Fishing: Fishing on film on tour

By Geoff Thomas

Nick Reygaert takes a break from filming to catch a giant rainbow trout in Patagonia. Picture / Geoff Thomas
Nick Reygaert takes a break from filming to catch a giant rainbow trout in Patagonia. Picture / Geoff Thomas

The annual RISE fly fishing film festival will tour the country over the next two months, and trout fishers will be treated to some spectacular fishing around the world.

The film tour serves as a stage for the best Kiwi and Australian film-makers in the industry to premiere their latest offerings, allowing the fishing community to share their passion for the sport. RISE is celebrating over a decade of bringing the best fishing entertainment to cinemas around the world and audiences can look forward to stunning footage from New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia and Alaska presented in high definition on the big screen. Gin-Clear Media's new film, Freaks of Nature, is a film about the giant rainbow trout of Patagonia's fabled Jurassic Lake. This desolate and wind-swept lake is undoubtedly home to the largest trout on the planet, a place where 10-pound fish are common and 20-pound-plus trout are caught every week.

"The lake has the ability to warp your sense of reality," says director Nick Reygaert. "This body of water is cradled by the Andes Mountains on a high alpine plateau in Patagonia, South America.

It is a trout fishermen's El Dorado, a place of myth and legend, a freak of nature."

To begin to understand how and why it is capable of producing such huge rainbow trout it is best to look at the physical characteristics that set this lake apart from almost any other body of water on earth. The lake is large, covering over 100ha and is a roughly circular shape with 65km of shore.

"Like other lakes of this type, Lago Strobel (its true name) does not have an outflowing river. It is entirely self-contained with only evaporation and leaching to empty it of water. One of the most visually striking characteristics of the lake is the white, dome-shaped rocks that line the shore. The very alkaline water of the lake is high in calcium and this is slowly deposited, by wave action, onto the surface of shoreline rocks. As the level of the lake has dropped over time progressively more of these white rocks have been revealed."

Alkaline water favours plant, insect, and fish growth. The abundant aquatic weed provides a large food source for aquatic insects like scuds and snails which are very prolific. Turning over any stone at the lake's edge will reveal large numbers. The rainbows gorge themselves on the scuds and grow massive as a result. Sight fishing small scud patterns or nymphs is the most productive method to take the fish.

Mr Reygaert said one of the main goals of RISE from the very beginning was to inspire and foster homegrown talents. "This year marks a huge step forward in realising that aim, for the first time the Gin-Clear Media film will take second billing to Parallel Lines, the new full-length feature from Benny Godfrey in Australia. Parallel Lines fits perfectly with the RISE ethos. A well-crafted film with a strong narrative and stunning visuals it adds another layer to the rich fly fishing culture Down Under.

"It was filmed in numerous locations across Australia and features Brett Wilson and Shannon Kitchener, two mates whose lives have been shaped by their passion for fly fishing," he said.

Presented by Gin-Clear Media, RISE will screen across New Zealand, including Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo, Tauranga, Palmerston North, Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin, Gore and Queenstown.

Fresh water

Two changes to the regulations in the Rotorua district will take effect on October 1.

1. The Awahou Stream, a tributary of Lake Rotorua, will be closed to fishing upstream of the Awahou's junction with Lake Rotorua. 2. The area for winter shoreline fishing on Lake Okataina will be extended by moving the western landmark pole further to the west, away from the lodge.

- NZ Herald

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