Guided Heli Fishing

There is no feeling on Earth like descending out of the sky onto a pristine New Zealand 'back country' river, water like sapphire-tinted crystal, alive with big, hungry trout.

From the soft thud of the rotors in the misty dawn, the forest-clad ridges with their skittering deer that race away beneath you, to the heart-pumping anticipation as your chopper settles gently on the stony bed of a beautiful North Island river flanked by primordial forest, with all day ahead of you - just you, the river, the waiting trout.

Whether you are an ardent fly fisher or simply a lover of wilderness, a heli-trip into the New Zealand back country, far from the bustle of daily life, is a lifetime experience to be cherished in the memory for years to come.

I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same river. - Chuang Tzu

Ken Drummond knows the back country rivers and trout streams as he knows the back of his hand. He has fished and guided them all. He understands their moods, the special places where the big fish lie, the subtle rhythms of their insect life and ecology. Knowledge like his cannot be bought: it can only be earned, painstakingly and with meticulous observance and dedication, over a lifetime.

Above the rapids is a deep pool; hugging the edge of the riffle at its mouth is a dark olive-brown shape, its tail fanning gently as it rides the current. You approach slowly and methodically from behind and then, with absolute calm and deliberation drop your dry fly a metre or two above it nose, first cast and without a splash. The joy of dry fly sight fishing is that it is so very hard to be perfect, when your nerves are twanging, your palms sweating, your heart pounding and your whole system popping with adrenaline. Maybe the fly flopped a bit to one side: to your astonishment the shape rises, turns lazily and engulfs it, baring a couple of feet of gleaming flank as it heads back into the depths. The rod tip dives with it, and the battle is on...

If you've sought the trout of America, Europe or Australia, fishing Taupo in New Zealand you will have fights that will stay with you the rest of your life. You will only have to close your eyes to see vividly again those sapphire waters, forested gorges, big fish tail-walking the rapids... and hear the electrifying scream as the backing leaves your reel.

Heli fishing on any of the dozens of rivers and smaller streams of the North Island is - deservedly - regarded by many anglers and fishing writers as the summit of fly fishing on the Planet. It is as remote and beautiful, as secluded and peaceful, as challenging and as rewarding as fishing ever gets. It will test all your experience and skills to the limit and leave you with a fresh love and renewed respect for the magnificent trout and its habitat.

A heli trip with Ken is, quite literally, unforgettable. Book now .

Helicopter trips to the river and back range between NZ$1-2k, depending on distance.

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters. - Norman Maclean