The south island of New Zealand offers what is perhaps the most challenging and rewarding trout fishery on the planet. There are not many places on the globe that can match the quality of fish that you will find in the rivers and lakes of this region. The scenery and quality of the water alone will leave you wondering if you've just stepped into a story book. Sight fishing to these unprecedented fish in these unprecedented rivers is truly the Holy Grail of trout fishing.
The season runs from the first of October throughout the end of April with some rivers remaining open until the end of May. The fishing can vary from traditional nymphing and streamer tactics in the early season to fishing large dry flies as the summer progresses. The diversity in waterways alone is staggering. From the meandering, willow lined streams of the low lands to the spring creeks, vast lake edges and the high country freestone rivers that New Zealand is so commonly know for. There is something for every angler. We commonly sight individual fish before casting to them which adds a visual element to the experience that is unrivalled in trout fishing.
The early season is like spring in most mountain environments. You can expect cooler temperatures and marginally higher river flows. The tributaries of the great southern lakes are often full of post spawn rainbows and brown trout that have just had a winter off. As the season progresses and temperatures warm we start seeing the abundant terrestrial life that makes NZ summer fishing so exciting. Beetles and large cicadas patterns are often the order of the day in peak summer. As autumn approaches and air and river temperatures drop we experience some of the best mayfly hatches of the season. Every season has something to offer to the avid trout fisherman.
trip options and rates
Rates include snacks, water and a healthy lunch while we are on the river. High quality Scott fly rods, Waterworks Lamson reels and premium Airflo fly lines are available for your use during the day. All terminal tackle including, leaders, tippet, flies and floatant will also be provided. Wet wading is very common during the hot summer months of the NZ fly fishing season. However, there will be a wide range of quality Simms and Patagonia boots and waders available for your use.
Rates do not include licencing fees, helicopter fees or gratuities.
All trips are fully customisable and can comprise any combination of the following options.
Day trips -
$795-$825/day 1-2 Anglers ex Wanaka
$850-890/day 1-2 Anglers ex Queenstown
Day trips are a great option if you plan on basing yourself out of one place during your stay or if you are limited on time. You will be picked up at a pre arranged time from either your accommodation or the airport and head to the waterway that your guide has selected for you. Drive times can vary from 15 minutes to 2 hours depending on time of year and conditions. You will spend a full day on the water and be returned to your accommodation in time for dinner. Whether you want to spend one day or ten days on the water a day trip drive out could be a great option for you.
half day trips - Introduction to fly fishing -
$500-$550/Half Day 1-2 anglers ex Wanaka
$550-$600/Half day 1-2 anglers ex Queenstown
Half day trips are excellent for those that are limited on time or maybe just want an introduction to fly fishing. Similar to the day trip option, you will be picked up from your accommodation at a pre arranged time and head to the waterway that your guide has selected for you. You will usually be back to the drop off point in time for lunch.
If you are a first time angler your guide will spend the first portion of your morning helping you understand the basic principals of fly fishing and fly casting with some hands on casting tuition. After you feel comfortable with a fly rod you will take to the water to try your hand at catching a trout!
*Half day rates do not include lunch.
Road trip -
$750-$790/day 1-2 Anglers
*rate exclusive of expenses
The road trip is one of the best options for the serious angler. It is designed to maximise the quality of your fishing experience through flexibility. There is a three day minimum required to book this option. You will be picked up from your accommodation or the airport at a pre arranged time and head off to enjoy your first day of fishing. Each day you will go where the fishing is best based on current conditions. This will also determine where you will stay for the evening. Accommodation can vary from hotels, backpackers and pubs to campground cabins. We will have dinner and breakfast at a local restaurant, café or pub. You are responsible for all accommodation and dining expenses for yourself and your guide. Lunches are included in the day rate. This option is easily coupled with a road trip camp out.
Road trip campout-
$950-$1050/day 1-2 Anglers
Very similar to the standard Road Trip option the Campout option gives you flexibility with your fishing. You will be picked up from your accommodation and head to your first day of fishing and later retire to your campsite which could be your base camp for one night or multiple nights depending on conditions. Unlike the standard Road Trip, everything is included in this rate. A healthy and filling breakfast, cooked dinner and a selection of local wines and beer. Your dinners will generally consist of barbequed meats, fresh salads and vegetables, curries and pastas. A typical breakfast is muesli with fruit or toast. You will be sleeping in quality MSR tents with a ThremaRest air mattress and warm sleeping bag. Copious quantities of quality pressed coffee every morning is guaranteed.
Backcountry walk in -
$900-$1000/Day 1-2 Anglers
This is for the physically fit and adventurous angler. Don't mind putting on a heavy pack, eating freeze dried foods and living amongst the sandflies? Look no further. Walking into New Zealand's backcountry takes the New Zealand fishing experience to a whole new level. This is where New Zealand really stands out as a fishing destination. There are not many places on the planet that offer as many walk in fishing options as the South Island does. The power of your own two feet can get you to some of the most remote, scenic and unspoiled fisheries that there are. It's a genuine experience that goes beyond the fishing. You come out of the bush feeling accomplished, content and in need of a shower. Food is basic but filling often consisting of freeze dried meals for dinner, mueslis and dried fruit for breakfast and dried meats and cheeses for lunch. High quality, light weight MSR tents, ThermaRest inflatable mattress and backpacking packs are provided for this excursion. This is truly one of the great fishing experiences available today.
Helicopter Access -
From $850 ex haast
from $1600 ex wanaka
*does not include guide fees or overnight fees
Helicopter Fly Fishing is another exciting way to experience the backcountry fisheries of the South Island. A helicopter can make short work of what might otherwise be a multiple day walk in. Going to a fishing destination by helicopter is not necessarily a 'Silver Bullet' to fishing success. What it does however, is quickly give you access to some of the most remote, scenic and un spoiled river valleys on the planet. Flying over the mountain tops and through the steep and rugged river valleys of the Southern Alps in a helicopter adds an element of adventure to a day of fishing that is second to none. Fly outs are subject to weather conditions and are never guaranteed. A helicopter can be added to any of the above trip options.