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It’s That Time of Year… by David Packman
– Fly Fishing

It’s experiences like this that will keep me coming back to Poronui for as long as I can stand up. Roll on next October!

It’s late September and I’m sitting on the sandy beach of a lovely tropical island in warm sunshine. The only decision I need to make is whether to have the walu veronique or chicken vandaloo for lunch. My mind however is far away. I’m mentally packing a fishing bag. One week to go until 1st October, that magic time of year that announces the opening of the trout season at Poronui where I go every year. I ponder on flies to be used, which rod and reel this year, the lessons from last year, and the sheer excitement of sighting and catching my first trout of the season.

I arrive at Poronui on 30th September to a warm welcome and am soon caught up in discussions of weather and the condition of the various rivers. My good friend and fishing guide Sean Andrews has our itinerary already worked out as usual and after a fine dinner I retire to my comfortable room and enthusiastically lay out the kit for tomorrow, which cannot come soon enough.

The day dawns overcast with light rain. An early breakfast provided by breakfast chef par excellence Ben and we’re kitting up for the opening of the season. Sean has recommended a lovely stretch of the Mohaka and the weather is kind. We approach the first pool carefully and there is a lovely brown, tail moving gently in the current as he scans the drift. No chance of a spooky false cast here. With some trepidation I lift the rod and cast the fly. Strike! The first fish of the season fights like a banshee but we finally get him in the net!
We end a great first day with over a dozen browns and rainbows, all caught in what must be one of the most spectacular rivers in the world, home to hard fighting wild fish that test the tackle and provide an exhilarating and fulfilling experience for both experienced and novice anglers alike.

Day two and Sean and I are in a helicopter high over the Kaimanawa Forest Park on our way to a mountain stream about twenty minutes flying time from the lodge. In a repeat of day one we score a good rainbow on the first cast. An exciting start to another memorable day fishing on wonderful water. One particular fish was sitting under an overgrown bank on the opposite side of a large pool. We fished a dry fly and the cast gently dropped the fly onto the very tip of a flax leaf, right over the trout. He must have seen it arrive. When I twitched it free, he leaped and took the fly before it hit the water! By the time the helicopter picked us up we’d lost count of the number of fish taken but we were well ahead of the previous day.

It’s experiences like this that will keep me coming back to Poronui for as long as I can stand up. The daily banquets provided by Steven in the dining room, ably assisted by Claire and sometimes Eve, splendidly complement the camaraderie around the big table. The expertise and professionalism of the guides is second to none and on a good day the fishing is truly amazing. Roll on next October!

David Packman


Caught up in the David’s excitement? Join him next opening weekend by booking a fishing package now>> 

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