Widely regarded as a legend of Rotorua's lakes,
Brett Bosley would not miss the opening day of trout fishing season for anything.
The 61-year-old is in the midst of a battle with cancer and although he needs a bit of help on and off the boat these days, his knowledge and expertise are as valued and treasured by his fellow anglers as ever.
Bosley was one of many anglers who descended on Lake Tarawera this morning and upon returning to the Kariri Pt boat ramp with an impressive haul of nine trout, he told the Rotorua Daily Post it was one of the best opening days he had experienced.
"Weather-wise it was still, a light wind, and overcast, which made it very pleasant. There were a lot of boats and everyone was catching fish, they were catching good-sized fish too. We hooked nine with one rod.
"There's probably more fish being caught today than I've seen on a lot of past opening days. I've done probably 36 opening days on Tarawera."
Bosley owned and ran Lake Security since 1984, a small security and emergency response unit looking after private properties and their owners at Lake Tarawera.
He was an active member of the Lake Tarawera Rural Fire Unit for 27 years. Other positions he has held in the community include rural fire officer/fire boss, Fish and Game ranger, lake warden and a member of the emergency response medical team.
He said his illness made it tough to get around these days but he had people helping him "left, right and centre".
"I just love the outdoors. Next week I'm going deer hunting and the week after that a mate of mine is flying me up to Auckland to watch the All Blacks in a corporate box.
"I'm very sick but I'm not going to sit back and wait for God, I'm here to have fun. I love seeing people getting out there, into the outdoors, catching a product the outdoors provided for us, taking it home and processing it the best way we know how and tonight we can invite friends around and enjoy it with wine."
One of his friends who was on the boat with him this morning was Wallace Bain, who said Bosley was a "legend".
"We call him Mr Tarawera, the go-to man in Tarawera over the years. If we have the slightest problem he's the man we go to.
"He's full of knowledge out on the boat. It's wonderful that he could still be out here this year, he has managed himself absolutely expertly. He knows he has a terminal disease, he knows he won't be with us that long but he manages all the things he does and all the people beautifully.
"We're all so sad that he has this terminal disease but we have lots of good memories," Bain said.
Meanwhile, local fishing guide John Hamill and his group of anglers returned to the boat ramp at Lake Tarawera with a haul of six trout.
"It's been a good morning, the fish were not backward in coming forward and we had a triple strike in which we landed all of them which was good.
"I think it's going to be an interesting season, the fish had a good rest with the lockdown, they didn't get hammered at the end of the season."
Hamill said he had been coming to Lake Tarawera for opening day for about 50 years and looked forward to it just as much every year.