Jack Kos is one of the talented Kiwi fly fisherman I met while travelling through the South Island several years ago. On the day that our footsteps crossed, we had both planned to hike up a specific gorge section of a river neither of us had fished before in the Canterbury area. The light was poor in the early morning hours and I battled to keep track of my indicator dry fly. This was when Jack handed me a black parachute mayfly pattern. Using a black fly in poor light didn’t make sense to me at first, but once I saw the dark profile of the fly stand out against the bright reflection on the water Jack’s handy tip was memorised instantly.
Jack comes from Wellington on the North Island where he lived for 18 years before moving down to Christchurch to study. He did a law degree and a history degree there and is now doing a PhD in history on the introduction of trout to New Zealand. He says: “I couldn’t leave New Zealand. Not for long at least. The access and availability of the outdoors is unsurpassed. That’s first and foremost, before the exceptional fishing.”
Jack is a creative bugger and besides trying new and interesting concepts in his dry flies, he is very talented with a camera. He’s fished in Sweden, the UK and Canada (and, he continues: “…if you count my attempts at age 11 to catch trout in a little brook in Burgundy on a bent safety pin and string, I can include France as well”). His favourite pastime remains sight fishing in the backcountry, even though he enjoys any active form of fishing.
Beyond his interesting flies, Jack is also becoming known for catching exceptionally large trout in NZ. I believe some of the photos on his Facebook page are proof of that…
Jack recently featured in a movie compiled and published by Andrew Harding called “Neck deep in the gin clear”; it includes fantastic footage of Jack and Andrew fishing North Island streams. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did: