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Read Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.  Well it’s been about six months or so since we were in New Zealand and it seems like forever ago.  Time is short as we are in the midst of hunting season so there won’t be much words for this final installment but be looking for some content to roll out around the New Year.  For now enjoy the photos and be looking for more here on the website and through our Instagram page.

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Hiking to the next zone

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Josh wrangling a cicada eater from a backcountry zone

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Starting the day off with a one hander

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Zack hooking up and about to get schooled by a backcountry brown trout

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What a specimen. Caught in a creek only two rods lengths wide.

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Long, wet hikes were the name of the game in the backcountry

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Front country sunrise

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Hatch of the day boys!

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Josh with his biggest brown of the trip and life

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Exploring a wild, tiny creek with big browns

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Zack with his personal best and the biggest weight fish of our trip

Zack Boughton

nz, new zealand, fly fishing, diy, backcountry, brown trout, south island

Read the first part of this series HERE.  After a few weeks on the island we had put some great fish in the net but conditions had been tough.  The rivers had blown out twice and most of the fishable days had overcast skies which made spotting tough in lots of the water we were fishing.  We pushed through and made the best of it.  We spent some time fishing the flats for kingfish which was a wild experience.  I think we were a few weeks behind on timing and it seems that the locals feel the fishery is getting heavily pressured and there’s some shady tactics being used by guides with boats.  We had a good time despite few kingfish sightings and wen’t back to town before being flow deep into the backcountry.

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Headed into the abyss, and hopefully home to many big brown trout.

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NZ flats tugger

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Headed out in search of kingfish

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Kahawai headed back to go smash baitfish

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Target spotted. Clear water made it easy to see fish but harder to catch.

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Teamwork as Zack tries to bring a brown trout to the net.

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A medium sized backcountry brown. A hell of a fighter though.

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The longest and arguably the prettiest fish of our trip to NZ.

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Josh making light work of a bank side brown trout.

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This day we got worked for hours until Josh picked the right bug and flawlessly drifted it until this brown took.

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Chasing brown trout in big water meant a slip was inevitable.

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Got him netted baby!

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Small guy but big engine.

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1st fish after the heli drop. Stoke was HIGH

The backcountry was amazing but the fishing was tough!  Coming that late in the season meant that the easy to see fish were insanely spooky and picky on flies.  We all got into beautiful fish but our hookup to sighting percentage was definitely in the single digits.  Finding fast water and taking extra time to try to spot fish in that water made things easier as it seemed these fish hadn’t been pressured as much.  Be looking for Part 3 soon.

new zealand, fly fishing, diy, south island, montana wild, brown trout, dry fly, fishing

If you didn’t catch some of our posts through social media you missed out on the fact that we went to New Zealand this spring in search of big brown trout.  It was amazing and we could write a whole book about it, but it’s summer in Montana and we are insanely busy.  We also hunted Himalayan tahr which you can read about and watch HERE.  With that said New Zealand is almost as amazing as it seems.  Some days it’s better and some days worse, but overall a place we were stoked to finally make it to.  This had been a bucket list trip for myself and to finally see it realized was something special.  For now I’ll leave you with photos from this amazing trip and be looking for two more parts down the road.  If time allows we will definitely write more about the trip.  Shoot us an email if you’ve got questions or want us to talk about something specific.

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Months of preparation both researching maps and also flies. The final organization takes place just days before we leave.

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Travel was about 14 hours from Bozeman to NZ. Not bad considering we were leaving winter and headed to brown trout paradise.

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Flying in and seeing river after river made what once was a dream now a reality.

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Day 1 on the river and this was Fish #1. Life was more than good!

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Next Level Stoke

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Zack’s 2nd fish of Day 2. We started the trip off hot and thought this was going to be the daily occurrence. Rain had bumped the creek and a streamer sealed the deal on the hike out.

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We soon found out that we were going to see unusual amounts of rain for this time of year. Blown rivers, wet gear, and minimal dry fly fishing made some days tougher than others.

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Fishing on the front of an impending cyclone. Beautiful water but no fish this day.

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Dry fly eater after almost a week of down time. Rivers clear fast after big rains and a risk to hike deep into the backcountry paid off.

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Upriver in search of more hungry browns.

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Trails in New Zealand don’t always exist even though they are supposed to. Having wet feet is pretty much a necessity even when there is a trail. Fortunately the rewards are always worth the effort.

new zealand, fly fishing, diy, south island, montana wild, brown trout, dry fly, fishing, cicada, dinosaur

Cicada smasher. We missed the best part of the hatch but still found a few eager to look up and take the big dry fly.

Written by Zack Boughton

new zealand tahr hunt, tahr hunting, nz, tahr, hunting, south island, free range, video, film
new zealand tahr hunt, tahr hunting, nz, south island, free range, montana wild, film, video, New Zealand Tahr Hunt - Day 2

Tahr Camp – Day 2

New Zealand Tahr Hunt – Day 2 started with the crew sleeping in till just after sunrise.  With one bull in camp we felt confident in saving our energy for another solid evening hunt.  Travis finished up taking care of his hide and skull as the guys fixed up a mean lunch of more tahr meat, potatoes, and onions.

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Lunch is going to be protein packed!

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Mmmmmmmmm

After filling our bellies and taking a quick snooze in the sun we loaded the packs and started our trek back up the valley.

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Ben going for it.

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August keeps tabs on “one horn”

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A small group descending to the lower grassy faces

This afternoon we decided to go up the opposite side of the head of the valley.  We wanted to look further back into the end of the drainage.  After getting in position we started picking out tahr all across the upper half of the mountain.  A few hours later and a small band of tahr had fed to within 50 yards before winding us and moving off.  We had spotted a cool looking one horned bull up high on the mountain.  His cape swirled and billowed in the wind and we knew he was a mature bull.  After telling Josh I’d shoot him if he didn’t he decided this would be his bull to make a move on.  After watching him move lower and lower it was time to make a move to get into shooting position.  Josh and Ben set off while myself and August held back and kept an eye on him.  Within twenty minutes of the guys being gone the bull had dropped so low we could no longer see him.  Just a few minutes later we heard a shot echo through the valley.  We picked up our packs and quickly hustled up the drainage to see what had taken place.

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Josh and his old bull tahr

As we caught up to the guys Josh was admiring his first tahr.  A unique and old one horned beast.  We quickly shot photos as light faded and again we had a long packout in the dark followed by another dinner of backstrap and cold beers.

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Ben wondering what the story behind old one horn was

Want to see how close the bull got before Josh took his shot?  Watch the following as we take you through Day 2 of our hunt!

Special thanks to Ben and August and if you’re interested in hunting any big game animals free range in New Zealand definitely hit up Ben at his website > www.bghnz.co.nz/

Written by : Zack Boughton

new zealand tahr hunt, tahr hunting, nz, south island, free range, montana wild, film, video

New Zealand.  Lord of the Rings, amazing scenery, epic proportions of rain, huge brown trout, more sheep than humans.  The list goes on of unique characteristics about the unique islands far from just about anywhere.  This past February and March we visited the South Island for about 5 weeks.  Our main goal was to fish for the large brown trout that NZ is so famous for.  We’ll have a blog post on that later.  With that much time on the island I figured we should try to diversify our activities a bit and try to get out and hunt tahr or stag, two species that seem to draw most hunters to the area.  After announcing our plans to come visit the island we got a message from Ben Tumata from Big Game Hunting New Zealand.  He told us he’d be happy help us out if we wanted to hunt.  Some back and forth messaging and we were on the board to take advantage of Ben’s week off.  He was and is a stud for offering to take some guys out as friends on a New Zealand Tahr Hunt especially without ever meeting us.

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Tahr Country

We met up with Ben and organized and sorted gear.  From there we took the rigs up to the hanger and started weighing out gear to see what we could and couldn’t take in on the heli.  Fortunately we just slid under our weight limit and we started loading up.

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Ready to go!

Before we knew it we were all on board and the rotors started to spin as the engine fired up.  The weather had cleared and we were in for a beautiful ride up into our hunting area.  For those who have never rode in a heli it’s something I’d highly recommend.  Our two heli flights were definitely highlights of our trip.

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Weaving our way down to our final destination.

We spotted a few tahr on the flight in and saw some of the most beautiful country we’ve ever laid eyes on.  Montana will always be #1 in our minds but the country we flew over and got to hunt in here was equally impressive.  After unloading the heli the pilot took off and like that we were deep in the New Zealand backcountry with only the sound of the river a few hundred yards away.  We quickly sorted gear and put up tents.

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Ben setting up his M.I.A. Tent

Ben had a killer wall tent that he has been designing and refining over the years.  He’s calling the brand M.I.A. Gear and his tent and stove set up was money.  It was lightweight but extremely study and weather proof and served as a great spot to get warm and eat dinner ever night when we got back to camp.  Based off Ben’s advice and time spent hunting tahr we were really in no rush to get up the mountain.  The tahr typically bed up high in the cliffs and in the evening will start coming off the mountain to feed.  We took the next couple hours to soak up the sun and glass up a few nannies high up in the cliffs above camp.  Around 2 or 3 we shouldered our packs and headed up the drainage.  This was new country to everyone and we used the river as our path to get up to the head of the drainage.

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Boulder hopping our way up the canyon.

After climbing up to a high knob with a 360 degree view we dropped our packs and broke out the spotters.  We quickly started turning up tahr.  A lot of young bulls and nannies and kids occupied us for the first few hours.  As the shadows started to lengthen in the valley we spotted two bulls high in the cliffs below a hanging glacier.  The wind blew their long coats as they slowly dropped elevation.

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Letting the music lure our bulls down the mountain

Ben and August sized up their horn and body size and determined they would be worthy of a closer look.  We sat and watched them for about an hour as Six60 “Closer” played on Ben’s small speaker setup.  We all had a good laugh as the tahr seemingly listened exactly to the music and slowly got “closer, closer to you!” Soon we picked up and made a loop out of sight to get ahead of them and wait to see if they’d show up on the big apron of grass that emerged from the base of the cliffs. We shuffled closer and finally decided we were in a good position.  There were 3 tahr up on the hill now within 400 yards and getting closer.  We patiently waited until the biggest bull finally crested a small rise at about 60 yards.  Travis was ready and centered up the reticle and let a shot rip.  The shot found it’s mark and we had a nice bull on the ground.

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Travis with his bull tahr

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Ben explains to Josh how to age a tahr based off it’s horns.

Light quickly faded as we admired the bull.  He was a good bull hitting the tape at 11 3/4″.  We made quick work of the bull and soon had him loaded up.  The weight wasn’t heavy but the grass had become dew covered and the descent down the mountain included lots of slipping and sliding.  We crossed back over the river and finally rolled into camp.  Everyone was in good spirits and we had a few celebratory beers as tahr backstrap sizzled on the stove top.

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Tahr, sauteed onions, and a cold beverage

Day 1 was in the books and what a day it was.  Watch the video below to see how Day 1 played out high in the mountains of New Zealand.

Special thanks to Ben and August and if you’re interested in hunting any big game animals free range in New Zealand definitely hit up Ben at his website > www.bghnz.co.nz/

Written by : Zack Boughton

bucknasty browns II, film, fishing, brown trout

First off I’d like to say Thank You to all 127 people who backed our Kickstarter!  Your support means a lot and goes a long way in helping us create future films.  Unfortunately we didn’t meet our goal on Kickstarter and you will not be charged for your support of the Kickstarter.  If you’d like take that money and spend it to support future Montana Wild Fishing films please consider supporting our new film SKWALHALLA which will release in full on February 1st.  You can currently pre-order the film and be entered into a giveaway for a Simms hip pack.

bucknasty browns, kickstarter, fishing, brown trout, montana wildThe failure of this campaign probably was a result of quite a few things.  Starting the campaign over the holidays meant people had and were spending their hard earned money elsewhere, we also had less than a week to plan and create the Kickstarter which was just a necessity given our time and hunting season lasting till the end of November.  With little time to plan the campaign it was tough to convey what the funding would actually go towards.  The reason we wanted to raise $12,000 was to fund the actual production of a film given the guidelines of our Kickstarter campaign.  A five part web series and a film released through iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo On Demand would have cost well in excess of $12,000.  Permits for commercial filming would have cost in excess of $350 per day in NZ and trying to capture a 5-6 week trip would have been a costly endeavor.  Add in music licensing which would have been thousands and then paying a 3rd party to upload to iTunes and Amazon and we are pushing 10K easy.  Then add in our time and extra expense to take time to film and properly document our trip each day and then spend weeks to edit and you can see that it is a costly project.  A few haters had a good time claiming this was just a way to fund an extravagant trip to NZ.  That’s false as we will still be going to NZ on our own dime and no we aren’t trust fund babies, we do in fact work like everyone else for our money.

With that said we will no longer be filming Bucknasty Browns as outlined in our Kickstarter campaign.  The chances of us doing any filming outside of some personal shots is slim to none.  That brings me to my final point, if you do in fact value our fishing films and want to continue to see us create more we NEED your support.  If half our followers rented our film SKWALHALLA we would be planning a LOT more fishing films.  Right now that’s far, far from the case despite over 20K views of the trailer in the first week.  And as you can read HERE, that film took us three years and was funded 100% out of our own pocket to try to give our fans something they’ve yet to see and get them stoked to set foot on the river with fly rod in hand.

The content landscape is quickly changing but without fan support our content delivery which includes lots of free content will be diminished.  The market will dictate our actions and right now it’s shifting in ways difficult to predict.  If you have comments, advice or input related to this or fishing films in general we’d love to hear from you.  And again, thank you to those who have supported our projects, the Kickstarter and future films and projects!

Zack Boughton

cost breakdown, bucknasty browns, 2, brown trout, new zealand

$12K for a fishing film?! Some may see our goal on the Kickstarter and think that number is high, but in reality that number is low! Shooting a six week, high-quality production Internationally takes lots of money. Below is our cost breakdown for Bucknasty Browns 2:

-Flights: $1,500 X three anglers = $4,500

-Checked Camera Gear: $100 X four pelican cases = $400

-Van Rental: $6,880.36 (If you can find it cheaper, shoot us a message)

-Van Insurance: $1,170

-Music Licensing: $700-$900/per song X 4 songs = $2,800 (low end and does not even include music for web series)

-iTunes, Amazon hosting: $1,800

                TOTAL: $17,550.36

 

That number is the bare bones! This does not include the following costs:

-Camera Gear (dry bags, extra batteries, power source, housing, drone): over $2,500

-Gas: ????

-Food: ????

-Film insurance: ????

-Kickstarter and Processing Fees: 10% of $12K goals = $1,200

-Cost to edit:???

-Cost to film: ???

-Cost to deliver rewards: ???

 

As you can see our $12K goal is a very low goal for us to even consider making this film. Take out the Kickstarter fees, processing fees, and cost to produce shirts, hats, streamers, canvas images, and others and we are somewhere well below $12K. Hence why we need your support to make Bucknasty Browns 2! Please, if you enjoy our fishing films and want to see more of them in the future it is imperative that you support the film by clicking here: Bucknasty Browns II

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For the small cost of $5 you can help bring this film to life. That is the cost of a beer or a couple sodas. This is a great chance for our long time supporters to give back by giving a very small amount.  And if you have any input on what you’d like to see in the film or web series leave a comment, shoot us a message through our social pages or send an email! Thank you to all who supported us and Merry Christmas!

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fishing, film, montana, trout

Fly fishing film.  It’s come a long ways in the last five years yet also remained surprisingly stagnant.  Technology has helped put the tools to create great film in almost everyone’s hands and documenting the sport has never been easier.  With a younger crowd pushing into the industry the look and feel of the content has slowly began to shift.  On the other hand it seems little progress has been made towards new and creative content.  Each year’s film tour is filled with the same storylines, slow-mo tarpon jumps, and exotic locations only the rich or connected few will ever see.  Some would disagree but hey that’s just my opinion.  The emergence of quality fishing films really started about 5-6 years ago in my opinion and since then there have been thousands of films made.  As filmmakers we continually look to progress the realm of fishing films and to some extent I think we have although not without ruffling a few feathers.  The fishing community can be a touchy bunch.  As such though we try to keep an eye on what other films are coming out and we appreciate the work others put into promoting the sport of fly fishing.  At the end of the day that is really what fishing film should be about, promoting the sport and passion for catching fish and as a result of that passion we want to protect the places those fish live.  With that said here are 10 of our favorites from over the years.  Over half of them are now two years old and to me that says something, I’ll let you interpret the meaning for yourselves.  Without further ado watch, enjoy and please leave me a comment below with your thoughts on remarkable fishing films you feel we may have overlooked!

Trout Is All

Rolf Nylinder is one exceptional filmmaker and storyteller.  He graces this list twice and for good reason.  His films have style and this film merges much of why we trout fish into one beautiful short film.  No egos, just fishing, beautiful places and rising trout.

Double Down

Shot five years ago this film is one that hasn’t lost any appeal since then.  Still moody as ever and filled with great fish and some great shots.  The underwater shot a 2:00 is still a personal favorite.

Mighty Mouse

Mice, trout, AK.  Need we say more?

Breathe

RC has become a beast behind the camera over the years.  From competing against him at the Simms Shoot Out in 2012 his progression has been rapid.  This film of his came out about 4 years ago but still rings true as ever.  Fishing is good for the soul and sometimes all you need is a deep breath and a fly rod in hand.

New Zealand – Dream Come True

Great music, big trout, & beautiful New Zealand.  This is a more recent piece and many fishing films have come out of NZ but this one we seemed to like a bit more than the rest.  Did we mention we’ve got a trip in the works?

Early Morning Jungle Poon

The music and editing might be a bit jarring but the shots at 1:40 and 3:00 are easily worth the admission.

Plan B

Faceless Fly Fishing has been around for a good long while and this film from 5 years ago is a classic.  Cutties, bull trout, browns, brookies and falling buildings.

The Field Coffee Diary – Ep4 – A Late Hatch

Rolf with more poetry in motion.

Streamers Inc.

Breaking the mold here with a funny parody about streamer fisherman.

Knocking On The Door

The next generation is here.  These guys are all about stoking out the next generation and embracing the next wave of anglers to take up fly fishing.

Picking only 10 makes it tough so please share with us in the comments some of your favorite fishing films that are free and online!

Zack Boughton