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Congrats on the nuptuals, Tang. Your bride is a keeper- could you share her measurements? >:D (purely to verify master angler considerations for you)

Which island are you fishing? Be sure to lather up with repellant. Those sand flies/blackflies are voracious and the welts from their bites itch for a long time.

Thanks for your report.
 

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I spent 16 days with a girlfriend on the South Island back in '83. She was not a keeper but the fact that I spent 14 of those days fishing may have been a determining factor. Hell, I suppose it was better to expose my angling devotion early to clarify the order of things.

Anyway, we landed in Auckland, took a connection to Wellington and connected again to Nelson. I remember being taken aback in the Wellington airport during the wait for the flight to Nelson when I picked up a local newspaper and a front page headline screamed "Car Stolen." I had a feeling I was in the right kind of place. We fished the Buller River the first day and, it being February, I fished shirtless in my bootfoot, Converse rubber waders throughout the day. That was my introduction to sand flies and I didn't make the same mistake again. Some welts lasted for months and itched the entire time.

We made our way down the west side through Haast, Wanaka, Queenstown and Te Anau ending up in Invercargill. Lots of incredible water and met the most welcoming and sincerely friendly people that I have ever encountered. Just a wonderful trip and the fish did not disappoint- no guides but I had some very good information from Jim Poor (Angler's All founder who spent time down there yearly).

Did you encounter any of the big, black eels while you were fishing? I had a duel with one while releasing my biggest fish of the trip. Had I known then what was later disclosed to me about their aggressiveness, I would not have stayed junk deep in the water fending it off. Met a couple of older guys at the Wyndam Anglers Club (oldest in NZ- est 1895) who were missing fingers from eel interludes.

Glad you had a nice trip and congrats, again, on the marriage.
 

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As for the tales from the old timers re having lost fingers to eels ... reckon they enjoyed a good laugh having put the scare of god into yet another visiting angler & think you will find they were probably ex timber saw millers........

.......I have been river fishing for over 40 yrs now but have never been bitten altho a visiting Aussie angler friend was, only a couple of months back however he was cleaning a fish in the river in the semi dark which is to tantamount to inviting it to happen.
The members of the Wyndham club with whom I spoke were very animated and expressive in their descriptions (many hopped beverages had been enjoyed) with much hand gesturing. The missing digits were glaringly evident. I was told that the Wyndham river (a tributary of the Mataura) has some undercut banks and the anglers victimized by the eels were almost invariably sitting on one of these banks while cleaning their catch at the end of the day.

I did also encounter a younger man on a tributary to Lake Wakatipu outside of Queensland who was hobbling about with some difficulty. He told me that, as a child, he had had lost the heel of one of his feet to a very large eel while swimming in the river. I don't know if I was just a gullible tourist but the evidence presented in both instances was pretty gruesome.

The eel that wanted my best fish (which was lightly bleeding) was quite aggressive and unrelenting despite my kicking at it and fending it off with my rod while the resuscitation was being performed. It never bit me and this occurred before I had spoken to any Kiwis about those nasty things. I was completely unaware that there were eels in the NZ rivers until it suddenly appeared. As I was waist deep in the river, had I been bitten, I would be writing this in an alto voice. :eek:
 

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Sweet troutskys! But getting married to go heli-fishing is a little extreme----
Brilliant contingency planning by our boy. In the future, when Tanglerette's constant reminders to him of his shortcomings are interrupted only by yet another delivery from Bonbons-R-Us, he will suggest a return trip to recapture their love. Helicopters, open doors, rugged terrain......what could go wrong?
 
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