Size does matter

When it comes to trout, let's face it, size matters.

If you've fly fished in Europe, you've probably been catching what most Kiwis would regard as whitebait. If you've trout fished America then even those handsome Montana browns tend to look a bit sheepish alongside the 'silver bullet' Lake O rainbows or the monster Tongariro browns.

We're not saying Kiwi fish are easy. But they're BIG and there's plenty of them, thanks to a farsighted NZ Government management program which protects them and their environment just for the delight of anglers, imposes strict catch limits and rules, which you can find here.

We're not promising you'll get your double-figure trout on your first trip – the enchantment of trout is that they are shy, wily, difficult fish to catch, with fastidious feeding habits. You'll have days when they're hot – and days when they're not. You may work hard for many years to develop the skills that will deliver you the big one. But over the years Ken has taken many 10-14 pound browns from a single pool on the Tongariro: he knows the approach that will have the best chance of interesting one.

Most fishers dream of a trout of four or five pounds (2-3kg). Well, the Taupo region holds many of such a size – and taken in fast water on a big river they will demand all your skill, patience and experience to bring them to the net.

One reason the NZ trout are so large is the high rate of fish returned live, unharmed, to the water. Most fishers now practice catch and release - or keep no more than they'll eat that night. Better to catch a 4lb fish, release it and come back and catch it again in a year or two when its 6 or even 8lb.

For this reason Ken does everything he can to get fish back into the water, uninjured and in the least number of seconds required to remove the fly, admire the catch, take a quick photo – and she's free again. He can tell you about individual big trout he and his clients have taken and released many times over the years.

So if size in trout matters to you, help us to conserve the magnificent browns and rainbows of the Taupo region. Put 'em back where they belong.

Game fish are too valuable to only be caught once. - Lee Wulff