Dave Witherow was born in Northern Ireland, and emigrated to New Zealand in 1971, after living for a time in Canada and Australia. He began fishing in Ireland, but did not become fully addicted until discovering the wonderful trout and salmon of the British Columbian wilderness.
But the long winters persuaded Witherow to have a look at warmer climes, and he moved to Whyalla, in South Australia. There he learnt a bit about sea-fishing, took up scuba-diving, and 'read a book about New Zealand, which up to then I hadn’t heard about'.
Another migration ensued, this time to Edgecumbe, in the Bay of Plenty, where he again found brilliant fishing. 'My favourite streams were the Wheao and the Whirinaki, and to me it was close to paradise'. Before long, however, the Wheao was destroyed by a power-scheme, persuading Witherow to find a location where, as he says, 'There would be so much fishing that no matter how fast the bastards wrecked it, it would last the rest of my life.'
He has found this nirvana, he hopes, in the lower South Island, where he lives in Balfour, close to the Mataura River. He writes a regular column for Fish and Game magazine, fishes, hunts, and flies his two-seater microlight.
Dave Witherow is a natural storyteller and is well-known in fishing circles, especially with Fish and Game, where, as a long-serving council member, he’s been a passionate advocate for New Zealand rivers. A former scriptwriter for Natural History New Zealand documentaries, he is also a charming, irreverent comic who has an infectious love of the great outdoors.