2018/2019 Season Summary
After a long winter on the tools I was more ready than ever to strap the pack on and venture out on the water. The trout season looked extremely promising on many levels after the winter where any kind of major flood seemed to be non-existent. All catchments held up very well with rivers sustaining their structure and stability throughout the winter and summer season. I felt the winter temperatures here in the Lower North were somewhat mild in comparison to previous ones.
It became quite clear this had an effect on the trout after our first couple of trips....
It was nice to open the account for the season with good mates and fellow guides Glenn Beach and Craig Stapleton from Masterton on a remote headwater 4 day campout. A good chance to prosper some new water. I think we were all a little shocked at the average size of the fish for early October. The fish condition factor proved throughout the season and I felt fish were upwards of 3 months ahead of themselves compared to an average season with frequent floods and harsh winters. Coming across a fish out of condition was virtually non existent!! We came across some systems where fish weight was simply staggering for their body size. Finidng 5-7lb fish in a typical 3-4lb body almost became a common theme in backcountry water.
I also recall some really top notch small tributary fishing. Somewhat consistent periods of rain throughout those early season months provided good water levels for some of the smaller systems. Fish did not tend to drop out so quick into the bigger systems. Great fun targeting really solid rainbows in some quite small water!
Late November it was time to put guiding on hold for a month and travel as part of the New Zealand Fly fishing Team to Tasmania, for the 2019 World Fly Fishing Championships. A lifelong dream now a reality. 11 years of competing, learning and perfecting the craft of competition, i was finally able to compete at the highest level with some of the worlds finest competitive anglers. A gruelling 5 session championship in severe snow blizzards and gale-force winds on Tasmania's highland lakes. It was looking What a ride!!