Fly Fishing at its finest on the Waiau River

The Waiau River is a vast, unspoilt paradise that plays host to some of New Zealand's greatest fishing adventures.

The dawning of every new day on Southland's largest river brings with it fresh aspirations for an extraordinary day of fishing. World class Rainbow and Brown Trout thrive in this wild, natural place and the keen fisherman sets out with his chances of action every bit as high as his hopes. The Waiau River has a unique charm all of its own. Every turn the water takes reveals new opportunities and stunning scenery along this endlessly unfolding gateway to adventure. Put simply, a lot of pure wilderness habitat with a lot of fish.

The Wild River

Winding its way confidently along the edge of the Fiordland National Park, the rushing water of the Waiau River is something pretty special. Its wide, powerful and infinite flow is bordered by pristine forest and a dramatic mountainscape. The result is a remote fishing haven, inaccessable by foot and home to vast numbers of trout that are relatively undisturbed. These Waiau River fish are renowned for their good health and condition, and the solitude makes them anything but fussy. The river is known for more action, less stalking and can also be fished productively in either flood or drought.

Techniques for Success

Casting out into ripples from the boat, things can happen quickly, calling for skilful technique and perfect accuracy. Stripping line back quickly before it catches up with the boat can be challenging. Accurate lure placement is a matter of sound balancing and correct timing and it can take a bit of work to get it right. All too often the determined angler, boat and all, is obliged to give vigorous chase downstream - a good trout here is referred to as 'a marlin on the line'! One perfect evening, this very thing happened to two American clients, Phil and Pat, while fishing on the Waiau.

A true fishing tale

Phil flicked his fly into a nice little ripple tucked behind a good looking rock. As it drifted through we observed a dark shape emerging aggressively behind the fly. Strike! The entire head of the fish breached the surface and he took the dry fly solidly and perfectly. This one was a beauty. Phil set the hook in deep and the fun began with the fish powering out towards the current and away downstream. After peeling all the floating line off and most of the backing it was necessary for us to give chase. After him we went, retrieving line as we drew nearer. The fish swerved into the calm water for a breather, preparing for his second big run. Line was in and we were just getting into position to play the fish when off he went again, stripping line at will. We chased him down again and this time his rest was longer. Several more short runs in the calm and we could finally slow him down. Reeling him in to the boat, Phil’s face said it all – a beautiful brown in all his majesty. The grip and grin shot was quickly taken and the brown gently given back to the river. Flicking goodbye with his tail he was off, to rest up ready for next season.

The Mark Wallace Distinctive Fishing Experience

Mark offers his clients a unique and quintessential kiwi fly fishing experience on the Waiau River. He likes to work the many islands, beaches & ripples by boat, making for a full-on day of fishing that is light on the legs. The evening rises bring inevitable excitement and the significant mayfly hatches on this river can be impressive to say the least. Enjoy real kiwi hospitality and learn the area's very best fishing tips. Get a competitive edge on the Waiau River that can only come from a bloke with Mark's lifelong local experience.

Extraordinary fishing and some special memories on the upper Waiau River await your arrival, just 2 hours drive from Queenstown. Contact Mark Wallace Distinctive Fishing Experience now for more information on the ultimate kiwi fishing adventure.

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