Back Issue Discussions 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.



    So school holidays have finished recently and we spent the last week in NE Vic which got me thinking of this thread and I had the delight of fishing the Ovens catchment for a few hours every day in between family things …some of those places mentioned and some old favourites mercifully unidentified and some new explorations .

    Saw a total of 4 anglers for the week which included one guy sitting on his camp chair in the river at the Bright swimming hole , he had a beer in each drink holder and was flicking lures to the run in  , and I didn’t see evidence of recent fishing at 2 of the places mentioned in DA’s article or many vehicles parked that looked like people fishing along the river , and never had to go somewhere else cause someone was there.

    The water was beautiful but quite low for this early in spring and a fair few bugs were out , stoneflies & mayfly mainly later in the day, and I even managed to get each of the kids onto a trout .

    So… N = 1 of course , but I was surprised at the apparent lack of anglers , and just as a small comparison I had gone to the Steavenson midweek at the start of school hols and there were multiple 4wds at every single access point ( and yup know them all …I wondered if it might have been a club day etc) and I ended up going to the Acheron .

    As to whether an article increases angling pressure ?, well not in this very small sample size … or whether its more fun to find the places for yourself ? , for sure it is …




    Nice work. Good to see the kids are into it, and I can’t wait to see some stoneflies and mayflies hatching down my way. Just need to get that pesky magazine finished and I can head for the hills…



    Well done mate, I can guarantee Melbourne Cup “long weekend” will be totally different.  I can’t wait to see the same sort of information on South Island creeks, streams and rivvers in the next editions.  I’ve got a trip planned for next year. 😉



    I’m just doing letters for the next mag now Sleepy and there is plenty of room if you want to respond…
    Give those Kiwis something to worry about. 😉



    FWIW I just might write one.

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