Wandering New Zealand on a bike with a fly rod

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RMOTO, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    After finally reaching a completion point in a software project and winding up an eight year milestone, it was the perfect time to load the bike with camping and fishing gear and head off on an extended trip. The main objective for the trip was to dry run some of the riding and fly fishing route packages I am putting together for the RemoteMoto website.

    As for introductions, my name is Josh, a Kiwi who enjoys mixing adventure riding and flyfishing.

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    The steed of choice is a DRZ400 setup for riding and fly fishing trips
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    With that said, the bike was packed and I was off...
    #1
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  2. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Leg 1....

    With it being the start of November and mid Spring the weather was naturally forecast to be volatile and scrappy. Regardless, there would still be many good days in amongst the wet and windy days

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    Heading south was first on the cards, the weather was scrappy every which way with a big southerly front was pushing in, but there was a little reprieve in the centre of the island. Photo of Arthurs Pass looking north from the top of Porters Pass

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    The majority of the first day was spent GPS logging back roads and campsites for the RemoteMoto website

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    A beautiful High Country lake

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    Not too long after hitting the water came success, not a trophy by any means but it was in absolute magic condition. Lifted for a quick photo, then set on his way

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    After a great day mixed with both riding and a spot of fishing it was off to setup camp. I had resigned myself to wake to rain with regard to the gale force southerly winds and intimidating looking clouds fast approaching
    #2
  3. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Leg 2
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    Much to my surprise the weather held out right through till the morning just long enough for me to pack up and head off before the rain started. Once I dropped out from the hills I met blue sky and the day was spent exploring back roads and rivers while making my way further south

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    Ain't that pretty ;)

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    A good portion of the day was logging roads in the vicinity of Lake Opuha

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    Heading to a potential night's accommodation was brought to a halt. I poked my nose up to see if the Southerly front had come over into the Macaulay Valley. Sure enough it had meaning it would be far too dangerous to cross the river to get up there. With being a fan of staying alive I decided to have a comfortable night in a cabin

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    The night's accommodation
    #3
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  4. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Leg 3...
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    Heavy rain and strong wind all night was not all that inviting to go jump on the bike the next morning, but I had a plan to fish water fed predominantly by spring creeks that would hopefully not be too affected by the rain

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    Arriving at the destination the clouds almost opened up on my approval. Thanks Mr Cloud Controller =)

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    The target rivers were slightly coloured but still fishable

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    Some walking between sections was needed but on a day like today ya couldn't complain

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    The tail of this glide was filled with bobbing heads of surface feeding rainbows, it wasn't too long before the first came to the net

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    Yehaa =) The other two fish pulled from this tail were also around the 2 and a 1/2 pound mark
    #4
  5. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
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    A stretch of water that screamed of holding fish...

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    ...sure enough it did

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    A beautiful rainbow jack

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    Followed by a rainbow hen. As the day wound up it couldn't have been any more successful. A great pocket of weather, a few fish lost but around eight came to the net. A simply fantastic day!
    #5
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  6. SlipChip

    SlipChip Adventure Commuter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,784
    Location:
    East of CleveOh
    Nice Pix, keep `em coming. NZ is a dream trip for me.

    How do you trigger your camera?
    #6
  7. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Thanks guys, NZ certainly has a lot of eye candy and good riding to offer

    I've polished a system to be quick and gentle on the fish before being released. The fish are fought hard and brought in quick so they are not worn out, once landed they remain in the net, in water and resting upside down as that calms them. The camera (mounted on a gorillapod) is set to a 10 second timer, just before the camera beeps and takes the photos the fish is lifted for a quick pic and then gently put back in the water and sent back on its way. The camera is set up to rattle off a dozen shots in quick succession so the process only needs to be done once and the fish can be sent back home quick smart and in good health.

    Cheers
    #7
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  8. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Leg 4...

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    Packing up the tent on another magic morning it was off deep down south to fish an area I have wanted to fish for a long time

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    Along the way nearly all the rivers were blown out from the heavy rain

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    Lindis Pass had not only received rain it also had a dusting of snow

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    Chilly

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    Not long after this shot on SH6 the clouds got dark and released generous amounts of rain and hail. On the positive side it gave me a chance to test how waterproof the new Klim Latitude Jacket is. It passed the test and kept me dry and warm

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    Getting late in the day and after a solid day of riding I opted for a Motel to shower up, charge batteries before heading off camping for 4 days
    #8
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  9. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Leg 5...
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    Making my way into Milford Sound, I took the time to explore all the little side roads down to the rivers that I normally ride past; some of them very scenic

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    I must have eaten too much for tea last night because my Airhawk cushion gave way

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    No probs, a bit of UV cure Aquaseal and we were fixed and good to go in 10 seconds

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    Lake Gunn
    #9
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  10. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
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    At one of the stops a kea tried to steal my front wheel, luckily I had done the wheel nut up tight enough so he couldn't get it off

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    Heading into Hollyford Road, this slip from Roaring Creek was something else. This photo does not do it justice, thousands of tons of rocks and boulders metres high had swallowed the road

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    Views over the Hollyford River at the end of Hollyford Road

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    Upper reaches of the Hollyford River
    #10
  11. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
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    Heading into Milford

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    Amazing views of water bleeding from the rock face between Mount Moir and Mount Belle

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    Homer Tunnel

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    Homer Tunnel's exit point from Mount Moir. Easy to see why the road goes through it and not over it

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    At the end of road, Milford's jaw dropping sights continued to be hard to capture on camera. The boat bottom left in this photo gives some indication

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    After a great ride and some grub at the Blue Duck Cafe it was time to head out and find a more non-touristy location to setup camp for the next three days

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    As evening was setting in I thought I'd have a quick flick on the river by camp. This turned out to be very successful. I spotted three beaut browns just 200 metres from camp, very pattern selective but I managed to bring two of the three to the net. Both decided to go flying down this rapid and have me chase after them, how rude!

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    This was the larger of the two, a cracking 5 pound brown in great nick
    #11
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  12. borscht zanetti

    borscht zanetti Pura Vida ! ... eh?

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,272
    Location:
    Castlegar, BC Canuckistan
    Beautiful ! Bright waters and bright fish ! :clap
    #12
  13. onip

    onip Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    34
    Location:
    Granby, Québec, Canada
    Beautiful!!!:clap:clap
    #13
  14. HMMWV

    HMMWV Makin Dust

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    23
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Awesome! :clap:clap:clap
    #14
  15. skyguy

    skyguy Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Ah, New Zealand – still my favorite place to ride. Great pictures!

    Are all these fish native to NZ, or were they stocked from elsewhere?
    #15
  16. DustyPockets

    DustyPockets Flatland wanderer.

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Mahomet, Illinois
    I was going to ask the same thing...

    To my knowledge Browns are European, Rainbows western US.

    Hope he fills us in.

    Any problems with Didymo?
    #16
  17. ztaj

    ztaj jatz

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,276
    Location:
    Nelson-ish New Zealand
    Nice work Josh...
    What camera are you using ? They really are nice pics.
    #17
  18. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Hi guys. Brown trout were introduced in the late 1860's, rainbow trout around the 1880's. Some waterways are stocked to maintain numbers while others are self sustained. Trout thrive here and grow to large sizes

    Unfortunately Didymo has made its way to the South Island however it is not in the North Island. As a small consolation, on many rivers our wild stormy weather leads to large volumes of water roaring down and frequently clearing it.

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    Often times I am asked how I clean my gear and stop the spread of didymo as I move between waterways. I have setup my pannier to soak all my gear in a didymo killing solution, then drain bungs on the bottom are released to let the water out.

    Hi ya James. I go through cameras at an alarming rate so have given up using expensive ones, medium priced point and shoot cameras are what I mostly use for the website GPS logging. Currently I am using a Fuji F660EXR.
    #18
  19. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Leg 6...
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    An epic trip was planned for today, a big walk up a valley very few frequent. The alarm sang at 5:30 and with just 3 degrees in the air on went a few base layers. There was a basic "marked" route up the valley which started out better than expected however it got pretty technical after about an hour

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    On many tracks you have to climb around slips and guts so it is common to climb quite some height above the water. The climbs got steeper, many sections over 45 degrees using hands, knees and feet to get up

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    This track was getting insane, it was climbing higher and higher (as per photo looking down to the river). I made the decision to drop down to the river to see how navigable the riverbed was.

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    After getting bluffed twice in some sketchy terrain I finally made it down to the riverbed. It wasn't easy working my way upstream from the valley floor and some of the river crossings were bouldery, deep and swift requiring some careful planning. It did however beat the continual slog of climbing up the ridges and guts

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    The magic views and fishing potential were sure worth the effort
    #19
  20. RMOTO

    RMOTO Anticipating summer...

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    810
    Location:
    New Zealand
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    As for the fishing, well it was outstanding. There were numerous rainbows, all seemed take to large scruffy stonefly patterns and gave great battles

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    Time for a cuppa

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    Battling another rainbow

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    Nearly every pool held at least one fish, nothing of trophy size but all in great nick

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    Another rainbow being released and heading back home
    #20
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