Dougal was born close to the Mataura River in Gore in February 1949. He shared an early passion for books with a love of the outdoors — those wild places on the gorse-patched hills and beside rivers and streams, all just a short walk or ride from his home.
The Mataura River was both swimming pool and playground during his childhood. One summer’s evening while he stood chest-deep in a long pool, facing downstream into the fading light, he became mesmerised by the sight of rippling rings left by rising trout on the otherwise smooth surface. He has been haunted by moving water ever since.
Dougal went to the East Gore Primary School, Gore High School and the University of Otago.
After five years working in Auckland and London, Dougal retuned to the south in 1976, drawn back to be near family and the rivers and landscape of his happiness. He is a passionate and accomplished fly fisher.
Towards the end of his significant business career, Dougal began writing about his experiences in the outdoors. His work has been been published by Gray’s Sporting Journal and Midcurrent in the USA, FlyLife Magazine in Australia, and Wilderness Magazine in New Zealand. His book, Upstream on the Mataura, is, in part, a chronicle of his 240-kilometre walk beside the river from the coast at Fortrose to the source of the river, in the Eyre Mountains.
Dougal lives in Dunedin with his wife, Sue, and shares a fishing cottage in Balfour with old friends.
Dougal RIllstone at DWRF 2021:
Rivers, Riptides & Roads