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Travel Articles: Wild Brown Trout Fishing, James Hutchinson

Wild Brown Trout Fishing, James Hutchinson

StoneFly Lodge - The Experience

The first thing you notice about John Kerr is his huge moustache. ‘A reminder of his Scottish heritage' he tells us as we arrive at his new fishing lodge in New Zealand's South Island. The next thing you notice is his Aussie accent- John and his wife Kate are Australians who started the hugely popular Cape Don fishing lodge in the Northern Territory. ‘It took me 15 months to acclimatise to the cold weather down here, but I've never looked back. This is our 20 year dream come true,' he said proudly.

And proud he should be. The lodge is on the Moteuka River in the heart of wild Brown Trout land, and to put it simply, it is sensational. Architecturally designed and engineered, it has been built from natural stone and timber acquired from the property. The total complex is powered by alternative energy sources built on site, and because of this they have won countless eco awards including the coveted New Zealand Regional Environmental Award for "Best use of renewable energy".

But we weren't here for the accommodation or the food, (which was incredible by the way) we had come to try our hand at these fabled Wild Brown Trout of New Zealand- the Mecca for any serious Trout fisherman. The Motueka River has been measured as having the highest counts of Trout per km in New Zealand, and on the first afternoon we hooked into a number of these fish on some of Mayfly nymph patterns. Sight casting these beautiful Brownies is certainly an acquired skill, and although we got the hang of it after a while, if it wasn't for the eagle eyes of our guide Paul, I fear that we wouldn't have had much luck.

Over dinner that night John got our blood pumping as he regaled a story of a 90 year old who caught 5 Brown's over 5 pounds, and one 7 ¾ pound monster in one session at the Kahurangi National Park. The Park, which is only accessible by foot or by helicopter, is full of rivers that have hardly seen a human being, except for a number of actors during the Lord of the Rings shoot.

The next morning after a hearty breakfast, the 7 seater Helicopter picked us up from in front of the lodge, and we made our way over the hills deep into the middle of nowhere. From the air the guides assessed the river conditions and after some discussion we landed next to a wide river with a rocky base and crystal clear water.
It didn't take long to get into the action. Hiding behind tree stumps and flicking a Mayfly nymph into a back eddy, we picked up four fish ranging from 4 to 6.5 pounds within 40 minutes. I knew it was going to be a cracking day. The tricky part about the fishing is that the gin clear water makes the fish spooky.

To minimise this we approached all fish from downstream and made every effort not to make any noise whilst wading. We also used incredibly long leaders ranging from 15 to 18 foot, which tapered down to a 4 pound tippet.
But the advantage of the clear water is that you can see if the fish are sitting up near the surface or down on the riverbed. This helps when choosing the correctly weighted nymph, and using combination of different Mayfly and Stonefly Nymphs we hooked into a bunch of 6 pound plus beauties.

As the day warmed up we switched to some dry flies, and had a lot of luck on Cicada, Blow Fly and Caddis Moth patterns. The biggest fish for the day just tipped the scales at 7 pounds and the smallest was just below 4- and I'm pretty confident that there wouldn't be many rivers in the world that could boast such a high average weight for Trout.

Whilst we didn't beat the 90 year olds record for biggest Trout this time around, we will certainly be back and maybe next time we might hook into one of the 10 pound monsters lurking in the deep.


Stuart Reid's 50lb Pending World Record PNG Black Bass

Pending World Record Black Bass

Papuan Black Bass are renowned the world over as the toughest pound for pound freshwater fish in the world, and the place to find the biggest Black Bass is PNG's Gulf province. The current all tackle world record Black Bass of 46lbs, and the fish pictured (caught on 19/6/14, by Stuart Reid, Fishabout) which is the pending world record at 50lbs, were both caught from these rivers.

Once you feel the strike you know that no freshwater fish can come close to the power. Watching 100kg guys get knocked over on the strike, reels give way, rods break in half and 130LB pound braid snap from the pound for pound strongest fighting fresh water fish is a sight to behold. If would like to experience the thrill of targeting PNG Black Bass and Barramundi in remote areas with very low fishing pressure contact us now

Kadavu Island - Great Astrolabe Reef

Fiji Macky

The pristine Fiji Islands are home to the South Pacific's finest sport and game fish, including massive GT's, monster dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, dolphin fish, wahoo, spanish mackerel, black marlin, blue marlin and plenty of reef fish. Many of these species are endemic to the Great Astrolabe Reef (one of the largest barrier reefs in the world), which is the reef that encompasses Kadavu Island, Fiji.Fishabout now offer 6 and 8 day fishing packages to explore this marine wonder of the world, which include 3 and 5 days fishing respectively. For more information click here

Endyalgout Remote Fishing Camp

Sunset at Endyalgout

Fishabout is pleased to now offer remote fishing trips to Endyalgout Island, one of the best fishing locations in Australia. (Nestled on the south east of the Coburg Penninsula).

Situated on a shell grit beach under shady trees, are several permanent tropical friendly safari style tents, raised on wooden platforms.

Looking out past the resident Crocodile you can see miles and miles of enticing mangroves, barely touched creeks, rivers, rock bars and channels, all calling your name.

From monster Baramundi up to 130cm, to big Black Jewfish, Threadfin Salmon, various Trevallies, and some of the biggest Golden Snaper to be found anywhere, Endyalgout Island is truly a dream to fish.

Pricing ranges from $4350 (4 days, 3 anglers per boat) to $6910 (7 days, 2 anglers per boat)

For more information please click here