The inaugural Huka Lodge Fly Fishing Tournament has been created in celebration of this rich heritage, while also offering an exciting, dynamic, contemporary three-day angling event. Available to a maximum of 50 guests, the tournament will be action-packed – both on and off the water.
We are partnering with Chris Jolly Outdoors who will provide our Huka Lodge Fly Fishing Tournament anglers with a team of experienced and knowledgeable local guides to ensure you enjoy fantastic fishing. Chris Jolly Outdoors is Lake Taupo’s premier outdoor experience provider and have been operating on and around Lake Taupo for over 35 years, while working closely with Huka Lodge for 30 of these. The company was founded by the Jolly family and is still owned and operated by them, with several of the family members working in the business.
Fly fishing will take place in over 25 of the best spots, in the amazing crystal-clear rivers and streams around Lake Taupo, throughout the tournament. On the day of arrival, individual fly-casting tuition will be available at the Lodge, for those who would like to brush up on their technique.
We have also lured celebrity chef, restaurateur, author, and passionate fisherman, Al Brown, away from the kitchen (it wasn’t too difficult) to join the tournament. Al’s approach to food is all about simplicity and generosity; his dishes are a testament to uncomplicated excellence and showcase the culinary landscape of New Zealand. For Al, food is simply the vehicle for conversation, good times and creating memorable occasions.
In 2011, Al opened his iconic Auckland restaurant Depot. It was an immediate success, winning Metro Restaurant of the Year in 2012, and again in 2015. Depot was followed by Federal Delicatessen in 2013, this unique Auckland restaurant is Al’s take on a classic NYC-style Jewish delicatessen.
Al is also the mastermind of Best Ugly Bagels, with five branches operating in Auckland and Wellington. Al is a highly respected media presenter with several television series to his credit, and he was also head judge of the last series of Masterchef New Zealand.
Al just loves fishing and is the author of several very popular books, Go Fish: Recipes and Stories from the New Zealand Coast being one of them, so it is really great to have him on board. He may be persuaded to share some of his chef’s secrets with Huka Lodge Executive Chef, Paul Froggatt, who intends to show you some wonderful ways to deal with your catch when it comes time to eat it!
We have also joined forces with Kilwell Sports Ltd, another very successful local heritage brand, who have been chosen to represent the iconic Orvis sporting goods in New Zealand. Kilwell is a privately-owned company currently managed by the third generation of the Wells family. In 1933, John L. Wells established his company with a commitment to provide New Zealander anglers with the finest fishing rods that could be produced.
Now, 85 years on that dedication to excellence remains at Kilwell; supported by technology, service and dedication – with Kilwell products being highly regarded, both here and overseas. It is only fitting that Kilwell was able to add the famed American Orvis brand to its stable of offerings, stocking their graphite, fibreglass and bamboo rods designed and manufactured in their own facility in the United States for over 150 years. The synergy between these two heritage brands, Kilwell and Orvis, can best be described as inspired by nature, driven by curiosity, and fulfilled by adventure.
The Huka Lodge Fly Fishing Tournament builds to a grand finalé – with the Prizegiving Dinner, hosted by Al Brown, on the last night. It promises to be a lot of fun and a great end to such a memorable event – prizes will be awarded, stories will be told and photographs shared.