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Southland Fly Fishing Explorer

Southland Fly Fishing Explorer

This Southland fly fishing expedition allows you to get right into the heart of some of the best sight fly fishing in the South Island. It can be fitted easily into your vacation in New Zealand.

This expedition allows flexibility for you to hire your own vehicle and meet me in Lumsden or for you to have me pick you up in Queenstown at the beginning of the expedition and drop you back to Queenstown at the end. It also allows you choose the most appropriate  accommodation in Lumsden for your budget and needs (you do not need to supply accommodation for me). See the list of Lumsden accommodation providers near the bottom of this page.

Southland Exploring

Working that drift

Southland Fly Fishing Explorer Expedition Brief Description and Cost

Day 1 – I will pick you up from your accommodation in either Queenstown or Lumsden (or at the Queenstown airport) at a pre-arranged time. This is usually between 0600 – 0730 depending on where you are staying. We then drive to the best fishing spot for the weather for the day and what will achieve the goals that you have. At the end of the day you stay in your Lumsden accommodation. 

Day 2 – I will pick you up from your accommodation in Lumsden at a pre arranged time (usually between 0600 – 0730). We then drive to a different fishing spot that again is suited to the weather and your goals for that day. At the end of the day I will drop you off either back at your Lumsden or Queenstown accommodation (or the Queenstown airport as required).

Southland Fly Fishing

Sweet fish on the Southland Explorer

Cost: NZD 1590.00

Additional days will be charged at NZD 800.00 per day + gear hire if required

Package Includes:  This is a 2 consecutive day minimum package ( however more guiding days are available by request).

Price includes: 2 days guided fly fishing, safety and risk management, DoC concessions, 4WD transport and GST.

NB.  The guide is shared between two anglers.

Note: Price does not include: petrol, breakfast, lunch,or evening meals, accommodation, fishing licenses, helicopter excursions, boat trips or gratuities. Client is required to supply food for lunch and fuel.

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.

Season: The 2022 season runs from 1st Oct 2021 to 31st May 2023

The minimum duration for the Southland Explorer expedition is two consecutive guided days (however I regularly cater expeditions for my return clientele up to 10 days  in duration from our Southland fly fishing base in Lumsden).


Southland fly fishing

Fresh Run



The Area & Rivers

Southland Fly Fishing Explorer expedition is based overnight in Lumsden, a small rural town in Southland, New Zealand, just over 1 hrs drive south of Queenstown and is situated very close to the banks of the Oreti River. From Lumsden there is great fly fishing access into Southland, Fiordland and Otago. There are 40+ rivers, streams and lakes within 1.5 hr radius. There is a wide variety of water in Southland to fly fish. Large alluvial riverbeds, grass and tussock lined streams, mountain rivers that cascade through sub-temperate rain forests, crystal clear spring creeks, small tarns and large lakes, all holding large NZ trout. Lumsden is the heart of Southland fly fishing. It gives great access to a wide variety of water, both brown and rainbow trout and is considered by many the best fishing location in Southland as it is so centrally located.



Southland fly fishing

Good days sharing streams

The Fishing

Southland 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 are always possible with 10lb+ fish being landed each year by lucky anglers. Southland fly fishing is a regular producer of wild NZ trophy trout.

South Fly Fishing Best Times

The Southland fly fishing season starts on 1st October and typically the rivers will be high from snowmelt 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, nymphs and streamers 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

Southland Explorer

Shimmering Southland

Accommodation in Lumsden

Oreti River House

Rod and Wheel House

Fiver Rivers Retreat

Lumsden Hotel

Lumsden Motel

Lumsden Campground


Accommodation in Balfour

Balfour Tavern and Motel


Accommodation in Mossburn

Mossburn Hotel

Mossburn Town House

Mossburn Townhouse

Kowhai Lodge Self Contained and B&B



You will require to have your own breakfast food organised, however there is a basic store that opens around 0630 that you can get breakfast basics from.

There are several restaurants in Lumsden to eat at should you prefer to eat out rather than cook for yourself, The Buzz Bar and Cafe, Route 6, The Bafe and Lumsden Takeways.

There is a 4 Square supermarket in Lumsden. Hours: Mon – Thurs: 7:00am – 6:30pm, Friday: 7:00am – 7:30pm, Sat: 8:30am – 5:30pm, Sun: 8:30am – 5:00pm

It may pay to take a visit to the Queenstown New World supermarket in Frankton to pick up your supplies before heading down to Lumsden. Hours are 0800- 2100 every day.

 Additional info to help you plan your expedition can be found here.


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