JEREMY | VINNIE | JUSTIN | GRAEME | NICK
Jeremy Rochester, Xplorer Brand Ambassador and Fly Fishing Guide. Jeremy is the National Sales Manager and forms an integral part of the Product Development team at Xplorer Fly Fishing. He is a passionate fly angler with a strong connection to the African wilderness which is deeply rooted in his home state of KwaZulu Natal and his knowledge of fly fishing the Zambezi River. Jeremy has guided both the north and south coast of South Africa, offshore fishing in Mozambique in the Inhanbane area and around the Bazaruto Archipelago. He has also guided for Bill Fish in the waters of Kenya, Tiger Fish on the Zambezi River/Okavango Delta and has spent time on the rivers of the Southern and Central Drakensburg including Lesotho tousling with Yellows and Trout. Jeremy’s passion for fly fishing (and fly tying) is infectious and the founder of Tackle Safari has spent many a smiling afternoon on Xplorer float tubes laughing and learning from the experience and guidance Jeremy has to offer. Make no mistake, when you book a trip with us to the Zambezi River, with Jeremy guiding not only will you catch monster Tiger Fish or learn a few tricks on fly, you are guaranteed a laugh a minute!
Vinnie Versfeld, Tackle Safari Pro Team Member, Professional Fishing Guide and Brand Ambassador. Vinnie joins the Tackle Safari Pro Team with a wealth of hard earned fishing experience, in fact, this picture does Vinnie absolutely no justice! We poured through our fishing archives to find a full face photo of Vinnie given 99% of the fish he fools with our gear cover most of the frame! No word of a lie. There is no one that pushes our gear more than this man. From 1 metre++ Barramundi, Tuna, Queen Fish and that’s just the start. So many photos we have of the extreme bends Vinnie has put the Xplorer gear through! A true fishing professional, he knows his stuff.
Vinnie’s fishing addiction started at the ripe old age of two thanks to his dad, William, a mad keen competitive angler himself. Fishing has always been a part of his life in one form or another and Vinnie enjoys the connection it gives him with nature and how it has the ability to elate and humble a person… all in one go!
Vinnie also formed part of the national team for sport fishing in his earlier years but as he evolved, his passion for lure and fly fishing mushroomed. In his own words, “I enjoy the challenge offered by lure and fly, firstly in imitating a food source with something that couldnt be further from it and applying hunting skills and active thought processes in the pursuit; from where to cast to what lure/fly to use and how to manipulate and retrieve it”.
Vinnie’s family immigrated to New Zealand in the early 2000’s. It was here that his passion for fly fishing took a grip both in the chase for trout and also saltwater species like Yellowtail Kingfish and Snapper. After spending 6 years in NZ his family moved to Australia where he currently resides in Townsville with his wife Pam – the most understanding fishing widow in the world!!!
“Townsville spoils me for choice as far as fishing opportunities are concerned, from mountain streams teeming with the elusive Jungle Perch to the Great Barrier Reef with everything from XO GT’s and Marlin to Dogtooth Tuna and everything else in-between”. Vinnie shares with us his many fishing exploits and his passion for fishing photography.
Justin Webber, Tackle Safari Pro Team Member, Brand Ambassador, Co-Founder of Webcox Fly Fishing and FlyWorks LifeStyle Co. A more passionate fly man I have not met! Justin forms one half of his own outfitter startup – Webcox Fly Fishing – and is simply put, a mad keen fly fisherman!! Justin’s fly-fishing background started at the ripe age of 7 when his father bought him his first fly rod. His fly fishing addiction was born in the mountainous region of South Africa called the Drakensberg, on a friend’s trout farm where he dedicated himself to casting at trout in crystal clear waters. (tough childhood!)
Long before joining the Tackle Safari Pro Team during Justin’s school career days, he spent much of his time targeting trout, large mouth bass, yellow fish, carp and catfish in the fresh for a bit more of a challenge and then turned his attention to the salt where he caught numerous species off the beach, flats and from the boat. In his early 20’s Justin was lucky enough to spend some time in North America where he completed an Orvis Fly Fishing Instructors course and spent a few months instructing and running trips in some of the most pristine stream and river systems any fly fisher could dream of.
Justin has since moved to one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, Mackay Queensland. Since the first day he arrived in Mackay, some 6 years ago, he has been casting in every single bit of water he can find. Salt or fresh, no matter, Justin loves it all!
Some of his most memorable moments on fly include:
· Golden Trevally off Whitehaven beach
· 5kg Sharky Mackerel
· 6kg Queenfish
· 96cm Barramundi
· Coral trout and Bluey’s off shallow reefs
· GT’s on the shallow flats
Graeme Cox, Tackle Safari Pro Team Member, Brand Ambassador, Co-Founder of Webcox Fly Fishing and FlyWorks Lifestyle Co. And the passion for fly fishing continues with Graeme, who forms the other half of the Webcox team. Graeme started his passion for fly in mostly fresh waters and has been fly fishing since he was 11 years old. It took him a while to grasp why people fell in love with this form of fishing but the moment that got him captivated was hooking and landing his first trout, which after about 10,000 casts finally happened!!! In his own words:
“It’s not so much the catch but the entire experience that makes fly fishing so attractive, rewarding and such an addiction – the preparation, thinking about what certain fish will be eating, modifying flies little by little to see what works and what doesn’t, sharing information between other flyfisho’s on what has worked for them in the past, thinking where and how to fish in new spots and then finally catching a fish on a fly you have tied. To me it’s a thinkers game and a very addictive one at that!!”
Graeme’s move to Mackay really opened up the endless possibilities with saltwater fly fishing given the opportunities in such incredible waters to catch some amazing fish (of a lifetime). He will be putting the Xplorer Fly Fishing gear through it’s paces with monster sized fish coupled, I am sure, with his love of photography and cinematography to show what fly fishing really has to offer in Central Queensland and surrounds to anyone willing to give fly fishing a go.
Some of Graeme’s most memorable moments on fly include:
· Catching a Saratoga on fly
· Tuna on Fly (Way too much fun with their insane speed and watching a rooster tailed line cut through the water)
· 6kg Queenfish
· Barramundi on fly (especially the big impoundment Barra)
· Sooty Grunter (for a smaller size fish they can put up and amazing account of themselves, dropping down your gear size can mean an epic fight)
“…and then all the saltwater species, from all the ones I have come so close to landing, to all the ones I have. They are all something special and the fight on a fly rod just feels so much better…”
Nick Moore, Tackle Safari Pro Team Member and Brand Ambassador. Originally from rural South Africa, Nick now resides in Mackay, with an occupation in Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Database Design. Nick is a well-rounded, inventive and innovative angler who loves both his Salt and Freshwater species.
Before joining theTackle Safari Pro Team, Nick’s passion with fly struck home hard at the ripe age of 6, when his granddad exclaimed: “If you’re old enough to go to school then you’re old enough to fish with fly!”. With much persistence and coaching from his dad and granddad (and the fact that family policy dictated that only fly could be used from that point onwards in the local trout dams and streams) his fishing obsession was ignited! He was fortunate enough to learn the intricacies of the fly domain through catching Rainbow and Brown Trout in his local impoundments.
Throughout his school and uni days he actively targeted a multitude of species on fly. From dry fly fishing for Yellowfish and trout in pristine mountain streams to pursuing Giant Herring between lectures and chasing GTs while on holiday in Mozambique. There weren’t many weekends that went by that he was not on the water in some way.
Arriving in Australia with his only rod being his trusty 10wt he immediately started his assault on the Northern Species. His first Australian fish being a Barramundi caught on a Blue/White Clouser followed by multitudes of Queenfish and small Trevally.
Nick is an active fisherman within the community and is willing to share many of his experiences and knowledge with fellow anglers. He actively pursues many of the Northern Queensland species and especially likes targeting Barramundi, Sooty Grunter, Queenfish, Spanish Mackerel and Giant Trevally to name a few. Nick has combined elements of his occupation with his passion and developed a personal database of every capture to analyse patterns and monitor captures.
Some of his most memorable moments on fly include:
· First Barramundi
· 10lb 6oz Rainbow Trout
· 30 fish session catching Yellowfish on dry fly.
· Recently catching Tuna on the flats in the Maldives
· First Redbass on fly
· Catching Giant Trevally off the beach in Southern Mozambique.