PORONUI RANCH NEW ZEALAND
The finest New Zealand fly fishing
Poronui Ranch is a luxury fly fishing lodge nestled in the Taharua valley south-east of Taupo on New Zealand's spectacular North Island, offering guests access to trophy trout on a privately owned 16,000 acre ranch.
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 both ancient Maori tribes, and since 1877, the English settlers. Today the trout fishing and hunting on Poronui Ranch 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 Ranch.
Having heard the stories of the kind of giants to be caught fishing NZ, avid fly fishermen from all corners of the globe come to Poronui Ranch 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, home to incredibly large resident browns and rainbows, with angling opportunities to suit every preference or ability.
What makes dry fly fishing at Poronui Ranch so special is the immediate access to so many of New Zealand's best quality fishing waters and guides. The privately owned property covering 16,000 acres offers access to the Taharua - a spring creek - that meanders down the valley, while the Mohaka River - a tumbling freestone stream - wraps itself around one boundary.
The mountains adjacent to Poronui are vast estates of Maori-owned land. We are privileged to have access to much of this wonderful wilderness reserve. Without a doubt, the remoteness of these rivers and streams make them some of the most prized fly fishing waters in the world.
The Ranch also hosts a helicopter charter service flying fishermen quickly and easily into otherwise inaccessible areas. This immediate and flexible access to waters on the Ranch, and nearby, mean you will never fish the same spot twice. The legendary Ngaruroro and Rangitikei Rivers, and many more remote and smaller streams, are only a short and spectacular helicopter flight away.
Whether you choose to wade in shallow, gentle streams, or tackle the very physical demands of an alpine freestone stream, there is water on the ranch to suit you.
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 on our waters. Our guides know every stream intimately, and ensure angling pressure is constantly monitored and controlled to maintain the health and confidence of the trout.
Experienced anglers will find the challenges of fishing at Poronui Ranch very rewarding. Beginners have the opportunity to learn from the best guides in a truly inspiring environment.
The ultimate fly fishing experience is being surrounded by spectacular scenery and casting a dry fly over a big, wild trout in a crystal clear mountain stream. At Poronui Ranch we aim to give our guests that opportunity every day.
Walking and 4WD access
All of our guides operate modern off-road vehicles, and can drive you to much of our remote water. The easily accessible waters offer an opportunity for the classic fly fishing experience of stalking and sightcasting to trophy browns and rainbows in shallow, clear water. Anglers can expect to have the water to themselves and cast to resident wild fish that have rarely seen a dry fly.
Vast areas of New Zealand are wilderness, and many of our streams remain relatively untrodden - hardly known to other anglers because access is just too difficult. We offer guests daily float trips onto these waters with our licensed rafting guides. For the more adventurous angler, seeking the ultimate outdoor experience, we suggest staying overnight at one of our streamside camps. The experience of a star littered sky above, the crackling of the campfire, the taste of bush brewed coffee and the sound of nearby flowing water - holding the promise of tomorrow - is unbeatable.
The helicopters based at Poronui Ranch give easy access to many of New Zealand's most famous mountain streams. While legendary rivers like the Ngaruroro and the Rangitikei are just in the next valley, there are many more remote streams which go unnoticed, and unfished, only a short flight away.
Some of these mountain catchments offer easy access along grassy banks, with shallow wading between quiet pools and runs. Here, a big dry fly floated through a riffle will usually induce a dramatic take. For anglers looking for the ultimate challenge, there are more challenging trophy waters where huge trout cautiously cruise in deep pools. The fish here are clever - and technically difficult to catch - demanding stealth, skill in reading the currents, and accuracy in presentation of the fly. When done successfully, the reward will likely be the biggest trout of a lifetime, and the stuff angling dreams are made of.
While it is not necessary to fly by helicopter to experience great fly fishing at Poronui Ranch, a flight into the surrounding mountains is the ultimate exhilarating experience for the dedicated angler. You can expect to find idyllic fishing waters, wonderful wild trout and magnificent scenery. Two helicopters are based at Poronui Ranch. The pilots have an intimate knowledge of the mountain canyons, gullies and streams. They skillfully deposit guests, guides and equipment into otherwise inaccessible terrain.
The remote mountain freestone streams offer an opportunity for the classic fly fishing experience of stalking and sightcasting to trophy browns and rainbows in shallow, clear water. Here anglers can expect to have the water to themselves and cast to resident wild fish that have rarely seen a dry fly.
Helicopter fly-outs have the advantage of providing our guests with a huge variety of angling opportunities every day of the season.
When fishing conditions get tough in the lower waters (for example, after rains, or early in the season when river levels may be too high) the mountain headwaters are often in pristine condition. The helicopters get anglers to these superior conditions effortlessly and quickly.
Some of these smaller mountain catchments offer very easy access along grassy banks with shallow wading between quiet pools and runs. Here a big dry fly floated through a riffle will usually induce a dramatic take.
A longer flight by helicopter deep into the mountains will uncover some of the most legendary and challenging fly fishing in New Zealand. These are trophy waters where huge trout cautiously cruise in deep clear pools. These fish are generally not easy to catch - the angling can be technically difficult - demanding stealth, knowledge of the current, and accuracy of your cast. But when all these factors combine, the reward is likely to be the catch of a lifetime.
The Poronui Ranch Fishing Calendar
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 or for hunting stag as the rut is on.
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. The duck hunting and game bird season opens, and it is the best time for trophy stags.
The main lodge and guest cabins have evolved from what was once a rustic fishing camp into one of the world's finest fishing lodge holiday destinations. Accommodation has been designed with the traditional fishing and hunting lodge atmosphere in mind, but also combine elements of modern luxury with wonderful style.
The lodge kitchen is renowned for its outstanding food and wine selection. Venison, pork, lamb and wild duck come from the property and surrounding region, and the proximity to the ocean offers an abundance of fresh deep sea fish, salmon, lobster and mussels. Our specially packed streamside lunches are likely to be the very best picnic you've ever had. The winecellar stocks more than 10,000 bottles of most internationally recognized vintages as well as the cream of New Zealand's wines, sourced directly from the adjoining wine producing area of Hawkes Bay.
Guests usually meet for meals in the main lodge, and afterwards relax in comfort by the fire. Flies can be prepared for the following days' angling at the fully equipped fly-tying bench. All our guest cabins have high bandwidth internet access through our reliable wireless network.
The lodge kitchen is renowned for its outstanding game food and local fare. Venison, pork, lamb and wild duck come from the property and surrounding region, and the proximity to the ocean offers an abundance of fresh deep sea fish, salmon, lobster and mussels.
We host a weekly outdoor barbeque where visitors can enjoy the culinary experience of game sourced directly from the property. Poronui Ranch is a world away from major cities and their bustling restaurant scenes, yet the fabulous food and wine you will experience at the lodge is so typical of New Zealand's low key, no fuss approach to regional gourmet excellence.
The lodge at Poronui Ranch boasts one of New Zealand's finest modern underground cellars, featuring an extensive collection of award winning local and international wines. We store more than 10,000 bottles covering most recognized vintages, and the lodge regularly hosts wine tastings - which are a highlight of any visit. Our proximity to the renowned, and consistently excellent, wine producing region of Hawkes Bay, means that we complement all meals with some of New Zealand's best new wines.
All fished out?
Fishing isn't everything at Poronui Ranch. The property is a wonderful outdoor playground. We offer a range of other activities and have excellent facilities for hiking, horseriding, mountainbike riding, shooting and rafting. There are more than 100 miles of private roads and tracks that wind their way through the hills and along the streams. Close to the main lodge, a modern sports and relaxation center has gym and health club facilities.
An exciting addition to the Poronui Ranch experience is the outpost accommodation provided by the stylish tents of the safari-style camp. Situated on the bank of the Mohaka River, the camp is a days' horse ride from the lodge. The camp is available on a fully-serviced basis for luxury overnight camp-outs.
At Poronui Ranch there is nothing that you have to do, but plenty that you can do. The property is a wonderful outdoor playground.
There are more than 100 miles of private roads and tracks that make their way through the hills and beside the streams. Guests can enjoy diverse landscapes, ranging from high alpine forests to low open grasslands. On your riding or walking trips, you'll discover spectacular views, and gain insight into the pioneering history of the land.
There are usually six or more horses stabled at Poronui. The modern stables and riding school offer both experienced and first-time riders everything that they need. Professional riding instructors and guides can be arranged. Another great way to explore the property is on two wheels: high quality mountain bikes are available for use by our guests.
Close to the main lodge, a modern sports and relaxation centre has gym and health club facilities - including steam and sauna rooms, and massage treatment rooms. Also located in this complex is a cigar room, including a full-sized antique English billiard table.
Another exciting addition to the Poronui Ranch experience is the outpost accommodation provided by the stylish tents of the safari-style camp. Situated on the bank of the Mohaka River, the camp is a days' horse ride from the lodge and is available on a fully-serviced basis for luxury overnight camp-outs.
Despite the seclusion of the Poronui valley, the lodge is only 30 minutes from the busy tourist centre of Lake Taupo, and close to a variety of other attractions. To the east, and little more than an hour by car (15 minutes by helicopter), is the Pacific Ocean and the art deco city of Napier with its cafes, antique stores and galleries. The alluvial coastal plain around Napier is known as the grape growing and wine making centre of New Zealand. There is no better way to capture the spirit of a lazy summer day than a wine tasting tour of the Hawkes Bay vineyards.
A similar one hour journey to the north will see you in Rotorua, famous for its natural volcanic springs. Further north lies Auckland - one of the most beautiful harbourside cities in the world. A car and driver can be arranged on a daily basis for sightseeing trips, or for transfers to any other region of the North Island. The airstrip at Poronui is suitable for twin engine aircraft, and enables private and charter planes to effortlessly take our guests anywhere in New Zealand.
When the seasons change and the first frosts herald winter in the mountains, hunting and shooting are tradition at Poronui Ranch. What was once a vast high-country sheep and cattle run is now a world class sporting estate attracting trophy hunters and wing shooters from around the world. The entire property is a habitat for waterfowl, gamebird and deer.
The shooting school at Poronui has an armoury with a number of high quality loan guns and rifles, an ammunition magazine, and a seperate field kiosk with cleaning facilities and refreshment bar. The sporting clays course is built in a steep wooded valley with multiple shooting stations and a fully automated twenty trap layout.
A programmed remote release system allows for twenty singles, pairs and flurries to be shot at each shooting station - giving an unlimited variety of targets. The course has been designed for traps to simulate either upland game birds or waterfowl.
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