2020 Newsletter

” I think that’s a fish between those two white rocks just on the other side of the main current. It hasn’t moved  but it’s the right shape. If it is a trout it’s bloody big…  was that just  a flash of white as it opened its mouth?  I think it was.

Because of the depth, jeez it must be 7 or 8 feet deep down there,   we’ll   extend the indicator out to around 8 feet and get you to cast perhaps 20 feet above to get the fly to sink down to the right depth.  And  at that depth we  won’t need to  worry about lining the fish , the priority is to  just get the fly well above …  You’ll need to cast from the lower bank but beware of the Matagouri  behind in your backcast. Not easy but there is a lot of room vertically above all that brush” …. 

…..” That’s about 3 feet to the  left and you’ll want about another 10 feet upstream. Be aware of drag setting in  when getting away from the main current  so try and err back to the right. Let it drift well past and try again. “

” That’s a better cast but you’re still short. Add another 5 feet next time.”

” Good cast.  Watch this one, stripping… stripping ….. keep stripping ,  he’s coming off the bottom .  HE ATE IT !  “

Wow, the  2019-2020 season will go down as  unforgettable  for  many reasons.  

We endured continuous heavy  rains throughout November, had a major flood at the start of February and then what ensued from March onwards that  abruptly not only shut me but the whole country down is something  unprecedented in my lifetime. 

BUT, we did get to go out and chase some of the biggest trout we’ve ever seen and that was excitement and sport of the absolute highest order. 

Yes the forecast mice infestation did eventuate and it was widespread.  Whereas in the past the NZ Government funded eradication  programs  have been very successful in eliminating rodents , this past season the results were variable. Not so good for the native birds but the trout thrived from  the late night offerings as the mice swam across rivers en mass to source new feed areas.

Mice eating  trout  do  suffer from Gluttony.  It may be a deadly sin and perhaps a moniker unwelcome by most,  but without a doubt  they are  gluttons  and thankfully for  anglers that offers us the opportunity to target them with the chance  to catch  a fish of a lifetime. Whether  or not that actually  occurs has  a lot to do with the day, the angler and  what the fish are doing but   the approach itself is consistent. Where the angler and guide must be at their best, no room for error, a super stealthy approach,  knots perfect and fly choices considered and then considered again. 

Still vivid in my mind from one day mid summer are the images of a very very large double digit  Brown coming to within an inch of a dry fly before refusing it.   We  then hooked  another further into the head of the run   that broke the surface, displaying its full  girth before the hook simply pulled free. It was larger than the first and all of a sudden in quick succession  we were faced with  what could have been,  x 2.    

But putting things into perspective I later got this email from one of the anglers.    “Sure appreciated that day I got to fish with you on the  ……  river.  Thanks for giving me a shot at a monster! ”   .  

It’s a great  reminder to me to never underestimate the value of the pursuit itself.  It’s not totally dependent on how many or how big the trout is. It’s actually the whole experience,   from the expectations and excitement before you even arrive in NZ right through to the memories you get to  leave with and everything in between.  That’s what  really matters.  

Many of the  fish this past season were in outstanding condition and their fights as impressive as I’ve ever seen.   Rainbows in the 5-8 pound range that just tore line from reels were abundant and Browns in bigger proportions that displayed just jaw dropping and enduring strength.  These were less abundant but they were there for those willing to accept the limited offerings for the chance to tangle with a true behemoth. It certainly was a season for the ages.  

Looking forward to the coming Season

Though  Covid is still present worldwide,   this pandemic  will come to an  end  and what better way to enjoy  international  travel again  than with a trip across the ditch to chase some wild trout with me. The officials are suggesting a target to open the Trans Tasman border in September which would be a real lifeline to my business.     

By offering “No Deposit Required for  Bookings”   you can book with  confidence   knowing your money is not at risk. 

From past experience there will be a carryover of the large trout from this past season into next and in all likelihood with only NZ and Australian anglers permitted to be here it will be something akin to being back in the 1980’s, but without neoprene waders.   It’s worth serious consideration for those even remotely thinking of a trip to NZ , as  this scenario is unlikely to repeat.     

For those interested  I’ve currently  availability in most months . I’d love to see you over here.

Best to you all


“HE ATE IT FOR SURE … 15 Pounds !!! “