Regular readers will appreciate TRM Daily Reports have to be brutally honest about recommending or ‘investing’ in fishing guides. This is always a fascinating topic with TRM inmates at the end of the day over a strong cup of tea. Often the selection of a guide is even more important than their preferred accommodation…
Last week one guest used a guide for six days. A similar booking on the week before that. Last Saturday we had three guides operating out of TRM. And so on… (Sometimes TRM even report what guided guests tell SWMBO… ) So we see and hear enough guest experiences to feel competent to comment – who are the best guides?
Generally the trout guiding business in this Turangi Tongariro region is very competitive and any consistently poor results are soon known. The guides have to be good, at the top of their game, to survive. To many it is a ‘labour of love’. To others it is a retirement passion. To make any meaningful judgement TRM rely on guests’ feedback. The response does vary from ordinary ho-hum to sensationally brilliant but rarely disappointment.
Of course there are always exceptions. Only once has TRM Daily Report sadly felt obliged to pass on a guest’s concerns about a Taupo guide… It received immense feedback. Inmates still remind us… To improve website ratings perhaps we should be critical more often ?
So it is with much pleasure that TRM post these positive guiding reports from other inmates. (If you are considering appointing a trout fishing guide then feel free to check with us to avoid potential disappointment. Every year we have requests from ‘wannabe guides’ wanting TRM clients.)
So how do we advise who are the best guides? I checked with the oracle – the ancient one – TRM’s sage. SWMBO has it sussed. She claims the best guides are those having the most fun with their clients. It is not about the remote wilderness or technical difficulty or big numbers or huge size of trout. It is all about enjoying the experience to the max! She suggests some guides forget that.
Yesterday TRM reported on the experience of two novices – Tongariro virgins – using a fishing guide for their first time fly fishing. They could not have been more complimentary about their guide – Richard Mowforth – on the Tongariro River. It was wonderful to see them return bubbling with enthusiasm about trout fishing. That is normal. We just know they will be back… Thanks Richard.
So today another guest’s ‘guiding story’ is at the other end of the spectrum – a more testing assignment for any guide in challenging extreme remote back-country followed by the guides own assessment:
Darren Woodmass from UK is back again for two weeks back country fly fishing. He wanted to book ten days guided on ten different rivers so he did his homework thoroughly… It is a big investment and a long way to come if the guide fails or disappoints. Below is his ‘report’ about what he looks for in a guide – aka a “ghillie” where he comes from – and the benefits after a similar trip “field testing” some new Hardy rods last year. What a pain, but I guess someone has to do it…
“Being asked to field test a couple of the Hardy Sintrix range of rods in somewhere as glorious as New Zealand’s North Island is as good as it gets.
But making such an arduous journey and accessing the less celebrated rivers of the back-country is another matter.
By all means swot up on the books, videos and the relevant topo maps as sources of information, but to experience the full shebang, hire a guide.
To my mind, when I hire a guide, I am looking for him or her to be a vital conduit of information. By fast tracking me into water that will offer me the best chance of hooking up, and putting me on an accelerated learning curve in employing techniques to fool the fish.
In short, I am adopting economy of effort.
Shane French ticks all the above boxes and more. He has boundless enthusiasm and compassion for his beloved Taupo fishery and will always put maximum effort into a days guiding to ensure the best possible chance of success.
Whether your prerequisite is to sample the challenging wilderness of the best back-country, or simply to have a more pedestrian day on one of the many excellent local rivers, nothing is too much trouble.
Factor in very reasonable daily rates and the fact that he has one of the best selection of killing fly patterns I have seen, any angler visiting the Taupo region should seriously consider employing his services. It is money well spent, hence why I will be tapping into his expertise on my return visit in 2017.”