The Pure Fly New Zealand series from Gin Clear Media showcases the best of what New Zealand trout fishing has to offer. In the latest episode, they are hunting trophy trout on a big river in the Canterbury Hills. The rivers are running high and the big fish come out to play. These anglers showcase how challenging and tricky it can be to get a big fish to eat a fly. With some teamwork, abnormal conditions, and some luck they find some quality fish.
Check out the behind-the-scenes interview with one of the anglers from the film Mike Kirkpatrick (pictured below), an accomplished angler and guide in New Zealand. Mike is the owner and operator at Latitude Guiding.
Flylords: Can you tell us a little bit about where you were fishing and what the expectations were?
Mike: We were fishing a remote backcountry river that feeds into a lake. That river gets its fair share of pressure, so we tempered our expectations on what was a very wet and cold walk in… It’s a place where you need a good forecast as the prevailing wind tends to howl downstream, and a lack of sun can make sighting fish problematic…
The weather gods weren’t smiling on us with fresh snow and biting winds but you have to work with the hand you’re dealt and get on with it.
Flylords: What was the highlight of the trip? Can you run us through your most memorable moment?
Mike: The highlight for me is simple – Hannah’s huge fish on a big streamer (her first) was just amazing to be a part of. The emotion was palpable and seeing such unbridled joy in an angler’s finest moment is why I’m a guide.
My own was landing a trophy brown while Nick was away recharging batteries. My trip was a bit like that.
Flylords: What is one tip you could give in regards to sight fishing for trout?
Mike: Slow down everything you do, and be systematic about scanning any potential lies that your experience tells you they’re most likely to be in, given the time of year, river flows and water temperatures.
Flylords: Anything else you would like to add?
Mike: Fly fishing in New Zealand is generally a team game, given the nature of sight fishing. You often need a spotter, to not only relay a trout’s position (which may be out of view to the angler) but also calling the strike by seeing the white of the mouth or a swing and lift to the fly. I seldom use indicators these days, preferring to fish more by visual cues to a take from the trout, or through a skilled mate in a better position to call it…
Check out more seasons of Pure Fly New Zealand on Gin Clear Media’s YouTube. If you are interested in booking a trip with Mike, more information can be found here. All photos by Jeff Forsee.
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