Clothing, Tackle and Flies
At Poronui Ranch the atmosphere is relaxed and neat, casual clothing is most appropriate. A sweater or jacket is useful for cooler evenings, or for visits to our cool wine cellar.
During the summer months most professional fishing guides wade wet. The uniform of choice is a pair of polypropylene long johns under short pants. Early or late season lightweight goretex (or similar) waders are the most practical. Clothing is best layered, with a T-shirt under a long sleeved cotton shirt and a light sweater or jacket. Some form of weatherproof outer garment is essential for fishing in New Zealand, as the weather in the mountains can change quickly. Some guests carry a backpack, others use vest pockets.
The sun is particularly bright this far south, so a wide brimmed hat is recommended. Sunblock of factor 15 should always be worn on the face and hands - even under cloudy conditions. Polaroid sunglasses in an amber or brown tint are essential for seeing fish in our streams.
The North Island has few nasty insects - but a good quality repellant is handy.
All clothing, hats and accoutrements must be dark or dull colored as our fish take flight at overly bright colors.
Finally, if you want your friends believe your fishing stories, a camera is a must.
Boots and Waders
Good boots are essential and if you bring nothing else, we recommend you bring your own boots. As of October 2008, felt-soled waders and boots are banned from use by anglers in New Zealand.
Recent research has revealed these items pose a particularly high risk of spreading the invasive alga didymo and other aquatic pests, as they are likely to come into direct physical contact with didymo cells (e.g., stepping on or brushing against algal mats). The thick, absorbent and slow-drying nature of the material also encourages cell survival, increasing the risk of didymo spread between waterways.
To replace the felt soled boots we recommend stealth rubber-soled boots with or without studs, or the new vibram-soled boot from SIMMS that has a more aggressive thread.
New Zealand has some of the most pristine rivers and lakes in the world. To help keep it that way, freshwater users must 'Check, Clean, Dry' aquatic equipment between use in different waterways - regardless of location and perceived didymo risk.
Instead of wading wet we are finding clients opting for the SIMMS Gore-Tex lightweight breathable waders. Make sure they are clean, as they will be checked upon arrival at the international airports.
The all round rod of choice for New Zealand anglers during summer is nine foot in six weight. Coupling this with a quality reel (with a good drag system) and a matching weight forward line is the best choice for most fishing conditions here. A competent angler may well prefer a lighter and shorter rod on smaller streams, but for bigger water this may be inadequate.
Most of our fish are cast to within 40 feet. This may sound easy over open water, but with a breeze in your face and no back cast room, a less experienced angler is better with a rod nine feet plus and a line that is over-weighted by one (so a six weight rod with a seven weight line) to make longer casts and mends easier.
Like clothing, the fly line must be dull in color with dark green or grey preferred. White, orange or any other fluorescent colored fly line is not suitable for New Zealand's clear water conditions and leaves the angler at a serious disadvantage. At Poronui Ranch we have facility to dye fly lines. An assortment of tapered leaders from 9-15 feet, sizes 3x through 5x with matching tippet material is suitable.
Don't bother bringing a landing net - most American and English nets are too small for our trout.
Many North American and English patterns work very well in New Zealand, particularly dry flies.
In sizes 10-16: Royal Wulff, Parachute Adams, Humpy (yellow and green), Elk Hair Caddis and Twilight Beauty (like a Dark Cahill) are all ideal.
Local favorites are Red Tipped Governor, Kakahi Queen, Cicada (like a green Joes Hopper), Black Gnat Blowfly (must be fluorescent blue), Coch y Bondhu. Nymphs need to be dark colored with lots of hair and very heavy.
A roughly tied Hair and Copper with plenty of weight bound in (it has to audibly pop when it hits the water) and with a little flashabout as an attractor tied into it will also be successful.
In sizes 8-14 our favourites are: Beadhead, Pheasant Tail, Half Back, Stonefly (black), Peeking Caddis, Girdle Bug.