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After a fair bit of discussion with Paul & his team, we decided to film two very different fishing experiences – one day of backcountry fly fishing at my secret local spot, and one day mixing up spin, fly and sight fishing on the mighty Waiau River. In the lead-up to their arrival, we found ourselves crossing our fingers for decent, trout-friendly conditions – hosting these guys was a pretty big deal and we were hoping they would fall in love with fishing here like we have!
The conditions didn’t quite end up being ideal. Before the iFish team arrived we had a fair amount of rain, so the river was up a bit and slightly discolored. But we were determined to make the most of it – starting with day of backcountry fishing.
Heading to my local ‘secret spot’, deep in Fiordland’s backcountry, we spent the day fly-fishing for big trout. When filming a TV show, every fish takes a bit longer to land in between cuts. While we lost a few really big ones, the largest trout Paul landed that was about 6 pounds, and his crew was stoked with that. It was also on this day that Cristy, Paul’s wife, landed her first trout on the fly – a lucky catch!
The next day was cancelled due to rain, but the Waiau was calling so on their third day in Te Anau, we managed to introduce Paul and team to the Waiau. Both Paul and Cristy couldn’t get over the scenery and the clarity of the water – that’s because it comes straight off the mountains, we told them! They loved being surrounded by rainforest, and said that it felt like you could be ‘in the jungle, anywhere in the world’. It’s always awesome to see the Waiau in a fresh light through a visitor’s eyes.
We spent half the day spin, fly and sight fishing. Paul and the crew kept remarking on the power of the water – they had never fished in such a strong current before. Paul managed to catch a good number of trout, all decent sizes, before we were rained off and re-scheduled more Waiau fishing for the next day.
We had a ball fishing with these guys – their passion for fishing and excitement in catching trout was infectious.
Inspired? Round up a couple of keen mates, and get in touch to book your epic fishing adventure with us. I promise you’ll get to experience some seriously awesome secret local spots, just like the iFish team did!
Written: 6 articles
Fiordland’s mighty Waiau River is paradise for passionate anglers. Here, healthy fighting trout run pristine waters that wind through an extraordinarily grand environment. Join local expert Mark Wallace for a truly unique angling experience.
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