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“My dream is to repeat my adventure with Jake!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Rivers Fly Fishing

Southern Rivers Fly Fishing
30 Rata St, Wanaka 9305, New Zealand
+64 3 443 6941
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Ranked #22 of 65 Activities in Wanaka
Type: Other, Adventure
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Owner description: Fly fishing with experienced Wanaka fly fishing guides. Get the most from your precious time in the fly fishing paradise that surrounds Wanaka. The guides at Southern Rivers Fly Fishing have vast local knowledge of the lower South Island rivers and lakes along with boundless enthusiasm that will take you a long way toward your dream fly fishing experience. Pristine fly fishing rivers, unique fly fishing experiences.
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“My dream is to repeat my adventure with Jake!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

Sadly, I have not been able to do this recently due to serious illness, but if there is one thing, alongside the obvious ones like family etc, that motivates me it is the thought of returning to Wanaka, and meeting up with Jake and going fishing again. I have been used to trout fisheries and pellet fed fish mainly on reservoirs in the UK, but wild trout fishing in NZ was like being in another world - perhaps the UK with a population of 4 million, not 64 million!
I arrived in Wanaka and headed for the tackle shop to ask about 'local Guides'. I was directed to a young man, who was coincidentally shopping there at the time. A life long friendship started that very moment. I met Jake about 10pm that evening and we crept down to the banks of the mighty Clutha, cast some flies on a short leader, and 'slurp, slurp' later plump, hard fighting trout were on the bank. One could here the trout slurping and the anticipated excitement of a take was almost too much. Evening trout fishing at its most magnificent. Jake knew where they were and on what they were feeding. I followed this up with several more day and evening trips in the same week, and the sight fishing was also superb. I'm not a top fly-fisher but was able to cast well enough to tempt some whoppers up to 4/5 lb. Not always easy to land though. Again Jake was patient, working with me on what skills I had, trying to develop them and improve my technique, all in a superb professional manner. I did fish elsewhere in NZ (North and South) and caught trout, BUT what made Wanaka so great was Jake. I know he now offers heli trips, remote fishing, short and long trips - I will return once I've beaten the dreaded cancer - those trout had better watch out. Best wishes to all who use Jake, but please leave some availability for me!!!! In fact perhaps I should not be publishing just how good he is. Riopicasso
My trip was 5 years ago, so is not that recent, although I've had to put Feb 2013 otherwise it seemed it would not be accepted. I have spoken with Jake on several occasions re fishing again and he looks forward to welcoming me when I am fit and well. If the date below excludes my info, that will be a pity.

Visited February 2013
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16 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2013 via mobile

It's hard to express what an amazing day we had, Jake was fabulous, scenery was beautiful and the weather wasn't half bad either. We couldn't recommend Jake enough, he is very knowledgable about the surrounding areas and knows all the great spots to go, and the chocolate brownie for lunch really goes down a treat. Thanks Jake for a great day out :-)

Visited May 2013
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Jake-SRFlyFishing, Owner at Southern Rivers Fly Fishing, responded to this review, May 25, 2013
Sharon I had a great day with you guys also, it was a pleasure meeting such happy fun people. I hope you find time to get down this way again next season and hopefully we can get you guys out chasing some deer also. Thanks,

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Froson, Sweden
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“The perfect fishing guide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Coming to the lovely country of New Zealand, with the luck of flying into Queenstown airport on a crystal clear sunny day, meeting a lot of friendly people, mine and my son’s expectations successively rose to a very high level. Nevertheless, ending up in the helpful hands of the perfect fishing guide, Jacob Berry surpasses any expectations.
By his thorough planning and preparations everything was destined to become an unforgettable experience. However, even the best of preparations are not enough when the weather actually turns out to be too good! The river we were to fish in for three days was very low with a rising temperature. Fish were gathering at the bottom of the bigger pools, where lack of oxygen contributed to their reduced activity.
After half a day of fishing – actually with some fish on – Jake quickly decided to move to another of his favorite waters. He very effectively rearranged the complete guiding setup. The hours spent in extra travelling were worth every single second! When we finally arrived at the “back-up” river, we realized we were in trout heaven.
The two days of fishing under Jake’s guidance was one of the best fishing experiences I ever had in my soon 40 years of fly fishing. To share this with my son definitely brought another dimension to it.
Jake is a very humble person, but yet still quite demanding when it comes to his guest’s performance by the water. In my opinion he has a superb way of adapting his guiding to the actual conditions. This goes for both his ability of reading the water as well as reading the persons he guides.
Jake spots the fish, designs a strategy on where to position his pupil, delivers full instructions on how to present the fly and finally he informs you when the fish slowly rises to inspect and hopefully take your fly. I can still hear his “try that length”, “coming up..coming up” and “YES!!!”.
Both I and my son landed some amazing, beautifully conditioned trout in sizes from 5 lb to 7 lb. I doubt we would have caught any of these without the help of Jake.
Altogether we had a wonderful time with Jake. We would never hesitate to fish with him again if opportunity comes. We give him our highest recommendations.
Gunnar and Gustav, Sweden

Visited February 2013
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Jake-SRFlyFishing, Owner at Southern Rivers Fly Fishing, responded to this review, May 27, 2013
Gunnar and Gustav thank you guys for the special trip also. I am happy that we did what we had to do to get you guys a fantastic experience here in NZ. It was a special trip and one to remember. You both fished well and it was a real pleasure as alway to share what I love with people who respect it as much as I do. I look forward to your return one day soon and look forward to showing you some new and equally rewarding wilderness trout fishing. Thanks.

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Steamboat Springs, Colorado
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“If you like fishing, Jacob Berry is the only guide you need!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

My friend and I have fished in many different countries and throughout the US and with many different guides, but can't remember when we have had such a professional, friendly and knowledgable guide as Jacob. We found lots of fish, saw great scenery, visited interesting pubs, had good food and, did I mention, found lots of fish. He provided whatever gear we needed as well as the right flies. It was a real pleasure to fish with him and we look forward to going back to New Zealand and the Queenstown area and catching more fish with Jacob.
Dick Dworsky- Anchorage, Alaska

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

Difficult to articulate what a great experience this was but i'll have a go:

1. The scenery: breathtaking. Went for the heli option. The day before we fished we drove about an hour from Wanaka, stayed in a small lodge, then a half hour drive the following morning to the helicopter, which dropped us off in this very remote valley. No sign of anything man made. Just mountains, forest, and gin clear water. Was remarkable. I really didn't realise places this remote and stunning still existed.

2. The fishing: exceptional. Where we landed the water was very very calm and clear. I was a bit concerned because your first cast at a fish is the only chance you get because they are all so wild and get spooked very easily. However, there was a lot of river to cover and no shortage of fish. Although still extremely challenging, as the day went on and you get in your stride it becomes less difficult. The fishing is very much like hunting/stalking. We were wearing hiking boots/waterproofs and where we couldn't go round the banks we just waded upstream. Because of the clearness of the water you were always fishing at fish as opposed to just chucking your fly in. Great variety as well, ie fishing from the centre of the river and both banks, crouching behind logs etc, fishing with dry-flys or nymphs.

3. The guide, Jake: a top man and a real professional. He really helped with my casting and other areas where I needed to improve. I was getting fairly frustrated with myself as lost about 5 fish before lunch (9 throughout the day!). I'm not a great fisherman, but am passionate about it, and he knew exactly how to calm it down a bit and has a cracking sense of humour. Soon after lunch caught a beautiful 5.5 lb brownie. He later really stretched me when I thought a fish was out of my casting range. Thankfully he made me stick at it and after a hell of a fight we landed another great brownie, this time 6.5lb.

You can tell Jake genuinely wants you to do well, and he gets huge satisfaction out of this. He knows his fishing and the area inside out and when you give him a budget, you can be assured he will get the very best fishing for you. If this is your passion really don't hesitate in booking something with Jake, and I strongly recommend the heli options as it just means you can get to places which are that much more secluded - waters that have perhaps barely been fished. Thanks Jake for a really memorable day.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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