New Zealand Fly Fishing Guides - Ben Kemp

New Zealand Fly Fishing Guides - Ben Kemp

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Lake Brunner

"Where the Brown Trout Die of Old Age!"

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Drift Boat Links

Drift Boat Fishing

Fly fishing drift boat  trips provide an excellent way for people from all walks of life to go flyfishing, and  enjoy some of the remote and inaccessible areas of New Zealand. Ours are hand-built replica's of the famous river dories used on US western rivers such as the McKenzie, Green, and Rogue rivers.  For drag-free, long running drifts with dry fly or nymph, you just have to come on one of our drift boat fly fishing trips! 

Fly Fishing Drift Boats in New Zealand

  "Go with the Flow" Fly Fishing Guides  

Drift boats have a flat bottom, but a pronounced "rocker" fore and aft, a little bit banana-like. The bow is flared, and high-sided to prevent shipping water in rapids. They ride very high in the water, and can negotiate both the shallows and white water with ease.

Drift Boat Screen Saver (20 pics, 1.4mb)

In New Zealand they are rather rare, and we are the only guiding company building and using them. Come fly fishing with our guides in areas seldom seen or touched by other anglers. These trips can be provided on a daily, overnight, or multi-day basis, on a variety of rivers and lakes on both east and west coasts of the South Island of New Zealand. We cater for all angling skills, and for physically challenged anglers. 

Drift boats are comfortable and dry, customised for fly fishing. Fish for brown & rainbow trout in pools where other anglers rarely visit. Float for hours in peace and quiet, along tranquil waters where the only sound is the rumble of the river, the slopping of the water against wood, and the calls of native songbirds. 

Arnold River - the outlet from Lake Brunner. The Arnold has a well deserved reputation as an excellent fishing river. It has several significant advantages in its favour. Firstly, being the outlet from the lake, it does not discolour as readily in flood times. Secondly, it has a very stable bed, meaning lots of creepy-crawly things, lots of aquatic plant life, and therefore bulk trout! The regular drift dive surveys consistently confirm brown trout populations at around 240 fish per kilometer. 

Below the dam, the river changes personality, to a Grade II whitewater run. Lots of pools, boulders and fish, and a little more exciting...

The river is slow and serene in the upper sections. Banks are overgrown with trees and scrub, flax and reeds, and fishing from shore is difficult, with access at very few points. Mid-way down the river is a small hydroelectric power station, preceded by a small lake section with some excellent lagoons and shallows where fish may be spotted cruising for minnows. 

Ahaura River - West Coast. This is best done as a multi-day wilderness camping trip. Entry into the river is at Kopara, beyond Lake Haupiri. This is an 6 hour raft or canoe trip - fishing as you go, it would be a very big day out! Breaking it with an overnight camp in the gorge allows a relaxed pace, good coverage of the interesting pools, and an opportunity to fish the evening rise. This is a river with almost no vehicle or even foot access, except for 2-3 points where 4WD vehicles may get close via old logging tracks. The deep gorge, with vertical gravel cliffs, precludes access upstream or downstream from those points. 

Apart from short sections where access is gained through logging roads or farm tracks, the terrain prevents foot access for much of the length of this river.

Grey River - West Coast. Offers around 80kms of water suited to drift boat travel. Both the Arnold and Ahaura Rivers flow into the Grey, the confluences being some 30kms apart. 

 Drift Boat Fly Fishing Trips in New Zealand   

Fly fishing from drift boats provides an unparalleled opportunity to fish waters largely untouched by other anglers from season to season. 

"Guide to NZ Fishing" Menu  

Guide to NZ Fishing - Secrets - Sight Fishing - Casting Requirements - Fishing Equipment - Fly Selection Line Connections - Drift Boat Fishing - Locations - Access - Seasons - Brown Trout - Winter Fishing - NZ Books - Links

Drift Boat Building Drift Boat Links


Sight Fishing 
This unique fishing technique is the specialty of New Zealand's premier fly fishing guides! 

Casting Requirements 
NZ fly fishing will often require you  to cast further than you've ever cast before!

Drift Boat Building 
Details and photos of drift boat construction project.  

Drift Boat Links 
Links to other drift boat information and resources on the Web.  

Outline of clothing and accessories required to make the most of your NZ fishing vacation..

You can check out the West Coast's seasonal variables and conditions you might encounter at differing times of year.

Brief outline of angler's access rights to NZ lake, river and stream margins. 

The West Coast is noted for its rain forests -and  the weather plays a significant part in the day to day fishing opportunities.

This page contains the answers to most of the questions you might want to ask... 

This page provides personal comments (and contact information) from previous guests on their experience with us. 

The Angling Report
"Serving the Angler Who Travels" This influential web site produces a fine newsletter on international fishing destinations, and has an extensive trip report database - check US out there for independent comments on our guiding services, meals and accommodation! See reports in issues for June 2003, Vol. 16 No.6, and Dec 2002, Vol. 15 No.12

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