To fly fishermen Poronui is an historic fishing lodge where you will go fly fishing for superb New Zealand trout in pristine waters. To others, Poronui is the ultimate luxury wilderness retreat, a place where they can relax or explore 16,000 acres of timeless wilderness.
Poronui is a luxury fly fishing lodge nestled in the Taharua valley south-east of Taupo on New Zealand’s spectacular North Island, offering guests the opportunity to catch legendary fish in stunning and pristine surroundings.
The 16,000 acre property is possibly the best fishing lodge New Zealand has to offer and has been a favored fishing and hunting ground for ancient Maori tribes, and since 1877, the English settlers. Today the trout fishing and hunting on Poronui are recognized as world class.
The landscape at Poronui is as varied as the sky is big. Crystal clear mountain water tumbles through forests of beech and native ferns, then twists its way through alpine meadows of wild grasses on the valley floor. In the summer months, as mayflies settle on the water’s surface, fishing becomes religion at Poronui.
Having heard the stories of the kind of giants to be caught fishing New Zealand, avid fly fishermen from all corners of the globe come to Poronui to test their skills against New Zealand’s notoriously large, and wily, brown and rainbow trout. They do it in an isolated and beautiful wilderness. Guests will discover uncrowded streams, with angling opportunities to suit every preference or ability, no matter what the time of year.
2020/2021 Reservations & Rates
The cost of the week-long Poronui Ranch package is $9,740.00 NZD per person in high season.
• Shorter stays and non-fishing rates available
Included in your angling package at the Poronui Ranch is seven nights high quality twin share accommodation, all meals, an open bar, same day laundry service and six days of guided fly fishing.
Not included in your angling package at Poronui Ranch are fishing gear, fishing license, transfers, staff gratuities and items of a personal nature.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Insurance Information
Seasons at Poronui Lodge
The seasons in the southern hemisphere are the opposite to those in Europe and North America. Poronui is located in the heart of the North Island of New Zealand and enjoys a temperate climate.
The opening of the fishing season in most districts means the local trout have been undisturbed for months. Temperatures are still cool, but with longer days, the brown trout become very active and there is excellent
fishing with weighted nymphs along soft seams in most mountain streams. Some good evening hatches offering very good dry fly fishing at dusk.
Early Summer (November, December):
This is undoubtedly the best time to fly fish in mountain streams throughout New Zealand. The days are long and warm, the water is still cool, there are good mayfly hatches and the trout feed recklessly on the surface throughout the day. The fish are at ease and generally very enthusiastic towards the dry fly. This is the least crowded time to fly fish in New Zealand and the weather becomes very settled after Thanksgiving.
Mid Summer (January, February):
Traditionally this is the most popular time for fly fishermen to visit New Zealand. Most good lodges are pre-booked. Streams are low and wading is easy. Trout are highly visible in the water, but selective with their feeding. On smaller streams these conditions demand careful stalking and delicate presentations with small drys and nymphs. On larger mountain freestone streams (accessed by helicopter and float trips) there is excellent terrestrial activity on the surface.
Late Summer (March, April):
The weather is still warm and settled. April has the lowest average rainfall of any month. Occasionally a brilliant day is heralded by a light frost. Resident trout in mountain streams willingly rise to the surface. The dry and cooler evenings induce good hatches. At this time the trout are in peak condition. It is the best time for catching salmon.
Autumn offers a variety of outdoor activities in New Zealand. The best fly fishing is using nymphs for early spawning trout in the tributary streams flowing into Lake Taupo.
Getting to Poronui Lodge
For the next 6 days, you'll be fishing in one of the most famous fly fishing lodges in New Zealand!
Depart the States for New Zealand:
Direct flights from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) or San Francisco International Airport (SFO) via Air New Zealand depart in the evening, arriving two days later into Auckland on the North Island of New Zealand. Though the flight time from LAX or SFO to Auckland is only 12 to
13 hours, you will cross several time zones and the International Dateline, arriving two days later on the calendar.
Arrive in Auckland:
Air New Zealand flights will arrive into the Auckland Airport, a super-modern international facility, early in the morning. Here you will clear immigrations (passport control) and customs. This is all very easy, and you will immediately know you are in a different land, by the courteous and polite nature of the airport officials.
From the International Airport it is a five minute, free shuttle bus ride (or a pleasant 15-minute walk, albeit with your luggage in tow) to the adjacent Domestic Terminal. Here you will take one of several daily domestic flights via Air New Zealand to Taupo. The flight takes only about an hour.
Once you arrive in Taupo, if you are scheduled to go directly into the lodge, you will be met as you get off the plane by a Poronui Ranch arranged-for transfer agent. The driver, who knows every bump in the road, will leisurely make his way in an air-conditioned vehicle, showing you some of the highlights along the way. The drive from Taupo to the lodge takes approximately 45 minutes.
Depart New Zealand for the States:
After breakfast and saying your goodbyes to the staff, anglers will be transported via auto back to Taupo in plenty of time to catch a flight up to Auckland to begin their journey home, or the continuation of their New Zealand angling or travel holiday.
Direct flights from Auckland to LAX or SFO depart in the evening between 7 and 11 p.m., arriving Stateside the same day, mid-morning (remember the International Dateline).
Lodging at Poronui Lodge
Without question, this is the single most impressive and diverse fly fishing operation on the North Island, and no single letter could include all the wonderful things there are to say about the place and the people who run this world-famous destination.
Poronui Lodge is located on New Zealand's North Island, nestled in the Taharua River valley, south-east of the resort town of Taupo. A short hour-long drive from the small airport at Taupo, the road to the lodge
winds briefly along the scenic shores of massive Lake Taupo, then out into the countryside, terminating in the wooded hillsides of this massive 16,000-acre ranch. Your host at Poronui, Eve Reilly, is famous for her hospitality, incredible skill in the kitchen, and all-around competence – she is an amazing person! Whether you stay at the main lodge, the Blake House or the Safari Camp, she will make sure you are very well taken care of. Don't expect to be losing any weight on this trip!
Every day at Poronui is memorable, starting with the luxurious accommodations and delectable fresh breakfasts. Poronui Lodge is large enough to host twelve anglers comfortably and has a casual-yet-elegant atmosphere that makes guests feel immediately at home. Every soda, glass of fine New Zealand wine, beer, or cocktail is included. What isn't available is a lot of space.
Fishing at Poronui Lodge
The fishing program at Poronui is as diverse as it is excellent. Guests can choose daily between flying helicopters into remote mountain valleys, fishing streams that see only a handful of anglers a year, or driving to some of the lodge's private Maori leased lands, and casting dries over mega-trout no-one else ever gets to see. The helicopter flights are spectacular – you'll never forget whisking over several mountain ranges, the forested peaks flying by seemingly underfoot, then dropping straight down onto remote gravel bars adjacent to rivers as clear as air, and ripe
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.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• One of the most elegant fly fishing lodges in New Zealand, it is located in the middle of an enormous private ranch. The accommodations are luxurious, and located on a cliff above a classic trout stream. You will often spend part of your fishing stay on exclusive ranch water that gets no outside fishing pressure (more aggressive fish), and return each day to gourmet food and wonderfully comfortable and well-appointed cottage suites that are only a short walk to the main lodge.
• Poronui has excellent drive-to fishing with the guides daily, though they also have quick and easy access to helicopters for those who would like to pay extra to try this. Expect that the heli fishing will be encouraged while you are there, as you can reach streams that barely get touched by anglers each season, increasing the likelihood of hooking more and larger fish.
• Poronui Lodge has access to some of the finest rainbow trout fishing on the North Island, fish that average 3-5 pounds. There are a few streams, particularly some of the small Lake Taupo creeks accessed via helicopter, where clients can have a shot at even larger trout.
• Poronui Lodge is fine taking guests for less than a full week trip, so if you want to tag a few days fishing to the end of a business or tourist trip, they are an ideal choice.
• Poronui Lodge has free loaner gear – waders and shoes, and rods and reels. For those not wanting to pack their own gear all the way to New Zealand, this can be an attractive option, especially as felt shoes are not allowed, and guides there insist clients use special drab-colored fly lines. You can show up in your street clothes and be just fine.
• For non-anglers, Poronui Lodge has many options, from horseback riding on the ranch to taking wine tours in nearby vineyards, to shopping in nearby Taupo or Hawkes Bay, to white water boating. This area is a hub of outdoor tourism, and a great place to put together a fishing/tourist combo trip.