New Zealand Fly Fishing and Fishing Charters

Catch New Zealand Brown and Rainbow Trout with Experienced Local Guides

Fly Fishing for Trout from Rotorua with Cruise and Fish Rotorua

Cruise and Fish Rotorua, formally Hamill Guiding, are your fly fishing specialists for the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty  region. Whether a short drive from your accommodation to a local spot or a helifishing adventure into a remote backcountry stream, we can offer a package to suit your ability and dreams. No matter what your experience level, Cruise and Fish Rotorua have the expertise to provide you with a personalised fly fishing adventure for Brown and Rainbow Trout on the legionary rivers, streams, and lakes in the Rotorua and Taupo regions of New Zealand. Pick up is from your accommodation and you can choose from a half-day on a local stream, a full day to a day or multi-day helicopter adventure on a New Zealand wilderness river. John is a member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association and complies with their constitution for Health and Safety, Department of Conservation, Public Liability Insurance and Code of Ethics when it comes to looking after you.  

Rates from Rotorua

1/2 Day Guided Fly Fishing: $575 for up to 2 people on the local streams and lakes, includes light refreshments and equipment.

Full Day Guided Fly Fishing: $975 for up to 2 people on the rivers, streams and lakes of the central North Island, includes lunches, refreshments and equipment. 

Full Day helifishing: from $1950 for 2 and includes the cost of the helicopter. Consider the various options for making this a two-day trip to take advantage of the cost for the helicopter.

These are our base packages and are a guide. Options to fish the remaining Bay of Plenty rivers and streams from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui are also available, especially those arriving on cruise ships. 

The rates can vary depending the time of year so please enquire.

Licence rates for 2018 / 2019.

As there have been substantial increases and changes from Fish and Game please have a look at the PDF link on our Rates page

An awesome dry fly day with this rainbow jumping into the net on a helifishing experience from Poronui Lodge. Excuse the raw footage. Thanks to Brian Kelly and Dave Wood for the entertainment!! 

Cruise and fish use Thomas and Thomas rods and represent the Australasian agents The Blue Damsel Fly Company. Check the website for an agent close to you. 


We can supply all the fishing equipment you require but if you can please bring the following to make your day more comfortable.

•    Clothing for both warm and cool conditions (New Zealand's weather can be a little unpredictable sometimes!!)

•    Wet weather gear.

•    Polaroid sunglasses.

•    Cap or wide brim Hat.

•    Sunscreen lotion.

•    Insect repellent.

•    Wading stick (optional).

•    All clothing should be dull or neutral coloured.

Fishing Tackle

Although you are most welcome to bring your lucky rod or your own secret flies. Cruise and Fish use good quality fishing tackle and will supply the fly to match the hatch. Available for your use are Thomas and Thomas and Sage fly rods, Lamson and Scientific Anglers reels, Scientific Anglers, Airflow and Rio Lines, Simms and Reddington Waders and Boots.

Wading Boots / Waders

Wading boots and lightweight breathable wader combination are preferred for the early season and cooler day's. Rubber or studded rubber wading boots. Simm's and Reddington have some great products to satisfy most anglers.

‘Kiwi style’ wet wading during the summer months is the most comfortable way of going fishing, wearing a pair of shorts, neoprene wading socks with wading boots and long thermal underwear or lightweight long pants to protect legs from scratches, sun and insects.

Fly lines

A dull neutral coloured floating fly line. Olive, grey, white or clear. The alternative is fishing with the ultra long leaders we all love! Nothing is perfect as ALL lines cast shadows and since generally our waters are gin clear anything that disguises your line to the trout is an advantage.

Leaders and Tippets

Fluorocarbon or Nylon fishing line; It’s up to you. Longer leaders are recommended in heavier tests, 10 – 12 feet in 4 – 10lb test to which you add your tippet material so the total length can be 15 to 18ft. Tippet in the 4 – 8lb test covers most situations. Again in clear waters, long leaders means that any advantage you can get can make the difference.

Fly Rods

A 5 or 6 weight fly rod is recommended as a general fly rod for fishing our local conditions. 7 or 8 weight for the lakes and larger rivers.

Fly Reels

Bring reels with a good drag system and plenty of backing, at least 100 yards. We find large arbor reels are best for this with room for enough backing and also ensure a good retrieval speed. There's nothing worse than to see your fly line disappearing off your reel knowing that there's not much left as a big fish heads off down stream....


We take yours and our safety seriously and as stated above we comply with the NZ Professional Fishing Guides Association commitment to your safety to comply with New Zealand's WorksafeNZ and Maritime NZ regulations. As we often fish in remote areas for extended times we carry an EPIRB on all trips, your guide is trained in first aid and a medical kit is always on hand.

There are always many factors that can influence your success on any given day so I suggest a stay of at least 3 days and if the weather should disrupt your plans and from Rotorua (follow this link) there is never a shortage of places and sights to take your mind off home and work.

Our Seasons and what to expect.

October to December offers some great spring and early summer fishing. The Backcountry Rivers throughout the Central North Island open on October 1st after the major spawning runs and the winter months. The fish are active, hungry, and haven't seen anglers since the end of April for some and June in other areas. Dry fly can be limited, while nymph fishing yields best results. On the lakes the smelt are spawning, bringing trout into the shallows for some exciting action along the beaches and stream mouths. Lake Tarawera can be one of the best places to be for this action.

January & February are usually our best summer months. Giving you the best of our dry fly fishing and making it the day to remember. Cicada and hoppers are the delicacies and trout just love them!! If you really want to get away, my recommendation is overnight trips into the wilderness. Enquire about our wilderness helifishing options for the many options that this type of fishing can offer, please email us or call. We promise a day to remember!!!!

Julie's Awahou Stream Rainbow on the edge of Lake Rotorua

Stream mouths on Lake Rotorua go ballistic with fish seeking cooler water as the lake warms, making for some awesome fishing. It is not uncommon to catch and release fish till you tire in a morning then do it all over again in the evening. These fish average 1.5kg (3.5lb) with surprises up to 5kg plus. These fish are mostly Rainbows with the bigger ones being Browns.

March & April, dry fly action begins to slow down especially towards April but hatches are still about. You will get some great nymph fishing, fish are in peak condition and ready for spawning, making for some of the biggest fish of the season to be caught.

May to September Autumn and winter fishing at its best, Migratory runs start on all tributaries and to the hatchery liberation beaches on the lakes. There are some very big trout to be caught but you should expect cooler temperatures but generally very pleasant days (10 - 15c). Expect to see plenty of anglers as temperatures don't deter those chasing trophy fish in full spawning colours. Night fishing on the Rotorua lakes can provide some exceptional entertainment.

Other fishing information.

Dry Fly's

Adams Parachute 12 – 18, CDC Emerger 14 – 16, Dad's Favourite 12 – 16, Black Gnat 12 – 16, Blow Fly 12 – 14, Cicada / Hoppers 8 – 10, Humpy's Selection 10 – 14, Kakahi Queen 12 – 16, Royal Wolf 8 – 16, Stimulators yellow, green and orange.


Stoneflies 10 – 12, Hare and Copper 10 – 16, Hares Ear 10 – 16, Pheasant Tail   10 – 16.

Bead headed nymphs

Hare and Copper 10 – 16, Pheasant Tail 10 – 16


Wooly Bugger Black, Green and Brown 6 – 10, Parsons Glory 6 – 10, Grey Ghost 6 – 10, Hamill Killer red or yellow body 6 – 10.

Take the easy way and order your fly selection from Stu' Fly Shop, if you plan to go it alone, and for the best indicator product for NZ's large testy fish that is used and tested by most guides here check out Strike Indicator Company.

If you are looking for that best trout of your life, then Rotorua is one of those places in the world that will entice you with it's lakes, rivers and crystal spring fed streams. Rotorua has 14 lakes, Their shapes have been formed and altered by cataclysmic volcanic activity in times past. Many are steeped in Maori legend and history - you'll hear stories of phantom canoes seen gliding in the mist, and of lovers who swam the lakes to secretly meet upon their shores. The lakes are ringed by forest and farmland and most are easily accessible to anglers and sightseers alike. 

The regions lakes and rivers have good populations of trout, with mixes of Rainbow, Brown, Brook and the hybrid Tiger Trout. Rotorua has 3 lakes regarded as trophy trout lakes, these being Lake Tarawera, Lake Rotoiti and Lake Okataina. The most popular methods of fishing on these is from a boat jigging and trolling but at certain times fly fishing excels with some magnificent fish being landed. In fact you're likely to find Rotorua is the easiest place in New Zealand to hook up the best trout of your life.

Lake Rotorua  is probably the best lake in the region and has the likes of the famous Ngongotaha and Waiteti streams, the Awahou and Hamurana springs all flow into this shallow lake and give the fish cool oxygenated water in the summer to hang out in and it is during this time that a morning or evening fishing trip can be the most rewarding. The Ngongotaha is probably the most heavily fished trout stream in the region and is always worth a wander anytime. The headwaters close and reopen on the 1st December and close again on the 30th June, many a surprising rainbow and brown trout comes out of this small stream.

Most anglers practice catch and release but the ability to keep a fish is still up to the angler’s discretion in most of our waters.

The stream and river network is so vast that you often have a dilemma as to which way to go. Just over an hour or a 20 minute helicopter flight from Rotorua, the world of opportunity awaits you. Put yourself in the picture and come and explore our part of New Zealand. 

Sight fishing best describes the nature of our style of fly fishing. The water, generally, is crystal clear and the best method of fly fishing is to stealthily stalk up the river and spot your fish first before tempting it with a dry fly or nymph. If you were to 'fish the water' you'll spend a lot of time fishing barren water, a bit like fishing dirty or coloured water. The sight fishing style of fly fishing means that more of the river is covered, so be prepared to walk. The rewards to this effort is that when everything falls into place seeing good sized fish rise to suck in dry fly or watch your nymph indicator disappear and you are hooked up on the fish of your dreams. The average fish in New Zealand is wary and cunning. They won’t give you too many chances so success comes from understanding how to deceive them and in being able to get the fly in the right place at the right time. On an average day you can expect to have the opportunity to catch a reasonable number of reasonable sized fish. How many are landed depends on the skill of you, the fisherman! (A good day is 1 to 6 fish). Most fish will be in the 3-6lb range with some up to 8lbs or larger.  


This You Tube video was on a river not to far by helicopter and produced a huge amount of fun for Craig and Steve