A Family that Fishes together….

I had just got off the phone with my niece having discovered that her partner and her sister’s partner are both into fishing.” Yowza, “I said to my friend, Mike, we are going fishing! I was in NZ in Wanaka at the time. Wanaka is in the South Island west of Queenstown. It was  mid December and I was about to meet up with my family in Cromwell, for a family wedding. Cromwell is on Lake Dunstan, and the beautiful Clutha river flows into the Dunstan there. I really, really like fishing and although I am not,  at least not yet, a fly fisherwoman, I have spent many years fishing  with rod and reel in and around the Blue Ridge area of West Virginia, where I live.

The morning of the wedding dawned and the men, my niece’s partners picked me up at 0630 or so. It was chilly and the skies were clear. We drove out to  the main highway looking for a likely place to fish. The men had their gear with them and I had a camera. No, no fishing gear for Sue. That’s OK I thought, this time I may get a couple of fly fishing lessons at least. We had arranged this just the night before and I had not as yet had time to get my own gear. Graeme followed a road in the direction of the water and we found ourselves going through rabbit world. There were thousands of them and pretty strong fencing to keep them off the local farm and home properties. Their burrows dotted the hills and they are seriously everywhere. We carefully locked the gates after ourselves and drove towards the water.

After some maneuvering over a twisting, narrow back road, we parked at a flat spot where the bank allowed easy access to the river. The men donned their waders and fishing gear, checked their rods and lines and waded out into the chilly waters. I watched, furious at myself for not buying some fishing gear and a license in Wanaka, when I first heard I would get the chance to fish. Oh well what can a girl do, but make the best of things. So I walked around had a look downstream, watched  the men fishing and took photographs. Oh  and I did get a couple of fly fishing  lessons from Graeme.

The sweetness of a spot like the edge of Lake Dunstan is it is so beautiful and there are very few people around. Many lovely mountains rise out of the distant shoreline with colors of browns and beige, the sun is rising to the east and the early morning light pops the green of the trees. The birds are busy singing and that light is just lovely for taking photographs.

The second time we went out the women were with us, including my 2 nieces and a grandniece and we were geared up. We had visited the local fishing and sports gear store in Cromwell and bought expandable rods,  Shimano Raider, line  and some very nice reels, Shimano Cazna, by brand.  They may not be the most expensive rods and  reels,but they were decent and had a decent sensitivity to them. With a great tip from a local fisherman, we found a good spot and I,  dear readers, caught a good sized trout. That spot was down river from where we had been on the Saturday  and we had to wade out.  The mud was the kind you sunk into a bit so it was challenging. The exciting part of it was the Clutha flowed pretty fast into the Dunstan on our side of the waterway. The  water there was blue deep and fast flowing and that is where I caught my trout. Only one, and I was the first to land one!

It was a lovely day, the men caught lots of large New Zealand trout and we had a wonderful time. My grandniece is excited to go fishing again and so are my nieces and I, indeed,  am looking to seeing all the pictures of those days. I will share them with you as soon as I get them uploaded, but just now I don’t have enough space on this computer to load up all my NZ photos.

I miss my New Zealand family  and friends so much and here’s a big shout out to you all!! Here’s a toast to all you who love fishing and love the outdoors!



IMG_2199                                                                                                   My family

#1 fishing spot

#1 fishing spot


New Zealand Visit

     I recently returned from a visit to New Zealand for a family wedding. My niece,Sarah, my brother’s eldest daughter got married. It was a fabulous trip and I had such a great time visiting with family and friends. I flew to the South Island to Queenstown on Air NZ.  Landing in Queenstown is a real treat as you fly down through the Remarkables mountain range, over Lake Wakatipu and land just outside of town at the Queenstown International Airport.

It is such a beautiful part of the world and I was truly thrilled to be there. My friend Mike very kindly met me at the airport and we stopped in town to pick up a birthday present for his daughter and some lunch. A delicious onion soup and a cup of tea. Queenstown is surrounded by the mountain peaks of the Remarkables and sits on the rather large lake Wakatipu. The view there from any point is lovely and there is so much one can do. A favorite tourist town in New Zealand there are sports of all kinds, photography, sightseeing, skiing, hang gliding, jet boating,hiking, horse back riding,and shopping, you name it you can probably do it right there in Queenstown.

We travelled by car to Lake Wanaka where my friends Mike and Barb live. The road through the mountains is truly beautiful, just a two lane, it has its dangers, mostly from folks renting cars or RVS or whatever and proceeding to drive on the wrong side of the road!! It was, nevertheless, a lovely drive through tobacco colored hills and mountains, past the lovely town of Cromwell where the wedding was to take place and Lake Dunstan and the Clutha River, where I caught a trout of a good size. It is truly a lovely part of the world.

It is early summer in New Zealand in December and in the South Island it is chilly. What with the elevation of 990 Feet and the southerly aspect as it were Longitude 44.509637300000000000 Latitude and 169.133206600000000000. So it’s close to the South Pole relatively speaking.

Wanaka is another town on a lake and from which it took its name. Lying west and north of Queenstown. First settlers arrived in 1860 and gold was discovered there in 1861. The first survey for the town was  made inco Originally named Pembroke it was renamed Wanaka in 1940. The Clutha river springs from Lake Wanaka and curves around the land and flows into Lake Dunstan. This area is a winegrowers heaven and the delicious wine grown by my friends is truly the best I have had. A red, it is a Pinot Noir and it is sooooo good. My friend Michael grows his own grapes and has a beautiful spot with a view of the lake and the mountains. There are ski fields nearby at Treble Cone, a beautiful golf course overlooking the lake and so much to do. A wonderful path by the Clutha River is a great walk and another a walk into town from my friends home a good 6 miles or more. 

I will post some photos soon.