When it comes to fishing, Tom Northcroft thought he'd seen it all.

But the veteran Waitahanui angler was in for a surprise last week when he headed to one of his usual fishing spots on the Waitahanui River near Taupo to find it occupied by a goat.

The goat, named Philip, was there with his angling owner Theresa from Whanganui, and while Tom was impressed by Theresa's fishing prowess — "she's a bloody accomplished fisher person" — he was more taken by her pet, who followed his owner around just like a dog.

"I've seen some sights on that river before but not like that with someone taking a goat out fishing," said Tom.

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Philip fishing with his owner, Theresa. Photo / Taupo & Turangi Weekender
Philip fishing with his owner, Theresa. Photo / Taupo & Turangi Weekender

"She said that the goat spots the fish and it'll get all excited and point her to the fish. She had just put one back before I got there.

"I said 'what's your goat's name? Billy?' and she said 'No, Philip!' I said 'you're having me on lady!'"

Tom says Theresa was up fishing the Waitahanui on a day off, and told him she always brings Philip with her.

"She said he's aware if there's fish near the bank. He will start to perform like some dogs will and want to land it or jump in and get it for you."

Philip is good at spotting fish, his owner says. Photo / Taupo & Turangi Weekender
Philip is good at spotting fish, his owner says. Photo / Taupo & Turangi Weekender

Philip originally came from a farm and Theresa has raised him to be very tame and a great companion, Tom says.

The Waitahanui River is a favourite spot for Theresa and Philip, and Tom says he may well see them again — and he's bound to remember them if he does.

"I've seen a lot of things over the years and that's just one of them that I won't forget."