North Island & South Island NZ Fly Fishing Guides – meet our team

We are genuinely committed to doing everything possible to help you achieve your fly fishing goals and have a memorable adventure. Once you’ve viewed our guides below, see what clients have to say about them in our reviews section.

If you’re spending a day or more of your limited time fly fishing in the Taupo and central North Island region of NZ or the lower South Island, it goes without saying you need a guide who is experienced and professional. You need someone who has the skills to change methods if needed, who can teach you new techniques and tips, and is friendly and patient with a good sense of humour. All our guides meet these requirements. We can teach novices and family groups who have never cast a fly, and we can help take experienced anglers to the next level. If you are planning a fly fishing adventure across New Zealand then we can put together a plan where a number of our expert fly fishing guides show you different waters in different locations. When you are ready, enquire about fly fishing with us.

Pete Fordham

Pete has been fly fishing and guiding in some of the most remote rivers and streams in the central North Island of NZ for decades, and he particularly loves the waters of the Central Plateau for the hard fighting quality of their trout.

With his 4×4 all terrain vehicle, Pete can take up to two anglers to very remote backcountry fly fishing spots that hold large Rainbow and Brown trout, and are rarely fished due to their difficult access. Clients who have fished other locations in NZ often report that a 4×4 backcountry adventure with Pete produced far better results than helicopter fishing and for less cost.

Pete has a great ability to help you entice trout out of pools, and he’s great company on the river with his calm practical approach and good sense of humour.

Dustin Habener
Dustin Taupo and backcountry flyfishing guide for the NZ Fly Fishing Company

Born in Germany, Dustin has been fly fishing since he was a kid and has fished all over the world. Once he made the smart choice to settle in Taupo he has spent most of his spare time exploring remote streams, rivers and creeks to cast a fly and learn trout behaviour. Although he hates being called this, he is a bit of a ‘brown trout whisperer’.

Dustin has great experience with European fly fishing methods and has adapted these to traditional New Zealand technique where he’s always testing and applying new flies in various conditions and locations. He is a very patient guide with a dry wit and a commitment to giving clients a memorable experience.

Leon McCarthy
Taupo fly fishing Leon with a happy client and a lovely trout

Leon’s Taupo fly fishing experience began over 30 years ago when he was lucky enough to move to Waitahanui and learn where the monster trout lurked in this stunning river. His passion grew into a dream career when he began as a Taupo fly fishing guide in 1997. Since then he has guided hundreds of happy clients on waters across the central North Island, and has also had a number of his fly patterns used by Umqua New Zealand.

Leon is a genuine good Kiwi bloke who is a patient tutor for beginners and experienced anglers alike, and who will have you laughing and enjoying the adventure, as well as hopefully netting some nice trout!

Peter Wilton
Taupo fishing guide Peter Wilton

Lucky enough to be born close to mountains and rivers, Peter started his love of fishing aged 9. Over the decades since then he has developed huge knowledge and experience fly fishing for New Zealand trout.

In 1995 Pete shifted to Taupo and got to know intimately not only our world-famous rivers but also an array of backcountry places that few people are lucky enough to fish. He has guided hundreds of happy clients from around the world over a 25+ year professional guiding career, including famous guests from Huka Lodge.

Pete is a calm guide with a good sense of humour. When you fish with him you’ll have a memorable day with lots of good stories, and learn a lot too.

Gareth Bayliss
Taupo fishing guide Gareth Bayliss

Gareth grew up in the central South Island and cut his teeth fly fishing rivers like the Hurunui and Rakaia, learning to stalk and target large trout.

Over the past 18 years he has been living and guiding in Taupo: sharing with clients the region’s famous rivers in winter, and in summer trekking through and filming remote wilderness locations in the backcountry of the central North Island. Gareth has an analytical approach to fly fishing and clients frequently comment that he’s a hard-working guide and a patient instructor who delivers well above expectations.

Alex Waller
Taupo fishing guide Alex Waller

Alex started fishing with his Grandfather at the age of 6 and has been hooked ever since. In his early years he fly-fished Hampshire, Brecon Beacons and the South of France, until a trip to New Zealand changed his life.

Since 2003 Alex has lived in NZ and fished extensively throughout the North and South Islands, but was always drawn to the diversity of stunning rivers, streams and lakes in the Central North Island of NZ. In 2014 he became a professional Fly Fishing Guide in Taupo, sharing his love and passion of the region with clients from around the world.

When you fish with Alex you’ll appreciate his dedication and enthusiasm which is contagious.

Steve Yerex
Taupo Fly fishing guide Steve Yerex with a monster brown trout

Steve has been guiding fly fishing adventures in the central North Island of New Zealand for over 30 years and has been in adventure tourism even longer. He’s a qualified rafting guide and has taken horse treks into remote parts of the North Island for a unique fly fishing experience landing monster brown and rainbow trout.

For overnight trips not far from your accommodation, Steve can take you to a fishing lodge on the Tauranga-Taupo River located between Taupo and Turangi. Kereru Lodge is right up the river in forestry and less than 100 metres from the river which means that you can have breakfast and be fishing to fresh run Rainbow trout hours before anyone fit enough has trekked up that far. Few anglers or guides in the region know the Tauranga-Taupo River as well as Steve.

Steve’s enthusiasm is infectious and he’ll do everything possible to give you a fun rewarding experience.

Brad Snow
brad snow twizel tekapo fishing guide for the New Zealand Fly Fishing Co

Based in beautiful Twizel, Brad has fished and captained boats in wild locations all over the world, before being drawn back to the monster trout and stunning alpine vistas of the MacKenzie Country in the Sth Island. Brad is a true outdoorsman and loves to range exploring new locations for clients to target wild trout on the fly.

Whilst the majority of clients want to cast a fly on beautiful waters like the Tekapo and Ahuriri Rivers, Brad also provides the option of hunting gigantic rainbow and brown trout in the canals using other methods such as ‘egg rolling’, and even hunting deer and goats on nearby land. When you fish with Brad you know he’ll go above and beyond to give you a memorable adventure.

Declan Wong
Declan Queenstown fly fishing guide for the New Zealand Fly Fishing Company

Declan is our expert fly fishing guide for clients flying into Queenstown who want to target wild trout in the lower South Island’s famous rivers such as the Mataura and Greenstone. Sight fishing and casting dries to brown and rainbow trout surrounded by pristine mountains is a dream for many clients and Declan can deliver this experience.

A fishing expedition with Declan means you’ll learn alot, get some beautiful photos, and hear some great stories. Ask him how he got from being an actor and magician in New York 30 years ago, to a professional fly fishing guide in one of the most beautiful locations on earth.

Gian Booysen
Gian saltwater fly fishing guide for the New Zealand Fly Fishing Company Taupo and Tauranga

Saltwater-obsessed, Gian is focused on pursuing NZ’s many salty species with a fly. Much of his life has been centered around the yellowtail kingfish. This stunning species has numerous personalities: tailing on crabs, marauding baitfish and even hanging out with the short tail stingray. Seeing a pack of these predators competing for your fly is a sight you wont forget anytime soon… Little do people know New Zealand has one of the finest saltwater fly fisheries in the WORLD!

With a degree in marine biology, along with a skippers ticket and surveyed vessel, Gian has a well-rounded skill set that enhances his ability to provide a unique and knowledgeable experience like no other.

Ciaran Kirkham
Ciaran Taupo fishing guide for the New Zealand Fly Fishing Company

Originally from the UK, Ciaran cut his teeth fishing for coarse fish and quickly fell in love with angling and the outdoors. Since moving to NZ, he has lived in the central Nth Island for over 6 years and his obsession for fly fishing has only grown deeper, from chasing backcountry rainbows, trophy browns to shallow water kingfish out in the harbours.

He has a passion for fly tying and a creative mindset seeking out new patterns from small nymphs to big salt water flies to help make that dream capture come true. Ciaran is a warm and patient character who will put in the yards to capture that fish you’ve been searching for! 

Mike Fransham

Mike is a specialist Tongariro River and Tauranga-Taupo River Fly Fishing Guide who has been fly fishing since the early 1980s where he began to learn this art while living in Marlborough in the South Island. The late 1980s took him to Auckland where he soon found an escape in the rivers of the Central North Island, in particular, the Tauranga-Taupo and Tongariro rivers. In 2015 he moved to live on the banks of the Tongariro river where the trout are never more than a few minutes away. When you live on the banks of a river you build a unique affinity and intimacy with the river. It is more than just fishing! For this reason he specialises in fishing the Tauranga-Taupo and Tongariro rivers.

As a former airline pilot, Mike has a focus on systems and safety, attention to detail, and of course more than a few good stories.

Chris Power
Fly fishing guide Chris Power with a wild brown trout

Chris started fishing Lake Taupo with his Dad from a kayak in the early 1980s before graduating to fly fishing the Tokaanu Tailrace in its glory days and then the Tongariro spawning runs. As a teenager he would wet-wade in winter standing waste deep for hours in the Major Jones pool, and so was relieved years later to still be able to have kids.

Chris moved to Christchurch and spent years learning rivers such as the Hurunui, stalking beautiful brown trout in stunning locations. Now based in the Eastern Bay Of Plenty, he spends alot of time in the local fishery on rivers like the Whirinaki and Waioeka. Chris is a very calm fly fishing guide who loves getting people into fish.

Roy Bowers
Taupo fishing guide Roy Bowers

Roy has been fishing the Taupo Turangi region since he was 11, firstly from a boat with his Dad and later with his old mate Chris (bio above) and other friends fly fishing the Tongariro river spawning runs.

Over the 40+ years fishing the Taupo region Roy has seen the ups and downs of the fishery, new techniques arrive from overseas, and the growth in popularity of fly fishing nearby backcountry streams and rivers. Roy will usually be your first point of contact and can answer any questions you might have.