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Cast and blast
– Fly Fishing

Autumn (or Fall, running Mar-May) in New Zealand is my favourite season of the year. The trout are fat, the deer are rutting, and, in May, the game bird season opens. The weather is cooling but calm, and at Poronui that often means a foggy start to a stunning blue day. Deciduous trees are shedding their yellow and red foliage, and the evergreen bush is echoing with the hee-hawing of sika, croaking of fallow, and the belligerent roar of red stags.

Outdoor opportunities abound during this season, and one such option that fly-fishing anglers and hunting clients should consider is mixing water and stalking interests together. This mix-and-match pursuit is named ‘cast and blast’ and involves fly fishing for brown and rainbow trout as well as trophy hunting, and even gamebird shooting possibilities such as pheasants.

Clients may plan and book their own package through the lodge staff, book one of the structured packages offered on the website, or, while on the site, add some fishing or trophy hunting to their original trip. It is a superb and quality way to utilise time on location.

Guided anglers have access to local rivers by foot and other remote spots by helicopter. Many of the surrounding rivers are open right through to the end of June. Guided trophy hunters stalk red stag, fallow buck, sika stag, or arapawa rams.

During a recent visit to Poronui I was able to see how the ‘cast and blast’ option plays out on the ground. Basically, mix up your passions and choose to fish and hunt as desired. I began my most recent adventure stalking reds with my camera, before switching to backcountry fishing, nymphing to rainbow trout on a beautiful wilderness river accessed by helicopter. 

Two days later I secured a trophy fallow buck with guide Kate in the morning, and landed a five-pound brown trout on one of the rivers that run through Poronui in the afternoon. As I cast a blowfly dry to the caught brown, several sika were squealing at me from the other side of the river and pheasants were feeding amongst the gums. A magic day.

Downtime at this location is saved up for the evenings since you have even more stories to tell than usual.


Greg Morton
One of New Zealand’s longest-serving hunting/fishing profile journalists. Outdoors writer since 1987. Past positions include New Zealand correspondent for The Hunting Report; The Bird Hunting Report, and The Angling Report, and writing a regular hunting article for New Zealand Outdoor for 30 years. Presently writes a monthly article named Fair Chase for New Zealand Fishing News and a hunting blog for Poronui, while continuing his passion for hunting, fishing, and wildlife photography. Lives in Alexandra, Central Otago.


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