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Te Araroa - NZ South Island

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grunde
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:32 am

Te Araroa - NZ South Island

#1

Post by grunde » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:28 am

Hi all,

next summer (NZ summer that is) I plan to walk the South Island part of the Te Araroa trail with a good friend of mine. We plan to spend around two months some time in the period from December 2018 through March 2019.

Finishing the whole trail is not our main objective, we want to cover a substantial part of the trail but being out there for two months is the main thing. And if we don't finish the whole thing it's OK :-)

I wonder if some of you know the trail and can help us with some tips, tricks, and knowledge for our planning...

Questions (for now):
1) I will bring a fly rod! So how is the fishing along or near the trail? Any areas/rivers we should give special attention?
2) When to start?
3) From south to north or from north to south?
4) Books to read, material to download etc.
5) Sandflies? Where, when and how to handle.
6) Gear, what to bring and what to buy in NZ?
7) Other important things?

:pirate:

Cheers,
Grunde
"Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful."
George E. P. Box

Always question the assumptions!

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al greig
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:52 am

Te Araroa - NZ South Island

#2

Post by al greig » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:05 am

Hi Grunde,

Looks like a fantastic walk! I'm familiar with some of the territory you will pass through, from around Tekapo to the Mavora/Mararoa section. No shortage of fishing around there.

Mararaoa last time I fished the section below the lakes had very bad Didymo :( but the Mavora lakes can be interesting. I think the river upstream of the lakes is on your trail and I believe that can be good too. Part of the Trail is on The Greenstone - I think you need a Backcountry Permit for that river... Also looks like you pass by the upper reaches of the Aparima - some good water there. Edit - just noticed you also cross the Ahuriri - also worth a look!

Sandflies have only ever been a problem for me when in, or close to, native Beech Forest. Much like other small biting insects they cease to become a problem if there is a decent breeze, or if you are on the move. When you stop for any length of time, then if they are around they'll find you. Usual advice - cover as much skin as you can with clothing, and use high concentration deet on the bits you can't cover. I have been reduced to wearing a headnet before, down in Fiordland.

Can't add much more really. Bon Voyage!

Al.

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Paul Arden
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Te Araroa - NZ South Island

#3

Post by Paul Arden » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:10 pm

Hi Grunde,

John Kent's South Island and North Island guide books were always the bible when I was there. Don't buy the one that combines the two, the separate books were always the best for me. There is a lot of fishing on that walk. If it's a choice between starting North or South and you don't know if you'll finish it then I would start in the South.

When to start is a difficult one. Best fishing is early on but it can be wet and the rivers hard to cross.

You get used to sandflies and they stop bothering you. Unfortunately however, this takes about ten years. I would always wear long johns under my shorts if I was you. Any time you stop for more than five minutes they will find you - so just keep moving. Which makes a good point with regards your rod; either keep it set up and in your hand, or if you want to break it down buy or make a tube that allows you to keep the reel and flies assembled. This makes it far quicker to start fishing, you'll be more likely to actually do it, and you will have less sandfly hassle. I would take a spare rod by the way; NZ bush is pretty hard on gear.

I don't know the full trail - had a quick look on the Internet. I've seen parts of it - if fished and walked parts of it myself too.
Sounds like a great trip!

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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grunde
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:32 am

Te Araroa - NZ South Island

#4

Post by grunde » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:42 pm

Thanks allot guys for good input! I will get the book on the South Island :-D

:pirate:

Cheers,
Grunde
"Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful."
George E. P. Box

Always question the assumptions!

Flycasting Definitions
...

Nick
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:15 pm

Te Araroa - NZ South Island

#5

Post by Nick » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:52 pm

I haven't walked that trail, but if I was going to I would spend a few minutes looking at every bit of water you cross. Some of the best fish I caught in NZ were in the most ridiculous places. There really can be five pound trout in two foot wide drainage ditches!

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Paul Arden
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Te Araroa - NZ South Island

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:50 pm

They behave in the same was as they do in Russian Kola, parts of North Sweden, parts of Canada (rare) and by all accounts Alaska and Argentina. They're an interesting fish particularly when they reach that size.

I may yet do another trout "stint" in my life. I'd have to start marketing Sexyloops Thermals, with build in ball warmers.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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