I am an experienced flyfisher, 60 years old, who ties flies from time to time. FTF looks like a great website, lots of ideas being exchanged and lots to learn.
Right now I am tying up some Pheasant Tail nymphs on size # 16 hooks, for use in our southern hemisphere summer when river levels are low. The fish get
a bit more critical in their choice of diet at that time, and the PTN is a proven performer.
Although NZ may be painted as an angling Eden, it has had its problems with water resources, and things are getting worse. Historically we have been a nation of farmers, but we have moved into an era of industrial-scale dairy farming with herds of 2,000 cows plus. The waste they create is leaching into waterways, and the current government isn't too interested in dealing with the problem thanks to pressure from the farm lobby.
In fact, our government is using taxpayers' funds to promote irrigation schemes so intensive farming can expand into areas where it wasn't used before. Short term economic growth is put before long term environmental well-being. That has given rise to the catch-phrase "dirty dairying".
For anglers, it is a lose/lose situation. Recently, one of the biggest corporate dairy farmers (and a serial polluter) racked up US$100,000 in fines for river pollution. The corporation then went into bankruptcy and the fines went unpaid.
For anyone considering a fishing trip to NZ, look at http://www.nzfishing.com . (Note warnings about didymo algae risk in South Island)
This website gives independent information on local conditions, regulations and so on. It also carries news on environmental issues showing the battles NZ anglers are having to fight.