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Kiwi anglers learn the art of speycasting, a technique rarely used down under until now

A fishing technique used extensively overseas is now being taught here in the hope it will stop the bottleneck at our pristine back country fishing spots.

As fly fishing gains popularity, some experts warn the back country is quickly becoming crowded, over-fished and environmentally at risk.

That's where speycasting comes in.

"There's a lot of pressure on those traditional fly fishing areas," says Fish and Game Chief Executive Martin Taylor. "Overseas anglers tend to target them because they go on the internet and they can see what a great place it is. We're getting more and more crowding and we have to address that."

So a water workshop for anglers near Kurow in north Otago is teaching a technique that's seldom used down under.

"It opens up opportunities for people to hit big parts of braided rivers that aren't actually busy environments but hold a great fish population," says freshwater ecologist Rasmus Gabrielsson.

The biggest difference: using two-handed rods and longer casts.

"While it's relatively new to New Zealand, overseas it's been developed and honed for decades if not longer," says Mr Taylor.

A South Island fly rod company organised the free lessons - inviting international experts, local fishermen and even rival companies to come and learn.

And already, many seem impressed.

"Now I've got the tools, I can take it away - I can go and practise," says Christchurch angler Paul Farrow. "I've got my list of notes and it's been fantastic. I've learnt more today in one afternoon than I have in the last 10 years of flogging a fly rod."

Fish and Game now plans to launch an education programme to help the technique catch on with other Kiwis.

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Speycasting, which involves a two-handed rod, could help stop the bottleneck at our pristine back country fishing spots. Source: 1 NEWS