The Beautiful Boyle River Valley

Up River / Down River Views of the Boyle River

My fly fish mate Craig & I had been trying for more than a year to get a farmer to grant us access & give us gate keys to be able to drive into the Boyle River Valley, have a good fish & stay at the Magdalen Hut. But last season he made the decision to lease out his land around the river to some guides so it was a no go…he said to contact him early in the next season & he would work something out.

So Craig gave him a buzz first thing in the new trout season & the farmer was good on his word – it was just that the New Zealand Spring weather was not so good on its word and we had a wacky & wild start to the fishing season with torrential downpours which caused massive flooding and land slips…including on the farmers’s land. He said we’d have to wait till he could get the bulldozer and grater in to put the track back into navigable shape.

We finally got the thumbs up from the farmer & after a few hit or miss attempts at getting our respective calendars aligned, we loaded up Gertie the 1975 Series III Land Rover & toddled (that is how Gertie rolls) off to the Boyle River Valley.

Tried & True – Gertie the 1975 Series III Land Rover Gets Us There & Gets Us Out….

Given it was a Saturday and the weather was a stunner combined with the fact that the hut (only 6 bunks)  is part of the  St. James Walkway as well as the Te Araroa Trail, we were a wee bit nervous that the hut would be chocka with trampers. But our luck held out & we only had to share the hut with 2 nice Czech women.

One of the big advantages of being able to drive right to the hut (had to do a bit of 4WD – fun) is you can bring real food (and drink) since we were not having to worry about the weight to pack it in & out – yippee! So we tucked into a very tasty pasta & bacon dinner made by Craig and sampled a few decent Aussie reds & then to bed…

Up early to a cracker of a day (would be almost too hot) with an almost cloudless sky and not much wind (it was early yet). We decided to take the Land Rover back the way we came to an area where we could park up & scramble down the steep hill face to reach the river & then walk downstream to the end of the lower gorge & fish our way back up.

Mate Craig heads into the Boyle Gorge…

To say the day was a tough fish would be an understatement – we fished for 8+ hours, walked 13+kms and covered a damn lot of water but only sighted 6 fish (2 were on death’s bed as totally black) and managed to hook 1 good trout. It was a fantastic day for sight fishing with the conditions about as good as you could hope for and any water we could not see into, we fished blind. So no pool or run left unturned or touched…We ended the day with a foray into the upper gorge which leads to the Boyle Flats Hut as we had sighted several decent fish on a previous tramp. We went as far as we could go before the pool became too deep to wade & the bush too think to get through…

Me Fishing the Foam Line…sweet water…

We retreated back to the Magdalen Hut for a cold beer & a few sand flies….and devoured a lentil, carrot, celery, walnut & goats cheese salad I had assembled & finished off our Aussie red & sampled a very nice Sauvignon Blanc from Crater Rim

We would have to say that this fishing season so far, for us, has been not much to write home about as the trout are few and far between…our plans have been recently revised so that we go to rivers that actually have fish in them…down to the MacKenzie Country we think…

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