“Derek was not only my guide on a 5 day fishing trip, but he also made lodging arrangements and provided transportation and meals other than dinner. I could not ask for anyone more talented and dedicated to sight fishing brown trout. The weather notwithstanding, I had a trip of a lifetime.

Derek is a thoughtful and polite gentleman, but when he is on the hunt he transforms into a total professional dedicated to putting you on the fish and helping you to catch, land and release them. He is not a 8 am to 4 pm guide, but will take you to the evening hatch, and take you to off the beaten path water that he has personally explored.

Personally, Derek is affable, friendly and very well read and can converse on almost any topic. He is good company-something to consider when you commit to a multi-day excursion. I’ll be back.” Ron S, Seattle, US.

“I’ve been fortunate to fly fish with some great angling characters here in New Zealand. But a trip with Derek stands out. He embodies the rare blend of sport, science and art that takes fly fishing to the pinnacle. He’s got the sharp eyes of a naturalist, an enthusiasm for sight fishing, a mountaineer’s endurance, and a hunter’s instinct. He knows some great rivers. And he’s plain fun to fish with.” Casey Cravens, Wild Angler


“If you want sight fishing for weary Browns or feisty Rainbows then Derek is the man you should call on. From back country streams to hidden spring creeks you are sure to have and experience to remember. I would fish with him again any time.” Brendan Shields, NZ


“As the founder of Castabroad I am privileged to meet many fly fishing guides around the world. Derek is a patient, story wielding, and knowledgeable guide that makes a day or two or 10 splendid. His forte is getting away for 3-4 days with his client into some remote stream or two far far away on overnight campouts by the water.” Craig Somerville, Castabroad


“Last year Derek introduced me to the magic of sight fishing in small backcountry streams. Thanks to his patience, keen eyesight and uncanny ability to encourage without patronising, I enjoyed an extraordinary day’s fishing.

A true “Trout Bohemian,” he lives and breathes his craft but can still indulge the weekend enthusiast and allow him to experience the dream. He is an accomplished yarner but able also to respect the silences. I have fly fished for over fifty years but sharing time on South Island streams with Derek makes me realise how much I have to learn about this arcane art.

I look forward to spending many days in his company, unlocking more secrets and exploring more of New Zealand’s hidden gems.” Mike Hitchen, Australia.


“Un guide extraordinaire!” Marc Hertault, France.


“Merci Dereque, c’était superb de pecher avec toi!” Marc Petitjean, Switzerland.


“… Hi Derek, just a brief note to thank you for the wonderful day Brendan and I spent with you and Maya on the stunning … River. Despite the poor river conditions your falcon-like eyes paid handsome dividends in the form of that wonderful 7lb brown trout, which you conjured up from the margins of a flooded pool …. a perfect example of New Zealand sight fishing at its very best!! I’m currently suffering a seriously bad bout of NZ withdrawal syndrome and we’ll certainly be back for more in the very near future … what a guide, what an awesome and unique location !! Ken Whelan (world salmonid expert) Research Director of the Atlantic Salmon Trust


“Derek, Thank you very, very much for giving my dad a special day! He had an absolute blast. If I get down there, I’ll definitely try to schedule a few days with you.” Chris P, USA

“Hey Derek, I just wanted to drop you a belated thank you for taking me to some pretty amazing places with some outstanding fish. It was a real pleasure fishing with you and getting to know you a bit. I learned a ton and had a great time. Every time I start to get complacent about my presentation I think about some of those big fish and it keeps me wanting to get better at it. And of course the fish I did manage to land remain vivid in my memory, not to mention the scenery and good company.” Brian C, USA


“Hey Derek, Thanks for a great time last week. I picked up quite a few helpful hints while fishing with you that will be used from now on.

It was disappointing the weather was not with us for the first couple of days, but the time spent with you and Owen was something I shall remember, especially the sight fishing (my heart rate is finally back to normal, what a rush that was.)

Good company, a few laughs and a few fish, to me it does’t get better than that. Thanks again for you patience and the knowledge that you passed on. A most memorable time.” Bart J. Australia


“Just to thank you for a most enjoyable trip and taking me to such varied and scenic water. You are the perfect host and a great instructor. I’ll be back next summer!” Donald R, Scotland

“Derek, I had the best time ever, a remarkable fly fishing adventure, and I loved every minute I had fishing with you. You are an incredible guide and a gifted teacher. You truly helped me to become a better fly fisherman, and gave me a deeper connection with the water, my line, and the fish at the end of it.” – Craig Hasselbach, USA

Craig H
“Hi Derek, just to thank you for a very enjoyable and engrossing fishing trip: I learned heaps : it was a real privilege to fish with you. I look forward to fishing with you again some time next year.”  Roly A, Australia

stephen“I had a great week fishing the Southland rivers with Derek. Derek spends the time to get to know his clients and to understand them. He helped me slow everything down, become aware of everything around me, and to concentrate and enjoy the moment. He is patient, knowledgeable and generous. His guidance helped me fish better with improved skills and confidence and his approach to fishing ensured I came home feeling a lot more relaxed having found my ‘Zen’ place. I’m looking forward to catching up with Derek again next year.” Stephen B, Australia

tony“Many thanks for a great week Derek, we’ll be back next season,” Anthony S, Australia

fly fishing in New Zealand with Derek Grzelewski

“Hi Derek,
I really enjoyed the opportunities you provided for me to indulge my passion for Dry fly fishing.  You were patient and supportive. The results were outstanding: 7 fish between 3 1/2 lb- 5 1/2 lbs on one day, 8 on another … The photos you took are really treasured.
When the rain passed through and the rivers started to clear up we found ourselves with just one good shot at the Secret Spring stream … What a fantastic place, amazing scenery, a backdrop to die for and fish that did the setting full credit.
The two handsome silvery grey Buck Browns that we landed were memorable in the stalking and landing … These fish were almost like a different species: tough, wily and coloured so much like the austere stony terrain that they call home, under the clearest blue skies and most majestic snow capped peaks I have ever seen. One was 5 1/2 lbs and one over 7.
I enjoyed camping out in a tent. Your cooking was excellent and the local wines went down a treat with long and satisfying conversations around the campfires. Altogether a most memorable trip, 23 fish well over 3 lbs each in 5 good fishing days: I’ll be back! Thanks mate.”
Roly A,  Melbourne Australia

Best fishing trip ever! Jennifer White, Colorado