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Catch and Release - Best Practice

 

Like most fishers we believe the majority of the trout released will survive unharmed if ‘best practice’ methods are observed.


Every angler with a story to tell has an opinion as to where to find the best trout on the planet. Today, many of these stories refer to the trout of New Zealand, and Poronui in particular. New Zealand is the mecca for avid fly fishers from all corners of the globe who come to test their skills against our notoriously large, and wily, brown and rainbow trout.

Ever since Poronui was established 30 years ago, we have embraced catch and release and like most fishers we believe the majority of the trout released will survive unharmed if ‘best practice’ methods are observed.

Fish in New Zealand tend to be larger and therefore require care when handling. Over the years we have adapted generally held ideas of ‘best practice’ to further protect our large, wild trout. So when you are fishing in New Zealand please help us protect these beautiful creatures by using rubber mesh nets and wet hands/gloves to handle fish. Don’t lift the tail, bend or squeeze the fish but instead grip the tail and cradle the fish under the pectoral fins. Keep the fish in the water as much as possible, ten seconds out of the water is maximum and make sure to release as quickly as possible.

Fish are very photogenic but hate being kept out of the water, there are other alternatives to ‘grip and grin’ for that hero image.

Tight Lines

No Margin For Error

The Canadian Hooké team cherishes being in the outdoors, by a river with a fly rod in hand. They have a natural talent for being creative and spreading their fly-fishing vibes through photos, video and the written word. Their urge to tell the real and emotive story of fly fishing is contagious and we couldn’t help but get swept away with their enthusiasm when they spent some time with us last year. Poronui guide, Sean Andrews guided them throughout their New Zealand fly fishing and shared his local knowledge and expertise with this talented team. Read more about it below…


Firstly, you have to find your target and to do this you will need good eyes. This takes a lot of practice especially in fast water. At times you have to take your time and scan the water thoroughly, if you make a mistake and spook a fish you have not seen there is a good chance he will run upstream and spook another further up and so it goes on like a chain reaction. In general once you have found your fish you will have somewhere between one and three presentations before the fish will spook.

The first presentation is usually your best chance of a hook up and you need to choose your fly carefully depending on the type of water the fish is holding in. A fish sipping in the tail of a pool with slow-moving water is probably going to want something small and a fish holding deep in fast water is going to need something heavy to get down to it. There are many factors to take into consideration with fly choice and it is a critical part of the equation.

ON VERY RARE OCCASIONS, THE FISH CAN BE LENIENT TO AN UNPREPARED FLY FISHERMAN.

If your fly choice is good and your presentation is perfect there is every chance of a good result. If you make a poor fly choice or presentation, this may incur a refusal at best. At worst it may be all over. At times they can be a little forgiving and give you a second or third chance but those occasions are rare.

Whatever the outcome it’s a beautiful visual experience. If everything is perfect, you may have landed a fish of a lifetime, which is pretty cool. If you have made an error somewhere in the procedures, the fish will let you know and will spook and that is pretty cool too!

Testing your skills against those beautiful wild creatures in their home territory is very challenging and that’s why I do it. I am a very lucky man. As a Professional New Zealand wilderness fly fishing guide I get to do it more often than most!

Sean Andrews, photos by Hooké

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