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Journal of Dan T. Cook - Fly Fishing the Globe

Traveling 75,000 miles around the world in search of fish and friendship.
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January 9, 2007 - Location: Tauranga, North Island, New Zealand

On December 29th I said “goodbye” to Australia and crossed the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. But before I left, I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days with Peter Morse at his home in the beautiful Blue Mountains. Peter is what most of us strive to be; a professional fly fisherman. To accomplish this Peter has had to become a world class fisherman, a talented author, a skilled photographer and the host of a fishing/travel television program. In addition to mastering these crafts, Peter is also a good, down-to-Earth nice guy. I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to “Morsie” and his much better half, Monique, for hosting me during my stay.

For New Year’s, I stayed at the Sky City Hotel (not recommended!) and dined at “The Grove” (highly recommended!). Auckland is a wonderful city, but three days was enough so I hired a car and drove north to the Bay of Island and onto Cape Reinga, which is the northernmost point of New Zealand.

Anticipating my truck and trailer to arrive on the 3rd, I checked in with the shipping company to check on the status. I’ve never received good news regarding the shipping of the vehicles and this time was no different. Not only did they miss the ship arriving on the 3rd, they missed every other deadline and it wouldn’t be getting in till the 15th. Aside from putting it on a “slow boat to China,” I’m not sure they could have screwed it up any worse. After calming my homicidal urges, I accepted my predicament (but not before firing off some e-mails to the shipping agent expressing my “disappointment”) and began planning for the next two weeks. I only have 2 sets of clothes and 1 fly rod & reel (thanks Peter!), my tent and sleeping bag. Literally, that is it!!!! It was time to go shopping……

I’m not sure I can accurately express in writing the revulsion of purchasing fly fishing gear that I already own (a couple of times over) but just don’t have access to. To make matters worse, gear in New Zealand is ridiculously expensive. Check this out:

Brand name line nippers: $39.90
Brand name 3x flouro tippet: $30.00 (!!!)
“Gink” floatant: $12.00
Crappy, rubber waders: $85.00

On the other hand, this situation did provide the opposing perspective to which I usually fish; the minimalist perspective. Armed with the aforementioned gear (the waders started leaking on the 3rd use) and a dozen flies, I managed to pull some nice trout out of the world-famous Tongariro River. I must say, it was rather satisfying. Of course, it also reminded me of how lucky I am to have been sponsored by the best gear manufacturers. Again, a huge THANK YOU to those companies. I’d also like to thank W.L. Gore for inventing Gore-Tex.

Hopefully all will go smoothly in taking possession of the truck and trailer next week. Until then, I am living and fishing out of my Holden Bravia, nicknamed “The Midge.”

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and successful 2007!

Dan with fly fishing extraordinaire (and celebrity!) Peter Morse

Dan with his first Tongariro Rainbow

”The Midge”


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