Stu's Story

Video - 2012 short film telling the story of Stu’s Superior Fly designs

Video - Stu’s Willow Grub has been featured in the Gin-Clear film “Hatch”

Video - Stu’s Fly Shop has been featured in Gambit Stone’s film “The Waters Of Greenstone”

Video - 2013 Trout Diaries interview with Stu Tripney

1976 - At the age of 9, Stu won his first competition - Schoolboys Championship

1977 - At the age of 10, Stu won the Schoolboys Championship for the 2nd year in a row

1978 - At the age of 11, Stu won the Schoolboys Championship for the 3rd year in a row

1979 - At the age of 12, Stu won the Schoolboys Championship for the 4th time!

1981 - At the age of 14, Stu with more trophies won at another angling club

1982 - At the age of 15, Stu became Junior Fishing Champion in Queenzieburn

1983 - At the age of 16, Stu with his biggest ever caught Scottish wild brown trout

1985 - Fishing in Scotland article by old fishing/poaching friend

1988 - Stu travelled, studied and worked throughout the world as a safari driver in Africa, spin and fly fishing - photo with Talapia

1990 - Stu registered his first fishing company in Uganda - “Uganda Sportfishing Safaris Limited”

1991 - Some of Stu’s flies have been featured in the USA Fly Tying book “Fly Patterns: Tie Thousands Of Flies” by Randall & Mary Kaufman

2001 - Stu’s NZ Guided Fly Fishing adventures began - Born To Fish

2002 - Queenstown Fly Fishing School

2004 - Stu became a Royalty Fly Tier for the Umqua Feather Merchants fly tying pro team who produced 17 of Stu’s fly designs. Stu had no control over his designs so he dropped out of the program.

2005 - Stu became a Royalty Fly Tier and member of Rainy USA fly tying program. He was the first fly tier outside of America ever to sign a contract by a large American fly tying company.

2005 - Stu was commissioned to design and tie flies by an Auckland Real Estate company for the promotion for the selling of some NZ prime real estate life style properties. The fly designed and tied was called the Bendemeer Beauty.

2006 - Stu won the 1st gold medal for fly tying in Australasia – the People’s Choice Award in an international fly tying competition with his fly the Bionic Bug

2006 - Stu’s fly designs are featured in the book NZ best trout flies - 6 pages of flies

2006 - Stu became a certified IFFF Fly Casting Instructor

2006- Grub Club started

2007 - Stu released his cutting edge fly tying film, A Foam Odyssey

2007 - 'High flyer born to fish in NZ' - Southland Express, Oct 11, 2007

2007 - Stu went to the USA and became the 1st FFF certified master fly casting instructor in Australasia

2007 - Stu with the legend and inspiration Mel Krieger and other FFF Masters

2007 - Stu represented NZ Southland as a guest fly tier at the 22nd FFF conclave in Livingston, Montana, USA

2007 - Fly-fisherman Stu masters his goals Otago Daily Times

2007 - Rise Article in Trout Fisher magazine, August 2007

2008 - Article by Rob Sloane from FlyLife

2008 - Article in NewsLink Oct 2, 2008

2008 - Article In Troutfisher, February/March 2008 'Chasing your dreams or goals'

2009 - The Complete Flyfisherman - article about Stu bringing the foam back into the world of fly tying

2009 - Stu as a saltwater guide in Northern Australia, Cape York

2010 - Front cover of Flyfisher magazine, flies and article

2010 - Article 'Flash Flies' in 'Be Guided' Winter 2010 issue

2010 - The Southland Times article, Oct 29, 2010 'The Artistry of Fly-tying'

2010 - The Waters Of Greenstone featuring Stu

2010 - New York Times featuring Stu fishing the Mataura river - Jan 31, 2010

2010 - FlyLife Article, Autumn 2010 'Review - Stu's Superior Flies'

2011 - Flyfishing & Tying Journal, Fall 2011 – 'Neutral Buoyancy Nymphs' article

2011 - Stu’s fly designs are featured in the top selling fly fishing book The Trout Diaries

2011 - Stu’s flies were painted for the month October in the NZ fly fishing calendar

2011 - The Complete Fly Fisherman, Nov 2011 - Stu appeared besides well-known other fly fishing legends, authors and industry players e.g. Lefty Kreh

2011 - Election newspaper article, The Southland Times, Nov 2, 2011

2011 - SAGE advert featuring Stu's Fly Shop

2012 - Stu’s saltwater crab fly got a mention in The Western Australia Fishing Magazine Nov/Dec 2012, Issue 6

2012 - Stu was interviewed and filmed for the Willow Grub section of the award winning Fly Fishing Film 'Hatch'

2012 - Trout Fisherman article 'Foam? Subtle? Some mistake surely...'

2012 - 'The Essence Of Fly Casting', Derek Grzelewski

2012 - Article in Fliegenfischen (Germany’s biggest fly fishing magazine), Issue 1/13, Dec, 2012

2013 - FlyLife Magazine Article 'Shop Locally'

2012 - FlyLife Advert, Edition 69, Spring 2012

2013 - Front Cover of NZ Trout Fisher magazine, Feb/March 2013

2013 - Stu’s advertising and cutting edge marketing campaigns inspired professional Australian photographer Jesse Whyte

2013 - Some of Stu’s Superior Flies have been painted by Wanaka artist Stella Eve Senior for the NZ Trout Bohemia book

2013 - Stu's Fly Shop is listed at

2014 - Stu is featured at 'Around The Mountains'

2014 - 'Fisherman Content in His Niche', Otago Daily Times

2014 - FlyLife Advert, Edition 75, Autumn 2014

2014 - Stonefly Magazine Advert

2014 - Trout Unlimited Advert, Summer 2014

2014 - Stu's Fly Shop and New Zealand Fly Fishing School are listed at

2014 - Field & Stream Review by Kirk Deeter, July 2014

2014 - Stu fly tying at Sage factory usa

2015 - Field and Stream Blog Q & A with Stu on the NZ Mouse 'Hatch'

2015 - TROUT Spring 2015 article

2015 - The Last Word in Denizen Magazine

2015 - Drake Fly Fishing magazine story

2015 - NZ fly school buys land

2015 - Australian fly fishing club talks

2015 - World's first trout truck

2015 - Trigger joins the team

2015 - Stu's book vision's

2016 - Stu's adventures, so many .

2017 - Stu's world famous fly shop - closes its doors

2017 - Stu starts on the new, NZ Fly School building and fish tank home

2018 - To the Jungle.

2018- The fly school /house takes shape

2018 - NZ Fly School, creative area & home is complete

2019- Trout Diaries books & Stu

2019 - Stu visits Nepal & India yet again - Two books

2019 - NZ fly fishing school, Stu opens new building and casting area.

2019 - Queenstown Writers Festial- Stu gives book talk

2020 - NZ fly fishing school History - 18 + years

2020 - Stu & fly fishing history

2020 - Jungle Blues book nearly finished

2020 - JUNGLE BLUES BOOK - Crowd funding launch

2020 -The Best Fly Fishing Book in Years - FROM ANGLING TRADE MAGAZINE

2020 - Jungle Blues vol-3 - book reviews

2014 - Field & Stream Review by Kirk Deeter, July 2014

Fly Fishing Gear Review: Stu's Superior Flies
by Kirk Deeter

Field & Stream review on Stu's Superior Flies


I am a huge believer in the theory that variation in fly patterns leads to more hook-ups, especially where waters are busy and pressured trout are finicky. There's absolutely nothing wrong with throwing classic, standard terrestrials and mayfly patterns this time of the year, but I have found that being just a touch outside the norm is usually a very good play. How many "Chernobyl Ants" do you think the trout in your river have seen in the last week, honestly?  

Can you improvise your own patterns? Of course you can — and you should. There are oodles of innovative fly tiers at shops throughout America spinning up new creations every day. But sometimes it’s the flies from halfway around the world that seem to do the trick. I started fishing a bunch of flies I bought from Stu Tripney, who is based in Athol, New Zealand. His flies, in one word — wow. I took a handful of his creations to the home river in Colorado the other night and just hammered fish with them. I can't help but think that part of the equation was that the trout hadn't yet seen anything quite like the flies I was putting on the water.

I met Tripney last year, and learned that he's off in his own league, as far as fishing insight goes. Originally from Scotland, he has guided in Africa and fished the best saltwater flats all around the world. Now he's set up shop in a remote part of New Zealand's South Island that revolves around epic sight fishing for massive trout. And when his trout season is over, he jets to the U.S. to tour around and chase carp — on the fly

Trust me, you're going to be hearing more chatter about Tripney’s special NZ bugs and how they can be effectively applied to American waters. Here's why:

Good hooks and great fly construction really matter. Like Tripney, I've always wondered why someone would spend more than a grand on a fly rod, reel, line, and waders, only to toss a 99-cent piece of junk at a 23-inch brown that's porpoising on pale morning duns. So how many fish should a fly catch to make it worth buying? I'll take a 10-fish fly that costs a few bucks over a bargain special that unravels after the first 10-inch rainbow any day. And let's be honest: A majority of the flies you buy at fly shops are coming from halfway around the world anyway. Tripney’s flies last. Granted, I've only been fishing them a few nights, but I have yet to burn through a single one and have to throw it away.

Easy on Anglers, Hard on Trout
Tripney designed his bugs so they "pop" and are easy to see from the top side (where anglers watch them), yet still appear buggy and enticing from below the surface (where fish watch them). They're better than most other flies I've fished with before. I'm going to put on the scuba mask and check that out further.

The great thing about Stu's Flies is you can shop by species (brown trout, brook trout, etc.) or situation (lakes, rivers, etc.). So it's pretty easy to dial in on some options that will work in your own home waters, even in the U.S. Take a good hard look at the "Cowboy" patterns, the "Mayfly Cripples," and the "Wee Fairy," especially now, during PMD season. As for prices and logistics, you'll have to do your own math, but I find the value surprisingly good, and I had my order from New Zealand within two weeks.

I bought dry flies. He does wind up pretty interesting nymph patterns, some of which involve UV-attractor colors. But I'm into dry-fly fishing this time of year, and if you really want to play bobber-ball now, you might as well put a production fly on. The real pattern-specific game is happening on the surface.

I'm not saying that you should shun your local fly shop, by any means, or that you shouldn't tie your own flies. I buy locally and tie as much as I can. But variety is the spice of life, so you might want to consider buying some of Tripney's flies and tucking a few dozen in a corner of your favorite fly box. I now call that part of my fly arsenal "the nuclear option."