New Zealand is on the bucket list of pretty much every fly fisherman who doesn’t happen to live in, well, New Zealand. It’s a spot that often remains trapped on the list as opposed to getting checked off though, mostly because of the common misconception that only the super-rich can afford to go fish those
waters. Not so! Yes, helicopters are nice; but four wheel drive and hiking boots work just fine as well, and as long as you are with someone who knows where to put them you can make the most of your time on the rivers of your South Island dreams. Jeff Forsee is that someone.
Jeff is one of the few people we know who truly guides all year every year, crossing the equator and sometimes the prime meridian as well to stay with the seasons as the Earth tilts back and forth. A permanent resident of the South Island and member of the New Zealand Professional Guides Association, Jeff currently divides his time between there and Mongolia, where he helps anglers chase Taimen with the same dedication and passion he uses to put anglers into the rainbows and brown trout of New Zealand.
Brown trout were first introduced into New Zealand waters via the importation of 800 fertilized ova from Tasmania in 1867. Rainbows arrived in the early 1880’s, descendants of the same McCloud River Steelhead that Argentine Patagonia was stocked with around this same time. Both species found a most excellent new home environment and soon became prolific, although the browns to a greater degree than the rainbows. For a look at the history of this fishery along with spectacular views of its scenery and the fishing itself, the video above is well worth the time it takes to watch. Once you do though, the deal will probably be sealed - you're coming down.