New Zealand Red Stag Hunting
& Trout Fishing Outfitters
In planning your New Zealand trout fishing trip, Nigel & Myriam work closely with each enquiry to ensure you receive all the best options suited to your needs. Everything is flexible, with suggestions to make it work for you. The packages below are the most popular fishing trips over the past 20 years and are a great starting point for discussions. Packages are a guide allowing you to customize.
Package Prices are in USD$ and include taxes. Prices are based on 1 or 2 anglers with 1 guide and a double/twin share accommodation format. Prices are subject to change due to a variety of factors, including exchange rates. All details provided at the time of enquiry. Anything is possible, we customize a package to suit. The New Zealand trout fishing season runs October through to April. Fishing licenses additional.
Sighted Trout fishing with Backcountry New Zealand
... Superlatives have been used to explain New Zealand culture and experiences, but they need elaboration, especially for fly fishers who have heard rumours of large trout sighted and fished in clear waters and majestic surroundings. Amidst all its pastoral beauty, New Zealand has more unspoiled trout streams per area than any other country on earth, with European brown and North American rainbow trout introduced in the late 19th century. Trout now occupy virtually all New Zealand waters.
It’s the best place in the world to enjoy the widest offering of outdoor sports amid the most dramatic land- and seascapes. South Island waters range in size from tiny highland streams born on “burns” to canyon freestoners, meadow meanderers, and broad Alaskan-looking rivers full of boulders and vast gravelled expanses. The water clarity ranges from peaty to (predominantly) gin-clear, but these waters all have one thing in common: wild trout.
These are spate waters: They flood and drop quickly and trout must adapt behaviorally to that fact. On many rivers, they simply migrate from place to place to survive (for example, in full spate “survival adaptation” might include taking up temporary residence in a flooded sheep pasture). Such movements mean that trout locations can be unpredictable depending on seasonal water levels ranging from flood to drought. Rainfall often determines the movements of fish and the “fishability” of the streams. Kiwi fishing guides note that New Zealand is surrounded by water, and its fickle weather is determined by that. If you don’t have rain today, expect it tomorrow. The weather generally moves from west to east, but don’t bet on it. A guide’s day begins with a hopeful peek at the weather maps the night before. If a storm is headed into his fishing area, he dodges to rivers away from the rainfall. The South Island is a moveable feast: You find the trout wherever the streams are fit to fish. In fact, the trout move widely within stream systems, even in relatively stable conditions. Professional guides know about these movements because they are on the streams around 100 days per season.
Experienced fly fishers prefer “quality streams,” which are difficult to reach with fewer but larger, lightly fished, wild trout. On these streams, you fish in a stalker-hunter game, preferably using drys or, often necessary, nymphs, both cast accurately with spotting and coaching by your guide. Expectations: Five landed trout (average 5 pounds with occasional 8- to 10-pounders) is a good day with a guide on these streams—more is outstanding.
New Zealand guides are the best in the world at spotting trout in broken water, and they sight-fish exclusively. In fact, the demanding nature of New Zealand trout fishing determines the guide’s value and pay. Experienced anglers may spot a few river trout themselves, but a guide can spot trout consistently under often difficult light and flow conditions. The difference in a day of sneaking along streambanks and searching (“polaroiding”) is about 1:10: one fish spotted by you for every ten by the guide. And spotting is just the beginning. The guide advises on your exact positioning before you make your cast. This is the quintessential team effort in fly fishing, comparable only to guided flats fishing for bonefish, tarpon, and permit, only different. More demanding. More subtle.
Learn to sneak behind your guide—give him stalking and spotting space and wait for him to motion you forward. Always stay low and away from the bank. Hunting, stalking, and spotting trout with a guide continues all day—there is no rest except when you plop down and gobble a sandwich. New Zealand guides spot, wait and watch trout, sometimes for a long time before they advise and consult with you. They look into the inner souls of trout, and each is different, idiosyncratic. They understand trout, don’t go onstream without one and search out the best. By John Randolph, Editor, Fly Fisherman February 2009 - Article featuring Backcountry New Zealand guide Nigel Birt.
This isn't a fly-fishing experience where you are based at a lodge with other guests and sent out each day with differing guides. Nigel & Myriam are a strong family unit that does it all, dealing directly with you from start to finish, with your fishing trip being exclusive, following their 'one trip at a time' policy. They provide you with all the options during the planning phase. New Zealand purely doesn't come more personalised or friendly than this!
Dry fly action in a Canterbury trout stream. Scott skilfully plays a large brown trout in an action filled moment with Guide Nigel Birt capturing the action.