If it wasn't for Chris I would never have gotten into fly fishing the way I have now. We met on a remote river while I was out hunting and we immediately hit it off. His funny, easy going personality makes spending time with him outdoors on the water lots of fun. On out first trip together Chris showed me a number of fish and guided me to catch my first trout! Chris' ability to spot fish and catch them in all conditions is uncanny! Chris taught me in two seasons what I thought would take me a lifetime to learn. He has taken me to some cracker spots, with large fish numbers and good sized trout regularly being encountered and caught. From rivers to lakes he has it covered!
I had a very memorable day out with Chris targeting High Country browns and rainbows. He would spot fish in riffles I thought were void of trout and to be honest I didn’t believe him at first until I got a take. Then I knew I had made a good choice. His knowledge of freshwater insects was astounding and I have no qualms in recommending him as a fishing guide.
Blue W, Southbridge - New Zealand
I have been fly fishing with Chris three times, twice at a lake and once on a river. Chris not only put me on to fish but was able to effectively correct my casting. He instructed me when and when not to twitch the fly that he advised me to use and all these tips brought me great success. He has also been very open on places for me to go and has at times tied the appropriate flies for me to use on specific rivers. If its fly fishing you want, Chris is your man!
"One of the best Days on my NZ trip was fishing with Chris Bell. His knowledge of the waters and his straight forward tactics in Trout fishing in NZ impressed me. He helped me catch my biggest trout on the dry, and I will be back for more!
I have used Chris as a fishing guide many times over the years. It's amazing how he can find good fishing water regardless of the weather. Almost reaching retirement I’ve fly fished extensively throughout my life and have seen some magic trout waters, but I have still been impressed by many of the locations that Chris has taken me fishing. I was someone who nurtured his interest in becoming a guide as his passion for fly fishing and for helping others to enjoy their fishing experiences with him is obvious. He is a kind and thoughtful, switched on and knowledgeable person who you can really have some great conversations with. His in depth knowledge of invertebrates and stream life enhances the fishing experience. If you want to have an exciting day out experiencing some great fly fishing either in Canterbury or on the West Coast among some spectacular scenery, I’d thoroughly recommend getting in touch with Chris at South Island Adventure Fly Fishing and giving him a try.
Andrea N, Brisbane - Australia
I only had half a day to go fishing from Christchurch but Chris fitted me in! We set off at 5 am and got back just after 3pm. Determined to make the most of the fishing time, Chris drove us to his secret stash of trout in the high country southwest of Christchurch. He doesn't even tell his fishing buddies about the 'No Name Streams'! We drove as far as possible and hiked the rest - even that would have been an awesome day. The scenery was magnificent and the weather was perfect. Chris can spot cruising browns hidden in the shadows of shingle and rainbows playing in fast flowing water. He can cast a mile out and land the fly on the fish; backhanded too. If you don't catch anything with Chris, it's only because you need to get better at stalking, spotting, casting and playing the fish yourself. And he's great at patiently providing helpful hints to teach you to do just that - there isn't anything he doesn't seem to know about fly-fishing! It was so much fun that I barely remembered to eat the delicious sandwiches made to order by his wife Emily. I'd really recommend a fly-fishing adventure with Chris - great company, beautiful scenery, fantastic fishing.
Chris Bell proved to be the best guide I have ever had, and I have fished with guides in Alaska, Colorado, and Mexico. He took us to places I would never find on my own, and his guidance in where and how to cast was excellent. One of my best fishing experiences, ever!
Drew, Cable, Jess and I traveled to a lovely scenic river within 1 hour drive of Christchurch where very large brown trout can often be targeted. It was lots of fun hanging out with these guys for the day, hearing all about their fishing overseas. Some beautiful browns were landed. I was lucky enough to catch up with the guys at the start of their 1 month south Island fly fishing tour. Updates from their trip included reports of some cracker fish being landed. Looking forward to catching up again when you guys come back down this way.
Eric and I traveled to a relatively remote headwater river location on private land in an attempt to target some big browns and rainbows. The start of the trip was a little slower than I would have hoped with few fish spotted, but it wasn't long until we found some good numbers of feeding fish, with several cracker fish being landed for the day. This magnificent trophy (over 10lb) beauty was the icing on the cake for the day, and to be honest I was a little envious (in a nice way!) of Eric landing such a large fish. Awesome stuff Eric!
It was a pleasure to spend a big day out fishing with a great guy such as Jeff. Our day started with a 5am pickup and we weren't home until 11pm. A big day but totally worth it as we ventured to a distant location on the West Coast to find the best weather and some great fishing. Jeff landed some lovely browns using a combination of dry fly and nymph techniques. Great to meet you Jeff!
Angus and I spent a day stalking good browns on shallow lake flats and ended up landing 12 fish up to 6lbs in weight over a 5-6 hour period. We had takes from several other nice fish and lost a few others in some classic calm weather conditions. Just Magic fishing action! Thanks Angus.
Toby, Freddie and I fished a still-water and several rivers with some exciting fishing eventuating from the two day trip away. They really enjoyed the scenery and the relaxed environment of the hut we stayed in. Thanks for contributing to such a fun trip away guys! Looking forward to catching up again in the future and hopefully introducing you guys to some fantastic west coast rivers/streams closer to Christchurch this time.
Feb 2014: Shin and I spent two days fishing some magic West Coast locations, including rivers and still-water locations. It was a pleasure to spend some quality time on the water with such a great guy, as his enjoyment of the environment was contagious. 8 good fish were landed over the two day period. Good stuff Shin! Looking forward to our next trip out next season.
Feb 2014: Leon and I traveled to a Canterbury High Country lake where we targeted big surface feeding browns on shallow sand/mud flats, both in the inflatable dinghy and from the shore. We encountered fewer fish than expected but we still experienced some really fun visual dry fly fishing, with Leon landing several fish. Thanks for a fun day hanging out on the water Leon and I look forward to catching up again.
"Chris opened my eyes to stalking big brown trout in the alpine lakes of the South Island. Had a wonderful day casting dry flies to cruising browns. Stunning scenery, great fishing and excellent company....would recommend in a heartbeat!"
Eric H, USA
Yesterday was an absolutely fabulous day in the South Island back country with Chris. I am still flushed with excitement of spotting, hooking and fighting those giant NZ browns and rainbows.
Jeff G, USA
Chris is "The Fish Whisperer" of the South Island. He has an uncanny ability to spot fish, and he shares his craft with enthusiasm and good humor. He customizes trips to suit his guests and hustles from dawn to dusk. I hope to have another shot at a monster brown with him!
Drew T, USA
I highly recommend booking with South Island Adventure Fly Fishing. Chris is a great guy with extensive knowledge and a sincere passion for all aspects of fly-fishing in NZ. He'll also work hard on putting you on fish! We had a successful day catching fish while also gaining the knowledge on how to approach the challenging fishing in NZ. I also appreciated the "No Frills" package- a cost effective way to book a professionally guided trip if you already have the gear. We really enjoyed our time with Chris and appreciated all he had to offer. He made our time in NZ that much more enjoyable. I'll no doubt reach out to him again upon my next visit to New Zealand. Thanks again!
Angus B, New Zealand
I have been fishing now for many years and was taken away by the extent of new knowledge Chris had when it came to still-water fishing big browns on lake flats. With use of his specialised lake flats boat we could access water completely undisturbed from other anglers before hand. It was a breathtaking day and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Chris to others. Cheers
Shin M, Japan
The fishing trip with you was just great ! Both the river and the mysterious lake we fished were marvelous! It was like dreams come true for me! Your preparation and service were perfect and I really enjoyed it. Also I love your honest and friendly character very much. Hopefully I'd like to come again and go fishing with you in near future.
Toby & Freddie W D, - Scotland, GB
My Dad and I had a sensational two day trip fly fishing in Canterbury with Chris from South Island Adventure Fly Fishing. Over the years we have had a lot of experience with fishing guides all around the globe and we felt that Chris was amongst the best that we’ve ever fished with: Chris maintained a great sense of humour and worked really hard to put us onto great fish (and I mean GREAT fish!). Chris took us to some breathtaking scenic trout fishing areas where we could stalk both brown and rainbow trout using nymph and dry fly techniques. We stayed at a comfortable well serviced hut and Chris always tried his best to satisfy any request we had, whether it be while fishing or with meals/our comfort. Great memories Chris - thank you so much. If you are looking for an enjoyable South Island fly fishing experience we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend giving Chris a try.
Nov 2013: Andrea and I headed into the Canterbury High Country for an extended half day trip to fish some pristine spring creeks. We encountered plenty of surface feeding Rainbow's and nymphing Browns up to 5lbs and had heaps of fun surrounded by the spectacular scenery. Thanks for a great day Andrea!
Nov 2013: Terry, his wife Sally and I spent two fun filled days on the beautiful West Coast where we targeted some good sized Brown Trout in a freestone river and sight fished to lots of cruising Browns along a lovely forested lake margin. Terry landing 6 fish up to 5lbs and had many more hook ups and missed takes. Nice Work!
Hagan K, Germany
I was taken to a beautiful bouldary river where I caught a few brown trout of an impressive size on nymphs. It was an exciting adventure which I will remember for a long time. Chris was knowledgeable and entertaining and organised the day really well. I'm looking forward to going out fly fishing with him next time I am in New Zealand.
Feb 2011: Hagan was taken to a South Canterbury River we are drawn back to fish time after time due to it's lovely scenery and good fishing. This location can be explored further with an overnight camp out allowing more remote fishing water to be comfortably accessed.
This fish is typical of a Brown Trout that you would expect to catch as part of a Stillwater stalking day in the Dinghy. The exciting sight fishing amongst spectacular scenery and the likelihood of landing large fish numbers usually equates to a really fun and memorable day's fly fishing.
Jan 2013: We targeted some big browns on the dry fly in a Canterbury freestone river on a one day trip. As an experienced fisherman and guide back home in Sweden he had no trouble fooling several good browns that were a little selective due to it being during the holiday season. Good stuff!
One of our more memorable day's fishing was on a Canterbury High country lake where the Brown Trout were cruising the shallows in search of Dragonfly nymphs and native Bullies. Blue hooked 4 good fish and really enjoyed the visual side of spotting the cruising browns.
Feb 2013: A day spent on a freestone High Country river resulted in some exciting fishing with us targeted some good surface feeding browns and Simon landing several lovely fish, including this nice 7+lber on the dry. Nice!
Pre 2011 archived
Dec 2011: We took Dave to a small-medium sized Canterbury freestone river where we targeted medium sized browns and rainbows. This location is a regular fish producer and is relatively close to Christchurch so could be fished as part of a shorter day.
Feb 2013: As part of a Backcountry Adventure trip we had a great day on a High Country Canterbury river where Nick landed several cracker browns in some beautiful river gorges. This fish was the largest fish of the day at around 6.5lbs. Great fish!
Fishing is a lot about skills, but also some about luck. I got both on my last NZ-trip with lots of luck because I got the chance to be out fishing with a dude that had a lot of skills, Chris Bell. We had an amazing day and he showed me how to spot fish in a way I've only heard about, and I had more chances and hooked more fish on that day than any other day I've had for three weeks! Thanks for this time Chris and I hope I'll get the chance to be chasing trout with you again.
Danyelle Miller, 8/12/2014
Chris took us on a back country adventure in beautiful and very rugged terrain that we never would have been able to access on our own. Chris is clearly an experienced fisherman, was an excellent teacher for a beginner and a really good four-wheel driver too. He is incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about fish and fly fishing and his excitement for the sport is completely infectious. He did everything that he could to work in with us and ensured that we had a simply awesome time! I would highly recommend him to anyone.
Peter Maunsell, 12/12/2014
For years I had been dreaming of travelling to New Zealand to have the opportunity to sight fish for large rainbow and brown trout. After quite a bit of research and a number email interviews I chose and booked Chris Bell of South Island Adventure fly fishing. The fit could not have been better! Chris met me at the Christchurch airport and had me out casting for fish within a couple of hours.
Chris’ knowledge of rivers and lakes and the trout in them is amazing. We spent seven days exploring, hiking and camping throughout the area. He would spot fish in almost every pool that we came across. If I didn’t manage to spook the fish Chris would work until we found the fly and presentation that would get a hookup.
Chris Bell’s work ethic is one of the best that I have experienced with a guide. We fished not by the clock but by the fishing, the fishing conditions and my limitations. He managed to provide me with a “trip of a lifetime” while keeping me within my budget. The only change for my next trip will be to schedule a break of a day or two in the middle of my trip to sightsee and rest up for the second half.
My goal for this trip was to explore, see some of the back country and of course catch fish. My goals were far exceeded. I will be asking Chris Bell to fish with me again on my next to New Zealand’s South Island.
Dave Magner, 4/11/14
My father and I recently spent a couple of days being guided by Chris Bell of South Island Adventure Fly Fishing. We had a great time. Chris was friendly and approachable and a bundle of laughs. He worked hard all day to put us onto fish and didn't take shortcuts to make his own job easier. Even though I am a very average fly caster, Chris was still able to find good numbers of fish and decent sized ones too. I scored several new PB browns on fly during my visit.
While fishing was the top priority, Chris also made sure we had a real South Island experience and showed us some amazing sights and experiences. I have no doubts the memories of this trip will stay with me forever. Chris' rates were surprisingly affordable, especially given the quality of the service we experienced. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a guide in the South Island.
Alex Boschue, 12/14/15
"My first fishing trip to New Zealand turned out to be an unforgettable adventure. Despite the excessively long New Zealand leaders, we managed to land a good number of spooky fish which just kept getting bigger and bigger every day. Thanks a lot for a great trip in a wonderful country - I can't wait to be back in December!"
Kris Baxter, Folsom, California USA 11/3/15
My son and I both thoroughly enjoyed our adventure of a lifetime pursuing New Zealand browns with Chris as our guide. His fun personality, fishing expertise and client focused service was really outstanding throughout our four day backcountry adventure. In addition to all the laughs, one of the many elements we really enjoyed about his guiding was the flexibility you offered to optimize each day based upon the conditions and in alignment with our desire to experience a variety of different waters. His approach allowed us to experience a great time whether on drifting on the lake, or wading various streams and rivers. We also appreciated having a mix of both tent camping and local hut accommodations. From the very beginning of our planning process while we were still in the U.S., followed by Chris picking us up at our hotel upon arrival in NZ and until the very last fish; we really appreciate all his coordination and hospitality to make our trip memorable. Thanks again for the outstanding guide service and the opportunity to land some truly "cracker" trophy fish in your beautiful country!!
Sandra M, 24/1/15
We had the best half-day of fly fishing with Chris Bell. He gave us options due to our time/location constraints and those imposed by low water flows. My son hooked two nice trout and I landed the largest brown I've caught on a fly. Chris is personable, resourceful, energetic and skillful at finding trout and doing all the coaching possible to help us catch them. We cannot recommend him highly enough. We enjoyed exercise, fun and FISH! Just a wonderful experience.
Cabell Cox, America 10/11/13
Chris is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. Combine that with an uncanny ability to spot and put you on fish, made for a great day on the water. I went out on a single day excursion with him and 2 other buddies, and even with the large crowd, Chris was able to keep us all occupied and hunting for those famous New Zealand Brown Trout.
Having been my first trip to New Zealand, we were really eager to learn from the locals about the best tactics (fishing depth, pattern selection, etc.) and approaches for spotting fish and properly presenting our flies. Chris had charismatic and very helpful answers to all of our "stupid American" questions. I will certainly be giving him a call when I am able to get back to the South Island.
James Billet, 28/10/14
I had an excellent day fishing with Chris. His customer service from point of initial contact through to the fishing day was second to none!
As a beginner I required a lot of tuition and Chris was patient, helpful and encouraging.
It was all the small details that really made this an incredible experience. Chris arranging my fishing license (which wasn't offered by someone else I previously contacted), stopping off at a bakery to get supplies, providing appropriate gear, including correct eye wear and even bringing along some beer.
At the end of the days fishing I felt like I had spent a day fly fishing with a good mate. Chris is an all round great guy and as a solo traveler he made me feel very comfortable and was great company.
I would recommend this company and experience to anyone, great value and fantastic customer service.
Andrew Pyke (from Port Hedland, WA) 27/10/14
I came over from Australia recently and fished with Chris from South Island Adventure Fly Fishing. The day was fantastic from the onset. Chris had arranged everything beforehand and was expertly organised for the day. Chris spotted a heap of fish while we wandered up river and simultaneously improved my knowledge on spotting, casting, fly selection and catching trout generally. The gear was excellent and high quality. I have fished in the salt waters for over 40yrs and had one of the best fishing days ever in the fresh with a genuinely great bloke. Chris is passionate about his fishing and really understands how to get the best results for his clients. I would highly recommend South Island Adventure Fly Fishing to anyone from a beginner to an experienced angler. Great value for money and memories to cherish for a lifetime."
Gary Hogue, North Carolina, USA 3/4/15
When planning a trip of a lifetime to fly-fish in New Zealand, you want to find that special professional guide who has the knowledge, experience and personality that will make your dream come true. I was most fortunate to find those qualities in Chris Bell. Spending a day with Chris was a delight as we shared our experiences doing what we both love to do in a most unforgettable location. His major attribute is his drive for you to be successful in catching fish no matter what the conditions. As a former guide and outdoor educator, I highly recommend South Island Adventure Fly Fishing as your guide service while fly-fishing in New Zealand. Thanks for the memories...
Doug Heuck -- Pittsburgh, Pa. USA 20/2/15
My son Sam and I fished with Chris for two days in February, and we couldn't have had a better time. I'd done more fly fishing than Sam, and Chris did an excellent job bringing us both up to speed and taking us to a variety of beautiful spots. Aside from fishing, one reason I got in touch with Chris was because of his extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna and the geological history of New Zealand. We weren't disappointed. Sam and I wanted to fish and to learn, and Chris was an excellent guide in both dimensions. His insights were fascinating, his company was a pleasure, and the places he took us were unforgettable.
Richard Wilson, 6/2/15 Adelaide South Australia
My son Ned & I had a great day fishing with Chris on a West Coast lake in February 2015. We were warmly welcomed by Chris in his 4 wheel drive vehicle in the early morning at our motel in Christchurch. Chris drove us over the spine of New Zealand’s South Island offering views and scenery that must be seen to be believed. We stopped to survey the scenery and wildlife at a number of locations on the way and we chatted easily about fishing exploits and techniques during the drive.
Once at the lake, set up was fast and efficient. All needs were catered with food, drinks, quality fishing rods, reels and quality terminal tackle. Chris’ semi inflatable water craft is robust and stable and set up time is minimal allowing time for Ned & I to have a look at the enormous trout cruising the shallows at the boat ramp.
Chris selected an area of the lake that would offer the best sighting of trout based on prevailing wind conditions. We were able to sight cast to many cruising trout with numerous hook-ups on both dry & wet fly. The quality equipment made casting with fair accuracy a breeze for us as novice fly fisherman. Chris’ advice on technique and his own demonstrations immediately improved our casting distance and accuracy.
We then donned waders & boots and wandered along the shoreline of the outlet of the lake. The water on this occasion was tannin colored however Chris’ trained eyes could see fish from a distance beyond my sight. Casting from shore is a truly pleasurable activity and the surrounds were impressive.
A trip across the lake to the clear water on the lake inlet led to the sighting of an additional 30 or so huge trout. We were able to sight cast in clear water in narrow conditions which was nail-bitingly exciting. Every cast felt like it would produce a fish.
Pack up of boat & equipment was fast & efficient. Chris delivered us back to our motel in Christchurch in time for a shower and to head to the pub for a late tea.
We had a very memorable day on the water with Chris. We both landed good fish with a new technique, on new water, in a country other than our own. It is a memory I will forever treasure. The level of service offered by Chris was second to none and I can highly recommend his easy manner, care for our welfare and attention to detail with safety, equipment and technique development.
Stefanie M, 5/1/15
Two days at stunning water with beautiful, big browns surrounded by breathtaking nature and with a guide so well experienced that we will never forget this fishing trip in NZ :-) and for the little extra feeling: into the wild and back with the chopper. What do we want more?! Of course another tip with you Chris! Thank you very much for, we see us again, for sure :-)
Jordan B 11/3/15
I have met few people more passionate than Chris. His passion for ecology, people, and catching really big trout is incredibly infectious. Amazing fishing trip and experience.
Fishing with Chris is a blast. He puts you on to the best water, knows exactly where fish will be holding (I swear he was a fish in a past life), and gets as excited, if not more, as you when a "cracker fish" is landed.
Chris made a father / son fishing trip truly memorable. My father and I have dreamed of fishing for big browns in NZ for years and Chris made it happen. Big fish, beautiful west coast scenery, and an awesome experience.
Can't say enough good things about Chris. Fun guy who knows his ecology and is very passionate about NZ fisheries. Not only will you catch fish, you will also become a better fisherman and learn a thing or two about beautiful New Zealand.
Nikolai Talento, New Mexico USA, 24/10/14
I can give Chris nothing but the highest recommendation. When my friend Ryan and I visited NZ with the intention of pushing our fishing experience to the limits, we reached out to Chris, and he did not disappoint. We spent two fantastic days fishing a West Coast headwater river, challenging ourselves in an environment that surpassed all of our expectations. Chris combines a deep breath of knowledge with an endearing personality and a real sense of adventure. We will be back without a doubt to enjoy our next NZ fishing experience with our guide and new friend.
Ryan Schietinger, 28/10/15
My buddy and I hooked up with Chris through the South Island Adventure Fly fishing website to plan our fishing trip. We are both experienced fishermen, but neither had experience fishing in NZ so we decided to hire a guide. Chris responded to our email inquiries right away and made planning the trip a breeze. Even through email, it was obvious that Chris was courteous, knowledgeable, and absolutely loves to fish!
Based on Chris’ recommendations, we booked a two day helicopter trip to a remote headwater river. Chris helped us make all the arrangements and locked in dates with the pilot. We met up, helicoptered in with all our gear, set up camp, and were fishing within the hour.
I have done a lot of trout fishing and usually do quite well wherever I go; however, fishing with Chris took us to a whole new level. The man is a trout-finding machine! Within the first hour of fishing we hooked up and landed a 6 pound trout, and not 5 minutes later landed an 8 pounder.
The day continued on in the same fashion, with Chris constantly keeping us on good sized trout. I think the smallest fish we caught was 4.5lbs. Chris is an excellent teacher and we learned a great deal from him, which helped us greatly as we continued our fishing tour on our own.
I can wholeheartedly recommend Chris for the expert, intermediate, or beginner fly-fisher as he is a world-class guide and can cater to any experience level. On top of that, he is a great guy and a pleasure to be around - fishing with Chris felt like fishing with another buddy, not just a guide. Not if, but when I return to fish NZ, Chris will certainly be my first choice for a guide.
Mark Award, Classic Aero Adventure Flights Pty Ltd 13/1/15
Being a keen fly fisherman, I have been excited about introducing my 9-year old son Sebastian to the sport. When I first approached Chris with South Island Adventure Fly Fishing and explained to him that I was interested in booking a few days of fishing with him with the focus being an introduction to fly fishing for my boy, I knew by his enthusiastic response that he was the right guide for us. This past January, the time was right and the two of us made the trip to the South Island to fish with Chris. He gave Sebastian some initial tuition on casting basics followed by two full days of fishing. To say we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves would be an understatement! Chris made every effort to ensure Sebastian had a great first go at fly fishing. He provided us with the perfect combination of expert guiding, calm patience and superb tutelage. His friendly demeanor, knowledge and experience resulted in some great memories and really nice fish for us. Sebastian and I highly recommend Chris and will look forward to fishing with him again!
Victor Castillo, 27/11/14
“South Island Adventure Fly Fishing” is the best guided fishing tour I have ever taken. Chris was professional and very knowledgeable. Knowing this was my first experience in fly fishing Chris took the time to teach me and my son the basics. I will never forget the beautiful scenery and fishing experience in New Zealand.”
Mark Renault, 15/2/15
I found South Island Adventure Fly Fishing on the web. Over a few weeks Chris and I emailed back and forth and got the logistics down. I knew buy our correspondence that he was an up- front guy. I had the opportunity to spend 2 enjoyable days with Chris this past summer. The trip was a real adventure. Driving ranch roads to a hut was a real adventure in the rain but we got to our destination safely. The scenery was fantastic and observing the different ranch stock was interesting. Waking up the next morning with the rain ending, 50 meters from the river was really cool. Chris and I spent a full day scouting for fish in a most beautiful valley with not a soul around. Chris knew this river and has a keen eye for locating fish. There is no way I would have spotted any of them. Chris is a very hard working guy, not pretentious, just wanted to have fun and help me catch fish. He is a wonderful fishing companion who you will enjoy spending a few days on the river with.
Kelly and Amanda Drews, 29/2/14
We got a hold of Chris after a quick and rather hasty decision to go down to New Zealand for our Honeymoon. I had contacted probably around 10 guides on the south island to setup a time to go fishing. Everyone I talked to was booked or busy, including Chris. I went into desperate search mode and wrote back everyone trying to figure something out. Chris gave up his plans to take us fishing. Not only that, but because the airlines had lost all my stuff, he drove us to the store to buy some clothes and let me use all his gear (sorry for all the flies I lost!). We had a challenging day with bad light and some wind but Chris was always positive and despite our deal where he could fish with us, I'm the only one that caught anything that day. I had a lot of hookups but I can only blame myself for letting them go. I did see the largest Brown Trout I've seen in my life. Larger than the fish you see on people's walls, and there were two of them together. It was crazy. But if you are looking for a guide, you've found one, Chris and his family were the most inviting and amazing people we met on our 2.5 week trip and he definitely knows a thing or two or fifty about fishing. Thanks Chris, we'll never forget it!!!
Matt and Deb USA , 5/11/16
Chris provided a great experience for two first time fly fishermen. He took the time to show each of us the correct process and provide constructive feedback when needed. We even learned about how the fish live in their surroundings and what they eat. We started fishing right away as Chris was excellent in spotting the fish. Even after a couple snags, Chris was always very patient in showing the right technique. Very quickly we both had fish and his excitement level kept us both excited to keep fishing. It was great getting to know Chris and learn more about New Zealand culture over lunch. We would highly recommend Chris for any level of fly fishermen, especially if it is your first time.
Bob Nairn, November 2016
Just wanted to thank you for a couple of great days fly fishing South of Christchurch. Excellent fun stalking, and then casting for sighted fish in the clear waters. A new experience for me, and I learnt a lot, particularly how to spot fish, but also the techniques and methods you use fishing in New Zealand, including trying a number of methods to catch one fish. Successful outing with plenty of fish seen and caught.
Randy Francis, January 2017
I had the opportunity to fish a day with Chris Bell a guide in New Zealand, having been a fly fisherman and have been lucky enough to have fished all over the world it was great to finally get a chance to fish the South Island. Chris and I were scheduled to fish for 3 days, but a huge storm came in and mudded all the rivers, so we were only able to fish one day and had to take a helicopter into a head water to find some clear water. Chris did an excellent job of finding some fish for me to cast to. We caught some great fish, but what happened is what happens all to often the big one got away. Chis spotted this beautiful brown of between 8 and 9 pounds. I snuck up to see the fish and it drifted back down right in front of me. I had to freeze and wait for it to move back up in the run, it just sat right to the side of me. I carefully backed away and snuck down below it. We saw it come and eat something from the top of the water, it came up again while we were getting into position. We couldn't see anything on the water so Chis suggested an ant pattern. We tied it on and extended the leader to 18 feet. The big fish was clearly visible, I was able to drop the fly a few feet in front of the fish and we both held our breath as we watched the big brown slip up and suck the ant in. It was a great fight but the big fish finally wrapped the 4x leader around a rock and was gone. I will always remember the sight of the big brown sucking in the small ant, it was the highlight of my trip.
Chris was a great guide and even better than that he was a great guy to fish with. We had a wonderful time fishing together. I am 65 and have bad knees and Chris helped me across the river in all difficult spots. I would highly recommend him to anyone wanting to fish in New Zealand.