Fly Fishing

Rob and Jana Bowler represent superior New Zealand guides who can provide you with the best chance to encounter large, feisty New Zealand browns and rainbows. Our guides consider entomology, weather patterns, seasonal variations, fish populations, and know the right locations. Our book Brown Trout Heaven with over 200 color photographs provides fly fishers with essential New Zealand angling information on equipment, where to fish, fly patterns and techniques. Brown Trout Heaven will prepare you for the challenge of New Zealand angling.

Rob and Jana Bowler have been avid fly fishers in New Zealand for over 35 years and their experience and selection of professional guiding services provide you with excellent fly fishing opportunities. Rob and Jana are co-authors of Brown Trout Heaven which is loaded with over 200 color photographs and essential angling information from where to fish to flies and gear. Our guides cover all districts on both the North and South Islands and we can arrange sporting lodges, bed and breakfasts, hotels, and unique accommodation. Fly out and rafting options can be included. When ESPN2 wanted to film fly fishing in New Zealand, they selected Rob and Jana to plan and coordinate their "In Search of Fly Water" programs.

Guiding Services

Rob Bowler

We build your fly fishing trip around the superior guiding provided by the New Zealanders we represent throughout all Fish and Game Districts on the North and South Islands. We consider entomology, weather patterns, seasonal variations, and fish populations when we recommend guides for specific times of year.


Wilderness Fly Outs


Back-country wilderness rivers provide some wonderful fly fishing with great scenery and a chance to camp and enjoy the solitude of wilderness areas. All recommended guides can incorporate helicopter and fixed wing fly outs and we strongly recommend this opportunity. Helicopter prices are usually calculated by the hour, but two anglers sharing costs can make for an affordable and unique trip. Most wilderness rivers are located towards the west coast of the South Island or in the rugged central interior of the North Island. Well-maintained huts are often used as a base and tents are more than adequate in areas where there are no huts. Through our experience with wilderness fly outs, we can prepare you for a unique and enjoyable back country adventure. In addition, we can recommend helicopter and fixed wing pilots with well-maintained aircraft and years of experience.

Fresh Water Fly Fishing



October - Early spring fly fishing; rivers have not been fished, mostly nymph fishing.
November - Fishing pressure light; good sea run trout, manuka beetles begin to appear later in the month. Some dry fly fishing, and stone flies can be used with good effect.
December - A prime month; rivers are usually fishable as water levels are lower. Manuka beetles, stone flies, mayflies, and caddis are abundant. There is more surface action with dry fly. Fishing pressure is still light to moderate. Light and sun angle are optimum.
January - Kiwis are on holiday and rivers receive more angling pressure. A good month for both dry fly and nymph. Sun angle and light are still very good.
February - This is the height of summer. Cicadas and large terrestrial insects appear on both islands in very good numbers. Large deer hair dry flies are very effective. Rivers are often low and clear and weather more settled. Light and sun angle are still very good. More anglers travel to New Zealand during February than any other month.
March - Late summer and autumn fly fishing, and weather can be very settled. Rivers are often low and clear and fish can be very spooky. Good rises of mayfly and caddis, and cicadas are still numerous in some areas. Autumn rains can freshen the rivers triggering spawning runs of North Island rainbows.
April - Autumn fly fishing at its best. Trout begin to run up rivers from lakes on both islands. Browns are beginning to spawn. Fishing pressure is light and weather can be settled. Thus, a return to more nymph fishing. Excellent mayfly hatches intensify on some South Island rivers, especially the lower Mataura. A good month to fish both the North and South Islands.
May - Most South Island waters close, but some rivers, estuaries, and most lakes stay open on the South Island. Spawning runs of rainbows intensify on the North Island.
June - July - August - September - Excellent fly fishing for lake run rainbows on the North Island, somewhat similar to fishing for winter run steelhead in North America.

Salt Water Fly Fishing and Big Game and Light Saltwater Tackle

As waters warm off the Northern coast of the North Island, Bay of Plenty to Bay of Islands, salt water game fish move close into shore.

January - May - Pacific yellowtail (kingfish) 10 - 60 lbs., trevally, red snapper, barracuda, and especially kahawai can be enticed to take a fly from shore. Offshore from boats, yellowfin tuna, skip jack, albacore, marlin, mako shark, and mahi mahi can be caught on fly as well as on conventional light and heavy tackle. The potential for salt water fly fishing in New Zealand is tremendous.

Accommodation and Transportation

Accommodation can be tailored to your needs. We represent Sporting Lodges, Luxury Lodges, Country Lodges, City Hotels, Bed and Breakfast, and Country Homesteads throughout both the North and South Islands. We arrange complete travel arrangements including airline, rental vehicles, ferry and rail reservations. We also recommend helicopter and fixed wing pilots.

Books, DVD, Video, and Maps

To order Brown Trout Heaven, or Fly Fishing New Zealand's South Island Book, DVD, or video, and maps, call 541.496.3146.


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