Back Country South Island

‘Backcountry’ means different things to different people and the film explores the vast array of remote South Island rivers and various ways of experiencing them. From hiking (tramping) through beech forest, to stalking resident browns in clear flowing mountain runs and pools, to jet boating the upper reaches of braided rivers, to rafting down remote lowland waterways and catching stonking rainbows on bright pink streamers, this film covers it all.

A dramatic opening time-lapse of a flooded cascade sets the scene for some useful advice from Mike Kirkpatrick on not being afraid of high water in New Zealand. This leads on to some stunning aerial perspectives of the rivers and terrain, and of course plenty of heart thumping footage of the large browns and feisty rainbows that we all hope to catch in the South Island.

There is a refreshing thread of youthful enthusiasm throughout this film, with many younger accomplished fishermen paired with seasoned professionals including Mike Kirkpatrick, Rene Vaz, Andrew Harding and Nick Reygaert, the man behind Gin-Clear productions.

One scene in particular with Paul Procter, a UK journalist and instructor, captures the feeling we all experience with our first New Zealand brown. Fishing a classic run into a pool, after a solid take amongst adrenalin fuelled expletives Paul exclaims, “I thought you said that was small,” to which you hear off camera “…that’s not big for here.” Paul’s next few fish prove that to be so true.

Don’t miss Andrew Harding’s field tips for dealing with cold socks (hysterical) and be sure to learn from Jack Kos’s gutting experience — never leave your net in the car in this country.

Backcountry – South Island is best summed up with a quote from the film: “If God was a fly fisherman, and he designed a place for just him and his mates to fish, it would probably look just like the South Island.”

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