Video: “Damsels in Distress” on a New Zealand Stream

Written by: Phil Monahan

Our colleague Simon Perkins recently honeymooned in New Zealand with his wife, Els, and he captured this amazing footage. Here’s how he explains it:

My wife and I were fishing with friend/guide Dean Whaanga in New Zealand when a combination of bad weather and good timing resulted in a fish giving us the experience of a lifetime. I crawled on my stomach with my camera to the water’s edge, hit record, and watched what was one of the coolest moments I have ever witnessed.

I won’t ruin it by describing the action, but take my word for it: you must watch this in HD and at full screen.

64 thoughts on “Video: “Damsels in Distress” on a New Zealand Stream


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  1. Jenny Rebecca Pendergast

    Thank you, I enjoyed this video. I grew up hanging out at the Ada, Michigan Orvis shop as a kid, then found myself working at Orvis in SF. Gosh did we have fun. My buddy Steve and I got to do a Splish Splash, it’s a Fish Fash pic and article in Examiner about getting ready for trout season to open. I love you guys, thank you.

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  3. Stephen

    I told my wife, walking up on this scene, and having a damsel in your box, and being able to land this beast, would be THE pinnacle of any fly fishermans life.
    She looked at me like I had two heads……

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  5. Simon Zlachevsky

    This is amazing, I’ve live that myself fishing the Fonk lake at Argentinean patagonia with my bro on float tubes. Believe me, being there is much more impresive!
    Kudos to them for filming it and thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  6. Jeff White

    Absolutely amazing! Poetry in motion! If I saw this in person today and died tomorrow, my life would be complete!

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  8. Bob Rogers

    Way, way cool footage guys, awesome job!! I saw a nice brown come out of the water 4″‘s to grab a damsel off a low hanging branch on my favorite stream in Northern MI….never did get em with my artificial, but was fun trying!!

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  11. Joe

    Fantastic! Kinda shoots down the whole “ya ain’t gonna catch fish with your fly in the air, son” adage used by guides everywhere…

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  15. Mark Minshull

    Thank you so much for this inspirational video! I blogged about it yesterday and tonight I created a new pattern to mimic adult damsels – bring on the Summer! Best regards and tight lines – metiefly

  16. Al Vekovius

    What a fooken wonder that was. That photografer takes us there doesn’t he? I wonder how I’d fare? Not so well I’d think. But I loove to see it no the matter.

  17. Robert Bradford

    Absolutely brilliant footage, thanks for sharing, now where is the flight schedule for Christchurch, can be there tomorrow.

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  19. Tom Craig

    Fished on South Island 2 years ago for browns, going back and after watching this it will not be soon enough. If it’s not on your bucket list maybe your already dead…………

  20. Jim McGannon

    Why I fly fish…it’s so much more than that…I am an avid photographer and would do most anything to have the opportunity to capture what you did with the Damsel in Distress video…GREAT JOB!

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  24. Robin Bjella

    THIS has been the best medicine for a long brutal winter. I cannot watch this enough! It’s well edited and should seriously win SOMEthing for compilation. Thank you so very much. I will cherish this video.

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  26. Michael Carver

    Awesome video. It prompted me to plan/book a fly fishing trip for some hog Browns this summer. No more procrastination come on Spring!

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  28. Bob Anderson

    Awesome video… Reminds me of smallmouth bass on the James around the 4th of July.

    thanks for posting!



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