About Latitude Guiding
Latitude Guiding consists of top guide Mike Kirkpatrick – proud member of the NZPFGA (NZ’s professional Guides Association). ‘I’m an extremely passionate fly fisherman and lucky enough to live in New Zealand’s foremost trout fishing region’.
I was born in Christchurch (1964) and moved from there to Nelson about 25 years ago to continue my love affair with the ‘top of the South’ on a permanent basis. As an 18 year old, I used to hop on my first motorbike and head in to the Lewis Pass region (2.5 hours drive) most Friday evenings in summer, camping for the weekend to hunt and fish – sometimes with mates but often by myself. These trips ingrained in me a deep love of the South Islands ruggedly beautiful backcountry, which time has only served to enhance.
The move north to Nelson to set up a small Signwriting business, gave me the opportunity to pick my days off to fish the regions wonderful waters. It was in this period of my life where i gained some clarity on what i wanted to do with my working life – take people fishing! I quickly developed an intimate knowledge of the Nelson, Murchison and West Coast waterways and finally made the transition to Guiding in 1999.
I’ve been fortunate enough to appear in various overseas and local magazine articles and am currently a writer and photographer for New Zealand’s ‘FISH AND GAME’ magazine. I guided and helped with filming for Denmark’s Niels Vestergaard and Morten Oeland while they were filming for the DVD series ‘THE FISH AND THE FLY’. More recently i have appeared in Gin Clear Medias ‘NORTH ISLAND and SOUTH ISLAND BACKCOUNTRY’ DVD series, featuring some of the finest sight fishing on the planet. I’m also the producer of the very well received ‘NEW ZEALAND FLY FISHING ADVENTURES’ DVD series, featuring fly fishing waters around the the top of the South region. (available direct from my DVDs page)
I have a passion for people and guiding them through amazing adventures that burns as bright now as ever. I listen to what YOU as an angler want, and give gladly any ‘coaching’ you may want or need in the pursuit of success without losing sight of the fact that this is fun!! I love a laugh and my attitude is always a positive one in the wonderful pursuit of Trout.
Although the local day trips are the ‘bread and butter’ of my season, I tend to specialize in the ‘postcard’ type fly fishing. In other words, the sort of trips that will haunt your dreams. The hike in, boat, 4×4 and helicopter type trips with a mind to getting into the sort of country that will make your heart ache when later reminiscing. The places that actually take your breath away. The campfires at night, the fireside chats, the waking to birdsong and the sound of the river with it’s softly spoken invitation to explore it’s hidden treasures.
Why did i choose Nelson to base myself? You only have to look at my Locations page to see one reason, the sheer abundance of waterways gives you literally hundreds of miles of fly fishing water within a few hours drive and the scenery is often nothing short of breathtaking. The diversity of these waterways is also amazing with no two rivers the same – from the slightly tannin stained West Coast to the gin clear headwaters of Kahaurangi National Park, you will never tire of the locations available. We have everything an outdoorsman could want within a short distance in almost any direction, from Hunting to Salt Water Fishing and more importantly Freshwater Fly Fishing – and tons of it! Amazing Gin Clear water in Rivers, Lakes & Streams and Brown Trout to die for! (5-6lb average in some places).
As I have been hunting and trout fishing this region for over 25 years, there are not many areas I don’t know about. I love nothing more than taking a client into a wilderness area to hunt large predominantly Brown trout. If you really want to get into Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast or North Canterbury back country fishing – whether by 4wd, Helicopter, boat or Hike, I will prepare a trip to suit.
‘I pride myself on a friendly and professional service that caters for all budgets, skill levels and techniques. Whether you’re an expert fly fisherman or a first time angler looking to land his first trout, I can tailor an excursion to suit. I keep myself very fit and you can trust in the fact that I can and will work tirelessly to provide you with the experience of a lifetime’.