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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

Relaxed Wedding in the NZ Countryside

After living in a bustling city like Singapore, Hannah and Tom were in search of a relaxed wedding in the New Zealand countryside. Poronui caught their eye and captured their hearts, read more about their perfect celebration…


Why did you choose the location you did?

Living in an apartment in Singapore, we were very keen to get married in the New Zealand countryside, amongst its amazing natural scenery which we miss so much.

Taupo is special to Tom as his family have been holidaying there since he was young and has many great memories from Taupo. We wanted to look for venues in the area and we were lucky to find Poronui which we really liked.

We chose Poronui because we loved the relaxed feel of the property, the stunning natural scenery, and the wonderful staff. Tom, being a keen fly fisher, was convinced immediately.

What was your vision for your Wedding Day?

We wanted to have a fun and relaxed day in the countryside with lots of good food and drink, surrounded by family and friends that could be there to celebrate with us and also to feel the presence of those no longer with us.

Who was your florist? What did your floral arrangements look like?

Shaye from On My Hand did our flowers for us. I asked her to reflect Poronui’s naturally beautiful, wild scenery which she did perfectly. She used lots of greenery, bronze and copper tones, orchids (to represent Singapore), and mānuka flower from Poronui.

Shaye constructed a hanging branch installation in our reception marquee at The Stables which she foraged for at Poronui and then adorned with roses and orchids. It was a lot of hard work but looked amazing.

What did you eat? What style of food did you serve and why?

We had four long tables (in a marquee at The Stables), without a head table (the bridal party sat in the middle of one of the tables) as we wanted it to feel like one big dinner party. The food was served family-style down the middle of the table, and we asked people to pass the platters and share the love as they passed food between one another.

Living overseas, we were also craving old-fashioned Kiwi pies, so we had venison pies served later in the evening which were a hit before guests caught the bus back to Taupo.

Do you have a favourite wedding photograph, and where was it taken?

We chose Anna Kidman as our photographer. We asked Anna to capture the emotion of the day in a relaxed way, not just posed photos, and she did that incredibly well.

We also had the fabulous Bubblerock team film our day. They’re so talented and have made a beautiful video for us that we will treasure.

Did you have any “concerns” about the day beforehand and, if so, how were they overcome?

We had a spring wedding during which time the weather can be unsettled. Thankfully Poronui is a very adaptable venue with plenty of wet weather options. Our ceremony was held in a Twelve Table clear marquee on the Blake House lawn. On the day, the weather lifted and we enjoyed canapes and drinks both on the lawn and in Blake House.

What did Poronui contribute to the memories of your wedding day?

In addition to the beautiful natural landscape, and gorgeous Blake House and The Stables buildings, Poronui has a brilliant team. Claire was so supportive and patient with the planning, and both her and Chris were so helpful on the day of the wedding.

Do you have any tips for potential bride and grooms?

Try to take a moment to stop and be aware of how special it is to have your closest friends and family with you in one spot — it doesn’t happen often.

In awe of Hannah and Tom’s relaxed wedding at Poronui? Contact the team today to start planning your own dream day.

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