A really brief history
My first trip to New Zealand was in 1993. With little knowledge of the country and it’s fishing, my fishing mates and I drove way to many kilometers in three months in search of the holy grail of fly fishing. Each year after that I spent a month fishing in NZ, pulled to the awesome sight of fishing for big trout. In 2011, my wife organized a trip to Cedar Lodge for my 40th birthday with friends and family. Instead of sleeping in the dirt, the van or the motel we stayed at Cedar and helicoptered in to the gorgeous rivers of Central Otago and Westland. In 2013 we bought Cedar Lodge. In 2019 we sold Cedar Lodge to Eleven Experience.
Owning and operating a fishing lodge was a fantastic experience. Shauna and I met some wonderful people in our tenure at Cedar. Guests, guides and community have been unforgettable, and many relationships will remain. We had our challenges and successes at Cedar; we walk away from our experience knowing that we took a huge risk and successfully executed a plan.
Without a doubt having our children with us through the entire adventure was the very best part of owning Cedar Lodge. My wife Shauna had the moxy, foresight, and fearless nature to be pull the kids out of school and direct their homeschool program. Caring for her kids always took priority but being co-owner of a remote fishing lodge required, hosting, booking, at times cheffing, gardening, cleaning, planning remodels, and much more. Not everyone could have done it but Shauna did it all and more. Our kids got to experience the outdoors like we did growing up, exploring, building forts, fishing and camping. They were able to meet inspirational people, to see the glamorous and the ugly aspects of a family owned lodge business.
As we leave NZ this late December ( the wettest one on record ) ( not missing that part of lodge ownership at all ) after helping new Eleven Experience ownership settle in, we are grateful for our time and experience.
We continue to own and operate The Caddis Fly Angling Shop in Eugene Oregon. Future plans include more hosted travel and pursuing the kids love of tennis and herpetology. I will continue to guide the McKenzie and Willamette rivers in season.
I have compiled some images of the kids growing up at Cedar below.