In March of 2019 I was fortunate to accompany a small group of anglers to the north island of New Zealand on an unforgettable journey of wilderness, trout, and great friends. What ensued was a trip that we will always remember and one that left us with the indellible desire to return. I recall the last time I was in New Zealand, on the South Island, which was my first time to the country, I experienced a strange anxiety days before my trip ended, as I was enjoying the fishing so much I just couldn’t bear the idea that there were only a few days left!
Our group had a week’s fishing out of Poronui Ranch, located in the Taupo region of the north island. Poronui is one of the longest-running fly fishing operations in the country and has a rich history of catering to the traveling angler. They were perfectly-suited for our group and extremely well run. The lodge began as a simple house that hosted anglers and has grown over the last 25 years to a much larger operation, still centered around fishing. Now, they also offer a good deal of non-fishing activities. On the day of our arrival, we enjoyed shooting some sporting clays and discussed an array of options for the rest of the week should the fishing for some reason turn foul. Among these options were organized wine tastings, manuka honey tastings, more sporting clays, or a drive out to hear the stags in rut in the evening. As it turns out, the fishing never faltered enough for us to even consider doing any of these things!