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issue #01 april 2011

������ ����� contents

Epic Adventure - Jack Kos

Tararua Photo Essay - Robert Wilson

Salt Water Sessions - Alex Broad

Winter Pheasants - Dave Hern

South Island Adventures - Part One - Robert Wilson

Tahr Country

- James Morris

Opening 2010

- Robert Wilson

Russell’s Creations - Russell Anderson

Central Otago

- Craig Sommerville

Crystal Waters - Dave Hern

West Coast

- James Pearse

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Cover Shot Alex Broad Editor Robert Wilson Assistant Editor Jack Kos Advertising/Marketing Inquiries Graphic Design Aaron Morey Contributors Alex Broad + Robert WIlson + Craig Sommerville + Jack Kos + James Pearse + James Morris + Zane Mirfin + Dave Hern + Russell Anderson FORTYONE DEGREES is a division of Evolve Outdoors Group Ltd Evolve Outdoors Group Ltd PO Box 50-203, Wellington 5240, New Zealand Phone +64 4 238 2823 Fax +64 4 238 2827 FORTYONE DEGREES is a Trademark of Evolve Outdoors Group Ltd Infomation and opinions expressed in FORTYONE DEGREES soley represent the opinions of the contributors and are not endorsed by, or refelct the opinions of Evolve Outdoors Group Ltd. Copyright © 2010. Evolve Outdoors Group Ltd

contributors Alex Broad is head of product design at Evolve Outdoors. I have always been a passionate fly fisher and hunter since I was 18. I am mad into photography and am currently getting back into early film cameras. Craig Sommerville. Born in Scotland, a trout and salmon fisher from diapers, few things were as important to me as getting out on the river or a hill-loch. An eventual obsession with all things New Zealand. Craig is now based in Wanaka and runs Dave Hern is a well known NZ fly fishing and hunting guide. Based in the Hawkes Bay I regularly guide the famous Rangitikei River and Ngamata Station. I enjoy combining my hunting and fly fishing guiding with photography and film. James Pearse is a keen young hunter, fisherman and photographer from a deer farm in South Canterbury. Currently studying Environment Management at Lincoln University, there is plenty of opportunities to pop out for a hunt. Deer, Chamois and Tahr are the target throughout the Southern Alps in all seasons.

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Jack Kos. I live days I mainly c XOS brown tro Island rivers. W at Canterbury U (majoring in his James Morris h knee high to a spent chasing d the south island hunting more fo antlers or photo Robert Wilson and hunter from Riverworks and I have become and these days or rifle with me Russell Anders fly fishing the fa tributaries for o about fly tying a I have a real pa most of the fan Zealand has to

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e and breathe for fly fishing. These concentrate on sight fishing for out in the clear waters of the South When I’m not fishing I’m a student University studying Law and Arts story). has been hunting since he was grasshopper. His spare time was deer, chamois and tahr around d of New Zealand. I now focus my or trophys whether that be horns, ographs. has been a passionate fly fisher m the age of 12.. Founder of brands d Hunters Element. In recent years e a very passionate photographer s I dont always need to take the rod e. son is a Taihape local who has been amous Rangitikei River and its over 20 years. I am very passionate and enjoy tying super realistic flies. assion for film and enjoy making the ntastic scenery and fly fishing New o offer.


Welcome to the first issue of


At a ripe old age of 21 I launched Evolve Outdoors Group Ltd in 2003. During the past eight years, EVOLVE has developed the fly fishing brand RIVERWORKS and hunting brand HUNTERS ELEMENT. Evolve is now launching FORTYONE DEGREES Magazine to share the lifestyle and passion of fly fishing and hunting. The new age of publishing is digital which allows brighter, more vibrant colours and new levels of interaction so that you can immerse yourself in fly fishing and hunting through this magazine. FORTYONE DEGREES is the location of Wellington, New Zealands Captial City. This is also the home of EVOLVE and allows easy access to anywhere in New Zealand, the worlds fly fishing and hunting Mecca. FORTYONE DEGREES Magazine is a free publication, scream it from the roof tops, tell all your friends


Robert Wilson



epic fly adventure text by Jack kos & Photographs by Andrew hearne and Jack Kos


Jack Andrew’s

nine day odyssey chasing monster trout


started months beforehand. There were rivers to research, flies to tie and food to buy. The planned date of departure was less than a week after my University law exams finished, so it’s fair to say that things were a little hectic. Combined with the fact that I fished 4 of my 7 free days before the trip it resulted in some very late nights at the tying bench. Andrew was far more organised than me and actually made the most of winter, tying every fly imaginable. The one aspect of the trip that we were both dreading was the food. It was with a little hesitation that we bought enough dried pasta to feed a small tribe – after all, we were going to have to live off it for almost two weeks! Still, crap food is a small price to pay for world-class fly fishing.

Day 1 – The departure The day of departure came around quicker than we could have imagined. One minute we were planning, the next we were leaving. Our first port of call was a very well known river en route to reefton. The weather was crap, but it’s hard to have dampened spirits when

you’ve got nine days of hardcore fly fishing ahead. We both fluffed a couple of fish at the start of the day, however once we reached the confluence with our intended river the luck started to change. We spied a truly massive fish finning in the shallow slack water, but sadly he was immune to our charms. Two of the four other fish holding in the current succumbed to our efforts though. Andrew opened the account with a great fish, and I followed up with the big brother just a couple of minutes later. After this we started the trek up the tributary, stopping occasionally to embarrass ourselves with our inability to catch anything we fished at. Coming to a small side braid, which I passed off as unlikely to hold fish, Andrew mentioned he had once

taken a nice fish from here. Sure enough‌.slurp. A shadow was methodically taking emergers in the tailout of the pool. First cover with a small grey klink saw me being taken to town by what proved to be the smallest fish of the trip. While the goal of the trip was to catch big fish, I really respected the fight and determination of this guy. The day was capped off when Andrew landed a cracker fish miles up the river. After taking a small parachute adams, the brown proceeded to tow Andrew down the river, across the river and even into the river (that’s right, he fell in). This proved to be the last fish of the day, and after a long walk out and a short drive through to Reefton we collapsed in a heap at the Breadshop Backpackers.

Day 2 – The lazy day Plan A didn’t fire, we couldn’t find plan B – long story – and plan C was as tough as we expected it to be. After catching a fish on my first cast I was starting to wonder what the reputation was all about, this river was easy! Hubris hit and I couldn’t even get near a fish for the remainder of the day. Andrew got a very satisfying fish late in the day after a clever fly change on about the 30th presentation. His was the more satisfying of the encounters. Our accommodation (John’s Backpackers in Murchison) was made all the more inviting by the presence of a young German backpacker who was kind enough to lend me her cell-phone charger. That evening we watched a lot more reality TV than ever before - I wonder why? Still, the dawning day was to be the biggest walk of the trip, so an executive decision was made to hit the hay.

Day 3 – Epic After an all too short nights sleep and a long drive we set off for what we knew would be the biggest day of our trip. The start of D.O.C. land signalled time for us to get kitted up and begin the walk to

the river. It’s always a little off putting knowing that every extra kilometre up river is another one you’ve got to walk back at the end of the day, but we persevered and arrived at the spot. We started seeing fish straight away, but all were lethargic and not at all interested in our offerings. It wasn’t until several kilometres further upstream that Andrew mumbled something about seeing a grey smudge. As his blowfly drifted overhead the smudge moved up to intercept it. The blowfly bobbled back on the surface. And then went under. Much to Andrew’s dismay the fish had been foul hooked on his trailing fly. He played it hard, and unsurprisingly the hook didn’t hold. Still, at least the fish were feeding. A little later I spotted a similar smudge holding in the eye of a small side braid. Knowing a drag-free drift would be impossible if I threw my flies into the eye I intentionally aimed my cast slightly wide, hoping the fish would come to the blowfly. Every now and then these plans work, and this was one of those times. The dark shape shifted and came to slowly inhale the fly. Bang. Finally a fish hooked in a conventional way. The fish was a little out of condition, so its fight was more a case of using its weight and the current to keep out of the net as long as possible. Andrew, who had been

prospecting a distant side braid, arrived slightly out of breath to see me beaching the fish in a backwater. This proved to be the biggest fish of the trip. I would love to have seen this fish in its peak in the middle of last years mouse plague - my guess is it would have been well into double digits. Things went a little quiet for a while, but they were simply building up for what proved to be one of the funniest and best fishing moments I’ve been a part of. Words cannot encapsulate the absurdity of the situation, but I’ll try. While crossing the flow I sighted a fish that probably should have seen me. After a couple of fly changes he came up to take in my token grey klink. I shouted out for Andrew to bring the net over to which he replied ‘Hang on a second, I’ve got a plan.’ And then he started casting. At this point I had my fish basically beached, only to look up and see Andrew’s rod bent in half. Following his fish downstream he flung the net across the river and I managed to land my fish. Dashing madly downstream with a good fish in the net I met up with Andrew and scooped his fish into the net along with mine. We’d been trying for the double for a couple of seasons, and while this wasn’t exactly the type of double we’d envisaged it still stretched the scales well past ten pounds.

The day was capped off with one of the most outstanding hatches I’ve ever encountered in a backcountry environment. A usually barren river came to life. Trout emerged from the depths whilst mayflies emerged from the surface film. Almost instantly Andrew hooked the second fish in a line of four on the same small klinkhammer pattern. Dragging it downstream and away from the two fish feeding further up (but right through the path of the last in line) he beached it after a spirited fight. My turn next, and somewhat remarkably the last fish in line had resumed his beat. One cast, one fish. Not a bad fish either. It fought like a possessed banshee taking me downstream and through rapids (it’s at this stage that the prayers start). Eventually he too succumbed. As for the other two fish further up the pool? Well we won’t go into that… The walk out was obscene, but then again when you’ve landed 5 big fish on dries it seems like good value.

Day 4 – The Drive En-route to our next destination we fished a small stream which had frustrated us in the season prior. This time the fish were slightly more obliging. I dropped one decent fish from a tricky lie before encountering a sight that makes every fly fisherman’s heart skip a beat. A free rising brown silhouetted by broken light feasting in the tailout of an enormous deep pool. I knew if the cast was good the fish was mine. Line unfurled and fly hit the water. I swear I could see the trout’s eye’s light up as it saw the small mayfly imitation. And bang. A fight more reminiscent of days spent eeling as a kid (roll roll roll) brought the most gorgeous brown I’ve laid eyes on to the net: more orange than brown with distinct red spots and a bright blue gill plate.

We ate like kings that night, devouring the fatty salty flavours of a double quarter pounder each, before continuing the drive through the winding hills to the furthest corner of the island.

Day 5 - The tough day It started promisingly enough with a fish ambushed with a nondescript grey nymph as it cruised bare metres from my rod tip. I love the white flash of a trout’s mouth as it takes your fly, it’s guaranteed to get the blood pumping. However, our assumptions of a great day were to prove unfounded. We saw a lot of fish cruising unfathomably deep pools. Could

we catch them? Nope. So I went cliff diving instead. In fact I may have knocked a few trout unconscious by the percussion waves caused by my undignified entry into the water.

Day 6 – Numbers This day was bizarre. I can only really attribute the lack of satisfaction to the fact that we’d been fishing for a week and had caught a lot of good fish. The day began with a fit brown of sea run stock taken blind from a riffle and ended with a large brown sighted in the eye of a pool. In between we landed 8 more fish, primarily on large terrestrials. Yet somehow it lacked the feeling of earlier days where smaller and fewer fish had brought more joy.

Day 7 - Despair The day was spent wandering through a bouldery wonderland. Andrew managed a fish early on, but that was to be the last happy moment for the day. The shadow shifted to take my oversized royal klink. The fight was on. Through rapids, around rocks, this trout simply would not give in. Then the jump, just to confirm my suspicions about its size. I turned it, exerting as much pressure as I

dared. Finally my quarry was beat. And then one last surge, and nothing. That instant loss of tension that causes your stomach to turn and your heart to palpitate. I simply sank to my knees in the water, beaten.

Day 8 – Dutch We took Dutch girls fly fishing. Despite not catching a fish (Andrew caught one, to their delight) it was possibly the best day fishing I’ve ever had.

Overview I’d love to say that we finished it on some grand note by catching seven double figured fish in one session, but reality is that we were sore, exhausted and ready to go home. Maintaining enthusiasm over such a long period isn’t easy, and it’s fair to say that ours had waned towards the end of the trip. The drive was spent reliving the highs and lows of the trip in exacting detail – the double, the despair and the Dutch. We couldn’t have asked for more in a fishing trip.


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photo essay

photographs by robert wilson




Photographs By ALEX BROAD








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WINTER PhEASANTS Photographs By DAVE HERN & ren apatu


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South Island Adventures Part One Photographs & TEXT By Robert Wilson

1st October comes round every year. This season I went South to fish the upper Wairau River on Rainbow and Molesworth Stations. The upper Wairau is known for its specticular scenery and big browns. We left Wellington on the 8am ferry to Picton arriving in time for lunch. A quick stop at the bottle shop and next stop Rainbow hut or so we thought. Driving up the Wairau Valley from Blenheim didn’t look promising, water everywhere culverts overflowing and paddocks full of water not to mention the bank to bank Wairau River. Flooded side creeks made the fords uncrossible so we could not get through to the hut on Thursday night. We stayed Thursday night in St Arnaud while we waited for the side rivers to drop. Thanks to a little help from a local machine operator early Friday morning we were able to make the fords and push through to Rainbow hut. Above: Friendly digger operator Below: Hells Gate, Wairau River

The Rainbow River and it was brown and unfishable. With a quick change of plan we pushed through to the Sedgemere sleep out to fish the high country tarns. Fish Lake had plenty of good sized fish cruising along the edge of the lake. Catching them proved to be a little more difficult. Plenty of wind limited the visability to about 4 meters from the edge. We stalked the upwind lake edge but the clear water and cunning fish meant the fish won and we lost despite trying everything in the fly box they were not interested in anything we threw at them! We decided to admit defeat and settle for cold beer out of the wind. It’s a tough life! The Wairau was still filthy on Saturday morning so we headed over to Lake Tennyson to fish the lake and upper Clarence River. High flows and only a couple of km’s of high fishable water made it difficult not to mention the mean headwind just about stopping your flyline in mid air.

Left: Fish Lake Right: Decked out in Riverworks

After an hour of throwing spinners in a bitterly cold wind we packed it in and headed back to the hut for a spot of shooting and dinner. An11am ferry on Sunday which meant we had an early start to get out and catch the ferry home. I look forward to my next adventure down to Molesworth and hope the wind gives me a break.

View from the throne

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tahr country Photographs & Text By james morris

Getting the fitness up to standard for a tahr hunt is always high on the priority list, but it is not the only preparation necessary for a few days away. I seem to spend more time before the hunt figuring out what to source and arrange than I am actually away for, but usually it pays off as I’m organised. I only had fifteen rounds for the 30-06. Wanting to throw some lead around before I went time went into loading up another twenty-five rounds. I like to carry more rounds than I’ll ever use and spread them around in my bag and bum bag. Checking my rifle sights is easy on the farm and essential for me. I have two 1 foot square plates permanently set at different ranges. One at twohundred and fifty yards, which I hit right in the middle the way my rifle is sighted in and another at four-hundred and fifty yards which I shoot for using my drop chart to get a nice gong sound ringing back down the gully. With this set-up I am confident that on the hill I can put an animal down quickly and as humanely as possible out to four-hundred yards, although I do like to get closer than that!

This trip was to be exciting as I had in my mitts two new pieces of gear. A Hunters Element XTR Core Soft Shell and a set of their XTR Gaiters. At first glance they both appeared to be well made. I was eager to wear them in the mountains, but the jacket was tidy enough to wear in Christchurch on a cold southerly day when I went to do a bit of early Christmas shopping. I was impressed with the warmth and wind stopping capabilities of this lightweight garment. Packed and ready for the hills, the search for a bull tahr began. The trip to my favourite tahr zone always takes longer than anticipated. Picking up a mate from the airport we left Christchurch at lunch time, finally stumbling into the hut just after seven p.m., which didn’t leave much time to get on the hill before dark. Outside the hut I glassed around where we intended to hunt the next day and to my astonishment picked up several tahr; bulls, all quite low and right behind the hut! November really is the time of the year to chase the bulls around, although their coats and shaggy manes are getting a bit thin as they moult into summer. They were onto us though, so rather than head straight up the hill to hunt them a decision was made to continue up the creek to see what else was lurking around. Thirty minutes from the hut more bulls were seen. They were all together in an area of scrub with a dark face and a sunny face easily available. Much further up valley on the sunny faces we spotted some very sun bleached nannies and the odd wary bull high in the rocks. Nothing looked worthy of the effort required to go and have a look though.

Back to the hut we went, planning to pick our way through the bulls we’d found nice and handy behind the hut the next morning. After a huge feed of pita breads fried in garlic butter and filled with bacon and cheese with a side dish of Cheesy Mash spuds we were fat as pigs and sound asleep by ten p.m. to be ready for an early start. The five a.m. alarm had us up and out of bed. A cup of tea and a bowl of porridge later we were on the hill, surprised at how light it was before six a.m. on a late November morning. As we trudged and glassed it became quite apparent that the bulls were no way near as visible at this time of the day as they were in the last few hours of daylight. A few bulls were bedded down in hard to stalk spots, watching the goings on in their neighbourhood. A look through the scope told us they were not really old animals so we continued on upstream. Our plan was to get high, find a rock to snooze under, then appear above them as they came out to graze in the evening. The climb took us to nearly nineteen hundred metres above sea level, higher than the bulls we’d seen the previous day which were at about thirteen hundred to fifteen hundred metres above sea level. The day was a scorcher. Just before we left the creek and started up the chosen ridge (the only way I know to the tops), we refilled our water

bottles. We had each consumed three litres by ten a.m.! I was still wearing my XTR Core Soft Shell and was surprisingly comfortable with the huge pit zips open. The air circulation was brilliant but all the same it was coming off for the grunt up the last bit. Snow still dotted the tussock, but looking onto the sunny bare face where we were going there was only bare rock and a bit of lichen. The gaiters had performed for the morning, going backwards and forwards across the creek they had done a great job of stopping water

entering my boots, and they hadn’t slipped down either. A cheeky kea paid us a visit on the ascent which gave us a good excuse to stop and get a photo. Sitting on top of the range we pondered the weather as we watched a front roll in. On went my XTR Core Soft Shell jacket just as a cold gust of southerly hit and in moments we were in white out conditions. I closed the massive pit zips as it started to rain, and I stayed warm and dry. We headed off the ridge to shelter behind some rocks to make a new plan. The tussock had become

dangerously slippery so we figured we’d stay on the sunny face which wasn’t so steep. An hour went by fairly quickly and with it passed the cold front. It stayed murky, but we were out of the cloud and the rain had stopped. The hunt could continue. Cresting a small ridge we were all of a sudden confronted with a mob of five tahr. Two were more mature than the other three, but still not old bulls so we opted for a photograph. One of the more mature bulls had really long first year growth (lamb hooks) to his horns, which probably made them twelve inches but he wasn’t more than four years old and was left to grow into a real trophy! It was time to head back to the hut for another crack tomorrow. The younger three animals stood long enough to get the camera out and get a photo. The older bulls led the young ones away from us fairly quickly though. The next day we hunted the riverbed and late in the afternoon we got amongst the bulls. Seven were spotted, two of which were much larger in the body than the others from yesterday and still in their winter coats. As we got closer the two bigger bulls climbed into the rockery above us. They looked like true bull tahr with their long blonde manes fluttering in the nor’west breeze. The wind was all wrong so we hurried to get close. I settled in behind my rifle for an uphill shot at a range of two-hundred and seventy-two yards. The horns looked pretty good to me so I loaded my 30-06 and placed the cross hair on the shoulder of the biggest one.

“Boom”, the rifle cracked, and was followed by the definite thud of a solid hit as my bull stumbled around the face and then dropped. The others didn’t hesitate long before departing and were quite safe as I’d just claimed my prize for the trip. Reaching it I was gutted to find the horns were just under eleven and a half inches. They definitely didn’t have the mass I thought they did, nor did they have the long lamb hooks like the one we let go the day before. I was happy all the same, I had a nice bull, a set of horns to take home and some more experience for the next time I come face to face with a bull tahr.

Homeward we went, packs heavier than when we’d come in. I was carrying not only my bull’s head, but a fair amount of meat too. It was all the way back to reality where I could dream of being in the mountains on the next trip.

opening 2010 Photographs By Robert Wilson

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russell Anderson’s creations Photographs By Robert Wilson



central otago Photographic essay By craig sommerville

CRYSTAL WATERS Photographic essay By DAVE HERN

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west coast Photographs By james pearse

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fortyone degrees magazine  

Fly fishing and hunting magazine from New Zealand.