We have such varied waters to fish within the region that a trip can generally be tailored to your skill. To catch that fish of a lifetime – Bring your A game.
I can take us to lowland rivers with higher populations of often but not always slightly easier fish or we can go into a mountain stream and sight fish for some of the greatest trout on the planet. In some of the rivers the fish are furious once hooked. These proud trout will try every trick in the book to avoid the net.
We are in the roaring forties surrounded by ocean so the weather plays a huge role on where we fish whether it be minimising wind or finding clear water. Having plan A, B, C and Z is where I come into play. No doubt about it the fishing as in the rest of the world has not become easier within my lifetime but we have wild populations of beatiful fish that with the right flies and presentation will make your journey worthwhile.
As a beginner we spend some time learning to cast, then get on the river and turn those takes into fish in the net. If you want a crash course in NZ fishing then a longer booking is recommended to give you the best chance at progressing further in a shorter space of time. River craft, fly tying/entomology and mountain safety can all be included at your discretion
Much of what you learn at home will be applicable when it comes to NZ but try casting a long leader with a couple of flies and an indicator before you get here. The pause on the back cast is longer so you must throw the cast higher in the back.
Heli fishing is the holy grail of a New Zealand trip but does not guarantee easy or remarkably larger trout. The leaders are long and we often sight nymph without an indicator, relying on our eyes and intuition to set the hook.
There are a multitude of rivers within an hour or two of Nelson and further afield we are limited only by our imaginations and the weather.
There is room for beginners in New Zealand but if you haven’t picked up a fly rod before then please don’t expect to rock up and catch one of our world renowned big brownies in crystal clear water. I’m a patient teacher willing to impart as much knowledge and skill as I can but for sight fishing we must have a cast in the correct place.
My fly patterns were tied on a commercial scale but having seen the refusals start on patterns I developed I quickly decided to keep my box to myself. Fly tying is something that I feel is important to get us on to fish and almost all the patterns we fish are tied by my hands.
New Zealand can be a difficult fishery so if you want the trophy be prepared to walk long distances sometimes over rough terrain and know that helicopter access and big fish hunting comes with no guarantees as after all it’s fishing. They are big for a reason. The videos you see are often shot over multiple days but when it all comes together the fishing is as you see on TV.
We have some great lowland fishing with hatches early and especially late in the season. The access is easier if your mobility is not what it used to be and is great for a day trip or longer using accommodation in either Nelson or the Motueka Valley.
Fly Fishing Guide
Phone: +64 27 264 9934