Island: 7 Day Fly Fishing Adventures 2018
for Summer 2018 listed now
PRICE $4,590 AUD per person
TAKING BOOKINGS FOR 2018 NOW
We are both sad, and a little excited, to announce that David Pickering (one of our leading guides) and Annella Campbell (trip cook) will be officially retiring from NZ duties at the end of this season’s trips.
Those of you who come across to NZ with us each year will no doubt be a little nostalgic about this, but it’s simply time for David to stop beating his body up each summer, and for the pair of them to relax and just go fishing.
We are all super-excited, as well as a little jealous, to see what they do next and we wish them all the best on this next chapter together. Thanks guys!
This of course has brought about some changes, but they are changes we have long been anticipating and working on, and therefore the transition will be the very definition of smooth.
Firstly, we cannot run eleven NZ weeks anymore. It is not viable from a business standpoint, and so we have had to pick the best five-week window. As a result, we have scheduled the trips to run right through February and into early March.
This five-week window, as determined by our diary records spanning two decades, is typically home to both the best fishing and finest weather. It also means that we only have 20 spots up for grabs in 2018; down from the 44 of most years.
On the guiding front, Cameron (David’s understudy) and Bo will be there to share most of the guiding responsibilities. Cameron has been guiding in NZ for the past twelve seasons and Bo has been fishing with us in NZ since 1999 and guiding there for the past 4-5 years. I will also be there to help, and as many of you will know, before the bushfires of 2009, I was doing 6-7 weeks guiding there each summer. So, you are still in the capable hands of our regular guides - plus one.
I (Antony) will be there for the duration; guiding occasionally and coming out on some days with the groups to take photos. I will also be there to ensure that things go smoothly and to help with the day to day operations back at base. It also means that we will have a backup guide, should illness or injury affect either Cameron or Bo.
I will also be updating the websites each night and compiling and editing the trip photos as we go. This means that everyone will walk away with a collection of photos from the week on a USB stick. I will also go out with the groups on some days, just to take photos. This means that everyone will go home with some high-quality images from the week.
Further to this we have just received confirmation from the chef up at Lake Mountain (near Marysville), that he will be coming across with us to take care of the food. An avid fly fisher, he has been wanting to look after our groups for several years and he sees this as his opportunity at securing an interesting summer job whilst being able to go fishing in his time off.
While Annella’ s departure has enforced this change and we will all miss Annella's welcome home each night and the care with which she treats each of us, it is important to note that the new meals will be delicious, and some positive changes will also be made to cater for everyone’s culinary preferences.
We are also working on a few additions to the trip that will make the pick-up/drop-offs an easier process and will mean less time waiting in airports or hotel lobbies. The guides are also looking at some further options to access some remote Fiordland rivers for those wanting to do a little more exploration.
So, all in all it will be business as usual next summer in NZ. We are all excited by these changes and we look forward to seeing most of you back for 2018 for more good times.
All the best and please check the dates and get back to us ASAP as spaces are now limited.
We have been running our NZ trips for nearly twenty years now and it is probably our most popular offering. Staying seven nights deep in the heart of Southland and being fully guided by our team of full time professional guides, this trip represents extraordinary value and offers you the chance to fish some of the world’s best trout streams.
The trips begin and end on a Sunday at Queenstown airport. An inexpensive three hour flight from either Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane puts you on the ground in Queenstown where you will be met by one of our staff members. From there it is a 90 minute drive along the stunningly beautiful Lake Wakatipu and down the Mataura River valley to our base of operations; a working deer farm outside of Mossburn in the centre of New Zealand’s best trout fishing region.
Upon arrival you will choose a bed, drop off your gear and get ready to head out for a brief orientation session on the lawn. It is here that we check everyone's gear and initiate first timers as to what to expect. Once this hour long session is complete, you can make the short stroll across the paddocks to fish the river for the evening rise. This is then followed by six full days of wonderful dry fly fishing for wild brown and rainbow trout.
Participants regularly catch fish up to 9lb in weight, with the average a solid 3+ lbs. Most of the rivers contain good numbers of large brown trout with daytime sight fishing the norm. By far the majority of fish are caught with dry flies. Glancing through our guide's journals from recent years reveals that over 95% of all fish were taken on dry flies.
The accommodation is comfortable and cozy but not upmarket; perfect for a group of keen fly fishers who only return home each evening to eat, sleep and recharge the batteries! The house is located on a working deer farm with the famous Aparima River running through it. From this base we have access to nearly twenty waters in the immediate area and many more within a 60 minute drive. You can even walk out the back door and fish to 3-5lb browns before breakfast or of an evening if you so choose!
The meals are prepared by our resident chef who travels with us on the trips. He is a also a keen fly fisher and manages to sneak out on short sorties between preparing meals for us. You can expect fresh, wholesome and tasty lunches ready to grab on the way out the door each morning and home cooked meals waiting for us when we return from fishing each evening.
This allows us, the guides, to focus on what we do best; making sure you have the best fishing experience possible.
Each week we fish a number of rivers, from the large, braided, flood-prone rivers of the valley floors; to the smaller tributaries that snake their way through the rich farmland of the region. There will be an opportunity to fish and experience a wide variety of waters; with the choice of which one to fish each day coming down to both the weather, and the preferences of our clients.
Perhaps our most asked questions is 'Will I be able to cope with the demands placed on me?' Our trips are for fly fishers of all ages and all skill levels. We pride ourselves on reading the needs of all trip participants and amending the pace to suit. If the pace is too great we can tone it down as required. Conversely, if you have a need to maximise that one week of fly fishing for the year or you're just an angling 'glutton'; we can ensure the maximum amount of time streamside.
Don’t be put off because you've read all the magazine articles and feel that you would not cope. We regularly take people of all ages and skill levels, from young teens to the two octogenarians who book each and every year!
If you are concerned that you may not be ready for a trip like this, all we can say is please phone us for a chat. We can assist you to improve your skill level dramatically before you go, no matter whether you are new to it or just need a little polish. We can also ensure that you are matched with someone at a similar level who has similar expectations. Further to this our guides welcome fly fishers of all levels; and guiding can always have a little instruction thrown in for good measure.
Seven days starting and ending at Queenstown Airport on a Sunday. The trip price includes transport, accommodation, meals, fishing licence and guiding. Alcohol and flights are the only things not included in the package price.
Bring a Friend
All trips are based on a guide ratio of1:2.That is there is a guide for every two fly fishers for a total of two guides, one photographer, four anglers and our cook. This ensures lots of quality time with an expert at your shoulder. While we can pair you up with someone of a similar age, fitness and skill level, nothing is better than sharing the experience with a good friend/s or family member/s.
Many of our regulars come back every year, either in pairs or in small groups and father/son/daughter pairings are common. This past year we had six parties of four that re-booked, some of whom have been coming with us since 1999. Please let us know if you are interested in more than one spot. While all weeks are set out as groups of four. We can cater to six if you book a group of that size.
Changes in 2018
Due to the retirement of David and Annella at the end of this season, we have introduced some changes to ensure that the trips continue to operate at a high standard.
Antony Boliancu, co-owner of Goulburn Valley Fly Fishing Centre and a guide of over 21 years experience, will be on all the trips in 2018. He will ensure that things run smoothly back at base, he will also do the airport runs and will edit and compile the photos at the end of each day. Thus ensuring that everyone leaves with a USB stick containing the best images from everyone's cameras.
Antony is also a photographer and he will go out with each guide and and pairing of anglers at least once each week. He will ensure that you get some high-quality, professional photos of your fish and also photo-journalist style shots of the day.
He will also be available to do some guiding upon request.
We are the only Australian Guides licensed to guide in New Zealand by New Zealand's Department of Conservation in Southland. We are also members of the Professional Fishing Instructors and Guides Association of Australia (PFIGA). Our trips book out quickly each year with a more than 80% client return rate.
You've almost convinced me. Tell me more.
GVFFC has been operating since 1994 as a full time guide service and has been running New Zealand trips for nearly that entire time. Our guides are full-time professionals who live, eat and breathe fly fishing. We take trips to destinations all over the world and our staff are also casting instructors, drift boat guides and generally experienced in all aspects of fly fishing.
That aside, the key difference between us and most of the other guides out there is that we treat our guided trips like we would a personal trip. We do long hours and don't have to be back in time for 4.30pm cocktails (as many other lodges require). We don't watch the clock or the petrol bowser when determining where to go on any given day. We go wherever the best fishing will be, with the only consideration being the wishes of our clients.
Our own chef prepares meals with the timing based on what river we have set out for on that day. Sometimes that may mean a 5.30pm dinner because our clients have indicated a preference to fish the evening rise after their meal. Other times we may decide to stay out late and dinner may not be until we get back; sometimes after dark. Sometimes one group may choose to arrive home early while the other stays out late. As such the meals are coordinated to fit in with the fishing and not the other way around.
Our guides stay on the same property as the guests and come back each night to eat and socialise with the group. While most other guides are dropping clients back at their hotel or lodge at 6pm and then taking off home, we are still either out fishing or back at the homestead enjoying a post-dinner drink and talking fishing.
After fishing in many of the world's premier fly fishing locations with some of the best guides and lodges, we feel that we have a package that is totally unique. Come join us for a week of superlative dry fly fishing in 2018 and see why so many of our clients keep coming back year after year!
Client's quotes from previous trips
My first NZ trip with the GVFFC team this year. Everything I hoped it would be and more. I can't imagine a better package for an Aussie fly fisher wanting to experience Southland. The accommodation, company and quality of guiding was spot on. Many thanks to your team and I can't wait to do it all again.
Hi Antony and co,
As a first time participant in a guided NZ tour I cannot speak highly enough of these GVFFC trips. The organisation and attention to detail is outstanding, and the trips represent fantastic value for money given the long hours we spend on the river with guides who are extremely knowledgeable, skilled, patient and supportive.
As a first timer I was made to feel very welcome, both from the guides and the other fishers in my group. We fished a different river each day which broadened our experiences of varying water and fishing conditions - I have learnt more in the past week with these guys than in the last 10 years.
I had a great time again. A lot of fun. I especially like the variety. I only recognised one place that I had fished during the previous two years. There seems no reason I would want to go to another part of the world since the experience in NZ is new every time. That said, there are many places I have been with you in NZ that I would be happy to see again. I look forward to a mix of old favourites and new challenges next year.
I really can't think of anything I would ask to be changed. The accommodation, the food, the guides and Nella are all great. Everyone goes far beyond what is required. No-one seems to watch the clock or want to finish fishing after a fixed number of hours. All instruction is tailored perfectly to our fishing level and physical ability. All we need to do is ask and a patient, complete answer is available on any fishing topic. I also enjoy the company of the other fishermen. All blokes I would never have met otherwise. We are now firm friends.
We all appreciated the lengths that you went to so that we had a full week of fishing despite our error of booking before we realised that there was a Sunday to Sunday turn around. I promise to pay close attention from now on.
Please keep doing what you are doing.
Once again GVFFC provide a great weeks fishing in NZ. The effort that David, Cameron and Annella went to exceeds expectations. After six trips it only gets better.
TAKING BOOKINGS NOW!
- Expressions of Interest can be lodged at any time. Bookings will be taken as per the schedule outlined below. Submitting an expression of interest allows us to properly plan and gives first timers a real chance at getting a spot or two. If any of the dates interest you, please Express an Interest right now!
- FIRST ROUND OFFER: Those that went with us to NZ in the past will be given first choice of the available dates for next summer's trips on Monday 19th February 2017
- SECOND ROUND OFFER: On Monday March 20, 2017 - any remaining spots will be advertised via the website, emails, online forums and print advertising.
- All bookings require a $1000 AUD deposit made by credit card, cheque, EFT or cash. A valid credit card must also be provided to finalise the booking regardless of which method is used to pay the deposit. The balance is due no later than December 1st, 2017.
- Our cancellation policy can be viewed here.
for Summer 2018
Please phone about the spots available even if they are listed as booked out as we sometimes have cancellations/other options available. Trips will run Sunday to Sunday in 2016 due to the flight schedule determined by the various airlines. Direct flights mean cheaper tickets and less travelling time.
for Summer 2018
A comprehensive brochure and promotional DVD is available for those needing more info. You can receive this by filling out our brochure request form located here. After receiving your request we will send you all the relevant info by mail ASAP. You will also receive our NZ brochure via email immediately.