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Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:06 am
by badpaddler
Hello everyone!

My name is Seth and I will be travelling down there with my wife and daughter for a little over a month in December/January from Alaska. She has a yoga thing she is doing in Napier from beginning of January to the 17th or so. Agreement being, I would go do yoga with her, and she will give me free reign to get a line wet whenever I please. I would normally never say yes to a proposition like this, except the yoga is at the end of the trip, so when I contort myself and end up tying myself in a knot, at least I will have gotten most the fishing done first.

I have been reading up on Taupo area, but am having a somewhat hard time figuring out exactly where to go. We will not have the money for me to get guided trips, so I will be somewhat restricted to what I can reach by feet/ car. We are also spending a week or so in Fiordland area, and I have heard that there can be a lot of pressure. Are there any smaller streams that anyone could recommend in either area? Is the upper Mataura river accessible? I am not terribly driven to catch a monster, and between that option (while being surrounded by people), or flipping some flies about to some smaller fish on a more secluded stream, I would choose the latter. There for the experience, not the trophies. We are also not dead set on the QT/ Te Anau area. Very open to suggestion as far as areas to check out. We will be stuck with places that we can fly into though, as the kiddo does not do well in a car seat for extended period of time.

I cannot possibly explain how excited I am to get to come down there. I have always wanted to visit, and will be doing so with a fair amount of time to explore. Would also love to meet up with anyone possible while down there. First drink would be on me of course!

Thanks again!


Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:49 am
by ziffle
Hi Seth, gee there are just so many options for you for fishing. Certainly in the Taupo area there are plenty of places to head where you should be able to get a way from the people. Check this out for a quiet spot with easy access to the river;
Or you could stay at a little place called Hatepe on the banks of the Hinemaiaia River. It can get busy on that river but a bit of a walk upstream should get you on your own. There are any number of smaller streams in and around the area so check out for info, maps and ideas.

Once you get outside of Taupo you'll be unlikely to encounter other anglers at all most of the time and there is great fishing all over the north island, and in the Napier area itself. I live in Taranaki which is on the opposite side of the island to Napier so probably out of your range but the fishing here is also fantastic and I'd be happy to host you.

I'm not overly familiar with the Fiordland area but know there are many rivers and lakes where solitude will be easy and yes the Mataura is accessible for much of its length and way up high.

Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:27 am
by fraser hocks
Hey there Seth. Cant speak much for the Taupo area as iv only fished there a few times. Better to get some advice from a local.

As for Fiordland its an amazing fishery but access isn't easy, As its a chopper ride or a boat ride across the lake and then a decent walk to get to good water. So you will need to bring your tramping kit with you and these days its getting so busy that id recommend taking a tent as often the huts can be full to the brim. You also have to make sure you get Clean Gear Certification from DOC in Te Anau. Heavy fines are now being issues for those without one! Oh and remember no felt soled boots. ... fiordland/

To be honest unless your staying in the country for a long stay id recommend fishing places with easier access rather than going through all the drama of trying to get into Fiordland. Also the explosion of overseas fishers wanting to come to NZ and experience the wild remoteness of Fiordland has meant that its getting pretty busy.

I had my brother visit in Autumn last year and he was fixed on going to Fiordland for the "remote solitude" . Despite my recommendations he went. On returning he stated that he had been to less crowded shopping malls in Asia.

Sounds like you have the right attitude for coming here. Setting high expectations of catching trophy fish will only result in disappointment. The fish tend to see quite a few people these days so are pretty spooky as im sure you have heard? The trick is to look for water that others aren't talking about ;) If its been talked about on social media....then it gets busy! The top end of the Mataura for example over the time you will be here will have 2-3 cars parked at the access points on any given day. Im a local F&G ranger and I checked 12 licences on a 400m beat last year. :cry:

Drop me a line if you come through Queenstown and hopefully iv got time to catch up for a beer and give you some pointers.

Regards Fraser

Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:55 am
by fraser hocks
Funny isn't it as me and my wife were meant to be in Alaska right now on my bucket list trip. Always wanted to see the spectacle of the salmon run and fish it. Just has to be one of the greatest natural wonders anywhere on the planet!! Unfortunately finances wont allow it this year. In a year or two maybe?

Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:24 am
by Johnno
No such thing as solitude on the rivers now. They are getting quite crowded now thanks to the tourist boom, particularly in the south. You'd be better off staying north.....

Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:56 pm
by fraser hocks
Yea unfortunate but true. I used to fish the upper Mataura a lot during summer. Now I avoid it like the plague. Still holds good numbers of fish, but I reckon they would see less people if they moved to Heathrow airport?

Its a funny irony that everyone wants to come here to get solitude fishing, but since so many want that its become very hard to attain. :?

Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:45 pm
by ziffle
Come and visit Taranaki gentlemen, you'll be surprised at how good the fishing is and will be highly unlikely to see another angler in a week or more. Sometimes I wonder why I bother going elsewhere but it's great to explore other places and new waters. For a naturally gregarious species it's interesting how much we value some solitude eh

Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:01 am
by badpaddler
Sorry it took so long to read and reply. I am currently out on the Yukon river for work. Reception and internet connectivity are minimal to say the least. What about the Nelson area? We are considering going there instead of the Southland because of cost, and the amount of pressure, but still want a chance to get around and see some sights. Right now we are planning on coming into Auckland, turnign around and flying to Nelson, then flying back a week later, and driving from Auckland to Napier by way of Rotoura. There are some things along the way that the wife would very much like to see.

If anybody ever comes up this direction, I would be more than happy to take them out. Just got a new cataraft this year too. ;-) There are still a few hidden little gems around the state.

Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:08 am
by badpaddler
What are the river temps like in the Nelson and north island? I am seriously debating whether to bring my waders, as they are heavy and I would need my boots too. Fiji Airways charges $150 for each additional bag. I generally don't have any issue with water temps about 14 Celsius or above without waders, but we have some here that run around 5-10 degrees year round.

Re: Bucket list check number 1.....

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:03 am
by Kym
Hi Seth
If it was me I'd forget about bringing waders, especially if its not a dedicated fishing trip. most people wet wade at that time of year. Just remember that felt soles are banned and that your boots should be scrupulously clean and dry when you arrive. and make sure you follow all the didymo cleaning protocols when moving between rivers.