When I first heard about Dougal Rillstone, it was through an issue of Fly Life magazine promoting his book "Upstream on the Mataura - A Fly Fisher's Journey to the Source". Dougal was born in Gore on the south island of New Zealand and has had a deep connection with the river for as long as he can remember. His book features a great collection of stories from his time on the Mataura and the journey that would see him walk from Fortrose on the Southland coast, upstream to the headwaters and the source of the river in the Eyre Mountains.
Leading up to this podcast, I had been in regular contact with Dougal and it was evident that the Mataura wasn't the only thing on Dougal's mind when it came to fishing. Dougal is a mad keen, permit obsessed, saltwater fly fisherman as well. Over the last 20 years, Dougal has been a repeat client of Fish's Fly & Sportfishing in Weipa, Cape York, where his love affair for permit began, on a trip guided by Alan "Fish" Philliskirk.
Permit fishing has taken Dougal all over the world from Cape York and Exmouth in Australia to Belize and beyond, in search of the holy grail of saltwater fly fishing. He's amassed over 70 permit on fly over his saltwater career and has even caught the big 3, Trachinotus anak (Australian permit), blochii (Indo-Pacific permit) & falcatus (Atlantic permit) all within the same year, an extraordinary feat!
I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Dougal and hearing more of his story. I found his sense of adventure and dedication inspiring, to say the least. If you haven't read Upstream on the Mataura, I suggest you pick up a copy, find a comfy chair, pour yourself a whiskey and dive in. While stocks last, you can pick up a paperback copy from Peter Morse's website wildfish.com.auor from Australia and New Zealand's very own flylife.com.au
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