“Learning new water is always a challenge even to the most experienced fly fisherman. My initial thought process to fly fishing in New Zealand was one of spending a day or two with a guide, then spending more time going out on my own. Since my first trip there eight years ago, I have been back four times since and as it turns out, the majority of my time has been with a guide. Though I still get out on my own as well. There are many reasons I’ve shifted my thinking and ended up fishing more with a guide. New Zealand is full of extremes from the variety of climates, the shifty weather, the terrain, and of course there’s the size and condition of the trout (my personal favourite).
Over the years I’ve become well acquainted with these extremes and learned to appreciate them more and more with each trip. In particularly my appreciation for the value that a guide provides in adapting to them, this appreciation has grown immensely. I figure if I am going to dedicate the time and energy to chase fish so far from my home waters I should make the most of the experience and give myself the best odds of success. While I appreciate the huge effort my guide puts into the quality of the fishing experience, just as meaningful is the fun and adventure that my guide brings outside of the fishing. Sometimes the journey is just as memorable as the fishing can be. It’s this combination of adventure, the unknown, and the fun that keeps me coming back for more punishment.
I have always enjoyed the add on adventures and experiences that I get when fishing with Jake. We have seen some spectacular country, met some really interesting Kiwis, hunted deer, choppered into remote wilderness rivers and caught some spectacular trout.
My take on fishing New Zealand is that yes you will enjoy it and have fun fishing New Zealand on your own terms, but by fishing it with the right New Zealand guide your experience is taken to another level. It also fast tracks a huge amount of learning in what is one of (if not the most) difficult/rewarding trout fisheries in the world.”
-Rick – California USA