Casting Lessons

New to fly-casting? Been fly-fishing for years, but getting too many tangles or just want to get better? Self-taught? Learned from an old mate? Not catching NZ trout? Your fly is always up the tree? Always losing your fly? Leader lands in a bundle?


These are Stu’s world famous three hours lessons, tailored to your needs, with the option to extend by the hour on the day. Stu is a qualified Master Casting Instructor, becoming Australasia's first certified IFFF Master Fly Casting Instructor in 2007. He's taught thousands of people the delicate art of fly casting.


The New Zealand Fly Fishing School is a modern, purpose-built fly casting facility set in a stunning scenic location. It has both indoor and outdoor teaching areas in case of inclement weather. It is located in Athol, 45 minutes drive south of Queenstown.


If you are new to fly fishing Stu recommends that you book a half day or a full day NZ Fly Fishing School before booking a casting lesson, followed by a guided fly fishing trip. If you are short on time, the Casting Lesson on its own will be the better option as you need to know how to fly cast before you can fly fish.


  • Instructional fly fishing rods and reels and other specialised teaching equipment
  • Modern facilities, a study room, parking, toilets and refreshments are available on site.


  • Your fly rod and reel that you currently use, if you have one
  • Rain jacket, warm clothes, sun block, sunglasses, hat
  • Pen & paper, or your phone, for taking notes
  • Snacks, if needed. These can be bought from one of two nearby cafes.

Not many in the world can match Stu’s experience as a coach, mentor, instructor and guide – learn from the best. Bookings essential so book with Stu your fly casting doctor today!


Singles, couples, beginner, intermediate or advanced casters.


Sept 1 to April 30, between 9am and 4.30pm for 3 hours, at whatever time suits your and Stu's availability.


 The NZ Fly Fishing School in Athol.


$549 for 1-2 people, $100 per additional person, up to six people maximum. Extra hours can be added on depending on Stu's availability at $150/hour

1-2 people for 3 hours


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