When we left off last time I had just spent a brilliant day on the river with Cameron Reid and Zane Mirfin out of Nelson. It's about 3 weeks later and I'm well over a month on the road, the river flows haven't always played ball early season but the fishing opportunities have been outstanding but more so the people who have joined me and who I have met on this trip have been first class and lots of new friends and memories have been made.

Before leaving Nelson, Tony and I headed out on 1 more adventure, on what turned out to be the last sunny day on the river for the rest of the trip to date and it was beautiful, clear blue water, brown trout rising to Kakahi Queens and Adams patterns on long delicate leaders with slow takes and slow strikes, more slow lifts off the rod then a strike, just perfection.


Kit of the trip:

Rod: Sage Trout LL #6

Reel: Sage Spectrum LT 5/6

Line: Rio Elite Technical Trout,   Leader: Rio 12ft 3X Tapered Leader,  Tippet: Rio Powerflex 5X Tippet

NO 1 Fly: Kakahi Queen #14


At the end of the days fishing with Enty, we said our farewells and I set of for  Reefton for a couple of days, en route to catch up the Hans Kreuer and Peter Baker for a look around where the big boys live.

The weather had started its turn by now, it was going to be overcast and wet but it looked like day 1 would be fishy. 

Hans and Peter arrived in town about the same time as me in the evening, dinner was the first port of call and finding somewhere to stay the night. As it turned out there was a 450 strong campervan tour in town and campsites were loaded but over a meal at the pub the lady at the bar informed us there was 1 a room left and I could use the parking lot to sleep in #sagevanNZ so everything aligned and we settled in for the night.

Early dawns we headed to the river, made the switch over from Sage Van to the Hans Mobile and headed the track up stream. It was overcast, not overly cold but the drizzle was consistent. 

We hit the river and made a short dart downstream to our intended starting point and Hans spotted a smudge swinging in the riffle and we set up, i made the cast, 2 small weighted nymphs on a long leader, no indicator, looking to get it straight down the feed line, the fish took and we were on, first fish seen for the day and hooked, this usually spells trouble. :)

After a solid fight the hook popped as we went in for the net game, this big fulla slinked back into his hole satisfied with his win.

After the early success as so often is the way we didn't hook up again till late in the afternoon, managing 2 to the net and chomping at the bit for a return shot at the river with a better understanding of how it all works thanks to the experience of Hans.

Kit of the trip:

Rod: Redington Strike 10 foot, 4 weight, Euro Rod

Reel: Redington I.D 5/6 Reel

Line: Rio Euro Nymph Line,    Leader: 3X Rio Two Tone Indicator Line & 5X Rio Fluoroflex Plus Tippet



We intended to get another day in on the water but over night the heavens had opened and the rain was pummeling down, Hans and Peter had stayed an extra night to get another shot at the big boys but it wasn't to be as we arrived at a river that had coloured up and was  fair heaving, we made the trip Greymouth ways to see if we could find some clear runs but to no avail so we decided we would meet up another time, I mad the move for Christchurch across Arthurs Pass and the lads headed home for Nelson.

Mark from the Fishermans Loft had organised a trip up into the Lewis Pass on another mission to chase monsters, I had arrived at Mark's place late in the evening and we found ourselves having to formulate a new plan over a couple of wines and some business planning as the weather had had its way again.

We shifted our plans from North Canterbury to South Canterbury on Marks advice and it was a good call as the next morning we arrived to clear rivers, the weather was still overcast making spotting fish almost impossible but a solid hatch gave away the location of some hungry fish and we had an awesome session in the backwaters to rising fish.

The rest of the week in Christchurch was work based catching up with good people in city that is spoilt with folk knowledgeable on fly fishing in New Zealand, I finished the trip with Mark, Kieran, Scott and Jayden at an all you can eat restaurant watching Jayden smash records on the number of plates of food consumed.

Kit of the trip:

Rod: Sage Trout LL #6

Reel: Sage Spectrum LT 5/6

Line: Rio Elite Technical Trout WF6F,  Leader: Rio 12ft 3X Tapered Leader & Rio Powerflex Plus 5X Tippet

Fly of the day: Adams #14

Mark Rodgers Fishermans LoftMark Rodgers Fishermans LoftAndrew Burden Fly Fishing

 From Christchurch, Wanaka was the weekends destination to swing the Clutha with the 2 hander and to have a relax before setting off to Queenstown to pick up Claudio who was flying in from Taupo to trip around with me for the week.

I timed the Clutha session wrong with a jetboat event on over the weekend but I got to meet some new people and it was a beautiful chilled time in a remarkably picturesque place

I set off to pick up Claudio Monday afternoon after a few work stop offs from Queenstown airport, arriving at the airport it was great to see Sharna Parker who had just arrived for the start of her fly fishing holiday.

Claudio touched down an hour later and we found some accommodation to relax at and formulate a plan.

The Range

Claudio Wyss 

After getting the download from Phil and Dylan at Hunting & Fishing in Queenstown, we decided in the morning we would head out to Glenorchy and it was a super good option, the drive out was beautiful and the whole area did it for me, stunning place.

We were having a Tiki tour around when we drove past a lake and looked down to see fish rising everywhere, I was already rigged up with a Adams Dry Fly on a long leader and we decided to chuck a couple of casts from the edge then head in search of a river to fish, I made a cast, the fly rolled out and a hungry brown rose a sipped it down an we were hooked, couldn't help ourselves, there were bigger fish to be found elsewhere but you don't turn your back on surface action, Cheese had gone from watching from the edge to setting up his gear at the back of the van and we wandered the Lake all day picking up fish all over the place, on the edges, in the middle, stalking and sight fishing then casting to the rings popping up all through the lake. This was a really fun day and would do it again in a heartbeat.

We finished the day in camp with a couple of beers, cooking up some bacon and egg toasties ready for the journey in the morning further south to link up with Chris and Nick Reygart looking around Te Anau.

Kit of the trip:

Rod: Sage Trout LL #6

Reel: Sage Spectrum LT 5/6

Line: Rio Elite Technical Trout WF6F,  Leader: Rio 15ft, 5X Tapered Leader & Rio Powerflex Plus 6X Tippet

Fly of the day: Kakahi Queen #16


Part 2 to come


Sage Van NZ

Andrew Burden Fly FishingSage Trout LL