Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,
A step-by-step guide to the Poronui Terrestrial - thanks to Dave Wood.
Hook Size 8 to 12
1. Bind hook shank and attach rear of foam strip
2. Bind foam to hook shank
3. Attach peacock herl and bind
4. Bind elk hair and attach legs
5. Fold foam back and tie off
6. Trim and present to large trout
Cast into riffles and the head of pools and hang on!
Comments 0 | Posted by: Global Administrator,
Janet and Merlin Nelson have been coming to Poronui since 1997, and this summer returned yet again to celebrate Merlin’s 90th birthday with us.
A Personal Memory of Poronui.
Entry in the Visitor’s Book by Janet and Merlin Nelson 28th November 1997 following their first visit:
We’d like to spend the rest of our lives fishing with Steve and being looked after by Eve. You have an extraordinary operation here.
And again following their second visit November – December 1998:
For those who say that Poronui’s
Not the best, then I say phooee!
Fishing’s fab, the foods delicious,
Weather’s not the least capricious.
Should it rain, then we don’t care
‘Cos lovely Eve and Steve are there
Always welcoming and funny.
Encouraging if it’s not sunny.
They simply make us go on wishing
To be at Poronui, fishing.
Guests at Poronui today would never believe how simple the original cabins used to be. Perched on a grassy shelf downstream from the present lodge, and overlooking the Taharua river, were three small buildings with no electricity. There was sleeping accommodation for six guests, a bunkhouse for the guides and the hub where, from the beginning, Eve enveloped everyone in what became the famous Poronui welcome. She produced extraordinarily sophisticated meals all from a tiny domestic cooker and made sure all her guests were completely comfortable. Each evening she saw to it that everyone had dry clothes, heat in their rooms (even hot water bottles in the beds), and lanterns to light their way to bed.
Poronui Station, as it was then known, was planted with eucalyptus trees used for glossy magazine paper, and it was Simon Dickie who had made the deal for the fishing rights on the station with the then owners Carter Holt Harvey. Poronui as a fishing destination had begun, and it advertised as offering “serious fishing for serious anglers”. Soon anglers were accessing rivers by 4x4 and flying by helicopter to the best rivers in the area - and discovering pristine trout fishing unequalled anywhere.
Poronui subsequently changed hands. The expansion and the new lodge was planned for 1998 and the Lodge at Poronui as we know it today opened in 1999.
There have been many changes and developments. The eucalyptus forest is being transformed back to native bush and pasture for beef cattle, and Manuka honey production has begun. There is riding and hunting, sporting clay shooting, mountain biking, hiking and massage. There are dinners in the wine cellar and full-scale barbecues. The fishing, of course, is still top notch. It is still ‘serious fishing for serious anglers’ and today Poronui ranks among the top blue ribbon vacation destinations worldwide. Always there’s that original Poronui welcome, the insistence on excellence masterminded by Eve that causes guests to become friends, and to return here - again and again.
Janet Nelson, February 2012 – latest visit.
Comments 1 | Posted by: Global Administrator,
The early history of Poronui continues…in our last edition we published an archival letter from Mr N H Pike, owner from 1938-45. But did you know Poronui was once called El Rancho? And was the first quarter horse stud in New Zealand? And was owned by Mormon missionaries? Read on!
Between 1945 when Mr Pike owned Poronui, and 1967, Poronui was owned by a Mr McFarlane and was then taken over by the Tuhoe Trust Board under the chairmanship of Mr Sonny White, a well-known Maori shearing contractor. The station was once again taken in hand and under the supervision of the Lands and Survey Department in the 60s and a progressive development program was carried out.
In 1967 Poronui was acquired by Anzamco Ltd, a private company of Mormon missionaries from Utah, who wanted to develop the property as an American style holiday ranch which they called ‘El Rancho Poronui’.
Anzamco imported the first quarter horses into New Zealand to the Poronui Quarter Horse stud from the USA in 1969 - a stallion called Di Bar Flit (by Bar Flit out of Dipsydoodle Milligan) and a mare who would become the nucleus of the stud.
In the 1970s, the property carried 22,000 sheep, and 2,000 head of cattle including 1,500 breeding cows. In the earlier days, Poronui ran pure Cheviots, but in the 1970s only Perendale rams were used, the Cheviot blood iwas still dominant but the aim was to eventually work into pure Perendale flock. The mixed breed sheep could jump like stags however, so the fences on the property all had to be extra high.
Poronui is a high altitude property, the valley fringed with virgin native bush on both sides. The northern end of the property includes a big area of pumice flats, think with stunted manuka bush, and it is here the first start was made in developing the property for timber production.
By the 1970s rabbits had almost disappeared from the property and the problem was considered to be under control. Forty miles of new fences had been erected, an impressive dwelling for the new manager Mr Mendenhall of Salt Lake City Utah was under construction, and it was planned to build a new lodge six miles further down in the valley to access the fishing.
Once the Lodge was completed the owners planned to break-in 2,000 acres of new country annually, and start top-dressing by air and over-sowing on the hill country. Experimental work on development projects would be based on both US and NZ experience, and it was envisaged the station would eventually be divided into five or six self-contained self-operating units, although still under sole management. Luckily for all of us, this work was never completed and Poronui remains largely vast tracts of pristine native wilderness.
The woolshed and station buildings were six miles down the valley, where there was some attractive country – clean healthy tussock downs and comparatively heavy flats that were used to grow turnips, lucerne and red clover for winter feed. The country here gets progressively lower, and at the bottom end of the valley is only 1,600ft above sea level, 600 feet lower than the homestead. The landrover track to the bottom end of the property, to what is now Safari Camp, existed in the 70s.
This part of the property is completely bounded by heavy bush and was considered great country for deer. Bill Morris, proprietor of the Rangitaiki Hotel, was the local agent for Consolidated Traders, and he handled over 1,000 carcasses a year from Poronui at that time. Many here lifted by helicopter out of the dense bush. The Manchurian sika deer were first liberated in New Zealand at Poronui at Merrilees Flat, just behind the old homestead, in 1904.
The Mormon missionaries retired or died, and in 1980 Poronui was sold again. Poronui had been the first farm development project in New Zealand under American direction and was scrutinised accordingly.
In the 13 years they owned the property, Anzamco Ltd did little to progress Poronui towards being an American style ranch, but they did discover the world class fly fishing available on the property, and the reputation of Poronui as an angler’s paradise was quietly established.