West Coast Explorer
The 2nd season of Pure Fly New Zealand kicks off in real style as best mates and fly fishing guides, Jeff Forsee and Ronan Creane show us what the West Coast of New Zealand's South Island has to offer. Sandwiched between the Southern Alps and the Tasman Sea, the West Coast is a relatively thin strip of land but it has holds a myriad of rivers, lakes and creeks and it is here that the Brown Trout dominates. After camping overnight, the guys decide to start their adventure on a nearby lake, taking to a boat and manouevering it close to the shoreline. Ronan fishes first and it isn't long before he sees a beautiful brown feeding in the margins and quickly hooks up. Liking the look of the area, they decide to bank fish, stalking fish close to the shore and taking turns to target them. Working as a team like this really pays dividends in this environment and it isn't long before they have two good fish netted, one after another. After a good night's sleep, the guys decide to try a nearby river and Jeff soon finds a really good fish cruising in a backwater but despite some follows, it just won't take. Jeff decides to try the main river, when the drone cameraman tells him of 2 big trout he's spotted, and its an opportunity that he just can't refuse. So thanks to modern technology, a stunning aerial film sequence of the trout taking his streamer ensues and a huge brown trout is landed after a strong fight. Next its Ronan's turn and at the head of the next pool, they spot another big trout actively feeding in the current. Can Ronan get on the scoreboard today? This is turning into a red letter day and they find fish after fish as they move up river and we see why the fly fishing on New Zealand's West Coast is just so revered. To watch login or join
Canal Trout Part 1
The McKenzie hydro canals are a series of man-made canals joining three lakes (Tekapo, Ohau and Pukaki) that provide excellent fishing for Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Salmon. They may not be as scenic as wild New Zealand but they offer consistently good fishing througout the winter and offer a great chance to catch a real monster. Trout here start their lives in the headwater streams of the mountains, before migrating down into the lakes and then into the canal system. Charles Smith is a local canal fishing expert and shows us why these man made waterways can offer a real challenge and some fantastic fishing. His guest is Anto Hall, an expert fly angler who is more at home chasing trophy fish on wild streams so this will be a steep learning curve for him. Condition aren't easy, in fact its snowing and the water is very clear so they take it turns with one angler spotting fish for the other and talking each other on to the fish. The fish are in spawning mode with the males acting agressively so the team decide to abandon nymph tactics and try and tempt them with streamers. But things aren't easy so the guys relocate to another canal to try and pick up a fish and after some frustrating fishing, Anto gets into a cracking fish and lands a stunning 9lber. There's some massive fish here and the guys fixate on something approaching 30lb but it just won't take and Anto has to settle for a 'small' 7lber! The fly fishing in these canals certainly proves tricky but when you're fishing for fish of this quality, one or two fish a day is a great result. To watch just login or join
We're back on the Canals in this episode as the Anto and Charles are seeking a real monster trout. Charles who fishes here regularly has had trout on spinners up to 37lb and a has fly caught 32lb Brown Trout to his name which is just staggering. The pair start the day walking along the bank spotting huge Brown Trout and trying to tempt them. Its exciting fishing but it certainly isn't easy and one bad cast or visible angler movement and the chance is gone. There are a lot of fish here but the guys are finding it very tough so they move again to a new spot. Again they find a good area with fish rising and taunting them so they carry on but as the light fades, they lose visibilty in the water so decide to take a break until dark when they'll try again. In total darkness, they need to use UV flies and start by charging them up with torchlight. Finally Charles gets a take and lands a decent rainbow on his UV Doll fly. Abandoning the night session, they make an early start and its a cold but stunning morning as they start fishing again. Anto fishes a sinking line and lands a nice rainbow to end his trip. So the trip is over and Anto returns home but a few hours after he leaves, Charles finally shows what Canal trout fishing is all about and lands a leviathan 30lb Rainbow Trout. Yep, I'll say that again 30lb! To watch just login or join
North Island Tiki Tour
In this episode of Pure Fly NZ, Matt Hince joins fellow fly fishing nut Andrew Harding on a camper van, North Island Tiki Tour. The rugged area of New Zealand's lower North Island, just outside Wellington offers a huge variety of fly fishing opportunities, from wide open rivers in gentle farmland, to small streams carved deep into mountain gorges. And it's into one of these steep valleys that they first descend, to find a crystal clear river. The guys opt for 5 weight rods, floating line and long leaders, so as not to spook the fish and a classic kiwi dry-dropper rig enables them to use both drys and nymphs at the same time. They've obviously got their tactics right as Matt catches a beautiful, large wild Rainbow on his first cast. Then its Andrew's turn and he too hooks a large Rainbow. The guys decide to split up to cover more water and both find fish in every pool they reach. As the day brightens up, the fish start to look upwards so the guys switch to single dry flies, again with great success. The steep climb back up to the van doesn't see quite so bad after such a fantastic day. Next morning they travel to find bigger water, Matt has one of those days when nothing seems to go right, Andrew though has another great session bagging a combination of large Rainbows and stunning Brown Trout. To watch North Island Tiki Tour now, just login or join
In 'Mouse Trout' we travel to Fiordland, the largest of New Zealand's national parks, located at the bottom of South Island. As well as a large number of lakes and rivers, it has vast areas of pristine Beech forests. These are home to a variety of indigenous bird life as well as to the non native Field Mouse, introduced by trading ships in the 1800's. Every 5 or 6 years there is a phenomenon created by the Beech trees 'masting' or seeding. The field mice love Beech seeds, so this bountiful supply of food leads to a population explosion. During these 'plagues' the mice will venture everywhere in a scramble for food and at night will even swim across the rivers and lakes looking for floating seeds. Although not part of their normal diet, the Trout are attracted to what is a large furry meal flapping about on the surface. They knock the mice unconscious with their tails before eating them whole, head first. This high protein diet leads to prodigious growth rates and very large trout. So it's not surprising to find, during these Mice Plagues, keen fly fishermen out on the hunt for trophy fish. In this episode of Pure Fly NZ we follow Queenstown local Nick Geddes and his mate Anto Hall on an overnight session to one of the Fiordland Lakes. They have come armed with plenty of mouse pattern imitator flies and the patience to wait until after midnight. As the evening wind drops, conditions become perfect and an early recce shows that there are mice and Trout on the move. Anto's first fish is exactly what they came for, a whopping 14 pounder and from then on to say that the guys had a great night's fishing would be a bit of an understatement. To watch Mouse Trout now, just login or join
The Tongariro in New Zealand's North Island, is a world reknowned fly fishing mecca for Brown and Rainbow Trout and the spawning run in Winter when the fish leave Lake Taupo and run it, one of the prime times to fish it. This fishery used to produce fish of huge proportions but declined for several years in the early 2000's when the average fish size dropped significantly. The fishery has made resurgence in recent years so the Pure Fly team decided to give it a try. New Zealand's only registered female fly fishing guide, Hannah Clement leads this expedition with her partner Tom Hodge. who have driven up from the South Island to sample the fishing. The conditions aren't great as recent rains have coloured the water so they enlist the help of local guide, Andrew Burden who fishes the Tongariro every few days. But despite trying, the river just keeps on rising so they need to write off the day and wait for the river to drop. Overnight, it drops a metre and Hannah gets into a fish immediately the next morning using a Chautreuse Glo Bug under an indicator set up. The river is now full of fresh run rainbow trout that have run with the flood conditions and will attack anything drifted past them so he guys enjoy a fruitful session although Tom is certainly being outfished by Hannah. Day 3 and the river has dropped further so the team decide to head upstream and meet another local guide, Mike Kirkpatrick. As they reach Mike, they see he is already into a fish so things look hopeful for another good day. Hannah immediately lands a nice rainbow followed by a stunning brown trout and the team really show what a fantastic fly fishery for trout the Tongariro is. To watch just login or join
East Cape Raft Mission
The remote wilderness of the North Island's East Cape is a labyrinth of gorges, spurs and deep bush forest and in this episode fly fishing champion Cory Scott and his mate Chris Sharland will explore the area by raft. The East Cape isn't particularly reknowned for its fishing but there are good fish here and the plan is to try and find the best areas by covering a large distance on a 4 day raft trip. This is a real journey into the unknown as neither angler has fished here, but by using their knowledge and focusing on likely areas of the main river and the tributaries, they are hopeful of success. A few hours in, and they find a nice looking tributary. Making their way up to the nearest pool, Chris soon hooks into a good Rainbow Trout fishing nymphs under an indicator. A succession of rainbows and finally a brown trout follow from the same spot and the pair believe these are fish that have moved in to the tributary from the main river after recent rains. Finding another pool, this time it's Cory's turn to start and he soon locks onto fish after fish in the glacial blue waters. Day 2 begins and they have an 18km paddle before they can start fishing in the next tributary where they think there may be some bigger Brown Trout. Its an arudous paddle and there are some tricky rapids which Chris finds out all about as he takes a dunking but eventually they reach the tributary and start fishing again. Moving upstream, they pick out the best looking holding pools in a relatively small stream but can't find any trout home so return to the main river to find some trout and avoid a blank for the day. As their East Cape exploratory trip concludes, there's still time to find one more stunning tributary holding some excellent trout. To watch just login or join now
In this episode, the team are fly fishing for 'Willowgrubbers' in the Southland region of New Zealand's South Island. Many of the native bush plants have gone here and have been replaced by non native plants, like the willow, which can be found on many of the rivers' banks in the region. During summer, Willow Grubs, the larval form of the Sawfly populate these trees and many fall into the water. Trout just love them and will often ignore everything else when these grubs are around but they are small (6mm) and not easy to imitate. Local guide, Mike Wilkinson has invited his friend Rene Vaz down from Auckland to experience the Willow Grub fishing which is unique to this area. The summer so far has been poor as heavy rains have made the rivers unfishable but today the river looks in good shape so the pair set out with high hopes. The quickly find a couple of fish feeding on grubs but as Rene finds out, this isn't easy fishing and puts numerous casts over them with no success. Moving on they find another fish which is feeding heavily and this Mike shows Rene how its done and hooks up. Moving upstream they find more Willowgrubber feeding fish and catch 4 more stunning browns in quick succession. The rivers in Southland are famous for their high fish densities so when the fish switch on like they are today, the anglers can enjoy some epic sport. The following day, the guys decide to try a smaller creek where the fish are often much bigger than in the main river. Again they find more 'Willowgrubbers' and wrap up the trip with another great session in Southland. To watch just login or join
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