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Any Fly Fishers Fly Tying or Kiwi Enthusiasts Here?

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Just a brief bit of personal history. My wife passed away suddenly in 2015, after I adjusted to the sudden shock I  decided in 2016 I wanted to go to New Zealand fly fishing. My wife, daughter and I had travelled there in 2003 and my daughter and I spent 1/2 day fly fishing and it was a very fond memory. I made the trip in 2016 and only managed to fish with a guide for a few hours before pain and exhaustion forced me to quit. I returned home and after several weeks of testing was diagnosed with cancer. I had 6 months of chemo, lost considerable weight and was in a wheelchair for a while.


I was essentially homebound for 7 months for fear of infection and lost the feeling in my hands and feet as the result of chemo as I had been warned in advance. I often dreamed of returning to NZ to do more fishing so I started tying flies and model boat building to relieve boredom and as therapy as I thought it might help my neuropathy. I finished chemo, gradually got a bit stronger and returned to NZ to fly fish. I have since made 5 trips to NZ to fish and have found my Nirvana. I love wading in the river and looking at the magnificent scenery and wildlife, if I catch a fish it is a bonus!


I started serious fly fishing at 68, will never be very good but do enjoy thrashing the water scaring the fish and have caught a few fish with my horrible looking flies as I tied them using large hemostats, tweezers etc. due to the loss of feeling in my hands.  As a local explained to me, the trout live in the lake for 3 years eating smelt and when they move upriver to spawn they have no idea what to eat so are rather indiscriminate in what they will strike. I got a good laugh out of that and he was no doubt correct. 








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I envy you. I've been fishing three decades, mostly on the East Coast, but also in Montana. I started tying flies and eventually built a bamboo rod from a blank. I do use some of my tying tools when rigging ships.

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