Fresh water and salt water fly fishing in New Zealand and Australia. Brought to you by Riverworks waders, wading boots, vests, jackets, fly rods and reels.

Author Archive

Why do you fly fish?

We want to know what makes you tick! Tell us why you fly fish.

Everyone who responds will go into the draw to win a Hunters Element Prime Winter Base Layer – This would be perfect for your winter fishing!


Rob Wilson – SIP Films – CXI Reef Sharks

A mate of mine Eddie Fraker has started a fly fishing film company Striking Image Productions check it out!

http://www.sip-films.com/


Video

Itu’s Bones


Short Film – Catch & Release


Short Fly Fishing Film – Rojo


John Maulder – Wading Boot Review

This is a letter given to me by a former store owner. John has been great at giving feedback over the years. Below is a letter from John on the Riverworks XRT Wading boots.

Hi Robert,

Well another season has finished and it is time to drop you a line on the performance of the XRT Wading Boot that I purchased in December 2010.

Since December through to June 30, 2011 I have clocked up just on 450 hours, no mean feat but they have covered bush walking, cutting tracks, coastal estuaries, Hawke’s Bay rivers right through to back country streams covering mud, sand, boulders and stones.
During this time I found the boots extremely comfortable and supportive, even after a 10 hour day they were still great to have on. The total design of the boot gives you maximum support from the balls of your feet right through to your ankles. The hexaform inner sole was especially noticeable when boulder hopping, cushioning the shock allowing the feet to take less impact during each step. Just a quick note, I do wear neoprene inners when I am not in breathables which does give a little extra cushioning. I have even used them during a morning hunt before continuing a fishing afternoon saving weight and space with no effect.
The only downside which is only minor, is that I am onto my third lot of studs. I find the soft nature of these tends to wear them out a little quicker than usual. Maybe a stainless stud will help solve this and a loss of weight on my part! Looking at the boot as I write it is hard to see any exccessive wear from either the uppers or soles for the hours I have spent in them.

Robert, I would not have any hesitation in recommending these boots to anybody who wants 100% satisfaction from an excellent product that will serve them well in the years to come.

I know you are continually trying to improve through research and development on all your products you source and I wish you all the very best in the years to come.

Kindest regards,

John Maulder


Rob Wilson – Rob, Zane and Toffee Pops

A month ago I spent four days product testing/fishing with legendary Nelson Guide, Nelson Councillor and Riverworks Pro Team member Zane Mirfin. I had a wicked time, caught plenty of fish and really enjoyed the beautiful Nelson Lakes region. Zane is great to go fishing with, I was impressed with the ease at which he caught pretty much every fish he cast to. He made it look easy and like there was no skill involved, which we know is not true!!!

Zane blasting us to our destination.

Zane with a monster.

It was a great to fish with such a talented angler. I have been fishing for years but to go out fishing with a guide with 25+ years guiding experience really made a difference to my own fishing. I would highly recommend getting out and fishing with people at the top of the fishing game in order to improve your own fishing. Anyway that’s enough blowing wind up Zane’s arse!

Rob’s best fish of the trip.


We got to our camp site at about 3pm and setup the tent and fly, left our gear and went for a fish up the river. We took a rifle with us in case we saw a deer. After walking for miles up the river catching plenty of nice fish we decided to stash our rods and have a look for a deer. We didn’t have any luck and it was getting late so at 9:30pm we decided to head back to camp. I was getting pretty hungry at this stage, I had been looking forward to our packet curry pasta with lamb and rosemary sausages since about 7pm.

We finally arrived back at camp about 11pm to find our bag of food spread everywhere. A bloody Kea had crawled under the tent fly poked a couple of holes in the mosquito mesh before figuring out he could unzip the door and drag our bag of food outside where he could polish it off while keeping an eye out for us. The Kea tried everything in the bag, crackers, sausages, pottle of fruit and what it didnt like it spread everywhere. The worst thing was that I had been looking forward to having a Toffee Pop for dessert the whole way back. The little bugger loved Toffee Pops, well the best part of the Toffee Pop. It ate all the chocolate and toffee off all the biscuits and left the biscuit bases spread everywhere. Right now we were devastated that this little punk had got into our food and spread it everywhere. We started to clean up the mess and salvage what we could. I picked up the Toffee Pop packet to find that he had graciously left two Toffee Pops in the pack, one at each end. We polished off the two remaining Toffee Pops, they tasted amazing!

All the photos are Zane’s (thats why they are all of me!). It was nice to leave my 10kg of camera gear behind for a change.

After a couple more days of fishing, solving the problems of the world and walking to what felt like the end of the earth and back I jumped on a little plane and arrived back in Wellington. I had a fantastic trip and am now looking forward to getting back down South again soon.


Nick Johnson – Matukituki River

 

Nick swapped his fly rod for his camera. Nice clip!


Rob Wilson – Molesworth Trip Photo Essay

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fortyone degrees – issue 3 is LIVE!


NEW Riverworks Lifestyle Subscription Competition

Subscribe to Riverworks Lifestyle and go into the draw to win a pair of Riverworks XRT Waders!

 

The winner of the Riverworks RX2 Wading Boot competition will be annonced in the next couple of days.

 


Stefano Mantegazza – Blue Fin Tuna

Stefano from Alpi Fly Fishing is our distributor for Riverworks in Italy. Stefano caught this wicked Blue Fin Tuna on fly in the Adriatic sea.


Salmon Raw


Robert Wilson – An afternoon in on the Tongariro

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I managed to get an afternoon fishing before showing our 2011-2012 fly fishing range to the Taupo/Turangi retailers. Richard Dobbinson our mid-upper North Island sales rep and I enjoyed the mild weather and managed to land 4 good fish and lost another few. I even managed to try the stupid planking craze!


Russell Anderson – Back Country Fly Fishing


Hard days fishing?


fortyone degrees – Online Magazine

We are proud to announce our new online magazine fortyonedegrees.com. As a subscriber to Riverworks Lifestyle you get a head start and can see it before the official release date 1 April 2011!

This magazine is free so spread the word, please forward to all your fly fishing, hunting and adventure seeking mates!


Russell Anderson – Big O.

Russell Anderson

Central North Island fishing guide.

www.russellanderson.co.nz


Zane Mirfin – Mice, Rats & Rodents

Second_mouse_gets_the_cheese.jpg

Mouse feeders are often easy to identify, with wide thickset flanks, big full bellies with hard nugget-like chunks being able to be felt from the outside…

Huge New Zealand trout feasting on rats and mice are the stuff every trout angler dreams of. Big, fat, heavy brown trout, engorged on a turbo-charged, proteinrich diet of rodents are something to marvel at and enjoy. But it only happens once in a blue moon, in those special years when the native beech forest produces an abundance of surplus seed, which causes rodent populations to explode in number.

Most New Zealand trout are limited in size by the food available to them. Many trout streams here have limited fertility and are not the insect-rich waters that premier overseas waters often are. So, when they get a bumper terrestrial food source, trout are only too happy to take advantage of it.

Recently, I read reports in the Nelson Mail about increased catches of rodents and predators by volunteer trappers in the Brook Waimarama Sanctuary area. I also noticed a few more rodents around my garage this winter before I put out bait stations, with the excellent name of ‘‘departure lounges’’.

With the general trout fishing season due to open on October 1, I’ve been busy fielding inquiries from international anglers interested in the fishing prospects for the coming season. Reports from Nelson Lakes Conservation Department staff would indicate that a spectacular beech seeding in autumn has paved the way for a substantial increase in rodent populations in the spring and summer.

New Zealand rodents range from small to a massive 30 centimetres for a big norway rat. Rodents are prodigious breeders and a female rat can produce 12 litters of 20 rats each year, according to pest contractors Target Pest, potentially having the ability to have thousands of descendants a year, which is a lot of trout food.

When rodent populations boom, their predators, such as stoats, ferrets and weasels, also peak, which is bad news for native birds and invertebrates, which suffer when rodent numbers abate. Cuddly little critters such as rats and mice don’t get a lot of positive press from government organisations and the media, but they are actually pretty interesting animals and, whether we like it or not, they are part of the history of humanity as well.

European history is richly laced with tales of rats and mice. In New Zealand, rats were of cultural importance well before Europeans arrived on the scene, with kiore or Polynesian rats being a treasured part of Maori culture, having spiritual value to some iwi. Maori considered kiore a delicacy. Rats fattened on a diet of berries and invertebrates were trapped and preserved in their own fat for those cold winter days, long before Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, Ratatouille or self-styled love rat Major James Hewitt.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate as a recreational angler and professional fly-fishing guide to have been involved in the capture of an unfair share of very large brown trout, many of which have been fattened on rodents. Some seasons’ trout will be 1kg to 2kg heavier than normal in many rivers, and we all dream of trophy trout 4.5kg and bigger.

So how do the mice and rats end up in the water?  It seems rodents range far and wide nocturnally for food, move to new territories, die of hypothermia, drown, and fall or swim in rivers and so become available as trout fodder.

Most mouse-fed trout are caught on traditional tackle offerings such as dry flies and weighted nymphs during the daytime, although we have caught trout on mouse imitations fished during the night shift. Slow-stripping a large floating deerhair mouse imitation across a still pool after dark can provide exciting fishing, although, interestingly, the trout usually take the mouse imitation quite softly.

Rubber mouse imitations or other topwater poppers also work well on spinfishing gear, with the advantage being that anglers can cover larger distances with longer casts and also avoid standing in the water among the eels. Mouse feeders are often easy to identify, with wide, thick-set flanks, big full bellies with hard nugget-like chunks being able to be felt from the outside of the fish. Trout can eat multiple rodents and fish with up to several dozen mice inside have been recorded.

Sometimes with rats, I’ve seen a rat’s tail hanging out of a captured fish’s mouth. I remember one captured trout regurgitating dead mice in the net. Big trout act like a magnet to overseas anglers and word of big fish present will prompt many anglers to book longer and more adventurous trips.

One overseas fishing agent is already playing the mouse card, with worldwide recession and lower than normal bookings requiring different strategies to attract high-value, big-spending tourist anglers. Personally, I’m waiting until I get on to the water and have a look around this coming fishing season before I talk too much about mice and rats.  If the hype fails to match reality and the big fish just aren’t there, a river can be a lonely place as you attempt to be a modern-day Rumpelstiltskin trying to spin straw into gold.

Secretly, however, I’m hoping a big rodent year will happen and that the big trout will appear like magic. It might be tough on the native birds but the trout fisherman in me says ‘‘bring on the mice’’. Let’s just hope the Department of Conservation isn’t crying wolf – or in this case, rodent – because, when you’re a hardcore trout bum, you can never have too many mice. Hickory, dickory, dock.

www.strikeadventure.com


Craig Sommerville Video – Our New Religion


Rob Wilson – Being a boy!

I haven’t managed to get out and do any fly fishing over the Xmas – New Years break however I did get a bit for 4WDing in.

 


Zane Mirfin – Wildside – Buller River dreaming, and Murchison on my mind

Locally Produced: Zane caught this 11lb brown trout in Murchison with his friend Tony Entwistle.

The variety and diversity of angling opportunity is probably unmatched.

MURCHISON fishing guide Peter Carty once wrote that ‘‘fishing is a disease. It’s not usually fatal and there’s no known cure for it, but the therapy is wonderful.’’

I couldn’t agree more and often think back to when Pete and I began our guiding careers together in the mid-80s around the Nelson Lakes and Murchison areas.

They were halcyon days and we were just the latest in a long line of anglers intent on exploring and enjoying the rivers of Murchison. I still fish these rivers and Murchison has become a playground for anglers from all over the world.

Murchison is situated on the Four Rivers Plain – the flood plain of the Buller River, which flows through the centre of town, fed by tributaries the Mangles, Matiri and Matakitaki.

The thing that has always impressed me about the Murchison area is the people, and we anglers are lucky that Murchison landowners are so generous with access to the rivers. Developing relationships with many of these local families, watching their kids grow up, and enjoying good times along the way have made the fishery even more special in my mind.

Murchison is probably best known for the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that ripped the place apart on June 17, 1929, causing 17 deaths and untold mayhem. The landscape still bears the scars of this massive quake. The Mirfin family has a connection to the tragedy, with my grandfather’s elder sister, Jessie, being married to Murchison farmer Charlie Morel when the earthquake struck. Charlie was killed by a huge mudslide and flying roofing iron. According to witness Samuel Busch, the mudslide crossed the Matakitaki River from the west and wiped out Morel’s house at the Six Mile. A gentleman to the last, Charlie’s last words were, according to family folklore, ‘‘Save yourself Jessie, I’m done for.’’

Immediately after the earthquake, my grandfather Ash and his twin brother, Bryce, managed to ride and carry pushbikes through the mangled one lane Buller Gorge road from Reefton in a futile attempt to help their sister. Later, it took 18 months with pick, shovel and saw to re-open this vital link to the West Coast. Ironically, the road works and repair to the land after the earthquake created many jobs and insulated Murchison from the worst effects of the 1930s Depression.

The Buller River system is one of the world’s greatest brown trout fisheries. The variety and diversity of angling
opportunity is probably unmatched, with trout-filled small, medium and large freestone streams and rivers at virtually every point of the compass. Nearby are the waters of North Canterbury’s Waiau system to the south, the Grey and Inangahua catchments to the west, the Wairau catchment to the east, and the Motueka and its tributaries to the north.

The Buller River itself is a worthwhile fishery, but a shadow of its former glory due to the invasive alga didymo, which has choked the upper reaches above Murchison. Its stranglehold on the rivers of Murchison is expanding, but it isn’t the end of the world because the worst affected areas are the mainstem Buller and the Gowan River, which come out of Lakes Rotoiti and Rotoroa. Tributary streams that are not sourced from fertile lake waters seem to have fared much better. Virtually every river and stream in the Murchison area now has didymo, but even when its presence is heavy, the fishing can still be good, and excellent trout fishing can be had in areas that many anglers avoid.

The Matiri River is a great fishery for small to medium-size trout, but can be a little tough to fish these days, with a lot of didymo present, possibly due to the fertility effect of Lake Matiri.

The Matakitaki is a great blue river, alluvial in nature in its upper reaches and more confined within gorges as it makes its way to join the Buller atMurchison. A fabulous dry fly stream, it is also rich in gold and still mined to this day. Lately, the Matakitaki has been in the spotlight with Network Tasman looking at harnessing it for hydro-electricity generation, but the
river already has a rich history of intensive human use, including heavy mining activity in the late 1800s.

The Mangles River, along with its major tributary, the Tutaki, is a lovely fishery and I have great memories of wonderful days on-stream. There are some great scenic drives up these valleys, such as the track over the Braeburn saddle leading to Lake Rotoroa or the road through to the upper Matakitaki and Mataki Station.

Two other world-class Murchison rivers and Buller tributaries must also be mentioned. To the north is the small limestone river, the Owen, a bountiful fishery complete with challenging leopard-spotted browns. The Owen was
the apple of my eye when I was a boy, and it was where I learnt to fly fish and hunt with my father, Stuart.

To the south of Murchison is another great trout river, the Maruia and tributaries. The Maruia has always been revered as a fish factory, and this year the bonus for south bank tributaries such as the Maruia and Mataki has been some large mouse-fed trout, many into double-digit weights by imperial measurement.

However, there have been some low catch rates around Murchison the past few months. Many anglers and guides have told me their fishing has been the worst in living memory.

Fish and Game field officer Lawson says recent assessments of trout populations have shown up excellent quantities of medium and large fish. He believes that with so much trout food around this year, the fish don’t need to feed as often or for as long, making them less vulnerable to capture. Let’s hope this is the case and that the Murchison fishery is in good shape for future generations to enjoy.

The Murchison area, people, land, rivers and trout fishery will always be special in the minds of many. Recently Murchison dairy farmer Ken Caldwell struck a chord when he talked glowingly about his new farm in the area and described how he was ‘‘farming it already in my mind’’. Fly fishing addiction and love of rivers is no different and I, for one, will be fishing the trout streams of Murchison in my mind forever.

Zane Mirfin – http://www.strikeadventure.com


Hunters Element Clothing Launch

Clothing Philosophy Introduction: Attack of the Clones

The New Zealand and Australian markets are both swamped in average underperforming clothing all built to price constraints with a lack of innovative design. Currently there are packs of hunters roaming the hills dressed like clones in cheap fleece. We’re not paying out on fleece, however the way it is being used does not give the hunter maximum performance… to find out more click here www.hunterselementlifestyle.com



Mark Nola – 9LB Fish on the Whanganui River

Love your work Mark!