Fly Tying

Best trout flies for fishing in New Zealand


Though between fly fishing, guiding, writing trout books and other adventures I have very little time to tie my own flies and only tie those I cannot get elsewhere, I’ve had a pleasure to fish with, and get to know some of the best fly tiers around, people like Marc Petitjean, Stu Tripney, Brendan Shields, David Murray-Orr, and recently Stu Foxall who spearheads the LOOP AKADEMI fly tying team and is helping with our chinook project.

With such illustrious company I’ve put together what I consider the best flies for trout fishing in New Zealand, and let’s start with Marc Petitjean:

Refresh your memory of the most common trout food and their life cycles.

These diagrams are courtesy of my good friend and fly tier extraordinaire Marc Petitjean. Marc’s CDC flies are some of the best ones I’ve ever used and his innovative tools and designs have inspired much of our own tying. So here we go, beginning with the mayflies, may they hatch for you wherever you are!






You can get Marc’s flies matching all these life stages, and his funky and innovative tools in his online shop here.


Marc Petitjean hooked up into a good North Island rainbow with one of his CDC dries

My regular fishing companion and Southland guide Brendan Shields ties excellent match-the-hatch flies for the Mataura river system. You’ll find some of this patterns here

mayflies NZ

Stu Tripney’s flies … where do I start? Stu’s Flyshop is my one-stop place to stock up on highest quality and durable flies. His Pogo nymphs, Willow Grubs, CDC dries, and rubber-leg nymphs are a must. You’ll find a huge selection of his flies here









A selection of my favourite flies featured in THE TROUT BOHEMIA:

A good selection of stillwater flies:


And, of course, the stuff of dreams …