Australians open Lumsden fishing shop
From Melbourne, to Lumsden.
Another venture opened in the northern Southland town on Monday when Hurley's Fly Fishing opened its doors.
Australian owner Gavin Hurley said he has been involved in fishing stores for the past 22 years, with his love of fly fishing leading to him opening specialist stores in Melbourne and now Lumsden.
"I think from the very first moment I saw a fly fisher, I was literally hooked.
"I have been fishing the Southland area for 18 years and grown to love it, with Lumsden in the heart of some of New Zealand's best fly fishing waters.
Manager Trevor Martin said they closed Hurley's Geelong shop, put the stock in a container and shipped it here to a location with a world-famous fly fishing reputation.
"Local tradespeople have renovated the premises over the past month, meaning we could set up and open this week before the season starts.
"My role is to run the shop, book people in for trips and organise local guides, alongside cooking and hosting to ensure the guests are comfortable."
"Gavin now owns a house here which can host four to six clients, usually for a week.
"They come from all over the world, and we're hosting them using all local businesses.
"He has been coming to Athol for 20 years to fish, hosting fly fishermen from Australia using local guides, local food and local accommodation."
When Martin first visited in 2005, he dreamed of having a shop, saw the premises and decided to give it a go.
He said people prefer to come to him as there are few others on the river banks.
"We will run fly fishing courses for beginners, explaining to fly fishers why catch and release is imperative and is our philosophy," Hurley said.
"Other learnings include why leaving the farmer's gate as you found it is so important, picking up rubbish along waterways, even if it's not your own, etiquette on the river and keeping our rivers clean, so that not only our kids but their kids can continue to enjoy what most of us have been lucky enough to experience."