boat when we are anchored and welcome us to their island and socialize and trade stories and all the while having a great time. When sailing we are always trolling and have caught Tuna, Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, and I always jig for grouper when we have finally anchored. With fridges and freezers on board we eat fresh fish whenever we want, eggs and dorado you know? So we will continue to fish and sail and enjoy until I fly home June 21 to fish every single day and get payed for it. By the way next week we start shooting a Bollywood movie on board, they have hired Slow Dance for a two month movie shoot of a Bollywood remake of a movie called Open Water 2 3D, Bollywood’s first 3D movie. Then the boat will continue on to Vanuatu, Salomon Islands, Philippines, and on to Thailand. I have been offered a position on board when guide season is over to sail the boat around the Philippines and on to Thailand so we will see what happens. Anyways hope you all are doing well, cant wait to see you all again. Cheers.
Hello Everyone! I hope your all well. I’m in Fiji and have been for almost 2 weeks. I will be here for the next two months living on a sailboat with some Friends, Fly-Fishing, Spear fishing, and exploring some amazing islands. We have been in the marina for 2 weeks prepping the boat for 2 months at sea. There are no Supermarkets where we are going, there are no conveniences of home. We are headed to the Lau group, which is eastern most Fiji, actually closer to Tonga than to Fiji. The people of these islands ate each other as early as 30 years ago. Its going to be an amazing trip and I will try to write when possible. We have an amazing four person crew. I will fish every day so expect to see some great fish pictures.
My last week in New Zealand was a quick tour of the South Island one more time, We had a few towns in mind that we hadn’t been able to see, Also Sky’s birthday was on the 31st, and we wanted to spend it in Queenstown. On the way down we camped a few nights on the beach, ate beer can burgers, and fished a river mouth for a spectacular fish called a “Kahawai.” This fish lives near river mouths in the ocean, and can be taken on the fly. We found camp and set up our tents and walked straight to the river mouth from the van. I had been in this area previously and it took me a while to remember exactly where the best camping spot was. When we got to the beach i didn’t expect much, as I knew Kahawai were a challenge on the fly. We spread out and casted blindly for a while, throwing our biggest trout streamers. It was low tide and the sun was setting, which exposed a flat a few hundred yards across. I waded out waist high and got to this flat, and panicked. I immediately started seeing tailing Kahawai! That rush of Bone fishing on a saltwater flat swept over me and I was focused. I casted in front of the gang of Kahawai and started stripping like mad, and suddenly hooked up. My 6 weight felt like a toothpick when up against one of these saltwater beasts built for speed. The fish broke me off on 15 pound test, on his first run, I just couldn’t stop him, I started yelling at the other boys who were elsewhere, and James came running. I quickly told him what had happened and pointed at the school, he ran out while casting and put his fly in the school and he too hooked up and got broke off. I was right behind him and back in the water in a minute with another fly and hooked up again, it was a Kahawai blitz and i couldn’t believe it was happening. Luckily this one I fought for 10 minutes and was able to slowly walk up the beach and land him.
The suspense continued for another 2 hours, where each of us landed a handful of nice fish. It was mad, it seemed every cast with waves crashing into us and the tide coming in, we were catching fish. We often got broke off and laughed about it, because there were so many fish on that flat there was always another to take its place. We decided to keep a couple of these and cook them up to supplement our dinner of beans that night. With a bottle of wine and fresh fish cooked over open flames with fresh lemon, it couldn’t have gotten better. One of the most memorable fishing experiences I have ever had, because it was so unexpected. The action was so intense, James thought of the idea of throwing poppers at them, sure enough first cast a few Kahawai battled over his popper and he was able to land one.
Two days ago we emerged from the woods after spending 6 days in one of the most remote places in New Zealand. We Hired a helicopter to drop us off in this remote area so we could spend our time fishing two rivers that were high on our list. We got flown in last Monday morning at 7 am, a day ahead of most of you, and got picked up Saturday night at 6, Went straight to the bar and guzzled a few ice cold beers, and had a feed fit for kings. The trip was incredible. Conditions were perfect, not a single drop of rain, and a lot of very happy fish.
The day came early the morning of the 16th, as we all had our alarms set, gear packed, a bit nervous not knowing what to expect, hoping we had everything in its place. Alot of time and preparation (and money) goes into a trip like this. (Although I do love that nervous anxious feeling you get when your about to do something big, it makes you feel alive.) I woke 15 minutes before my 6:00 alarm and was then calm and ready. I woke the other boys up and we suited up, and didn’t speak a word to each other, just thought about hopping in the chopper and getting there and making sure to do it right. We arrived at the hanger at 6:50, and the pilot was there fueling up and we went over some last minute details like where to pick us up at, we then threw our gear in and waited for the windows to defog, The pilot had shown us where the fire extinguisher and the ax were kept, and told us not to walk behind the chopper, cause we would get cut in half. We jumped in and put on the headsets, put on our seat belts, wrote down our names and weights on a piece of paper and took off. The sun was shining and the sky was red, there were also low lying clouds that lingered below us to add to the omniscient feel of flying. During the flight Our Pilot Wayne, took us to see a shammy, which is a type of high country goat, sure enough in minutes we were hovering over a pair steep on the mountainside, far from anybody’s view down below. The flight was only 25 minutes in, so I had to cherish every second. When we finally got to our destination, it was only a few minutes of shuffling around grabbing our gear, with Wayne yelling at us to hold on to our loose thermarests, so they don’t get caught in the rotor. With a wave and “good luck” he was gone. We went from the center of town to one of the best brown trout fisheries in the world in under a half hour. The chopper took off and we were quiet for a minute then that was it that’s the place we wanted to be, we knew there was no one around and that we had the river all to ourselves. We put our packs on and started the trek upriver. We were prepared to spend 3 days on this river, so on the hike in we started slow, and immediately started seeing fish, one pool had 5 fish in it all between 4 and 6 pounds. So we rigged up and started fishing and casting to the occasional fish with our 40 pound packs on, which is never that productive. We continued upriver all day fishing the good water well, and always keeping in mind a spot to set up camp. During our trek in we walked into a beehive, Sky got hit 4 times and James once, I ran out of there and luckily didn’t get stung. 2 hours later Sky was climbing up a steep sketchy bank and fell backwards 5 feet on top of his fly rod, and broke it in half. Not a great start to a trip…Luckily I was prepared with an extra, and let him use it. When we finally found camp, we were all ready for it, and put down our packs, had a snack, and laid out our things. I immediately spotted 2 fish in the pool that we were camped at. Without hesitation or noticing whose turn it was I laid down a cast while the other two were watching, and to my surprise caught a 5.5 pound brown. When we got it to the net I couldn’t believe the size of the stomach on this fish, He must have eaten a few mice or a bird recently…
Moments later after a few pictures then watching him swim away, the other fish I had spotted was still there, I didn’t think he was going to eat and didn’t even think twice about my cast, but to my surprise again, the fish ate the same dry fly the other fish had eaten only a minute later. Normally in New Zealand when you catch a fish in a pool the other fish in the pool will spook, but not today today was a good day. This 6.5 pound pig ate the same Cicada as the mouse eating 5.5 pound fish…
I truly couldn’t believe I would catch 2 big fish in 2 casts. But after that happened we immediately started moving, and found a pool right up from our camp where there were 4 fish feeding, I had just caught two so gave a few turns up so the other boys could get some. Sky hooked into a pig and actually broke the hook on the fish. By that point it was getting dark so we decided to head back to camp, and cooked up a mean feed of roasted garlic, onions, peppers, bacon and red sauce pasta. We went all out that night as it was a celebration night. After a long summer guiding for me this was my payback, I had been looking forward to this heli trip for months, so we rolled out our sleeping bags and went to bed early.
We woke to the sound of a Helicopter the next morning, We ran out of our tents to wave them off, but they did not see us. The heli disappeared into a clearing 200 yards downstream, and we thought there was no way they didn’t see us. Sure enough 5 minutes later a guide and his clients emerged from the bush, James let out a yell, and the guides body language totally changed, he looked up and saw us camped right in front of where they landed. He started walking towards us, so we met him half way. Now you never know how these things will pan out, since we were in front of him we had the river and it would not have been fair for him to drop in front of us as we were there first. I could tell he was a bit frustrated, although we were camped out in the open, and when we heard the chopper made our way out to the middle of the river to wave them off, they just weren’t looking. So he was a fair and honest guy, and said we were in the wright and he was in the wrong and he would use the satellite phone and have the chopper come back and pick them up and take them to another river. I’m glad it went smoothly, I could see it not going as smoothly as it did if they would have dropped a bend in front of us. After that we went fishing. And started spotting fish, I gave James and sky the first two fish we saw, (cause we take turns here in New Zealand to be fair) Both of those fish spooked and it was my turn now. I spotted a fish and made one cast with the same cicada the 2 fish had eaten the previous day. After a big fight James netted a trophy fish for me, an 8 pound brown, biggest I have ever caught! This was too good to be true, an 8 pounder on a dry fly first thing in the morning…
Pretty decent 8 pound fish to start the morning. The day didn’t slow down much after that. We all had some of the best fishing of our lives, and didn’t stop for lunch. Sky went through a streak this day, like I have never seen, (although I had a similar streak 2 years ago in NZ) He broke off six fish before he was able to land one. We were all laughing by the end, knowing the fishing was so good, breaking off fish after fish. Most of the day went like this…
The fishing was amazing for those next two days. We would get back to camp around 830 or 9 at night cook dinner and head straight to bed, then wake up have our oatmeal and coffee, and start hiking to the pool where we left off the night before. Whoever cooks is off dish duty, and trust me oatmeal is getting old. We have a great system down for our dinners and breakfasts, lunch is also communal but simple, PB&J and tortillas, plus any snacks you brought for yourself. For oatmeal we do 3/4 of a cup of rolled oats per person per day for breakfast, plus a bit of jelly, brown sugar, coconut, and raisins. Delicious. For Dinner we mix it up with either pasta, or rice. But with the rice sometimes we do tuna or chicken, and always with a pack of dried onions, 1/2 a cup of lentils for the protein and either a Indian curry sauce or a Asian stir fry sauce. We always bring a pack of soup mix to have while the food is cooking, there’s nothing like a hot drink while your waiting for you food to cook, it goes down smooth and always swishes around hot in your belly. All else after that is personal, sometimes well surprise each other with chocolate, a true delicacy in the bush. We always try to go to bed having drank a lot of water and eaten a lot of food. Its really your only comfort in the back country. Moving on.
James landed his biggest brown of this trip so far, a 6 pound beauty that when caught, kept going upstream in a rapid, a true beast. He fought it and I ran around the river smashing my knees on rocks (all for a good cause) to net it for him.
Often times when we have been walking for a long time with not much to eat, we will talk about the food we take for granted back home. Foods that come to mind, versions of all our mothers spaghetti, all you can eat sushi, Alaskan king crab legs, pizza, eggs and bacon is a popular choice also, you have no idea how mouth watering and torturous it is to think about all those fresh foods out there in the world just waiting for us. It makes the celebration dinner that much more enjoyable, and makes you think about taking the little things for granted next time. Mom I cant wait to get home and have some of your spaghetti!!
When we moved on from our own private secluded river, we fished and hiked 10 k one day to get to a back country hut. These huts are all over the New Zealand back country, and are very well established. The DOC or , Department of Conservation takes very good care of them, and most of them are always stocked with dry firewood, a luxury in the moist back woods of NZ.
On the final day Wayne was 10 minutes early but so were we so it didn’t matter. We were siting outside calm and glad when we heard the chopper echo high through the hills. He pulled up right to the hut that we had stayed the night before, with out much talk our celebration we climbed in, made sure not to get cut in half, and left the back country. I gave James shotgun and we headed towards civilization.
When we landed we were happy to get back and shower and get ready to go out on the town for some dinner. There is nothing like hard work done right, and sitting with my friends talking about the whole week over a few cold beers was enough to put a horn on a jelly fish. That was our last back country trip for a while, we have to turn gears a bit and focus on our plans after New Zealand, we will do some day fishing here and there so stay tuned on our next adventure, which will never be too far away.
We just got back to civilization after spending six days in the bush. We took a helicopter deep into the bush, to focus on fishing two remote rivers. We had an amazing time, not a single drop of rain, lots of fish, and I got one really big fish…
Expect stories to come over the next couple of days, I have alot of cool stories to tell and i have some amazing pictures to share… Only 2 more weeks in NZ for me, this was our last back country trip, for now we will focus on day trips, and will be heading down to Queenstown one more time…Also selling our van, and planning our next adventures beyond NZ. Stay tuned for more, and thanks for following my blog over the last three months.
We had the privilege of fishing with long time guide and fly fishing pioneer Tony Entwistle yesterday. Tony is great friends with my boss Jack Dennis in Wyoming, and knows alot of the same people that i know, because after all the fly fishing community throughout this world is quite small. I had always heard of Tony, and finally met him through some friends here at the Kiwi Park. When Tony invited us fishing I knew for sure it would be a great experience, and i couldn’t miss this for the world. We all caught fish, but that was not the point for me, I wonder if that’s really ever the point? We did a shuttle with both of our cars, dropped our car off put all our gear in his car and drove downstream. I didn’t want to hold anyone up so I threw my gear on as quick as I could and tried my best to keep up. We started walking upstream and immediately starting seeing fish, ( I mean Tony starting seeing fish…) We were looking so hard I almost went cross eyed at one point, I was trying my best to spot fish before Tony but it never happened. I couldn’t even keep up with him while we were walking and then when we finally got to a good pool I felt like I wanted to spend 10 minutes on a pool but he would dismiss it in under a minute. Overall a great day spent with a Fly Fishing legend! Thanks alot for a great day Tony I cant wait to take you fishing when you come to Wyoming!
We took Henry Winter fishing the other day. Henry lives in one of the best places in the world to fly fish for trout. Henry has been practicing in his backyard and i have been helping him. I can tell he is in to it, and from this point forward I think Henry is a fly fisherman. We went out to his local river for 2 days, and on the second day we found quite a few fish. We spotted a fish feeding and watched it for a while, and finally told Henry to cast at him, I could tell Henry was nervous, but he got right up there and started casting. Now that first fish spooked, but we found one down the line that Henry was able to cast at, and before any of us knew what had happened, I had jumped on the fish and tailed him, and Henry was sitting there in shock. It was a great day. Heres a picture of Henry’s first fish on a fly rod.
Our Buddy James Fraser has joined our team aboard our “New Zealand Fly Fishing Traverse.” James lives in Victor Idaho doing fisheries studies for Friends of the Teton River, where he gets to spend every possible second fishing, tagging, floating, and overall studying the local trout populations in the Teton Valley. James knows a thing or two about Trout and their behavior. And of course how to catch them. He has been a great addition to our crew, and proved himself worthy on a 5 day river trip we just returned from. Its great to have a third again, after our buddy Voges left Sky and I have been doing a few random things really, for example raging with 1500 other like minded people for New Years in Nelson.
Fly Fishing in New Zealand is total teamwork, It takes alot of work to land a fish, with the fast current and the huge slippery rocks everywhere, it can be a real challenge. You notice in the pictures our faces are covered with “Buffs” those are for the sand flies, and the gloves too. The bugs are so bad deep in the backcountry, 100% Deet wont even do the trick. We backpacked far up this river, we wanted to get far away from any road so we walked for 4.5 hours without even casting, because we knew we had to get out in it. It takes discipline to pass up all that water and all those pools to get to the good water but it did pay off. I love being outside, I belong on a river next to a huge mountain with a backpack on, with all my food on my back, walking and looking around at rocks and water, and just cook my supper and laugh. Thats when im happiest.
This past river trip was special because it was the first trip we have been on where the river didn’t flood out from underneath us, or even a drop of rain for that matter. Its finally summer and the rainy season is over which is a relief, I almost floated away a while back. Out in the bush we sort of wake and rise with the sun (almost). Although i do like to sleep, and i do like conversations late into the night staring at a campfire. The average day goes like this, Wake when we wake, put your wet clothes on in your tent as the sand flies wont let you stand bare skin for even a second outside, wander around listen to the birds, say goodmornin to the others, boil the water for coffee, then boil a little extra for the oatmeal coconut jelly brown sugar raisin breakfast, brush teeth, depending on how far you are up the river pack day pack with essentials, if you need to move camp another day then pack up tent and full pack and move another few hours upstream to get out in it, filter water, make sure you have all fishing gear, make sure you have the group gear, PB&J, tortillas, camera, and net, then start the long day of moving one step at a time looking, scanning, peering, into the most beautiful pools and runs you’ve ever seen, taking turns on each side of the river working as a group, taking turns sight fishing, if you pile a cast and the fish spooks, your turn is over. This goes on all day sometimes into the night, stopping for lunch and snacks, then back to camp to cook a huge feed and start a fire and drink tea and look at our pictures, proud and glad, and talk about how big of a meal were gonna eat when we get out of here cause we earned it. And its all amazing. We get to walk rivers all day every day and stare at them, for what you say? Well I don’t really know, but for now I’m here and your not and well just keep it at that.
We have some big trips coming up, so stay tuned when we finally get to do our heli trip, way into a remote NZ river. But before that we will do some day fishing and enjoy the simple things.
We dropped Michael off at the airport today, after 2 weeks of exploring flooded rivers, the fishing remained a constant challenge. We fished every day while Michael was here, doing day trips and also 2 day backpacking trips, It was alot of fun to have a third in our group for a while. The truth is im pretty tired now, im back in Christchurch and there was another set of earthquakes just yesterday, and sitting here in our room we just felt a little aftershock. Its pretty sad to drive around the city right now, its a deserted ghost town like you would see in a zombie movie. I think this will be our last time in Christchurch…We had a great Christmas tho, we spent it in a little town called Kaikoura, which is a surf town on the north east corner of the island. We had a nice Christmas eve dinner, and were able to save some time for a few cold beers at the local pub. Usually Christmas to me means hanging out with Family on a snowy day in Wyoming. Its nice to be here in NZ in board shorts and a tank top on the beach tho…So heres a few shots from the last two weeks, Michael and I with a miracle fish i caught in a flooded river on his first day in NZ, and a shot of the van.
We have recently come back from an amazing adventure with 2 friends of ours from Jackson, Dave and Paul Cadenhead. They’re father and son and are in New Zealand travelling together for 2 weeks. We wanted to do something fun together so we decided to go sea kayaking in the Abel Tasman national park for 3 days and camp on the beaches as we went. I brought my fly rod but was not fully prepared with a sinking line and big streamers to catch anything. I casted and fished but mostly just to say i did it. This was not a fishing trip. We had a wild time, one morning i was up until 5 playing rugby, and another morning i was up until 4 hunting possums. Lets just leave it at that. The Kayak was beautiful, we saw some incredible birds and seals, and fish, but my favorite part was the campsites and the people i was with. We had an awesome guide his name was Kyle and he didnt speak english until he was 7 years old. Hes Maori, and he taught us alot of cool things about the Islands and about the past villages and tribes that once lived there, he taught us the Haka, which is performed before every All Blacks rugby games. It was an amazing time with amazing people. After our trip we went out, sunburned and weary, and enjoyed a few beers. Thanks to Dave and Paul for showing us their country (Dave was born and raised in new Zealand, and Paul now has citizenship here). They are carrying on twords Greymouth, so we parted ways today. Tomorrow its back into the bush for us. I will update while i can but will spend most of my time fishing. We will pick Mike up and hopefully head out the day after in a helicopter. Stay tuned we should have some nice pictures coming soon! Wish us Luck.
On the third day the river calmed down enough to fish. We woke in the morning and ate our oatmeal and had our tea, and walked out to the sand flies and a helicopter landed right in front of us. It was a guide and his two clients, he got out and asked us which river we were going to fish because we were at a confluence, and because we were there first we had the choice between the two. I had my mind made up months ago on what we were going to fish so i told him and he got back in his Helicopter and flew away. Sky and i walked all day up this river and saw 4 fish. It just so happened the last pool we stopped at i actually saw a feeding fish. After watching him for some time i knew what he was eating, so i rigged up and first cast he ate my fly. Sky had to swim a bit for this fish and i really appreciated his effort. This six pound beauty ate an unweighted size 14 hares ear nymph, in a foot of water.
Sky and I moved north after tailing Lambs and decided to go for it again. So we loaded up on food for 3 days of backpacking and fishing and walked in to a backcountry hut where it decided to pour rain the moment we got there. We spent 2 days sitting in the rain, Sky read an entire book, I stared at the wall…
6 hours sitting in the rain
twelve hours sitting in the rain…
This is what a day and a half of sitting in the rain will do to you. Now i dont mind rain but you cant fish a NZ river when its flooding.
After our voyage to Milford Sound Sky and I backpacked up a small river for 2 days of fishing on a remote river and staying in a backcountry hut. The first day in it started to rain on us and the whole 2 days we were there the river was high and there were few fish to be found. We left felling good because we were back in our element, and on trail but the fishing was no good, so we decided to pack it up and head out to meet up with my friend Brent Winter, who was to teach us how to tail lambs, and in exchange for our help on the farm, he would allow us to fish his friends private spring creek. That sounded better than sitting in the rain. So north we went.
Sky caught this 5 pound pig in a creek as wide as the road as as shallow as your hand. I spotted him sipping in a riffle and sky put a perfect cast down and stuck him. Hard days work…
This Country is amazing. I love the people and the culture and the mountains and the fish and the ocean. It has been a month into our travels and everything is great. The van is holding on just fine, the fish are big and hard to hold, and the beer is plenty, everything else is just a luxury. Internet is hard to come by though, especially when we camp wherever we can sneak in unnoticed, which is why it has been a few weeks since i wrote on this “blog”. This blog is very new to me, but i really enjoy it because its like a permanent journal that i can always look back on. The rain here in New Zealand has been pretty bad, we have done a few river trips since our big 5 day at the beginning of our trip, but did get rained out of 2 of them. Yesterday on the news I saw that three tourists were swept away due to flash flooding on the west coast. Afterall it is still rainey season, and conditions can be tough. Just make sure you always camp up high even if it is a nice evening, never take a chance and camp down low on an island in the middle of the river. So after 4 days of rain in the town of Murchison, we decided to head way down south to the town of Queenstown, where we knew three of our friends from Jackson were hanging out before their expedition on the famous Milford Sound. There is a rain shadow effect inland near the middle of the country. That means most of the moisture coming from the ocean, the noreasters, drop most of the rain on the coasts and the mountains then suck up most of the rain thereafter. In the middle of the country you get beautiful blue bird days while the coasts are wet and miserable. Similar to the major deserts in the states, which are all located next to major mountain ranges. So when you head inland alot of the time you get beautiful weather.
Sky and i have successfully made it out of Christchurch after loading up on food for three months of river trips. More of the same, two Tasti bars each per day, 4 pounds of oatmeal, 50 tortillas, 20 jars of PB&J, 5 pounds of rice, and pasta, lentils, tea, and all the fixins in between. After Gasing up we were gone. We drove up over Lewis Pass twords the little town of Murchison, where I stayed 2 years ago last time i was in NZ. I have great friends here, Lynn and Brent Winter, who own the kiwi park in Murchison and their kids Dan, Henry, and Adelaide. They run a beautiful Backpacker style campground/hostel with beautiful accomodations. Sky and I were ready to get our feet wet, after two months talking/planning this fishing trip we were ready to fish. We just got back from a 5 day backpacking fishing trip on a remote river and it was a huge success. Despite 3 days of rain we fought through it and came out on top. We were careful where we pitched our tents as flash flooding can be an issue during heavy rain. It was great to get out on trail again with Sky and to sight fish to 5 pound brown trout in gin clear creeks. Here are some Pictures of the Fish we were lucky enough to catch. Good start to a three month trip.
Sky and I have finally made it out of Christchurch after a long awaited time. Christchurch is a ghost town, after the earthquakes half the city is fenced off and shut down, in ten years and 10 billion dollars later it should be rebuilt. Christchurch is losing 2000 people a week because alot of them are out of jobs. Alot of people have said they think its a good thing for the city, all of the buildings in the city center have to be demolished and rebuilt. In ten years time the city will be completley modern and beautiful once again. While we where there we spent 4 days shopping for a van, we wanted something to travel in and sleep in. www.trademe.co.nz is one of the best sites you will find to buy and sell your vehicle. Another we looked at is called Gumtree.co.nz. And there are plenty of vehicles for sale there. So we finally decided to go for it, although its not exactley what we wanted. But shes reliable and will get us where we need to go. We bought a Toyota Estima diesel with a bed in the back, and we named her “Marissa” and headed out of Christchurch.