Guided Day Trips

-Visit one of 30 lakes and rivers all within a one hour drive from the New Zealand Fly Fishing School in Athol. A range of fully guided options are available including half day, full day, multi-day trips, boat trips, helicopter and camping out options. All fishing equipment, camping gear and transport can be organised on request. 


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 Guided Fishing Trip. 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
  • 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.
  • For groups of 3+ people, additional professional guides are provided


  • 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, extra pair of quick drying trousers
  • Most of this can also be supplied by Stu if needs be - he is well prepared for you and your adventure!


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 5-6pm. Pick ups from Queenstown accommodations and airport can also be arranged.
  • Trips depart from Athol, 45 minutes drive south of Queenstown. There are two cafes for coffee, food and toilets in Athol and around 30 lakes and rivers all within one hour's drive. 
  • Many people stay at local accommodation or campsites prior to their fishing trip, whereas others drive a rental car south from Queenstown.

Bookings essential. 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! You will have a great time with your guide Stu. You will leave with new skills, knowledge, photos and a smile - 100% guaranteed!


Singles, couples, or duos who already understand the art of fly fishing.


October 1 – April 30. Departure is 8:30am from The Hide Cafe in Athol, returning 5-6pm.


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

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