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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, the ideal situation was to be throwing cicada dries. The overcast/wind/rain/cold that day put a damper on what should have been a bonanza of topwater action. However, I did catch most of my fish on a stimulator, while the wife was nymphing a Hare's Ear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That rainbow she caught had to have been in the 24" realm, it was huge. The rest were like 18-21" maybe.

I was using my 6 wt. T&T that day and it made me a bit sad. I fished a 7 wt. Scott S4 and a 6 wt. Scott Flex the next times (borrowed from guide) and those things are freekin guns. I plan to swap out the T&T for a Flex at some point. The difference is massive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I really struggled to load the T&T under about 20 feet. This made casting inside 20 feet totally unpredictable along with requiring a lot of effort to get enough line out in order to cast further than 20 feet. Even when loaded, there was a bit of numbness in the rod itself when trying to feel out those sweet spots that signal it is time to change direction.

Those Scotts just seemed to stay loaded and transfer power cleanly at all times regardless of the distance. They also always provided that final pop at the end of the stroke that really propels the line and turns over the fly with authority. There was no mistaking when the rod was ready to cream. The 7 wt. also casted both weighted streamers and dries with equal grace.

I own a Scott G2, so this is not my first experience with Scotts. It was just so plainly evident in NZ because you are trying to hit specific target zones with dries and accuracy is everything, where as in CO we are often lobbing weighted nymph rigs and accuracy, or lack thereof, isn't as damning. If you miss your seam while nymphing in CO, you just cast at it again. If you miss your spot with a dry in NZ, you probably just blew your opportunity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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.
This video was North Island. We fished 2 days on the South Island where we got absolutely raped by sand flies. I can still see scars on the back of my casting hand from over a month ago. I had 21 bites on that hand alone.

Congrats to both of you! great video...What does a helicopter guided trip cost per day if u dont mind me asking? thanks for sharing!
It can range quite a bit depending on how far out you want to fly (I actually still haven't gotten the invoice for one of the flights, but I was told that it would be about $900 NZD ($633 USD) and it was roughly a 30 minute flight.

I learned several things though.

1. You actually don't need to fly anywhere to find big fish. It seems like nobody fishes there... places with easy drive in access don't even have people and there is TONS of water. The heli is kinda just for the experience itself more so than getting you into bigger fish from what I could tell.

2. You don't need a guide to heli fish. You could set up a drop off and pick up all on you own with the heli companies. If I were to do this again (and have it be strictly a fishing trip, not a honeymoon LOL) I'd get dropped off and camp out there for a few days without a guide. Granted, the guide spotted fish really well, but I'd take my chances with my own skill and save money on the guide fee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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.
That's awesome! I visited some of the places you were. We did indeed encounter the giant eels and they are definitely spooky and mean. One bit down hard on the guide's wading staff with lightning quickness. It then proceeded to follow us up river and rub up against the wifey's legs at one point...

The kiwi are definitely some of the nicest people. I had some experiences that really opened my eyes to how kind and caring people can be to complete strangers.

A quick summary of our trip:

We flew into Auckland, hit the city, then rented a car and proceeded to Waitomo for glow worm caves --> drove to Lake Taupo where we did the heli fishing on the Mohawka River (video above) --> drove to Turangi for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike --> drove to Wellington --> Ferried to South Island --> Drove to Blenheim for wine touring --> drove to Golden Bay near Abel Tasman National Park and stayed on the coast --> Did sea kayaking --> drove to Greymouth (walked onto a beach with no shirt or shoes on, this was MY introduction to sand flies) --> drove to Makarora --> got picked up by a guide and drove back to Haast where we fished the Cascade and the Turnbull --> drove to Wanaka --> drove to Te Anau --> took a bus to Milford Sound --> drove to Queenstown --> flew back to Auckland --> home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Quote " in NZ for 3 weeks last month. The wifey is so fantastic that she somehow agreed to booking 3 full days of fly fishing during our stay."

Wow .... does she perchance have any (much) older unattached sisters ???

Your fishing location looks very much like it could be back country on the Rangitieki river albeit running fast & coloured, then the closing shots perhaps Huka lodge on the upper Waikato river above the Huka falls ....

In any event .... pleased that you enjoyed the experience.
Yup, Huka. Nicest place I will ever stay in my life, unequivocally. I had a bout of depression upon our departure that was embarrassing in retrospect considering that I was still in New Zealand... Being treated like a king turns you into an absolute monster in about 24 hours.
:D

I considered contacting you before our trip, but we left Auckland not long after arriving. IIRC you live North of Auckland. I believe that you were in the Chatham Islands anyway. One kiwi told us that it was the worst Summer he'd seen, weather wise, in 42 years. It was kind of cold most of the time we were there.
 
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