We often get the same questions from people looking to book a fly fishing guide in Taupo and Turangi, here are some of the answers.
Waders, fly rods and reels and all flies should be included. Your guide should check on boot sizing and have gear ready beforehand. In NZ we use both neoprene and breathable waders. Guides sometimes hire waders if they don't have your size available, but you should not have to pay extra on the day to hire waders or buy flies. The gear you may bring yourself includes a waterproof jacket, a sunhat and polaroids, along with sun-cream if needed.
Your guide should collect you from your accommodation and return you at the end of the day, even if you have a rental car. This is common practice in Taupo and Turangi. It’s safer, quicker and also a time to chat so your guide can learn more about both your experience and ability. Most fishing in the Taupo region is within between 15 minutes and 1.5 hours drive of Taupo or Turangi.
Lunch should always be provided. Your guide will normally check if you have any dietary requirements. We normally get packed lunches from a local Taupo catering company. If you’ve paid for a day with a guide, you should not have to buy your own pie and coke from a local bakery.
If it’s winter you’ll be fishing the Taupo rivers so you’ll need a DOC licence that can be bought online. The rest of the year your guide might take you further afield so you’ll need a Fish and Game licence. This is often an extra expense of around $20 NZD on top of your guiding fee, but the guide should make this clear when you book.
Taupo fly fishing guides normally ask for a deposit on booking which may be between 25 and 50%. The remainder is normally expected a month or more before your fishing starts. From overseas you can normally make an international transfer via your bank, or some guides offer credit card facilities. Either option can incur bank fees of $20 or $30 NZD or more. This is normally your cost to pay on top of the amount you’ve been quoted by the guide.
Most local fishing guides will gladly take groups. Generally for safety and also quality of care and attention, the ratio should be one guide to two clients. Some guides may charge extra for a second person if they are paying for a second lunch or hiring other gear to use.
Some guides are happy to teach novices to fly fish, while others are not so keen. It’s important to let your guide know in advance what level of experience you have. This helps the guide prepare gear and a plan for the day. It also helps set your expectation.
It’s very important to give an honest accurate assessment of your fitness and skill, so that your guide can plan the best possible day for you.
Hopefully this article has helped you understand better what to expect when you come fly fishing in the central North Island of New Zealand, and more importantly, what questions to ask when you are booking a fishing guide.