Cromwell Experiences Outdoors Queenstown Wanaka

Fly Fishing Dream Water Access

Written by Penny Simpson

Queenstown professional fly fishing guides Simon Wilkinson and Roger Tompkins have launched a new fly fishing venture, Drift Boat Fly Fishing New Zealand, which provides a whole new take on angling.

Qualified skippers and members of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guide Association (NZPFGA) Roger and Simon create personalised fishing trips to some of the region’s most spectacular fishing locations. 

“We purchased an American made Stealth Craft Ambassador Pro-Drift boat that is an excellent watercraft for fly fishing many of the South Island’s rivers and lakes. This allows us to offer exceptional access, for both novice and experienced fishermen, to rivers that they would not otherwise get the chance to fish,” says Roger.

He says the outboard jet-powered boat is Maritime New Zealand surveyed and an excellent craft for fly fishing. 

“The boat is an example of design and function – designed to drift down the river with the current as we  guide and control the speed.” 

“A day on the water can be a combination of drift fishing long-runs, where we use the oars to steady the drift while clients cast flies to sighted fish or we can be anchored on the lip of a drop-off, casting streamers to feeding fish. At various times during the day we get out of the boat, walking the banks to fish the edges or backwaters.”

The company offers half and full day fishing options .

“ For the older fisherman who might be apprehensive about a long day tramping up a rocky river bed in search of the elusive trout, our driftboat trips offer easy and very comfortable access to great water,” says Roger. “ The boat is equipped with the latest Simms gear and we provide generous refreshments throughout the day.”

Drift Boat Fly Fishing New Zealand is consented to operate throughout the South Island with access to some of New Zealand’s best-known lakes and rivers. 

“We fish for all types of trout from feisty rainbows in the Clutha to fat brownies on the Pool Burn, sea-run browns on the lower Wairau or boff-headed rainbows in the Waitaki – it’s all good fun – and our experience ensures we get to the places where the fish are running.”

For the more experienced and adventurous fisherman there are options for overnight expeditions and multi-day trips to other regions including Wairau, Waitaki, the Mackenzie, the hydro lakes and the West Coast.

“ Drift boat fly fishing is the perfect way to discover the joys of fly fishing and visit rivers otherwise difficult to access,” says Roger. “Taking a fly-fishing trip with our guides in a drift boat has to be one of the great angling experiences in the south.”

Bookings online at www.driftboatflyfishingnewzealand.com 

About the author

Penny Simpson