Brand Ambassador for Xplorer Fly Fishing
It all started in the Malawian Highlands when I first picked up a fly rod at the tender age of 8. Being raised in a family fishing business manufacturing fishing lures in the early 1980’s it was inevitable that fishing would be in my blood. After years of artificial lure angling I started fishing for trout in rivers and still waters in the Natal Midlands and discovered that casting a fly was my greatest passion.
After leaving school I joined the Fly Fisherman in Pietermaritzburg and gained experience in the retail industry, learning all aspects of fly fishing by targeting salt and freshwater species on the fly. After relocating to Durban to open a new branch of The Fly Fisherman I spent countless hours on the North and South coast fishing estuaries, harbours and the surf.
In early 2000 I moved across to the wholesale side of the industry, joining Xplorer Fly Fishing, where I have been managing the sales relationships for the past 16 years. I have worked with Xplorer Fly Fishing on the R&D aspect of tackle development and marketing, assuming the role of brand ambassador.
As the brand ambassador for Xplorer Fly Fishing, I have been privileged to host the Wild Fly Fishing Series, covering many a destination around the globe. From Bill Fish offshore, to bones on the flats, to mountain streams casting dry flies to rising Brown Tout. My passion for Fly Fishing has grown even more so as I enjoy targeting as many species on fly as possible.
>With my interest in trout fishing I have relocated to the KZN Midlands where I guide clients and manage still waters ensuring great fishing. I run specialised clinics targeting different species on the fly. As the brand ambassador I cover all the Fly Fishing festivals around the country meeting young and old Fly Fishing folk and learning something new every day.
It’s not always about the Fishing but the places and the people you get to share this special sport with.
SIMON HUNTER BUNN
International Pro Staff- Slovenia/South Africa
For as long as I can remember I’ve had an infatuation with fish and their environment in which they live.
I first picked up a fly rod at the age of 9 years old and haven’t been able to put one down to date. I have lived and followed my passions of fly fishing with extreme vigor and enthusiasm , as this is where I feel most comfortable. The people, enviroments and adventures are also what keep drawing me back to this addiction of fly fishing.
I grew up in the Midlands , South Africa chasing Trout and Scalies ( local yellow fish). Later on in life I moved to the Northern KZN coast where I spearfished, dived, guided , boated and fished on a day to day life style. At this point I met my amazing wife and adventure partner Nina. We travelled to the Caribbean where I ran a top class Fly Fishing and Diving Lodge before feeling the tug to get back to fresh water rivers to chase salmoniods again. Upon my return to South Africa we decided to get into trout farming and today we run a very successful trout farm in the Drakensberg.
The passion runs deep. We supply a huge volume of this production around KZN bringing much joy to myself and many a fly angler who travel to the many pristine waters available.
Nina being Slovenian convinced me and our young family of 3 kids to venture too Slovenia, where we have set up a family business , Hunter Fly Fishing. We host and guide around these amazing waters ,in search of those perfect fly fishing moments and sharing our passion.
With all my exploration I’ve been hooked on Xplorer and tend to find myself with my Xplorer gear where ever I go in search of those perfect moments , which are in abundance if you know what your looking for.
I’m hugely proud (understatement) too be part of the Xplorer team and look forward to introducing many a fly fishermen to this great brand. After all, this is where my passion lays with a river running in my veins.
Tight lines , never give up on your search and hopefully I’ll see you on the water!
The Fly Fishing bug bit when I was around the age of 5. I was fortunate to have grown up in the Central and Northern Drakensberg of Kwa-Zulu Natal. It all began in the Kamberg Nature Reserve where my parents were employed by the Natal Parks Board. My father ran the trout hatchery at the time. Being able to spend so much time surrounded by trout at various stages of their life cycle was indeed very special. My folks were instrumental in developing my love for fly fishing and the environment in which trout are located.
I spent every available minute stalking trout and scaly’s in rivers, small streams and dams throughout the Kwa-Zulu Natal Drakensberg. My fly tying began whilst in primary school. I was a boarder and fortunately for me the boarding establishment head was an avid fly fisherman and tied his own flies. Garth Kitching took me under his wing and with patience quickly had me whipping up my own flies. These afternoons spinning fluff under his guidance was like heaven to me. In my teens most holidays saw me looking for any opportunity to get to the Zululand coast to chase the salt water species found in the estuaries and bays from Mapelane north. In-between school and fishing I was tying salt water flies which were sold in retail outlets to help fund my fishing addiction.
Over the years I have dabbled in other angling facets but the allure of casting a fly at a rising trout in beautiful Drakensberg streams has always brought me back from the dark side. I am currently involved in the Kwa -Zulu Natal Fly fishing Association which is affiliated to South African Fly Fishing Association, of which I am vice chairman. My highest achievement in competition so far was an individual bronze medal in the 2019 South African Fly Fishing Championship. In-between day to day life and fishing events I also offer tuition on mainly modern river/stream techniques based on those that we use in competition.
Xplorer Fly Fishing offers everything that any fly fisherman may need and more. To be a part of the Xplorer team is indeed a privilege and cannot wait to see what the future has in store.
Tight loops and wet nets -see you on the water
International Pro Staff- Northern Ireland
“I grew up in the rural mountains of the Eastern Cape and started fishing at the age of 5 under the tutelage of my grandmother. By early teens I was fly fishing every little lake and river I could gain access to and cut my teeth fishing for trout, largemouth bass and yellowfish on fly. After meeting, persuing, dating and ultimately marrying a Northern Irish lass, I left my career as a Ranger and life in the bush for the ‘greener pastures’ of Northern Ireland. I now work as a Park Ranger and am also a fly fishing guide and casting instructor with APGAI Ireland.I would describe myself as a fanatic, obsessed by all things fly fishing related, but I have a particular fondness for persuing trout in the tiniest of rivers using ultra-light gear.
I am proud to be on board the Xplorer Fly Fishing team and look forward to many memorable moments out on the water with Xplorer.”
I cannot remember not being a fishing fanatic! As a child, when I was not on the water, I spent many hours reading fishing magazines absorbing as much information as I possibly could. I have an educational background and taught for several years at a private school in Johannesburg. During after-hours in my early career I assisted in developing the Roam Free Academy, driving the practice of conservation while encouraging children and families to get outdoors and onto the water. This included academies, fly-tying evenings for youngsters, development programmes, running family days, fly fishing holiday clubs, school tours and successfully driving youth fishing through social media platforms. Before relocating to KZN, I also served a brief stint as the Youth Development Officer for the South African Fly Fishing Association (SAFFA) and junior team manager with the Mpumalanga Fly Fishing Association.
I take a huge amount of pride in the fact I have fished alongside many different anglers and believe that it is by far the best way to make connections. I take great satisfaction in sharing my time and accumulated fishing knowledge with all. I have guided both locally and internationally having spent time in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mozambique and have spent many hours on a variety of local stretches of water. I am excited to be part of the team and look forward to bringing my experience, knowledge and passion into the Xplorer Fly Fishing Concept store (both retail & online).