Brett Matula New Zealand Fishing Walkabout

Brett Matula New Zealand Fishing Walkabout

today a blog from Headhunters Guide Brett Matula. Brett has been with us for about 5 years coming form all over the NW. He has a background in sports education teaching snowboarding and fishing for 15+ years. The last couple winters Brett has been traveling the 5 off months between Missouri River seasons. Skiing and fishing, coupled with international travel will absorb those generally quiet winter months. Thanks for the blog and photos Brett. We can’t wait for your next journey!

Hey Mark…here is the New Zealand Blog and a few photos. Use them as you wish. I spent the last week in the DEEP at Mt. Baker.  Now it’s 52 in Glacier, snow’s all shot so I’m back in SEA headed home.  I’ve got another blog idea too I’ll get to you asap.

Hello friends! Brett here reporting about my trip to New Zealand with my girl Lena.

Brett Matula NZ Trip
Brett with this big NZ Bruiser Brown Trout

When I meet people and they learn I am a fishing guide; a common thing they say is, “It must be so great to FISH for a living!”  In truth; most full-time guides hardly get to fish at all.  We are merely facilitators of fishing.

This off-season I decided to take a fishing trip I’d been dreaming about for many years.  So my girlfriend Lena and I bought our tickets and made our plans to spend 5 weeks on the South Island of New Zealand.  The plan was to rent a 4WD vehicle and travel around the South Island backpacking, fishing, camping, and hiking by the seat of our pants.

No plan, no reservations.  We’d go where we felt like going, sleep in a tent, and explore the rivers on our own schedule.

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Stunning New Zealand – Brett Matula Photo

Let me say that NZ has got to be one of the most spectacularly scenic places in the world.  It’s a very young island geologically and the sheer number of mountains, forests, and rivers is staggering.  The people are extra-ordinarily friendly.  Every farmer we stopped to chat with invited us to fish the river on his property without any hesitation.  Drinking in a rural pub was a good way to meet everyone in town.

The fishing itself was extremely challenging.  We found ourselves in the midst of one of the rainiest Decembers on record.  High rivers and clouds made sight-fishing difficult.  Sight-fishing is the thing in NZ.

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NZ river crossing Lena photo Brett Matula

There are very few fish in the rivers; so blind fishing doesn’t work.  You don’t cast until you see the fish.  16-20 foot leaders are the norm.  Many times; I got into position behind a feeding fish, made what I thought was a good cast, only to watch the fish stop feeding and ignore my fly.  This can be a little frustrating after hiking for hours between fish.

But we didn’t let the bad weather stop us from getting out and looking around.  We hiked day after day in beautiful surroundings; camping along the rivers.  And those fleeting moments when a large sighted fish moved on my fly will not soon be forgotten.

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Beautiful New Zealand – photo Brett Matula

All in all it was a GREAT trip.  And not my last.  However I’ll do a few things differently next time.  I’ll practice my casting more.  I’ll probably hire a guide too.  And I’ll hire a helicopter to take us into that stream we spent two days hiking into; only to get cliffed out before reaching it.

But that’s another story.

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Big NZ Trout – photo Brett Matula

Thanks for keeping us up to date on your travels Brett. Can’t wait to hear from you soon.

Brett is one of the Headhunters top guides and books well in advance. To book Brett for you summer 2015 Missouri River Montana vacation call 406-235-3447 today! Operators standing by…


Brett Matula New Zealand Fishing Walkabout
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