The road sign of awesomeness.


Routing is all about the weather. Remember, the next land mass to the south is Antarctica. Weather in New Zealand is about as variable as it can be anywhere on the planet.

Hiring your own vehicle is so much the way to go because the most fantastic moments are often the diversions en route of which you are able to avail yourself in a way that others cannot. If you find yourself here, you’re doing it right.

Sprint for your highest value destination if the weather demands it, or put it off until a good weather window opens up, then work your routing based on the weather forecasts and your time of departure. Always have options B, C, and D in mind before you set out for your day’s destination.

Sage PIKE and MUSKY fly rods.

Sage announced today six new fly rod models. Four of these mark expansions of to existing rod series, while the other two rods being introduced are new specialty rods developed by Sage. All of the new additions are now available online and via brick-and-mortar retailers, with the exception of the spey additions to the ONE series, which will be available May 1st.

Sage PIKE and MUSKY fly rods.
Sage's new PIKE & MUSKY fly rods.

The ESN (Euro-Style Nymphing) family, which is currently comprised of four different 10' rods, gets a new addition of an 11' 3-weight, complete with mini fighting butt and retailing for $695. The aforementioned new spey rods in the ONE series will come in the form of two travel-friendly six-piece rods, a 13' 7-weight and a 14' 9-weight, retailing for $1200 and $1275, respectively. The ONE series receives another addition, the new single-handed 9' 12-weight rod, designed for big-game species such as tuna and sailfish, for $795.

Fly fishing on New Zealand's South Island.

Sometime in 2007, after reading one too many fishporn-laden features on trout fishing in New Zealand, I cleared three weeks in February 2008 and bought a plane ticket. Ok, it wasn’t quite that simple, but it was close. One of those features was dubbed, “Do it yourself,” something or other.

After three trips, which were more than 80 percent were self-directed, I have come to realize that article didn’t capture many key points for a successful self-directed trip to the south island of New Zealand in search of big browns and rainbows.

Fisherman's Paradise, near the Bellefonte Hatchery on Spring Creek in Pennsylvania.

In January, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced plans to close two of the state's thirteen hatcheries, in Bellefonte and Oswayo, in order to meet a $6.7 million budgetary shortfall introduced by newly mandated state and federal healthcare and pension requirements for employees. In a surprise turn of events, the commission announced yesterday that it will stash plans to shutter the two hatcheries and will fund both operations through July 2015, while seeking a long-term budget solution.

“Since the board of commissioners voted in January to close the two hatcheries, staff and Commissioners have met with members of the General Assembly to try to identify opportunities to secure long-term funding sources,” said Board President Steve Ketterer. “As a result, we have voted to keep the hatcheries open while we pursue these opportunities.”

PFBC Executive Director John Arway noted that "[the PFBC] must still find $9 million in annual savings or revenue over the next four years.” No information has been made available regarding what potential long term funding sources were identified during meetings with members of the General Assembly which may have led to the commissions' decision to reverse the Bellefonte and Oswayo hatcheries.

Storm clouds threaten two fishermen on the East Branch of the Delaware River.

The Delaware River is widely considered to be one of the greatest natural and recreational resources in the United States, the pinnacle of fly fishing in the eastern half of the country and the source of drinking water for over 15 million people. The multi-state commission that regulates the region surrounding the this river system, the DRBC (Delaware River Basin Commission), has been the focus of a great deal of controversy as of late, due to its failure to impose regulations regarding the construction of natural gas pipelines in the Delaware River watershed.

Until recently, the DRBC -- which was established in the 1960s by President Kennedy as an organization "with the force of law to oversee a unified approach to managing a river system without regard to political boundaries" -- has taken a tough stance against fracking in its watershed, and continues to maintain a moratorium on the process. However, the commission has allowed -- thus far without review -- 13 natural gas pipelines that are being built or are planned to be built through the Delaware River watershed. Though the commission's rules do not traditionally permit it to regulate pipeline constructions, critics claim that certain exceptions give the DRBC the power and responsibility to review and regulate pipeline construction, a responsibility which these critics say the DRBC has ignored.