I fished with Paul on May 1st of this year. We had a great day and I felt compelled to share my experience so others might be able to have a similar day.
Arranging my trip from the USA meant I would have to line things up via email and PayPal. Between Paul and his wife this went off without a hitch. I was very happy with the ease of this whole process. They were always very responsive and even if Paul was off guiding I would hear back very shortly.
Paul called the night before and he arranged to pick me up at the holiday park I was staying at. He arrived that morning right on time and with a smile on his face. From then on we had a great time.
I was fishing in the late season, after some of the rivers had been closed and others had been blown out by some recent inclement. Paul found a great stream that would prove to be an excellent fishery.
As far as the fishing goes, it was as classic New Zealand fly fishing as I could imagine. We were sight fishing for big rainbows in a relatively small and totally gin-clear stream. Coming from the US, I'm more used to fishing water that looks "fishy" rather than targeting specific (not to mention big, intimidating) fish. After a little rust came off my casting arm and with plenty help from Paul, we caught and landed a dozen fish, though I lost a couple more to late hook sets and iffy fighting skills. A few fish stood out, including one on a caddis pupae in a backwater and another on an adult caddis dry.
A good example of the type of guide Paul is, is how we finished our day. We'd already caught plenty of fish but on the walk back to the car we (read:Paul) spotted some more fish in the main river channel. We kept fishing for another 30-45 minutes and added two fish to our tally because Paul was so happy to keep fishing.
As far at the nuts and bolts type stuff, I had nothing to worry about. I only brought a rod and reel along so Paul was happy to provide the rest of the gear I would need (waders, boots, etc...). Lunch was more than enough and delicious to boot. I'm certain he'd be happy to accommodate any requests you have for your trip.
I think I've probably rambled on enough, but suffice it to say fishing with Paul was a tremendous experience. I recommend Paul to anyone fishing in the Wanaka area without any hesitation.
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