Back Country Road Trips

Do you want to go on a kiwi-style, fly fishing road trip and visit many great locations and fishing areas with Stu? These are the trips that clients who return each year prefer to book! It can be tents, insects, fire and dirt. It can be a road trip with some nice accommodation, back country huts, or a combination of the two!

These trips have a minimum of 3 days/4 nights away, but the longer you are away, the more areas you fish, the more places you visit, the more fish you will catch and the more fun you will have. You may fish early mornings, during the day, in the evening and maybe even a spot of night fly-fishing! It's a great way to see and photograph beautiful New Zealand.


If you are new to fly fishing or you’ve only been fly fishing a couple of times, Stu strongly recommends that you add a casting lesson at the New Zealand Fly Fishing School to the start of your Back Country Road Trips. Unless you fully understand the art of casting, chances of catching a wary New Zealand Brown Trout will be low!


  • Rods & reels and other top of the range equipment (as required)
  • Tippets, leaders and 10 flies supplied per client per day
  • Refreshments included. 
  • Tents, locator beacon, first aid kit are supplied
  • A unique, specially kitted-out 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser used only for guiding. It has specially imported USA Titan Roof Rod Holders and Yeti coolers! It’s clean, modern, road worthy, raised and is emblazoned with Derek DeYoung trout art work.


  • Fishing licenses are not included and are available online:
  • Fishing equipment that you like to use, boots and waders, thermal underwear, waterproof jacket, quick drying trousers, insect repellent and sunscreen lotion. Most of this can also be supplied by Stu if needs be - he is well prepared for you and your adventure!
  • Camping equipment (if applicable) - one bag / rucksack, sleeping bag, head torch, washing kit, extra pair of quick drying trousers
  • Clients pay for all fuel, accommodation and meals each day away for themselves and their guide. Stu suggests budgeting ~NZ$200/day for these expenses.


The following can easily be arranged at extra cost if desired:

  • Queenstown Accommodation pick ups/drop offs
  • Queenstown Airport pick ups/drop offs
  • Water taxis, jet boats & helicopters
  • Boots and waders
  • Camping equipment


  • Departure is 8.30 am from The Hide Cafe in Athol or your local Athol accommodation, returning 5-6pmPick ups from Queenstown accommodations and airport can also be arranged.
  • Athol is located 45 minutes drive south of Queenstown. Trips depart from Athol, There are around 30 lakes and rivers all within a one hour drive from here. 
  • Many people stay at local accommodation or campsites prior to their fishing trip, whereas others drive a rental car south from Queenstown. Stu has a secure car park to leave any vehicles and valuables in Athol.
  • We may head north, south, east or west – the best direction is confirmed closer to the time, depending on where Stu thinks you will have the best fishing, based on the predicted weather and wind conditions. 

Bookings essential. This is by far the best NZ fly fishing trip you can do to experience the best fly fishing that new zealand has to offer! Stu recommends booking well in advance to avoid disappointment of him being unavailable - he has many returning clients who book for multiple days, some up to two years in advance! 


Singles, couples, or duos (two people max) experienced in the art of fly fishing. Non-fishing partners are also welcome.


October 1 – April 30. Departure is 8.30 am from The Hide Cafe in Athol, your accommodation or Queenstown Airport.


Trips usually depart from Athol, 45 minutes drive south of Queenstown, unless otherwise arranged

Per day for 1-2 people, maximum


A word from our happy casters...

I booked a casting lesson and a guided fishing trip with 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

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

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

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

Dear Stu, I've followed your journey the last 25 years and I tell you what a pleasure it's been to watch someone walk the walk - not just talk or complain about life. A full life indeed and more chapters to go! Keep up the great work that you seem to keep doing, you are a leader not a follower.

– Richard Watkin, UK

Big thanks for the glo bugs you sent me - they worked a treat, and the hook stood up to the test, I caught a 32lb beast, scrapped with it and landed it! This jack was 93cm long by 37cm deep - it was certainly was an advantage on the day having a different colour egg pattern to the rest of the mob fishing.

– Hamish, NZ

I'm a long time supporter and avid fly fishing addict of yours. Without blowing smoke up your arse, I believe you have helped change this fly fishing game and industry we love! Your individuality and punk rock style has opened up the doors to characters that don't necessarily fit the tweed wearing, high earning profession. Diversity is good for our sport, I know you've made me feel more welcome as young hip hop listening guy entering the game and even the river!

– Ashley Dean, Australia

Your fly design and innovation from outside the box has helped my progression, and not to mention some of the best fish catching flies I have ever used - they truly are superior! "Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." Aristotle.

– Ashley Dean, Australia

Many thanks again for another great newsletter to start the new season with. You do a great job and a massive service to all fisher folk, both resident in this country and from overseas. I am no longer able to fish myself so I enjoy your stories and the content of your newsletters. My sincere thanks....

– Graham, NZ

Thanks again for your incredible flies. Apart from the journey and aim to catch fish, I find myself playing with these minnows in the water in front of me and am in awe at how well they move and are balanced. Superb workmanship!

– Warren, USA