#96 Winter 2019 Fishing Locations

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    Just a quick bitch, but why is it we constantly see articles that almost give GPS coordinates for Australian waters yet NZ articles invariably only recognise the ubiquious backcountry river?  Either one or the other FL, but be consistent.  If you have a policy of naming waters, such as the latest Ovens article then the same information should be provided on all articles.  So let’s have the names of the NZ backcountry rivers and how to get to them.


    mitch aka 2 fish

    hell… they’d only lie to us anyway, pat.






    Personally I would rather not have waters named, or where to access them, as I think that finding these gems adds to the enjoyment when it all comes together.

    If we name mainland waters then the same should apply to Tassie tarns and New Zealand rivers. But I think it is far better to look at a map, and go for a walk.

    We don’t want to dumb down to the lowest level and remove all the fun.



    It really depends on the nature of the article. If it is basically a location guide then the details are given; if it’s about technique or approach in a particular type of water then there is less need for location specifics. There are plenty of rivers and lakes named in FL across NZ, Tas and the mainland, with many writers recognising that we need active users in order to manage and protect these fisheries into the future. I can never remember editing out a place name if a writer was prepared to give it, but I have rejected many an article promoting personal glorification on a secret creek using a secret fly, or requesting images be flipped or backgrounds removed to mask a location.

    I’ve been editing FL for 25 years and nothing has changed, but it is understandable that some people are miffed if their go-to water is named and shamed.



    Perhaps “frontcountry” really doesn’t get quite the same treatment from writers .

    And I really do like articles that leave a fair bit to the imagination too while making you want to explore.

    But I agree about needing active users to manage and protect into the future being more important than ever , and for that we need some openness .

    And I haven’t quite resolved happily filing away all those Go-To Waters in Tassie , with that sinking feeling of reading about a favourite place .

    I was a bit more concerned that below Porepunkah was now Cod water ( love those fish too btw & to digress a bit best article in this edition was Home Grown ( or Tilda)) …used to be able to fish for trout down to and in Myrtleford and its streams that ran into the Ovens there…I wonder how they are doing now and whether those middle Ovens waters still have a few trout left ( well over a decade since I last fished them ) or if they’ve all retreated up into the headwaters.

    And I didn’t think the reveals were too bad …nothing you couldn’t work out yourself fairly easily…and there was quite a bit left unsaid really (phew & hurrah!)




    Greg French

    Thanks for starting this thread Sleepy: it’s a genuinely contentious issue and one well worthy of in-depth discussion.

    It’s always a delicate balancing act on how much information to give away before you start to offend other users, or even detract from the joy of independent discovery.

    I have to constantly remind myself that none of us is an island: we have all relied on the generosity of others in order to learn how and where to fly fish. Personally I feel indebted to those who have informed my own fishing and have always felt obliged to reciprocate. It’s also worthwhile remembering that advocacy equals protection. The current Lake Malbena threat is a classic case in point. If we activists end up stopping the Tasmanian government’s push to diminish wilderness and privatise our public fisheries, it will be in no small part to FlyLife’s decades-long fostering of backcountry fishing.

    I try to name as many of my favourite fisheries as possible, and trust that in the long run this is better for everyone than keeping secrets. When it comes to smaller waters, I often mention a whole bunch by name in one hit so as not to single-out any particular destination for over-exploitation. With especially sensitive waters – trophy waters in the remote Western lakes, small spring creeks in NZ, that sort of thing – I don’t mention them by name them but give readers a damned good recipe for finding them by themselves.

    I’ve just written an article on ‘Backpacking made simple’, in which I give along a list of suitable destinations for first-timers. Almost all of these waters (including those in NZ) have been named and detailed in previous issues of FlyLife, which was the whole point of the exercise. When the article is published I trust that FlyLife readers will be reminded of how many waters have been named and that they will have a ton of fun revisiting previous articles.



    Thanks for your everybody’s responses and yes I’d probably have to agree with Mitch whole heartedly.  My ire was raised because there was so much information provided in DA’s article and not even a hint in the NZ article.

    It’s easy for a ‘local’ to investigate waters because you can spend a season or two searching out the hidden treasures of a local stream.   However when you can only visit a location once every couple of years, the ability to spend time looking for these locations is limited.  Some of the locations mentioned in DA’s article are no different to the  NZ backcountry waters (with the exception of the fish).  It as taken years to work out some of the little gems.

    As I have with everything else written by Greg, I will buy his book and poor over it and my maps when planning for my next trip.  Unfortunately we just don’t get the same sort of information when it comes to back country NZ waters.



    While I don’t for a moment promote naming of NZ waters (as I know what will happen next season) I respect the writers’ intentions in each article. Good on them and FL I say.

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