specialises in sight fly fishing to trout using 4WD and helicopters
(or even jet boats and rafts) to access remote wilderness fishing
rivers and the trout to be found in these pristine scenic areas.
A variety of guiding options are available from
October to the end of April, and Simon will happily customise a
trip for you.
SW Guiding is based in Lumsden, a small rural town
in Southland, New Zealand, just over 1 hrs drive south of Queenstown and is situated very
close to the banks of the Oreti River. From Lumsden there is great fly fishing access into
Southland, Fiordland and Otago.
There are 40+ rivers, streams and lakes within 1.5 hr
radius. Southland offers a wide variety of water in which to to fly fish, from large alluvial riverbeds, grass
and tussock lined streams, mountain rivers that cascade through sub-temperate rain forests,
crystal clear spring creeks, small tarns and large lakes, all holding large New Zealand trout.
Southland fly fishing waters have large wily brown trout and some have a mix of rainbow
trout as well. A few of our southern rivers have runs of sea trout after Christmas and also some
small runs of Chinook salmon in Feb and March. The average size of fish we catch is around
the 20" mark (around 3–5lbs) and many well over that size.
The opportunities for true New Zealand
trophy trout are always possible with 10lb+ fish being landed each year by lucky anglers.
Southland fly fishing is a regular producer of wild trophy trout.
The Southland fly fishing season starts on 1st October and typically the rivers will be high
from snowmelt dropping as the month's progress. The fish are well rested, as they will not
have seen an angler for five months.
December to March is the prime season with surface insect life at
its peak and 70% of fish caught will be on a dry fly. The big, bad and bold fish may take a little
extra encouragement and a nymph fished under a dry can often be the recipe for success.
April sees the start of more changeable conditions with a good chance of Mayfly activity on
some waters. Dry fly, terrestrial and nymphs are all used depending on the conditions.
Early season: 1 Oct – 30 Nov
Peak season: 1 Dec – 30 March
Late season: 1 April – 31 May
Generally you will spend the day casting to stalked
and sighted fish ranging in size from 3lbs to 5lbs, (20+ inches)
always with the possibility of seeing and hooking much larger
fish. The whole day is yours and there is no time limit for Queenstown
fly fishing trips.
This great fly fishing expedition allows you to get right into the heart of some of the best sight fly fishing in the South Island. It can be fitted easily into your vacation in New Zealand.
This expedition allows flexibility for you to hire your own vehicle and meet me in Lumsden or for you to have Simon pick you up in Queenstown at the beginning of the expedition and drop you back to Queenstown at the end. It also allows you to coose the most appropriate accommodation in Lumsden for your budget and needs.
Day 1: Simon picks you up from your accommodation in either Queenstown or Lumsden (or at the Queenstown airport) at a pre-arranged time (usually between 0600 and 0730). You'll then be driven to the best fishing spot for the weather and your goals. At the end of the day, you stay in your choice if Lumsden accommodation.
Day 2: Simon picks you up from your accommodation in Lumsden at a pre-arranged time (usually between 0600 and 0730). We then drive to a different fishing spot that again is suited to the weather and your goals for that day. At the end of the day Simon will drop you off either back at your Lumsden or Queenstown accommodation (or the Queenstown airport as required)
Extended trips: The Southland Explorer expedition can easily be extended from the minimum of two consecutive guided days. However Simon regularly guides for up to 10 varied day trips from Lumsden.
the best of the fishing all the while staying in the comfort of
a real bed with a roof over your head. This expedition is very flexible and works around the prime mover
of what the weather systems
are doing and where the best place will be to get the fishing you
are after. It’s a great way to see
my end of the country and the best fishing it offers while enjoying
all the creature comforts of
Access remote wilderness rivers by helicopter using professional
Simon Wilkinson grew up in
the North Island in a family that loved the outdoors including fly
fishing and hunting. He was taught how to fly cast in Taupo and
then caught his first trout on the fly rod in the Tongarario River
- a nice 6 lbs - at the age of eight. He fly-fished all over the
North Island as a teenager and young man and would always get some
fishing in while overseas in Europe, Canada and the US.
By 1995 Simon had put down roots in the Queenstown
area where, after some serious time exploring the rivers, he began
showing clients what South Island fly fishing is all about. His
ability to instruct, knowledge of our waters, background in jet
boating, the sheer amount of time spent in helicopters flying around
the lower third of the South Island and a pretty good set of fish
spotting eyes means Simon's clients have a great time on fly fishing
The friendliest and most knowledgeable guide I’ve ever had the pleasure to fish with and who got me a shot casting to more big brown trout than I’ve ever seen, though I did a fine job of screwing up the hooking/catching part in most cases. Please, if you ever have the chance to fish New Zealand, get in touch with Simon. It’ll be the best choice you can make to increase your success rate, both short and long term, and his wife’s home cooked lunch was worthy of making the trip in itself.”Chris Carlin
What a fantastic week. The only problem was it had to end. Not only did you put us on some of the best Browns and Rainbow I’ve ever seen, and showed us some of the most beautiful country NZ has to offer, but you spent the time with each of us to improve our technique and that is priceless. I would do that trip again in a heartbeat. I look forward to fishing with you again in November.Andrew Rankin
“What a great fishing experience. Simon took our fishing to another level. My mate and I had two days with Simon. We are both working out how quickly we can get back to do it all again for longer this time. Fabulous. ” Brad Johnston
Preferred methods of payment are Visa, Mastercard, internet banking,
bank transfer or bank cheque.
To confirm a booking, a non
refundable 30% deposit is to be paid (with the balance due at the
beginning time of the trip). Visa or Mastercard details can be provided via
phone or skype. If a phone call is not appropriate, Simon can supply
you with bank account information so you can do a money transfer.
Please remember to allow for any bank transaction fees.
Anglers will be supplied a deposit
If a client cancels a trip the entire 30% deposit is forfeited unless
the client finds a replacement angler.
If SW Guiding/NZ Fly Fishing Expeditions can replace the days with
another booking of similar length and cost, a refund less transaction
fees will be considered – this is at the discretion of SW
Guiding/NZ Fly Fishing Expeditions.
Only the guide can postpone or cancel single day expeditions due
to inclement weather or river conditions or any factors that may
compromise the safety of the client/s and/or guide/s. All single
day expeditions that cannot be postponed under these conditions
will be canceled and a full refund less any transaction fees will
Note: On multi day expeditions the guide will always endeavour to do
their best to take you to the best available water on any day of
the expedition due to the weather and river conditions – however
the weather is outside of our control so there will be no refunds
given on any days lost due to adverse weather/river conditions during
multi day expeditions.
Click on the the images below to see larger photos