Testimonials

NZ Fly Fishing School

Thanks very much for a great day. It was great fun and very informative. You are doing a great job Stu. Will see you again. Simon McMahon, Dunedin - NZ FLY FISHING SCHOOL 2014

Thank you for refreshing revelation of fly casting in its right light and pointing up my bad habits, will do my best to bust them without breaking my old bones trying to get as much photogenic tied loops as possible.
Thanks for photos and letting my buddy Carlos rest on you freshly mowed lawn too. Will be in touch with you soon for further upgrade of skills and gear!
Have good days and don't work too hard, have some fun too!
Tomas and Carlos, NZ - NZ FLY CASTING LESSON 2014

I booked a casting lesson and a guided fishing trip with Ela and Stu. From the very first phone call to the end of the trip I could not have experienced a more curious, helpful, knowledgeable pair. Stu was all you could ask of a guide and had the patience of a saint. I highly recommend anyone interested in fly-fishing to make the journey to Stu's Fly Shop. Thank you for an unforgettable experience. Chris Dick, Christchurch NZ FLY CASTING LESSON 2014

Stu quickly assessed my ability and put me in a position to be successful. The Gods were with us as the weather was great and we were sight casting often. Great coaching through out the day improved my casting significantly. The Shop is cool with opportunities to not only buy reasonably priced gear but several impulse buys as well.

The type of place you could sit on the front porch and drink beer for way too long.... Scott Hughey, Australia - NZ FLY CASTING LESSON 2014

I've been fly fishing for 37yrs (largely self-taught), so knew I'd have a few casting faults and it was time for a lesson with Stu. He picked up a few things for me to work on which I found improved my casting immediately. I put these into practice on the Mataura the next day, and my accuracy had already improved. Many thanks. David Thompson - Australia, FLY CASTING LESSON 2014

We never knew what to expect and all four of us were a wee bit nervous, after all this was the holy grail everybody told us - fly fishing - or as you kept telling us – it’s fly casting.  It was the highlight of our family trip to NZ. It lasted longer than a bungy jump or jet boat ride, plus we got lunch, it was a great day of fun and learning. It looks like when we get back home, the spinning rods might just get tucked beneath the bed.
The Grantons – Australia, NZ FLY FISHING SCHOOL 2013

Simple, accurate, functional  happy advice very enjoyable and worth it.
Dave - New Zealand, NZ FLY CASTING LESSON 2013

I decided years ago if I was going to learn how to fly cast, I would seek out the Master and get it right from the start. I had been waiting weeks for this lesson and it was the highlight of my trip to NZ, thank you Stu.
Adam – Australia, NZ FLY CASTING LESSON 2013

For years I have been hiring Stu’s services as a guide, for years he has hinted that maybe I needed a casting lesson. As I have fly fished over 50 years and caught nearly every species possible on a fly I thought – I do not need help with my casting as I catch fish. Ended up doing a casting lesson with Stu. I should have done this years ago - I would have caught even more fish, been able to cast with accurately into the wind, load my rod properly and Stu would have had far less tangles to undo. I can not recommend Stu ,his knowledge and patience  enough, and yes I, will be having another casting lesson, tune up, next year  before I go out guiding with him.
Kelly - Canada, NZ FLY CASTING LESSON 2013

Stuart - I would like to thank you to introducing this very interesting sport to me. The beginner’s course was very interesting as well as effective from my point of view. Keeping the group small made a huge contribution for me as a beginner wanting to learn, with you being able to concentrate more on one to one tuition, as well as being informative. The time frame to the course was very good, but an extra few hours on how to land fish would be better!!! Ha Ha !! Overall, I strongly think that the course is very good value for money and I would recommend it to anyone who would be interested in getting into the sport, as by way of an introduction. Once again thanks and I hope to meet you on a lake or river one day." Thanks!
Jason - QUEENSTOWN FLY FISHING SCHOOL 2012

Guided Trips

I fly-fish for nearly 30 years, mainly for salmon, in the beautiful Gaspé, Quebec. When I booked with Stu, I didn't expect to have major knee surgery 6 weeks before my trip... My surgeons thought I could go. Well, I guess he figured I'll be sitting in a boat drinking beer and trolling... Deep inside I knew I would not be ok. But I wanted to go. So it is with a cane and barely walking that I present myself to Stu. First, casting lesson: humility lesson. I realized that if I was ok at distance, on short cast I was sooooooo lousy!!! And that nobody ever mentioned to me my snap forward was lousy as well. So in a little hour, I improved my casting. I was afraid of the fishing days... afraid that this tattooed hunk will push me and be very unhappy about my physical condition. Well, he was an angel, took me to a flat and smooth part of the river so I could push myself just a bit without hurting and... I caught many many fish! I spent two wonderful days with Stu. He is patient, of pleasant company and very very very knowledgeable. And so passionate about fishing! Can't wait to return to NZ.
Nathalie Mongeau, Canada - Guided Trips 2014

I have fished with Stu for the last 6 years and have had some of the best and most enjoyable days of my 68 years fly fishing. I even learned how to catch large trout on size 20 willow grubs and Ela tells me I will be a founder member of the "Grub Club". I have even been allowed to carry his 60lb pack, containing a huge thermos of strong tea, for a couple of kilometers so he could go and fetch the vehicle!!!. You might want to take a Scottish phrase book with you because the wisdom he dispenses is worth listening to. His fly shop is a jewel but don't go in and buy half a dozen flies expecting to get a half hour of info on the rivers. For that go fishing with him, but don't crowd me out.
Gerry Stephenson, Canada - Guided Trips 2014

Have fished with Stu a handful of times in the past 3 years. Stu is a phenomenal guide and provides a first class experience. He knows his region and it's rivers and is very keyed in on the flies that fish are feeding on. He has a great sense of humor and is just an all around great guy. The shop is loaded with gear and if he doesn't have it, then you don't need it. Love seeing those guys when we visit. We will be back!
Roy Diaz, Texas - Guided Trips 2014

I spent 2 days with Stu with the express purpose of having a peak fly fishing experience catching magnificent Brownies in beautiful New Zealand. What an interesting, caring, humorous, expert casting, stalking and guiding instructor this guy named Stu is. And now we are friends!
If you're looking for that fly fishing experience of a lifetime, call Stu and spend some time in Athol.
They can even help you with room and board arrangements!
Ron Salter, Oregon, USA - Guided Trips 2014

In mid March 2014 I took a 3 hour casting lesson followed by one days guided fishing. While I have fished for 20 years my skills were not adequate for sight fishing on the Mataura River.  Stu identified that my casting was too “one size fits all” and not sufficiently accurate. The teaching and specified drills were excellent. His focus on me alone during the lesson was exceptional. The fishing location selected by Stu had regards to my ability and mobility. Again his attention to me was exceptional. Stu was totally focussed on all aspects i.e. rig, fly selection, presentation and sighting the fish. Over both days he provided exceptional value for money.

John Duncumb, Auckland - Guided Trips 2014

I was referred to Stu by another trout fishing guide in Queenstown and I can understand why. I only had a half day available to try and hook a Brownie and after re-acquainting myself with a fly rod (I had last fly fished 4 years earlier) Stu took me out to a nearby stream and was extremely patient with my lack of expertise but entirely focused on my own personal goal of landing a brownie.
It took a couple of hours (and Stu changing my flies about 20 times!) but not long before I had to go and pick up friends from the airport, one of Stu's own creations, "the grub" did the trick with a lively brown trout that was deceived by Stu's banana grub "fly". Great fun and excellent service. I would highly recommend Stu if you're looking for a genuinely nice guy who really does know his sport and his patch.
Travis Schultz, Australia - Guided Trips 2014

I thought I would flick you a little email saying thanks for a great day. It was good meeting you Ela. Keep up the good work at your end. Dealing with you was a breeze! Stu – Sorry for the tangles and occasional WELLINGTON swear word... But... Shit happens! I had a blast. It was cool to see the fish, stalk the fish... In a splashy clumsy half arsed way on my part... And catch the fish. Where you guys live is a sort of paradise for trout fishing aye? Good on you two for making a job and a life out of it. I’ll spread the word in Wellington and hopefully it will lead to others venturing your way. Thanks again. Regards – The newest member of the GRUB CLUB!
Mark Whitecliffe, Wellington - Guided Trips 2014 

Thank you very much for kind and patient attendance to me in 3 days last week. I thoroughly enjoyed the casting lesson; fly fishing and very nice lunches (and playing with Lion). On Saturday I fished by myself. I managed put a soft landing fly 40cm in front of him, using a lure fishing technique pinching the fly with left index finger & thumb and using the tip part of rod bounce for casting only the leader. Fly was the one Ela selected for me on Wed: a black thick fly with bright blue tummy. He took it! Now I am planning the next trip. And thank you again for making my one of the best fishing days ever. Have a good day. 
Kotaro, Brisbane, Australia - Guided Trips 2013

Thanks for a most enjoyable fishing trip. Many thanks. 
John Ryan, Australia - Guided Trips 2013

Just a quick note to thank you again for taking us fishing 10 days back. I (we) really had a great time, and have enjoyed telling our family and friends all about it. I've definitely been giving your name out to all the fisherman I know who think they may end up in NZ some day!
Alex & Michelle, Wisconsin - Guided Trips 2013

We had a great time in N.Z. and many, many thanks for guiding us. You're mad as a box of frogs (I say that in a good way) and we had such an enjoyable day with you. It was such a laugh, we caught some good fish, and it was one of the best days that I've ever had on a river! So again, thank you. Incidentally, we tried the same stretch on the Mataura (below Garston) about 10 days later on our own and caught nothing!!! 
Derek - Scotland UK 2013

Thanks for keeping fly fishing fun, enthusiasm high, and education readily available! Your one of the finest ambassadors to fly-fishing I've run across in my 25 years in the sport. Cheers, and Happy New Year! 
Norm Takemori - USA 2013

Thanks again for a great day out fishing! Your willow grub flies are working well on the browns down here in the lower Mataura when I can find any of them. Now if I could just figure out how to get them to bite during that evening 'mad Mataura rise' I'd be in business! Thanks! 
Lars - New Zealand 2013

The couple of days fishing Ted and I had with you were fantastic, many thanks for your hard work in putting us on to fish and sorry Ted let you down as often as he did. The day willow grubbing with you is some of the most memorable fishing we have had in NZ, and we learnt a lot from you each day. Can't wait to get back and have another crack. Until next time we are lucky enough to be in the area, stay safe and keep on living the dream. 
Andy & Ted - Australia 2013

Wanted to say a special thanks for a great weeks fishing with you and Martin and Brian. Your skills as a guide, superb flies, passion and knowledge, combined with the unique NZ rivers and lakes made our whole trip very special. We are planning a trip next year as soon as Brian get's back from rooting his way around the South Island. In the mean time I will be practicing my casting and dreaming about those 7 to 8 pounders in the Oreti. 
Dave McGregor - Australia 2013

Myself and my brother spent a day with Stuart on the upper Oreti about 8 years ago. I can still remember everything of that day and will for years to come. Unforgettable experience with an amazing guide and guy.
Paul Eustace - USA 2013

I wanted to drop a quick note to tell you what a pleasure and honor it was to fish with you (and to meet Ela) during Vince's and my recent trip. Neither one of us have quit smiling or talking about it. You have created something very special in Athol and I'm excited to follow your continued success. I'm also excited to introduce the local Idaho trout to your Superior Flies, so be looking for an order as our snow starts to melt and the rivers open. Please don't ever hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help to you or your travels bring you back to the American West. God bless the Blowfly and long live the willow grub! Sincere thanks. 
Matt Long - Idaho, USA 2013

Thanks for a great couple of days. I had a great time and my casting has really improved! 
Nathan - New Zealand 2013

Thank you for two great days fishing Dec 11 and 12, you are best. We are now back in Sweden 19 degrees cold and a lot of snow. New Zealand is better, so we are coming back. Tight lines. And say hello to Ela. GO BIONIC. 
Erik and Marie - Sweden 2013

Had a terrific day on the water and hooked many fish! Stu is a super guide. 
Barrett and Adair McDevitt - UK 2013

An Absolut fantastic day with an absolutely fantastic guy, thank you very much. Your new converts. 
Richard & William Martyr - Australia 2013

The best fishing I’ve ever had together with the best guide. Thank you, Stu. 
Bjoern Wigger - Switzerland 2013

Another great day in paradise. Another great day with the world’s best guide.
Ian Davis & David Screen - Australia 2013

Fishing with Stu has been amazing, he makes your fishing dreams come true. 
Pier - Auckland - New Zealand 2013

We have had 13 years of guided fly fishing trips in NZ. Learned more with Stu in 3 days than all the rest. Patience energy humor made the experience unforgettable.
Bartt & Marine - USA 2001

A superb few days on the waters, excellent, patience, consistent and fun instruction for both of us (at two different levels) we will continue to practice and come back and catch the ones that got away. 
Ben & Shirley - New Zealand 2001

Stu fist of all is a real gentleman, he is also an impressive fly fisher man and a great teacher, with a lot of patience. We caught an impressive 5lb brown trout, it was awesome. It was great to see him photographed and returned a healthy fish back to nature. 
Jerry Han - USA 2001

A truly great experience and a wonderful day. Stu- what a great teacher, knowledge was freely exchanged, we learned more today than years of reading books on fly-fishing. Will definitely be back and very highly recommended. 
Singh – Sydney, Australia 2001

Stu's Superior Flies

Fished the Mataura this evening using Stu's Deadly Spinner, Richard hooked three lovely Browns on his first three casts.  In all, we hooked 10 browns and landed 8 in one and half hours all on Stu's DEADLY Spinners. Previously we had struggled to hook any using our own tied patterns. Thank you to your lovely assistant who convinced us earlier this week to try the Deadly Spinners.
Ross Kelly, Australia - 2014

Your flies were fantastic for my trip, very impressed by the quality and designs.
Paul Barany. Labrador, Australia - 2014

Great flies, you can fish them with confidence. Didn't have a refusal on this fly on my trip yesterday but only had one in the fly box. Other beetle imitations are not as successful. Thanks & Regards. 
Gary Busch, Christchurch - 2014

The flies arrived and they are perfect. My husband is going to love them. I'm going to love it more if he actually catches a fish!
Fiona, Victoria, Australia - 2014

My order arrived yesterday - everything looks great and special thanks for the free dry fly - it looks very realistic. Thanks again and I’m looking forward to trying them out later on in the month when I get over to NZ.  
Ross Gray, Melbourne - 2014

Stu is not just devoted to the look of the fly, it's all about form and function. His patterns excel in the use of foam and synthetics, color and sparkle, and weight add realistic posture and movement to the fly. His tiny emergers rest in the surface film, his nymphs are designed to flicker, shine and wiggle.
Rob Slone – Editor/Owner of Fly Life Magazine

G’day Stu & Ela, I received the fly selection in the post today and a big thank you. I have never seen such quality and balance in fly patterns. How you can tie such small lies is beyond comprehension and your innovative use of synthetic materials is the best I have ever purchased or seen anywhere. Rest assured you will be receiving quite a few orders from me and when I get the chance I will show my fellow Trout fly fishers the selection I received. May your eyes stay sharp and your mind in tune.
David Coombes - Australia

Thanks very much for the fantastic new fly patterns. They are beautiful and look just too good to use. The little tags really show that they are special. They also came in "Stu's Superior packaging" it's almost man-proof! That Blowfly is the best looking blowfly I've ever seen. Ticks all my boxes, sight post, profile, buoyancy, a real winner, it's even got Stu's trademark legs! I also like the killer nymphs, slim profile, quick sink, legs, another great pattern. I'd present these to any trophy fish no worries. You have a great eye for catching the essence of a fly and creating an abstraction that using appropriate new 'techy' materials. 
Martin Simpson - New Zealand

Really appreciate your tying and techniques, they are quite revolutionary!
Scott Clifford - Australia

The flies arrived yesterday. The look great and I'm extremely pleased with them. Just got to put them in front of a few fish and all will be sweet. Thanks for the great service.
Ross

Just to let you know Stu the red love grub did the damage on the S- river here in Taradise. They just attacked it like nothing I have seen, I was skeptical about using it due to very clear water and hi vis fly.
Craig - New Zealand

The Pogo, King Pogo, active grey nymph and crippled nymphs did well tied off a heavier nymph, will try smaller sizes in April.
Ross

Caught a Golden Mahseer off the top with one of your bionic bugs! Not had a touch since. Greetings from India.
Charlie - India

We have never lost a fish to broken faulty hooks since using your awesome range of flies, your Killer nymph has fooled some of the big wary trout in some of our Christchurch head waters, the photos will be sent shortly. Keep up the good work.
Peter and John - Christchurch, NZ

The cicada flies worked fantastic on our last trip into the hills, so am ready for next summer.
Mike Lasenby - New Zealand

Flies arrived in good shape. Many thanks for the bonus one which looks intriguing. I have visions of a Pacific Gull swooping onto it. Now all I have to do is get to WA and locate some bonefish.
Lindsay Moore - Australia

I received the parcel today. Thank you for the careful packing and adding a bonus fly. I am much impressed with your artistic but practical flies! I can not wait for coming fishing season. I will order again.
Hiroshi Nishino - Japan

Hey guys! Thanks for putting together a great selection of flies for me! Your customer service was unparalleled and the shop was awesome!
Jarad - USA

I used some of your willow grub flies a couple weekends ago, a mate gave me some to try. Mixed it up with other w/grubs and nymphs and they would only take your flies Stu!! I am almost impressed as I tie my own as a rule.
David Barrett - New Zealand

This is wonderful, Stu! I love the unique things that you bring to this sport - Stu's Superior Flies being only one (albeit it an important one) of those things.
Matt Long - Idaho

Had some visitors over from San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, they had some great fishing and were frustrated on grubbers. Couple of these guys are very well known tiers and pattern developers, one of them is an annual visitor here and reckoned he could crack the willow grub equation after last years effort. He had a good selection of new grubs to try, but landed most trout on a Stu's Foam Willow Grub.
Jeff Smith - New Zealand

Thanks for making flies that catch fish :)
Peter Lister - Australia

To prove that your flies are also successful across the world and not only with the trout, I am sending photos of my last fishing trip in Minas Gerais - Brazil (São Francisco river), a fishing technique of a very fish called by us Matrinxã and tied for the cicadas loved you, sorry that just came out this time small.
It was the buzzer hit the water that the fish exploded on the surface, it was really fun, thank you very much for flies.

Samuel Antero - 
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil