martin-langlands-fly-fishing-guide-nzWhen we fly fish Canterbury and in our South Island Angling adventures it’s important to note we have a vast diversity of river types to choose from each with its own character opening up numerous possibilities to anglers horizons. During multi day trips anglers often are amazed at the sheer range available within a small radius {1.5 hour drive} and “variety is the spice of life” right? Choosing the very best location to suit the day becomes a multidimensional skill with decisions made using accumulated knowledge from many many years in this career.

Factors taken into consideration firstly start with client brief. Expectations are balanced with the clients angling ability and physicality. Further factors are the weather, river conditions and aspects such as visibility coming into play. There are some rivers with small trout populations that just won’t be productive if we can’t see in the water. Another often over looked factor is other angler and guide pressure, many of our rivers are very pressure sensitive so this is always a consideration.

So lets explore this range of water types that have been a huge part of my life and Troutlands operation. I feel deeply privileged having gathered a comprehensive and ever expanding knowledge relating to these.


Commonly these rivers flow out from rolling hills then out through plains over a long course and gathering tributaries. A popular example is the Mataura River in Southland and there are many such rivers in varying sizes through out the South Island. Such rivers are less physical in terms of terrain and can provide the…

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Backcountry rivers and headwaters are the most common fisheries to be associated with New Zealand Fly Fishing adventures. This is where we spend the majority of our guide days, given favourable conditions.The synergy of gin clear water within wilderness scenery make for adventurous often more physical angling for larger than average trout. By their nature,…

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Often described as ‘Nomads Of The Tide”, it’s near the coast you will find Sea Run Brown Trout or Seatrout as the Europeans call them. Here in New Zealand these fish can migrate large distances in salt water and often frequent river mouths, lakes and lagoons near sea level. Here they mainly prey upon baitfish…

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Nestled up high in “Lord Of The Rings” country these high country lakes fish best in summer months of November through to March. These offer a mix of both Rainbow, Brown Trout, landlocked Salmon {Sockeye and Quinnat} ,and importantly for species searcher, the fancy coloured Brook Char. Diverse fishing methods are employed such as exciting…

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Very exciting places to fish and you never know what’s around the next bend. River gorges feature well structured rocky runs and stable deep pools that trout love. These gorges tend to be physically harder going and the water can have more complex currents with the need to get nymphs deep. This makes for interesting…

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Commonly formed by rain and small springs in foothill areas, these waters offer the angler a more intimate experience. They are the domain of smaller lighter 3-5 wt rods and produce a wide range of trout sizes. Often such streams are more weatherproof as options and the words “wind shadow” are often whispered. Small Streams…

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These large, wide and expansive rivers flow from the Southern Alps down through the Canterbury Plains in a lace like set of braids that are the most dynamic of all New Zealand trout rivers! The combination of heavy snow and rain fall in the Southern Alps can cause these rivers to flood with huge volumes…

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