Friday, 14 December 2012

New Zealand Fly Fishing, Helicopter Fly Fishing, Stu's Superior Flies, Stu's Fly Shop, Xmas News.


Another huge trophy brown trout from the Greenstone River - 9lb+ - that was fooled with a size 10 NZ Black Deadly Cicada on a 4wgt rod, landed in under 5 mins - the perfect Christmas gift :)

I hope you all have a great Christmas.
This looks like the last blog before Christmas, due to guiding and teaching work - in other words the silly season is nearly apron us all and it's time to do stuff.

Mark with his trout locator cap
If you are still trying to figure out what you would like for Christmas or to buy for a friend here are a few ideas!

1 - Stu's fly shop gift voucher

2 - Stu's Superior Fly Box with a selection of Stu's Superior Flies for any area you fish

3 - Guiding or fly casting gift voucher

Good hooks means you can put heaps of pressure on your rod, my client John nails another wary brown

4 - a unique sexy  Stu's Fly Shop t-shirt or Hoodie

5 - cool Stickman coffee mug - some thing that will get used every day and admired

6 - full retractor-indicator-pack - something that will get used every trip.

7 - a selection of Stu's Deadly NZ Cicadas and NZ Floating Willow Grubs as it hots up and before he runs out


last week - the brown beetles started to appear - go the bionic beetles
Cicadas have been seen in the casting area and are getting louder on the river banks. Already fish are taking cicadas off the top, mainly though it's been NZ Deadly Blow Flies size 12, brown and green beetles are on the menu big time as well. 

The back country rivers are alive with green beetles- go the bionic!

When I have been out guiding recently and we have been catching lots of fish trout on beetles, I will put a small indicator a few inches from the Bionic Beetles - to help clients or myself sometimes to detect takes. 
The other day guiding we had a big rainbow refuse, though carefully inspect 4 different dries which he had probably seen from many anglers before us, but when presented with a Bionic Green Metallic Beetle he had no hesitation - from then on that day nothing refused our indicator and beetle combo - even in fast water.

Stu's NZ Deadly Blowfly fools another very wary trophy brown trout.


A few great days since the start of the season I have been had with some clients from NZ and overseas. We're having some great shellfishing days with stunning views.

Most of the rivers fished the majority of fish landed have been rainbow trout with the odd trophy brown and nearly every one in the backcountry has come up for a dry, plenty of fat healthy fish in gin clear water. 

The important safety talk with client and guides

When we are using a chopper for access to fishing / guiding we fly over the rivers a height scanning for other fishermen - once we know that the river is clear of anglers we drop in - fish upstream and at the end radio the chopper to pick us up. It's pretty awesome stuff. 
As well as the radio for safety I also carry a small first aid kit and a personal locator beacon on all my guiding days chopper or 4x4 guiding.

Are you just going to leave me here with clients! Awesome!

I recommend that if you are heading into the backcountry that you need to take a locator beacon with you for your own safety. 
These beacons have saved many lives - you always think it will never happen to you!! Be prepared.


This year thanks to Ela helping me so much, my guiding has been even more relaxed than usual and huge trout, fun and laughs have been had by all of my clients. It's so good to have so many old clients returning.

Mark and Lady Di returned again for another 8 days of bent rods and sore cheek bones, from laughing.
Erik and Marie after 4 years of hard saving from Sweden returned and both nearly cried when they had to leave and I don't blame them - the fishing was awesome the week they were here.

More photos of the guiding and tales of the huge and small trout in my next newsletter in January.

A shame to hear that the Garston Pub - where allot of my clients will stay and eat - is changing.

Al - the chef who is a master in the kitchen - has had his lease cut short - the pub will still be open though - let's hope the new lease owners can manage to keep up Al's standards.

Though Naylors Cottage is still the number one favourite for most of my clients for accom and food only 5 min drive from the shop and Mataura River.

Oh - I still have a limited number of dates available for guiding  in the new year, but best contact me soon as they fill up quickly.

A year of huge Oreti trout for my clients - look at the size of this wild brown trouts head as we remove a Bionic Green Beetle from its size 14 hook
SHOP HOURS - The shop will be open over Christmas and New Year


on Facebook and read nearly daily what has been happening at the shop, soon we will be streaming shop interviews with customers and local and visiting customers!! Now that's going to be fun. For special offers, great fishing info and prizes and the best shop fly news, it's best to SIGN UP TODAY and receive the Stu's monthly news that every month you will look forward to receiving in your mail.

NEW PRODUCT- STU'S NZ FLY CASTING/FISHING BOOTCAMP-  5 days - accom, equipment, etc. included

At the start of every day we do some Zumba Fly Casting! (joke),   analysing the day before on the laptop. Lady Di getting her stroke perfect.

Recently I have been busy with some returning clients who have enrolled in my Fly Fishing Bootcamps - more about this later. But as usual - it's based around becoming the best fly fisher and fly caster you could ever be and it runs over 5 days with accom included and at the end you will leave with great memories and new casting stream craft skills. 

Please enquire if you wish more information on becoming a great fly fisher and fly caster - click here

Yes - yet again Stu's Fly Shop: guiding, teaching, Superior Flies gets  another great mention in a world class German fly fishing magazine - world famous? well maybe just in Germany! But as normal I'm working on it.

Yes behind the scenes all the building is done in house
Yes - most of you have been calling worried that someone has stolen the shop signs and we thank you for letting us know. Soon the new signs will be erected and i'm afraid there are some PC changes being made - but hey - it's still going to be one hell of a sexy huge sign and the shop will still be the cutest coolest fly shop in the world.

But its doors will only be able to stay open if you all shop with us - that bit is crucial for a small shop like this to survive. I thank you all.


The new Deadly Blood Worm has been devastating rainbows stocks

Hi Stu, I 
dropped by your store approx one year ago.  Unfortunately I will not be in NZ this season (off to Chilean Patagonia instead, where dragonfly patterns are very effective and I fished successfully with your sinking dragonfly nymphs last season). I would like to place an order for allot more... Trevor, USA

I little while back I purchased a selection of your flies, I couldn’t have been happier with them and they have certainly fished the pants of anything I buy around here (Melbourne).
Anyway I’m going to be in NZ late January for 10 days (concentrating on the bottom of the South) and except for a steep learning curve I’m not really sure what to expect but I’m very excited nonetheless.  
I’ve got something of an idea of the rivers I want to fish but as far as flies go im pretty clueless.

Mark my client with a wild NZ brown trout - what a sexy looking fish!

If the fishing is anything like what it is here Im guessing in late Jan terrestrials would be on the menu but besides that I don’t really know.
I was wondering if you would be able to suggest a selection of suitable flies for me to purchase?
My budget would ideally between $100-$150.

Have a great silly season on the river and with your families.
Stu & Ela

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The fly fishing advert, Huge NZ Trophy Brown trout, creative photography

Hello guys,

It's been all go at this end and for some reason my work load does not seem to get less, but time has been found to get out twice now for a wee fish. And some huge fish have been caught!

The weather has been great and the fishing hot as you will all know from the Christmas newsletter that has been just sent out today.

Sign up today for the newsletter if you have not already done, so that you do not miss out on the special FREE offers click here to sign up- it's easy

A huge trophy brown trout that I managed to fool - this is why only the best hooks are used on my flies, you just never know when the big one will show up! The fly that caught it


Fly Life is an awesome magazine, that i have supported from day one and have spent thousands of dollars advertising with, (which keeps magazines going)I still have all my copies from vol one!!its hard to believe how long they have been on the go.
 The editor and the rest of the guys have done some amazing work with the magazine and i take my hat off to them for having some humor , steeping out side the square and helping me with the design of this advert and putting it in print.
They all loved it  right from the start.

For over 4 years the vision of getting a special photo for an advert that would hopefully make many people smile would pop into my head.
Many attempts at getting one were made but just never managed to capture it properly.
 Whilst in the USA the other year - chasing my favourite wary fish the common Carp - the perfect location with a great back drop was found.  That day was spent trying to pull that shot off, but failed.
 Realising that the best light for the shot would be in the morning as soon the sun came up in the bay.
 A nice carp had been sighted the previous day maybe he would also be there in the morning.

The excitement was running through my veins, realising that the sky was blue and just maybe today would be the day I may have the chance to capture the moment.
Scuttling along the high banks, stumbling every now and then in the rush to get to the spot.
Shaking with excitement I fumbled away rigging up my 9wgt rod and tied on the new carp gimp fly that I have been working on for  many years. 
He was there and he had a brother or sister long side, they cruised along the white silicon sand hunting down any cray fish that made the terrible mistake of letting their presence known to the suction lips of death.

The next lot of fumbling around was setting up the tripod and the camera, all then while thinking should I try for the fish or set up the camera! Fish - camera - fish - fish - no camera! 

With everything in place, hopefully he would appear again.
Waiting in silence with my heart beating and my hands shaking made me realise why I fly fish.

 As the two carp approached the area, my heart was pounding as I knew these carp were very wary.
A careful cast out with a little plop well in front of them, soon had the GIMP sitting on the bottom hopefully in the correct spot. 
Just like sight fishing for trout or bonefish as soon as they were inches from the gimp I gave it that - come and eat me twitch - instantly the lips of death shot out from my friend and engulfed the Gimp. 

I could see in the clear water had a noticeable red mark on his side he was the same fish I had seen the previous day and my reel screamed as he made a bid for freedom.

Soon he was under control and chilling out in my net unharmed. I was looking round to make sure no other fishermen were around or rangers as they just might not get what was my plan ! As I dropped my shorts  :)
After a few attempts I finally got the shot and my friend was released unharmed, unknowingly about to be a star in his own right.
After a few years of holding onto my work it was decided. It was time to start to release some of my creative photographic work, with plenty more to follow.

The advert created a little bit of a storm as some said it was not PC enough for the magazine that printed it, others said it would harm my business, did I care! Many complemented me with my creative advert with some great emails of support.
 There are far more worse things in the world than some fun, but I could be wrong.
Personally I think that some people in the fly fishing game should loosen up a little and realise that they only live once and should learn to smile.
 Fly fishing and life should be fun - not all life or death?
After all if you use my Unique fish catching fly designs that are on the best Tiemco fly hooks - this could be you!
Thank you all the amazing support, please forward this to any of your friends that may need to smile today.
Stu-" Inspired by Nature and Driven by Passion"

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Aitutaki Bonefish ,Itu's Bones dvd, Fly fishing for Bonefish, Aitutaki Bonefish Flies,trophy bonefish,Fly fishing guides Aitutaki , fly fishing the cook islands

I hope you all liked the information and the photo of that huge 20lb + trout in last weeks newsletter (not the blog). Remember to sign up for Stu's newsletter - for news from the shop and vice, comps, prizes and fun.
This weeks blog is about the Aitutaki and the big bonefish, that many of my clients have been to and more are asking about. 
All these post and news letters take time and effort, so feel free to shop with Stu's Fly Shop and support the passion.

Over 10 yrs ago I travelled to Raratonga. After a busy guiding season in NZ, it was time to escape the winter.
The cook islands were looking promising after a lot of research, the word bonefish and an image kept creeping into my head.
So a plan was hatched, new saltwater tying material arrived in the post along with good saltwater hooks I was slightly getting pumped up!

Realizing fly orders need filled, a pile of trout fly tying materials were packed as there was lots of trout fly orders for the following season.

Sitting in the sun at a resort, loving the heat of the sun on my skin. 
Getting plenty strange looks as thousands of small brown pogo nymphs came from my vice.

As soon as a majority of my tying work was finished, out came the big boy hooks and the sparkly stuff!

Before long a figure was sneaking around the shores of Raratonga armed with a Sage 9 wgt, dreaming of grey torpedos.
With the help of some wonderful locals, pointing me in the correct direction, I would cast all sorts of saltwater flies into the water and catch quite a few different species of fish, some I never did learn the name of. 
Before long realization kicked in, Raratonga was not the place to target Bonefish, the name Aitutaki Kept coming up, so I cut my stay short on Raro and was soon on a small plane to  Aitutaki.
Bonefish are bottom feeders - carp are known as the freshwater bonefish !

Aitutaki was instantly like finding a small piece of heaven, friendly locals, good food, bikes to hire and fishing. 
After a phone call to the only guide on the island - who gave me the feeling he was very busy and could not guide me. But soon he came to his senses and realized he was not busy and was just had the old island lazy disease.
His wife must overheard the conversation and may even hit him on the head with a coconut to make him realize money was to be made..

For the next 6 days I enlisted his sevices and loved every fun minute of it.
Fishing hard and casting like a demon hoping to connect with a grey torpedo. Eventually after 3 days my first Aitutaki bone fish of around 7lbs came to my hands. Lost 5 others into coral where they all managed to bust me off or hang me up.
All up in the 7 days I landed 3 bones and lost 5. Looking back in my diary I sighted only 12 bonefish in all that time and I had perfect sight fishing weather..
On nearly everyday guided in the main lagoon, we encountered relatives of my casual guide. They were out netting fish, mainly targeting bonefish as it was a local tradition and the bones were a sought after pickled fish delicacy.

It was during my time of 13 days in total on the island I started to develop my bonefish shrimp and some other saltwater baitfish patterns. An old copy of Dick Browns bonefish book was also read every night and used as reference.
From which I learned if you have a bonefish heading into the coral, take the drag off and they will slow down and most of the time will stop.
Then gradually apply tension and try and steer them into the next blistering run away from the coral.
This technique I actually learned and practiced many years later on many bonefishing & fly design trips to Christmas islands, if only it had been applied on the Aitutaki bones, lost into the coral!

In the last 4yrs the Aitutaki bonefish fishery has changed dramatically.
A great DVD called Itu's Bones has been made featuring the new highly trained bonefish guides, the turn around with the fishery and it's history, not to mention the breath taking tropical views the island.
If you are thinking of heading that way I recommend you get a copy of it.

You now need a fishing license, the new guides are all kitted out and now are nearly fully booked every day. 
From all the reports coming back from my clients who have been heading over, it is turning into a great fishery and a huge new tourist revenue for the island.

The fishing

Like one of my friends who had just returned said "people still go to Aitutaki think they will catch lots of bones and fall over them and it will be easy, just like big trout in New Zealand". It's not a numbers game in Aitutaki, it's fishery is all about quality and beauty.
There is a big chance that you may catch one of the biggest bonefish of you fly fishing life. 
There is also a chance that you may catch a record breaking bonefish. 
Some bonefish have been found years ago in the nets at 20+ lb. 
The chances are you will catch one in 3-5 days fishing and will definitely see some big bones.
There are also plenty other species to fish for from the shore or a hired kayak. 
One day when I was wading in the lagoon a huge black shadow similar to the size of a mini cooper car headed out of the lagoon towards the channel, a huge trevally! So you never know.

Aitutaki Bonefish- rods, reels, lines & flies

Bonefish Rods-

You may get some strong wind, you may have to cast a slightly heavy fly to get down, you may have to control a big bone, you may break a rod.

For these reason I suggest to take at least 2x 9wgt rods and if you are heading out on a day trip/afternoon for whahoo or tuna, trevally take also 10wgt.

Saltwater Reel

Take a good sealed drag reel with you and a spare is always recommended. Yes they need have plenty of backing as big bones love taking people well into the backing.
Both reels should also have a spare spool with them, rigged with backing and another line on it, for quick changing if needed.

Saltwater fly lines have a stiffer core to cope with the tropical heat. 
So do not take your trout lines with you thinking they will do. They will not and will stick to the rod when casting. I know first hand of this money saving mistake.

Most of the fishing will be done with a floating line with a sinking tip. I would also recommend an intermediate line, especially if your fishing one of the 16 ft drop off areas that some bones like to cruse along. 
The intermediate line will also be good if its windy and will help keep your fly on the bottom better.

Take at least two of each fly lines, as fly lines getting cut on coral is quite normal. 
A trip in New Caledonia chasing bonefish one year, left me with two destroyed fly lines within 10 mins of each other, due to coral.

A selection of different weights and lengths will be needed. 15lb+ fluro carbon tippet has always worked for me on bigger fish and deeper water.
Heavier tippet for all the bigger fish you may encounter-  20- 30lb.

Aitutaki Bonefish Flies / Wahoo, Trevally,Tuna

Even very small bone fish can crush the best hooks.
Though you are going to have a much better chance if you have flies tied on good hooks with sharp points to help penetrate the hard mouths of  all saltwater fish. It's always best to take more than you think you will need. It's not unusual to lose 10 flies in a day for some people.
Remember if you are not used to saltwater fly fishing keep the rod down and strip strike - although its hard to remember after years of trout striking, where you raise the rod upwards.

Shrimp patterns - in a variety of sizes and weights - Pearl /Tan will be needed along with some worm, crab patterns. 

After years of trail and error a new range of little "come and eat me " saltwater flies have been released.
They all sit on the bottom and have plenty of movement due to the materials used. These are becoming hot favorites of the guides in Aitutaki, some of Stu's Superior Flies where also featured in the great DVD Itus Bones.

A selection of baitfish flies again in various sizes are always recommend for the other species. Although some of the big bones that my customers have landed have been taken on the Big eye baitfish fly. As big bones love eating other fish. 

I hope you found this informative, please feel free to share this information with your friends.

If you need more information or some equipment, Stu's Superior flies, lines, leaders, tippet for your trip please visit - 

Since these bone fishing trips I have also worked as a saltwater fly fishing guide for a season in Australia where more knowledge about saltwater flies and tackle was  experienced.

Have a great trip.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012



Yes - the new season is under way and happy fishermen and women have been in the shop.
The Red Hot Killer Nymphs are the number one choice for most, followed by NZ Tungsten Gold Bead Mayfly Nymphs in smaller sizes. The wee bit of bling on these seems to work early season on the Southland rivers.
Lots of different guides have been in for their season stock up and it's always good to catch up with them and find out how their bookings are. 
This is a time when most of the guides actually get a few days to fish, well the keen guides do.
For me that's a great thing to see guides who like me have fused their passion with their work still out there enjoying there passion.

A huge trout being released by my last client

Paul from Wanaka  

was through yesterday and had  managed a 3/4 day out playing. He had managed to land 5 brown trout between 3-5lb and was pretty happy about that on his first day of the season.
If you are over that way in Wanaka and looking for a friendly knowledgeable guide check his services out

He was pretty disappointed that I was out of my black Ninja Nymphs as he was after dozens of them as they were his go to fly of the day and last season. 
Which was great to hear that his clients had success with them, he was mainly fishing them of the back of a size 10 Mayfly Bomb connected by 5lb rio fluro plus tippet.
Hopefully I'll have the Ninjas back in stock soon.

It's spring and sometimes the young lambs don't make it to the barbie.
This one was eaten by some feral pests.

The weather here in Athol has actually been pretty settled and the main Mataura river has been mainly running clear. Snow has fallen on the mountains and some days it's cold. But already the birds are looking for nesting materials and spring is on its way.

Non Spooky Trout And Spooky!

Most of the trout at the start of the season will let you have a few casts over them, some trout that I was guiding some clients onto who were not so accurate let us try up to 20 times before they were hooked or not. 
Though it was interesting to see some trout after 3 attempts learn pretty quickly. 
Already I hear some of the larger wise trout on some rivers that have not been caught are moving off just after one fly drift past them - I love that stuff it just amazes me, that some how they know the season has opened, and seem to remember from previous seasons.

Check out these unique NZ Fishing Note books - a great gift

The Office

The days have been long in the office, busy working on some new cool stuff that soon you will get to know about.
I'm twitching to get on the vice but the paper work comes first - well so my accountant keeps telling me.

Great customer feedback - photos and comments.

Some of the biggest Bonefish have been caught on my designs!

Your flies are awesome.
Have a great season and will see you when I'm down poaching your Area!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers Deano - pro NZ fly fishing Guide

The Waters Of Greenstone - new NZ DVD

Just in is a new DVD The Waters Of Greenstone and it's pretty cool that Stu's Fly Shop is on it. Check out one of the trailers.

ORETI RIVER - Vandal / Criminal Angler - Anglers

Well the much publicized Oreti river has been getting it's usual pounding at the start of the season and there is nothing wrong with that - it's a great river. 

I was told the other day already people thinking it's their river and letting down the tyre of a vehicle that was parked on the top bridge - I'm not sure if this person was camped there all night, that's beside the point.. 

Things like this are not good for NZ, so if you saw anything please report the culprit to the police, fingers have been pointed but no evidence, there was a few people around that day at the top bridge, someone knows something - we are fishermen not vandals - come on guys! Lucky the guy had a spare.


Remember to sign up for the newsletter and like us - on facebook - doing so, you will be receiving some great new special offers, shop news and our new competition news!
Ela (the fake blondie) is in charge of that side of things, so send her your feedback and photos.
We love all the cool photos and soon will be using them, so watch out for your mug shot appearing !

Huge deals on fly tying material!


Yes I'm over stocked with fly tying material so - it's at the moment all 1/2 price what is in stock, dubbing, foam etc.

Sage fly rod & Reel Deals- SALE

I have also got to move some models of Sage rods and Lamson reels so check out the clearance section on the site for some great deals.
Simms boots and waders are also getting cleared out and are heavily discounted all the ones in stock - I have limited stock so contact me soon - or check the clearance section on the site.

Gift vouchers - great gift

It's that time to think about gift vouchers for a Xmas gift - so if you want to give someone the coolest looking gift voucher possible - click here


If you have the book the trout diaries - read it again and get your juices flowing. 
The author will be through to sign books in the shop, so if you do not have a copy of  this book - if you get one from me it will be signed - and may be worth $$$$$ in the future ?

Eddie with one of his big browns before he fell in! 

Eddie the Shower King!

The last time I guided Eddie he fell over in the middle of the river and went right under. What was strange he just fell over it was a flat sand bottom. 
Being professional I did not laugh as I could see his man pride was hurt ! :) He made me promise not to tell anyone - especially his father back at the shop. Being myself - I have never told anyone!

After some years he returned to be guided again and lucky for us we picked the right day and he caught and lost some lovely big browns. 
He also nearly fell in again, but he is a fun guy so having to carry an extra towel with me when I guide him is now just part of my job. Oh and he is not old! He is just a wobbly kind of guy! :) - I sure hope he will not read this - or his friends :) :)

Here is a few photos of the days guiding the other day we got most of the fish on size 12 NZ grey Realistic Mayfly Nymphs off a size 8 bomb as the water was deep and we need a heavy bomb to get the smaller nymph down.

Australia - High Country outfitters in Jindbyne NSW

are stockiest of my flies and their orders are getting bigger and bigger. 
Which is awesome as they have supported me right from the start as they know quality.
If you are in their area check out their shop and services. So if you know or are a cool fly shop that wants to stock my Superior fly range contact me or Ela. 

Well best get to the shop and get my open flags out! 


Stu & Ela