Central South Island

The Canterbury region is unique in New Zealand as it offers the travelling angler fishing for salmon, brown & rainbow trout.

Anglers from all over the world flock to the river mouths of the Rangitata and the Waitaki chasing the large king salmon. The headwaters of these rivers provide exceptional fly fishing for sighted trout especially in amongst the spectacular towering peaks of the Alps.

Over Burke's Pass towards the centre of the South Island and anglers are confronted with the majestic vistas of the Mackenzie country. Lakes and Mountains dominate the landscape as does two iconic New Zealand fishing rivers, the Ahuriri and Tekapo. There is a multitude of fishing available in the hydro lakes, canals and smaller rivers.

All the members listed on this web site have the following vital accreditations:

  • Current  first aid certificate
  • DOC Concession to guide on the DOC estate
  • Audited Health & Safety Plan
  • Public liability insurance

Kevin Payne

Kevin & Jodi Payne are owner operators of Back Country Trout.  Fairlie is a great base to access multiple types of rivers set in some of New Zealand's most scenic places and diverse weather patterns which is key to finding trout every day. 

Sight fishing to bigger than average trout is Kevin's specialty. With more than twenty years of guiding in this location, Kevin has extensive local knowledge and access to a variety of superb low pressured rivers containing both rainbow and brown trout. Helicopter fishing and overnight camp outs are options. The towns of Lake Tekapo, Fairlie, Geraldine and Timaru will put you in Kevins' guiding range. Phone home +64 3 685 8181 or Cell +64 27 227 8142

Contact Kevin Payne

Sam English

Samuel English is the owner and operator of Sanctuary Guiding, which is based out of the breathtaking town of Twizel. Sam has fly fished from the early age of just ten and has a deep knowledge of the sport and of the Central South Island.

Sam's passion for fly fishing and guiding goes well beyond the norm. He's the kind of guide who really has his finger on the pulse and can build a super fun day around chasing trout in this magical part of the world, regardless of your skill level.

Gin clear rivers, creeks and lakes all feature in the Central South. Whether you want to sight fish dry flies and nymphs or pull streamers around lake edges, Sam is your man. Sanctuary Guiding offers everything from half day trips to multi day camping trips and even special rates for anyone under the age of fourteen. Sam can be contacted through his website. Get in touch now to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Contact Sam English

Mark Waite

For enquiries, please contact Mark via telephone: + 64 3  685 4915

Contact Mark Waite

Will Spry

The fishing in the Mt. Cook/Mackenzie High Country has been a big part of my life since 1993.  Having cut my guiding teeth growing up fishing, instructing and guiding in the Snowy Mountains in Australia with my father, Mike Spry as my mentor and best mate, to have the opportunity to live and guide in New Zealand was a dream that most anglers would jump at and I was no exception!  I love sharing the waters of the region; spotting fish, nutting out strategies and finally fooling the fish is probably the ultimate way to fish – hunting with a rod.  Whilst conditions don’t always make this style of fishing possible, we have a huge variety of lakes and tarns, rivers of all sizes and streams – from springs to burbling brooks, all available within a short distance of our base which opens up endless opportunities for great fishing.  The scenery we fish in is mind blowing at times and the fish are too!  Nymphing, dry fly and streamer swinging can all feature, each with their own unique styles being employed.  Spry Fly NZ offers day trips and packaged extended stays in the region, of up to a week.  

Will can be reached via his website

Contact Will Spry

Nigel Birt

Having worked professionally as a fly-fishing guide and instructor since 1988, his knowledge of the sport is outstanding. Now a founding co-owner of Backcountry New Zealand, Nigel was trained at an early age by professional guides and served his apprenticeship at a top New Zealand fishing lodge. Through his experiences Nigel has developed skills and knowledge that competes with New Zealand's best, has been adventuring in the outdoors since the age of eight years old and tying fishing flies since he was twelve. Backcountry New Zealand provides visitors to New Zealand with quality angling and hunting experiences to suit their requirements. Backcountry NZ consists of guides with an intimate knowledge of both the East and West coast fisheries of the South Island. Fishing style is largely sight fishing for brown and rainbow trout with increased opportunities for anglers with above average fitness abilities. Fishing is available during the months of October until April, and Backcountry New Zealand can provide quality equipment and accommodation packages to suit your requirements.

Contact Nigel Birt

Paul McLauchlan

Owner/Operator of Glendeer Fly Fishing Guides, Professional fly fishing guide since 2000. Specializes in Fly Fishing New Zealand's Central South Island head-water Streams, Rivers and Spring Creeks. New Zealand fly fishing has long held an outstanding reputation with the traveling angler as being one of the worlds Top trout fly fishing destinations. The combination of seemingly endless amounts of river types, wild stocks of large Brown and Rainbow trout, combined with world class fly-fishing guides that sets the scene for the worlds ultimate trout fly fishing experience.

Paul has a long standing history fishing and guiding the back country rivers, it is his extensive knowledge of these free-stone waters, access points, weather patterns, river flows and as importantly a great long-standing relationship with station/ranch/run-holders that insures a professional, enjoyable and rewarding experience is has by his clients. Paul is a specialist sight fishing guide who caters to beginners through to advance, he is very approachable and has the patience of a saint. All fly fishing gear can be suppled, any required transfers to guiding bases can be arranged, custom and complete packages available.

Contact Paul McLauchlan

Steve Carey

Kia ora.  My name is Steve Carey and  I have been a dedicated fly fisherman for nearly 30 years and a full time guide for 22 years. I guide out of the Mt Cook/Mackenzie area of south island New Zealand where the fishing is world class and the area is surrounded by stunning unspoiled alpine scenery. It also has one of New Zealands most reliable climates throughout the fishing season of November - April.   This region does not recevie a huge amount of angling pressure, the days are hot and sunny, the expected rainfall mid to low, and best of all no sandflies!   Visitors are assured of good value accommodation and restaurants as well as the opportunity to meet real New Zealanders (Kiwis).

Contact Steve Carey