The winner was Leigh Coleman, a fruit grower from Swan Hill. Leigh saw the competition display set up in the Think Water Swan Hill store and thought he would try his luck. He purchased several Philmac products to enter the draw and received a huge surprise when he won the competition.
Leigh had the choice of a Barramundi Fishing Trip in Darwin or Trout Fishing in New Zealand. He chose the 3-day Trout Fishing Trip in New Zealand having already agreed to take his father in law Bruno, also a fruit grower. The prize also allowed for Think Water Swan Hill team member, Mark Fletcher, and the Philmac representative, Tim Hancock, to accompany the lucky winners.
The four were booked in to go in May 2018 but only days from departure Leigh broke his leg, which threw a spanner in the works. However, his luck didn’t run out as the trip was postponed until October.
Leigh, Bruno, Mark and Tim flew to NZ for three awesome days of fishing. Starting with a day charter boat fishing on Lake Taupo then continuing on the next day with fly-fishing in the rivers around the lake.
Overall the trip presented the opportunity to see some of the best New Zealand has to offer including tremendous views on and around the lake. The fishing was great, and they hand-fed ducks in flight off the deck of the boat and even tried their hands at skeet shooting – luckily the ducks had left when the shotgun came out!
The fly fishing took on a competitive edge, with the group splitting into two teams. Leigh and Bruno went deep into thick scrub and trekked to remote waterways without any luck – not a single fish. While Mark and Tim were blessed with some well-populated streams. However, it did take some time to get the hang of fly fishing with Mark catching the backside of his pants and Tim giving himself an ear-piercing.
Lake Taupo is the largest naturally occurring lake in the Southern Hemisphere. The luckless trout were taken to a local restaurant and where tour guide kindly arranged for the chef to cook them up in six different ways. A great time was had by all partying well into the night, they say they gave the locals quite an insight into fly fishing.