Moreporks Outdoor Society - Lucas Allen27 May
Two weeks ago Loop Tackle - NZ & Australia & Strip Strike Fly Fishing Club organised an event called 'Salt Fly Hook Up' for salt water fly-fishing enthusiasts to get together for a weekend of SWFF in Tauranga Harbour.
Sam and his friend George from WattsCraft were lucky enough to be invited out with guide Lucas Allen on his boatKing Tide Salt Fly.
We asked Lucas about why he loves SWFF and how he got into it.
Here is what he had to say:
MPS: Where did your passion for Fly-fishing come from?
LA: Fly-fishing has been a major part of our family for a few generations now. It's hard to avoid it to be honest. The quality time with your old man or mates in some amazing environments are a big part of the appeal. I also enjoy the constant changes and challenges Fly-fishing throws at you on a daily basis.
MPS: How long have you been guiding and what made you interested in being a guide?
LA: This is my first official season but I have guided friends and acquaintances for many years leading up to this. My interest in guiding has always been there I guess. I enjoy getting people onto fish just as much as I like catching them myself.
Around 8 years ago I found a letter addressed to “The future Lucas” - a project we had done in school as youngsters. It read something along the lines of “Hey mate, I hope you're enjoying being a fishing guide …” It snowballed from there really but I held back from freshwater as I felt there were a lot of world class guides in NZ already.
The pull of Salt Fly got stronger and then one day it all clicked. As well as a few chance meetings with certain people things fell into place fairly quickly.
MPS: Saltwater fly-fishing has only recently become popular here in NZ, why do you think that is?
LA: The early pioneers did an amazing job of getting things going many years back. Recently, the Salt Fly scene certainly has begun to grow in popularity. This could be attributed to the Internet and accessibility of information but also the eagerness of younger people wanting to experience a different way of catching New Zealand's recreational fish.
I know of a good number of freshwater fishers that have now scored a Kingfish on fly and wondered why they hadn't done it earlier. The sight of a pack of marauding Kingi’s about to inhale your fly is pretty fucking amazing.
If the recent Salt Fly Hook Up event in Tauranga is anything to go by we are in for a massive boom in Salt Fly exposure for New Zealand. The culture is also evolving quickly and the people involved are doing a great job of promoting Salt Fly worldwide.
MPS: What makes Tauranga so unique for SWFF?
LA. Tauranga is a great draw card for Salt Fly as it is close to a lot of other major towns in the North Island. Whether it's people coming for a day trip or tourists here on holiday we have a huge amount of flats, inshore and blue water fishing on offer.
I'm spoilt as the boat ramp is 10 minutes from home and I can be fishing a flat all to myself 10 minutes from the ramp. To me that is what makes Tauranga a great place to be based.
MPS: Do you think New Zealand could be put on the map internationally for SWFFing?
LA: Most definitely. New Zealand is already world renowned for its freshwater fishery so why not add Salt Fly to that list? We have some amazing species on offer. The humble Kahawai is a great target on fly gear. Add to that the sight of Kingfish following stingrays in a foot of water and things really start to get interesting.
If you want to get out on the water for some SWFF, check out the King Tide Salt Fly Facebook page or head over to his website http://