with rainbows and browns averaging 3-5 pounds. It truly is the stuff of dreams! While more sedate in approach, the Maori streams are just as remarkable of fisheries – many are tiny creeks that would hold pan-sized fish back home, but are full of dry-fly inhaling monsters just as large as found with the helicopters, and in an incredible landscape. Imagine watching a 5-pound brown trout rising deliberately to your Royal Wulff in a crystalline pool the size of your SUV!
Finally, there are two world-class streams right on the lodge property. The petite Taharua River, a classic meadow spring creek that flows right beside the main lodge and the Blake House, is famous for having received the first batch of brown trout in all the North Island, many, many years ago. Ask your guide the story – it's fascinating, as is the unique coloring of these fish. They are cut off from upwardly migrating fish from lower drainages by an impassable rapids downstream, so are a pure and amazing subspecies. The lodge often has an "After Dinner Hatch" fish-out here, to coincide with the late evening mayfly hatches. Their other river, the Mohaka, is a classic freestone fishery resembling Northern California's McCloud River – an endless procession of riffles, runs, pools and pocket water, flowing through a deep, forested canyon. Expect a mix of browns and rainbows here, many in the 3-4 pound range (with the occasional slob over 6 lbs), all of which seem to like dries. And if you have an overcast day limiting visibility, put on a nymph-and-indicator rig…you'll crush 'em! Many people fall in love with this river, and choose to spend a couple of days fishing different beats along its prodigious length, despite the availability of dozens of other spectacular streams.
All the water of New Zealand is open to the public, but Poronui, using a fleet of helicopters located right on the ranch, can be on water in minutes that seldom sees anyone but their own guests. There are more than two dozen blue ribbon streams and rivers within easy striking distance, and fisheries with enough diversity to appeal to any angler. The angling menu is completely filled with crystal clear spring creeks and classic freestone rivers. You will decide with your guide each day where you will fish the next day, depending on personal preferences.
Speaking of guides, Poronui Ranch has a team of permanent full-time guides who are considered the consummate professionals in their field. They share an extraordinary knowledge of the country, and collectively have more than a hundred years fishing experience in their waters. Poronui's guides know every stream intimately, and ensure angling pressure is constantly monitored to maintain the health and confidence of the trout.
Once on the water, the fishing and hiking are not particularly strenuous and the success of each day is measured by a different yardstick. Though large numbers of fish are not uncommon, what is more likely are numbers of large fish. Casting skills are extremely important and proper presentation is usually the only necessary key to success. Fly selection isn't critical and these often huge trout rise aggressively to any number of dry flies. Nymphs are devastatingly effective, and streamers are occasionally the answer to the trophy trout that swim in most of the huge, deep pools.