Queenstown Fly Fishing Expeditions
Queenstown Fly Fishing – I will pick you up from your Queenstown accommodation at a pre-arranged time. From here we will drive for between 1 to 2 hrs to take you to the waterways that will suit you and the weather/river conditions on the day. Generally you will spend the day casting to stalked and sighted fish ranging in size from 3lbs – 5lbs, (20+ inches) always with the possibility of seeing and hooking into much larger fish. The day is yours and there is no time limit for Queenstown fly fishing trips!
I recommend early starts if you are a serious angler. Early usually means a pick up between 0530 to 0730 (depending on your preference we can leave earlier or later). Leaving early means we have a chance to get to good water and be set up before others do to maximize your time and chances of success.
My rate for the day is NZD 800.00. This is inclusive of: 4WD transport, fishing guide, lunch and non-alcoholic refreshments, video footage, digital still images, safety and risk management, DoC concessions and GST. NB. 2 persons maximum per guide – additional guides can be arranged for larger groups.
Please note If you are not bringing your own fishing equipment there is a daily charge of NZD 50.00 per angler for waders, boots, rods and reels.
Fishing Licenses – I do not include fishing licenses as part of our Queenstown fly fishing expeditions as many places in our region (Otago and Southland) require different ones and many customers if they are fishing in other places through out NZ may have already purchased a full season license and we do not wish to penalize you by including it in our pricing structure.
A NZ Full Fly Fishing Season license costs NZ$ 123.00 (subject to change each year) per person for a NZ resident and NZD 160.00 (subject to change each year) for a Non NZ Resident. These New Zealand Full Season licenses covers every where in NZ with the exception of the Taupo region. A Backcountry stamp and/or a Fiordland license or Controlled fishery license may be required additionally to this but is free of charge. A Day fishing license costs NZ$ 25.00 (subject to change each year) per person and does not allow the ability to fish in certain Backcountry areas such as the Greenstone River and some other areas. are not included in my pricing – please let me know if you need help in choosing the correct one.
The best option for Queenstown fly fishing expeditions is to get a full season license as this will allow us access to the best water and is mandatory if you are Heli Fishing.
The Queenstown Fly Fishing Area & Rivers
There is a minimum drive of 40 minutes for Queenstown fly fishing expeditions to the nearest good rivers. Full day expeditions are the only real option to get guests to good Queenstown fly fishing opportunities as many of the rivers I access from take 2 hours driving one way to get to. The way the weather patterns work makes this a very good thing as on any given day we can work with or around the weather to offer good fishing opportunities depending on where the weather is coming from and where the rivers will be in the best condition. The landscapes range from lush green farmland to open tussock lands to mountain beech forests and stunning mountain scenery with spring creeks, freestone rivers, alluvial rivers and alpine lakes to choose between. Once we get to the river we are going to fish, the day is yours to fish – when you are satisfied or too tired to carry on and quite possibly both we start walking back to the 4WD and then head back to Queenstown.
Queenstown Fly Fishing Waters
All of these Queenstown fly fishing waters have large wily brown trout and some have a mix of rainbow trout as well. A few of our southern rivers have runs of sea trout after Xmas and also some small runs of Chinook salmon in Feb and March. The average size of fish we catch is around the 20” mark (around 3 – 5lbs) and many well over that size. The opportunities for true NZ trophy trout on a Queenstown fly fishing trip are always possible with 10lb+ fish being landed each year by lucky anglers.
Queenstown Fly Fishing Best Times
The Queenstown fly fishing season starts on 1st October and typically the rivers will be high from snow melt dropping as the month’s progress. The fish will be well rested, as they will not have seen an angler for five months. Dec-March is the prime season with surface insect life at its peak and 70% of fish caught will be on a dry fly. The big, bad and bold fish may take a little extra encouragement and a nymph fished under a dry can often be the recipe for success. April sees the start of more changeable conditions with a good chance of Mayfly activity on some waters. Dry fly, terrestrial and nymphs are all used depending on the conditions.
Early season: 1 Oct – 30 Nov
Peak season: 1 Dec – 30 March
Late season: 1st April – 31st May
Heli-Access – We have many rivers that are only easily accessible by helicopter from Queenstown or Wanaka so if you prefer we can organize helicopter fly fishing expeditions to get into remote back country areas. If you really want to unlock some of the very best fishing in New Zealand, day outings by helicopter can be arranged by talking to your guide and worked to fit in with the best weather during your stay in then area. This allows unparalleled access to the wildest and most remote of streams, some of which may never have been fished by another angler all season. These add-ons will incur an additional expense for the helicopter and landing permits. NB. POA for heli-fishing trips.