The Canterbury region provides some outstanding lake or still-water fishing for Brown, Rainbow and Brook trout. Many of the lakes and high country tarns are located amongst some of the South Island's  most stunning scenery. 

It's possible to sight fish for cruising trout along lake margins, spotting, stalking/hunting and casting to trout swiming in often very shallow water. Depending on the time of the year, the travelling angler can use a variety of techniques including dry-fly, nymph, and streamers on the fly rod, soft plastic and spinners on spinning/casting type rods.

It can be a very exciting alternative to the river/stream fishery for which New Zealand is probably most world renowned.

Chris Bell

Fly fishing for trout in Canterbury and on the West Coast’s many still-water lakes and tarns can be a fun and memorable experience for the visiting angler. Chris from “South Island Adventure Fly Fishing” can take you to fish some of the best still-waters in both nearby regions to target Brown, Rainbow and Brook trout, using a variety of different fishing techniques. Many of these waters are less pressured fisheries compared to a lot of the rivers and streams, and often you will find you are the only angler on the water on any given day.

Chris specialises in spotting and casting to cruising trout along shallow lake margins, sometimes shallow enough to cause the trout’s dorsal fins and tails to break the water’s surface. This close quarter’s sight fishing is heart stopping stuff and is often compared to bone fishing in the tropics, but is instead located in a freshwater environment on shallow sand and mud flats. Trout typically average around 2.5-4lbs but some fisheries have larger fish on average, with 5 - 6.5 pounders and the occasional larger fish being targeted and caught. Casting dry-fly’s and nymphs to sighted fish is exhilarating stuff and is usually the favoured fishing method, however on occasion blind fishing with nymphs or streamers can sometimes be the most efficient method to target some sections of water, not to mention a very relaxing and effective method of fishing some lakes.

If the weather dictates better fishing conditions on the South Island’s West Coast, Chris will often be happy to travel across to fish the various lakes of this region even for just a day, to find better sight fishing opportunities for his clients. Chris’s guiding business consistently utilises careful “Catch and Release” even in the lake fisheries to help to protect existing wild fish populations, into which there can sometimes be little recruitment. Telephone: + 64 272 286 064

Contact Chris Bell

Serge A Bonnafoux

When all the rivers are blown and the weather conditions are dreadful we still have an amazing opportunity to fish and have a great day or two. Canterbury, North Canterbury and the West Coast, were we can transport you in a well maintained late model 4WD, have many lakes fishable from the shore, some offering year-round angling. Surely it will test your ability to spot, cast, entice the trout but also and most importantly the strike.

The lake fishing in New Zealand is exciting, fun and rewarding; the fish living in still waters are powerful, fast and cunning. By mid December damsels and dragonflies are plentiful and seeing Brownies jumping 2 feet out of the water to catch one of these provokes an exceptional adrenaline rush. There are lakes around the region within an hour driving and the methods we use go from indicator which is generally as dry fly and a suspended nymph, spotting the fish walking along the lake margins while casting a dry fly or a nymph, or streamers.

We will not take you to crowded big lakes, as we would rather offer you the wilderness of remote smaller pieces of water where an encounter with other anglers is rare. Fish size in such lakes varies from 2 to 3 lbs and you could catch a couple of dozens fish a day, to larger fish up to 6/7 lbs. Those brown trout are big fighters and have a tendency to offer a magnificent spectacle with jumps and back flips and only surrender after a long battle. In South Canterbury lakes also have big rainbows. Despite of the abundance of fish in the lakes we encourage catch and release. You can contact me on +64 3 315 7499 or +64 21 211 3462

Contact Serge A Bonnafoux

Roger Tompkins

Roger offers Drift Boat flyfishing.  Fish the edge waters and tributaries of Lake Dunstan or the Poolburn or Manorburn Dams. Dunstan is a one-day trip the Dams have two-day minimum. Hugely popular in the USA & Canada now here in New Zealand.

The drift boat offers you great fishing from a stable platform, great scenery and access to water you could never otherwise get to. Drift boat flyfishing is a great way to get a true, natural drift to your fly, access to water impossible on foot. A day is made up of fishing from the boat, sight fishing the edges.

We  fish nymphs, dries and streamers. We also offer day trips on the Clutha and multi daytrips on the Waiau or Waitaki Rivers, Hydro lakes and tributaries. Multi day expedition trips are available on request. We operate an American built, out board jet powered Pro Drifter. Our guides/skippers are MNZ certified. Call/WhatsApp Roger on +64 21 436 870 or click on the link below.

Contact Roger Tompkins

Martin Langlands

Fly Fishing lakes have long been in my blood being very fortunate to have a father who loved fishing lakes. This meant that most weekends in summer we would spend time fishing lakes as a family. Whilst the main focus of my guiding operation is backcountry rivers, lakes can provide fantastic all year round fishing and are a great places to both guide experts and teach beginners.

We are blessed with many different types of lakes from small intimate tarns to large alpine lakes in scenic high country settings, which commonly hold Rainbow and Brown Trout of good size. I also offer two very specialized options: the first being mountain lake Brook Char, a very fun and unique species to target, secondly fishing for large Searun Brown Trout in coastal lakes, lagoons and estuaries. These are some of the largest most impressive wild trout to be found any place in New Zealand that often occur in groups foraging on the many baitfish. We have some streamer fishing that can be nothing short of spectacular but many times we sight fish using Nymphs and at times dry flies.

I take great delight in sharing very innovative and highly original fly and streamer patterns and have several unique techniques that can be used. The angler is bound to learn a lot and take forward some new adaptive approaches . Lake fishing, depending upon the time of year and mood of the day, can involve a mix of both sight and blind fishing using Dry Flies { we get some lush Beetle and Cicada hatches} Nymphs and streamers. I am happy to supply all gear and cater for all levels and have all year round options .

Contact Martin Langlands