Fly fishing

Celebration of the 50th Pahiatua Trout Fishing Carnival

Trophy winners, from behind: Adrian De Waal, Connor Beales, Sam Cresswell and Malcolm Groves. Front: Bronwyn Farquharson, Heath Black and Eva Swansson.

Pahiatua’s annual trout fishing carnival was held October 22-29, with 95 registered anglers – 40 of which weighed in a fish. The weather leading up to Carnival was wet, but during Carnival you couldn’t wish for anything better.

All the rivers were very fishable except the Manawatū and the Tīraumea, which were initially a bit high and cloudy. All of the trophy-winning trout came out of the Manawatū and Mangahao rivers, with the Manawatū leading the way, probably because it was fished more.

Not many people fished Mangatainoka and Makuri due to trout length restrictions.

It was great to see so many anglers on the river and especially the kids, 48 ​​of whom had competed in the junior and novice competitions. Weigh-ins at the Post Office hotel saw a steady stream of anglers showing up, checking out what was going on and grabbing prices for the night.

Kerry Fergus cut the 50th anniversary cake, having attended all 50 events himself.  The assistant is a novice, Jack Blatchford.
Kerry Fergus cut the 50th anniversary cake, having attended all 50 events himself. The assistant is a novice, Jack Blatchford.

The results showed we had more fish weighed this year, only to be surpassed in 2013. The average cf (condition factor) for all trout weighed was 36.80, which is the lowest on record.

The heaviest trout – a Brown Jack weighing 2,010 kilograms – was caught in the Mangahao River. There were 68 rainbow trout and 50 brown trout, plus 2 eels, weighed over the 8 days.

The awards show had a different twist, it was our 50th year. Starting with the final weigh-in, it was followed by the coloring and “guess the number of chocolate fish” contests, which were enjoyed by the children.

During the awards ceremony, several guest speakers told us interesting memories of the past, stories and the history of the carnival. One of the speakers was Kerry Fergus, who had previously received a special certificate for being the only person to fish in all 50 carnivals! Kerry then cut the lovely 50th celebration cake with young Jack Blatchford. A tasty spread of bites bought the day at the end.

Participants enjoyed excellent one-time prizes, both throughout the week and at the final prize giving. The main prize winners in the raffle were Peter Drysdale, who won the MacDougalls fly rod combo (adults), and the children’s main prize, a spinning rod, which went to William Highet (junior) and Emery Field (novice). For more photos and information, see our Facebook page.

The award winning trout and eels were…

Heaviest Trout Open – Adrian De Waal, 2.010 kg.

The heaviest trout men – Adrian De Waal, 2.010 kg.

Heaviest Trout Ladies – Bronwyn Farquharson, 1,510 kg.

The heaviest junior trout – Zara Brown, 1.420 kg.

Heaviest Trout Novice – Heath Black, 1.410kg.

Heaviest eel – Rachel Lanauze, 3.910 kg.

Best Conditioned Trout over 907g/2lb – Malcolm Groves, 47.50 cf.

Best Conditioned Junior Trout – Connor Beales, 49.70cf.

Best Conditioned Trout Novice – Heath Black 44.50cf.

Congratulations to all those who received trophies, and to all the children who managed to catch a trout or an eel. We look forward to seeing you next year at our 51st Carnival.