- I have been coming over to New Zealand for a few seasons now to fish and being disabled have to be careful where I fish, as I find the river beds can be very difficult.
I use Brent as my guide when on the West Coast, as I feel safe and confident out on the lake and drifting down the Arnold River on board "Sneakuponim". It is a very stable boat to get in and out of and has a very good platform to fish from.
I find Brent a very patient guide and we always manage to nail a few. Brent knows Lake Brunner like nobody else, and we always have a lot of fun while we are out fishing, dropping Cicadas among the shallows and seeing huge brownies sip them down like fillet steaks!
You do not have to go walking up rivers that are rough and hard to manage to have a really good fishing trip on the west Coast if you fish Lake Brunner with Brent.
Richard Waller. UK.
- We had a good day landing 10 nice Brunner Browns,all on the fly,and most of them were sighted before I hooked up.
- You do not have to be fleet- footed and fit to enjoy a great day chasing wild browns with Brent on Lake Brunner.
- I found Brent's boat to be very stable and felt safe on board, while we sneaked around the lake edges sighting these beautiful wild brown trout.
- As I need the aid of a walking stick to help me to get around, I found a day on the lake with Brent really improved my chances and made for a day's fishing I shall never forget!Roy Simpson
- Before I came to NZ I must admit that I was a bit nervous about whether I really was advanced enough to fish in New Zealand but I knew after hearing other club members come back from NZ excited by their experiences that I had to give it a go - after all I would not know until I had tried. When I shared this thought on the first night in NZ Alex said to me that NZ fast tracks your learning. He was correct. The amount of time we spend learning to look for fish, casting to fish, hooking up and landing (or attempting to do all of the above) presented more opportunities and learning that a normal Australian season worth of fishing for me. We just don't get that many good size fish here or that many opportunities to cast to spotted fish. I certainly have not been taken to the backing before! What a buzz this trip was for us.
- This wonderful experience was made possible largely because both of you were so patient and recognised that we were willing to learn from you. You were both very patient and helpful in teaching us. I know that it must have been frustrating for you at times but you never let it show, but rather seemed to get a kick out of helping us. You also seem to work well together as a team. Thank you both.
THE PERFECT DAY’S FISHING By Greg Du dern
"One the highlights of my recent trip to NZ was fishing Lake Brunner with guide Brent Beadle. He knows the Lake like the back of his hand, and that knowledge allowed us to fish on the lake all day despite the weather, which included wind and rain. I have fished a lot where I live in California, but he had me doing something I had never done before, which was sight fishing for large Brown trout on Lake Brunner's shoreline. I had a great day catching some very fine fish, and enjoyed being with Brent has well. He is not only very professional, but also very personable, and I would go out with him again in a heartbeat." Hope that did not lay it on too thick!. Have a good holiday season, as ours is starting now with the great American holiday of Thanksgiving. Greg
Have you ever dreamt of a day fishing when everything was right? Well it happened to me one day on Lake Brunner in the South Island of New Zealand. And I hired Brent Beadle to guide me for a day at the end of February 2009.
Brent picked me up at 08:00 hrs on a day that dawned clear and calm. It was only a short drive to the lake from my accommodation in Moana. At the boat ramp we set up my rod and dropped the boat into the water. We headed out to the eastern bays to fish the shoreline around an old river mouth. Brent suggested using an attractor dry on a dropper and a small nymph below on point. We fished light with 4 pound 5x tippet on a 6# Kilwell Matrix rod and double tapered floating line. He explained the plan of attack was for him to be on the oars and for me to cast in towards the shore.
Brent uses a 4m aluminium boat called 'Sneakuponum' to get around the lake and his technique proved to be a very successful and a deadly fishing method. Once we had arrived at a fishing location, Brent shut down the outboard and took up the oars to silently move the boat, while I was up the front in casting position. This gave me the maximum potential to catch the ample supply of brown trout available at Lake Brunner. Trout in Lake Brunner are all wild brown trout and range in size from 2-5 lbs, with an occasional 6.5lb or bigger, if you are lucky.
Lake Brunner is a natural lake with bush growing right down to the shore line.
A boat was the best way to efficiently and effectively cover the shoreline as wading or walking the shore would have been almost impossible. The water was often quite deep close to the shore so it was important to fish right up to the very edge of the trees and grass that line the lake as the trout patrol and lie up under the protecting overhanging vegetation. The locations fished were very beautiful with original bush as far as the eye could see.
We saw the occasional fish rise. We moved slowly towards where we saw the fish move. I cast under the trees and landed my fly about 10cm from the shore and ten seconds later the attractor fly disappeared. Brent shouted and I, being taken by surprise, gave a strike that would have been normal on the Tongariro but only separated my 4lb tippet loosing both flies. I re-rigged my terminal tackle thinking ‘I mustn’t do that again!’
Re-armed with the same setup I resumed casting and it wasn’t long before another fish rose to my nymph and soon after that a beautiful brown was safely in the net. After some photos we released her back to the lake and we moved out of the river mouth as the sun was now higher in the sky. We now had a chance to fish for sighted fish as we cruised down a beach and bay over a shallow gravel bed.
As we moved silently over the still water we spotted several fish cruising the margins as well as some healthy looking eels that seemed oblivious to our boat. Brent was expert at spotting fish and called out direction and range while I fired my flies to intercept the fish.
The sunlight was just right to spot approaching fish and one take was a real textbook exercise. The fish was spotted by both Brent & me, I cast in the fish’s path, far enough ahead not to spook the fish, the fly and nymph lay in wait. The fish moved steadily towards the flies, I gave the nymph a bit of a twitch, the fish moved to the right towards the nymph slowly moving up, opened its mouth, and took the nymph, the indicator disappeared, I raised the rod and the fish was on! What a blast to see all this happen and to catch such a great fish - fantastic.
We continued down the beach catching and releasing fish as we went, all sighted and cast for, until we got to a spot called the Duck Pond. This is a shallow area encircled by a sand spit. The area had been recently flooded when the lake had risen over a meter. There were plenty of fish in the lagoon and we caught three more fish, all were released.
About this time the wind started to come up from the west, so we decided to head for the opposite shore. We fished the western shore using the same technique as we did the eastern shore but we found our success rate was lower. So we decided to move over to some weed beds at the mouth of a river entering the lake and have some tea and lunch.
After lunch, we moved into the river estuary and fished up the shoreline were we found fish all the way up. There was no appreciable current here and we continued to steadily catch and release fish. They ranged in size from three to four pounds and were in good condition and fought well.
As we moved into further into the river the banks narrowed and the water shallowed which showed a gravel bottom that was strewn with fallen trees and debris from floods. We started to spot fish again. We had great success using a cicada pattern as we could hear them singing in the bush around. The fish rose to the cicada in preference to taking the nymph and took the cicada with great confidence.
Again, we were casting to sighted fish that were cast for and watched as they came to the fly. One fish was lost as I struck too soon to the dry fly and the next fish to take; Brent counted one, two, three before I struck, this time with greater success.
Eventually we started to run out of water and beached the boat on a gravel bank. We donned our waders and boots and headed up stream. It wasn’t long before we found more feeding fish and landed a couple more. Moving on up past some runs and snags, we came upon a pool full of feeding fish. There were two main runs into this pool, fed from an island upstream which split the river flow. About a third of the way down the pool, there was a large rock that caused a large eddy below and split the flow yet again.
On the island we saw some rare and beautiful kotuku, sacred white herons, which slowly took to the air as we approached. They were a gorgeous sight to behold and added something special to an already special day.
Throughout the pool we could see at least six feeding fish ranging in size from three pounds to four and half pounds. They were feeding actively, moving in and out of the runs. Some were dropping back in the pool and then moving back up again. We were unsure what they were feeding on but we decided to stick to our successful cicada and nymph combination. But they proved to be not very productive and although I covered feeding fish, they ignored the flies but kept on feeding.
So a change of pattern was required and Brent decided to try a Royal Wolff dry fly and a nymph on point. It looked like the trout were taking some small cockabullies because of the speed they were moving. Some of the lake fish had regurgitated some cockabullies when had caught them and the fish were dashing in and out of the stream; it looked like they were chasing something. The nymph pattern looked the closest we had to a small fish.
We tried again, with Brent spotting for me, and I persistently covered fish until a fish took the nymph. We managed to land this one with some skilful netting from Brent once I had coaxed the trout into the shallows; a pretty three and half pound hen that was returned.
There was a larger fish, quite dark compared to the others, that Brent was keen for me to catch. And so we continued to fish on and caught a lovely fish that fought very hard, taking me across to the other side of the river before going down stream into a fallen logs and trees below the pool and eventually the fish and I parted company.
Re-rigged once more, I continued to fish the pool with fish not being put off by two of their group being taken out of circulation. Eventually, persistence paid off and the large dark fish made a mistake and took my nymph. It was a solid fight but finally Brent scooped him up in the net. A cock fish around four and half pounds, a little past top condition and as he was so dark, maybe an old fish. We released him back to the pool.
I finally stopped fishing when I lost my flies, maybe on a low back cast. I must have been getting tired! All up, I landed eighteen fish this day and lost four others. It was a day to remember. Not just for the number of fish landed but the variety of methods and techniques used to fish with a combination of boat fishing, sighted angling and wading the river fishing upstream nymphs.
It was a magic day when everything came together: the weather, the water, the fish were hungry and just being in the right place at the right time. Also, having an experienced guide like Brent made a huge difference with his knowledge of the area and he put me in front of fish after fish.
A day to remember, a day hard to beat – a truly red letter day.