New Zealand Hosted Trip with Sam Lungren

New Zealand Hosted Trip with Sam Lungren

Trip Dates

March 17 March 23
Total Days: 6

Species

Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Rates

$5,400/person

Group Size

6 Guests

Meet Your Host

Sam Lungren

Sam grew up in the rainforests of Western Washington and began chasing the steelhead dragon at age 15. That led him on a lifelong journey in pursuit of other challenging fishes, from Costa Rica to Iceland and across the United States. His professional career has been dedicated to fueling that addiction, editing and writing about fishing, hunting, and conservation at RMEF, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, MeatEater, and Outdoor Life.

Trip Itinerary

Day March 17

Group will fly from North America to New Zealand, arriving in Auckland. They may enjoy the city or transfer right away to Taupo.

Day March 18

Anglers will be welcomed to Taupo by outfitter Simon Jolly then check in to the rental house. We'll fish the nearby Waitahanui River as time and energy allows. Don't let the stream's size fool you: there are world-class giants hiding in this jungle flow.

Day March 19

Guides will drive anglers about 1 hour to the famous Tongiriro, the largest tributary to the massive Lake Taupo. It is wide and clear and typically full of large, lake-run browns and rainbows that you'll readily spot from the shore. This is widely considered the birthplace of trout and trout fishing in New Zealand and halllowed grounds for anglers from Zane Grey to the present.

Days March 20-21

Two days on Chris Jolly Outdoors' private access stretch. This canyon is rugged and remote but provides some of the world's best trout fishing to those willing to descend into its depths. Browns and rainbows average near 22 inches, with specimens over 30 relatively common. Many of those are highly visible as they cycle in and out of their deep holes along cliff faces in the small, boulder-strewn stream. Many anglers reset personal bests multiple times in this place. The group will either return to town between or camp in the canyon.

Day March 22

After two strenuous days in Valhalla, the group will have a slow morning to sleep in, sit down for breakfast, and enjoy the town of Taupo. In the afternoon we'll do an easy half-day walk-and-wade on the nearby Waitahanui.

Day March 23

For the grand finale, we'll board helicopters in the morning to drop the group in the Rangeteki, another one of the North Islands most highly regarded rivers. It's rumored to contain even larger trout than the private water from two days earlier.

Day March 24

The host and outfitter would be delighted to arrange a variety of activities on our final day, from a lake cruise to see the famous Maori rock carvings to hiking tours to simply more fishing. Whatever else sits on your New Zealand bucket list, we'll make it happen.

The New Zealand Hosted Trip with Sam Lungren

Imagine a river as clear as the air above it. You don’t see many trout but most of the ones you do see are all more than two feet long. And boy, do you ever see them: without any otters or ospreys, a 10-pound brown will feel right at home in 2 feet of water on an inside bend. If you can present a fly delicately without spooking him, he might gobble it up on the first pass. Or you may have to show him a dozen patterns over the course of two hours.

It would be hard to argue against the assertion that New Zealand harbors the best trout fishing on Earth. Accessibility, visibility, habitat diversity, technical difficulty, size—there’s really nothing like it. But it would be similarly challenging to simply show up and succeed without a bit of guidance and local knowledge.

Sam Lungren spent a month traveling both islands top to bottom in 2024, meeting with outfitters, guides, biologists, writers, and other experts to build as much insight as is possible in such a short timeframe. He’s thrilled to lead a group down to see his friends in the lovely town of Taupo, where he saw some of the best fishing in his whole tour of the country.

Chris Jolly Outdoors has been leading fishing and all manner of other types of trips around the Taupo region for 40 years. Their knowledge of the streams is unmatched and their guides top notch. Perhaps more importantly, general manager Simon Jolly and his whole team are exactly the kind of friendly, outgoing, adventurous Kiwis you’ve travelled all this way to meet. Everyone will be making lifelong friends on this trip.

New Zealand hardly needs any introduction as a trout mecca. There are more large fish than small ones. You can usually see them as you stalk up the bank. It’s hard but not too hard. Many, if not most, of the rivers will be among the most beautiful you’ve seen. It’s hard to avoid the suspicion that some higher power designed these waters with special attention, possibly just for you. Most anglers who come here from the U.S. will record new personal bests for rainbow and brown trout, perhaps more than one in a day.

We’ll be staying at a large, lovely rental house looking out over the town and lake of Taupo, along with the towering Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe–Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings films. We’ll cook breakfasts and some dinners here and have some good post-fishing hangs with the guides and outfitter on the porch.

Taupo is a tourism center within a tourism-oriented nation. It’s where many Kiwis go on vacation. Like many resort towns in the U.S., there is no shortage of activities. The Chris Jolly Outdoors business alone offers guided hiking, mountain biking, helicopter flight seeing, parasailing, waterskiing, golfing, hunting, and scenic tours of Lake Taupo, its famous Maori rock carvings, swimming bays, and prolific trout. Just wandering the charming town and its nearby beaches would constitute several days well spent. Non-anglers or those who don’t need to fish every day will be well taken care of by the host and outfitter.

Guests will fly from North America to Auckland the day prior, bearing in mind the International Date Line crossing that jumps you a day ahead. From there you’ll hop a quick transfer to the airport right outside Taupo. You may also want to rent a car and drive the pastoral 4 hours south down the North Island. The outfitter will provide transportation to and from fishing locations.

6 nights, 6 days of fishing: $5,400 USD

Additional days of fishing and other recreational activities may be added on request.

Included: 6 days of guided fishing for trophy brown and rainbow trout. Transportation to angling locations, including one helicopter fly-out day. Six nights of lodging, all breakfasts and dinners served at the rental house and lunches on the river. Beer and wine and soft drinks at the rental house. Fishing gear and flies provided plus waders if necessary.

Not included: Travel to and from Taupo. Meals in restaurants. Hard alcohol at the rental house. Additional recreational activities. Gratuities for guides.

Trips will be confirmed with a 50% deposit, made no later than seven days after booking a trip. Balance must be received no later than 90 days prior to the first day of the trip. Notification of cancellation must be received 90 days prior to the first day of the trip in order to receive partial or full credit for an alternate date. All payments are final and nonrefundable, with the exception of a medical or family emergency, deemed reasonable at Midcurrent’s discretion.

Booking a trip or making a deposit represents that the client accepts all terms and conditions. Midcurrent’s terms are in addition to any terms and conditions of each individual lodge that Midcurrent represents. Please read those terms carefully—lodge terms, which may differ from Midcurrent’s terms, supersede any agreements between Midcurrent and a client.

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