Fly Fishing in New Zealand for Trout, Salmon and Saltwater Species
New Zealand is well known as one of the world's premium fly fishing destinations. However, despite all of the great fishing available for trophy brown and rainbow trout it is still easy for a visiting angler to get lost in the country’s vast array of free stone rivers, spring creeks and stillwaters. This page is designed to help you to find the resources you need to plan a successful fly fishing trip to New Zealand.
New Zealand has stacks of different fishing opportunities scattered around the country. When planning a trip it's critical that you know exactly what you're wanting to do and make sure you get to the right place at the right time. Here's a list of a few things you can do in NZ.
1. Chase trophy brown trout in freestone rivers in the South Island
Although there are plenty of great brown trout fisheries in the north island, it is really the south island that excels at producing trophy browns. The best time to do this is November through to March and you can pretty much find great water throughout the South Island. I would either base myself out of Nelson or Canterbury for the best chance of success.
2. Stalking Browns in South Island spring creeks
Once again the South Island has a bunch of great spring creeks that offer the expert angler some great fishing opportunities. For this I would definitely target the West Coast of the South Island.
3. Chasing Sea Run Browns
Very little is published about New Zealand's sea run brown trout, however from November through to March many of the large Canterbury rivers experience huge runs of trophy brown trout. I would pack a double handed rod along with a bunch of heavy sink tips for this job. For the best access you may need a guide who has a boat.....oh and you'll probably need to fish a 15lb tippet and you may even hook a salmon.
4. North Island winter rainbow fisheries
Every winter the famous Tongariro river floods with trout that run up the river out of lake Taupo. Although they spend their entire lives in freshwater these rainbows are very similar to steelhead in both their size and habits. Pack an 8 weight rod for this along with some warm clothes and decent rainwear.
5. The North Island's Back Country
Back Country fishing in the North Island is also worth putting on the agenda. These rivers are predominantly filled with mixed populations of browns and rainbows. The best time to be on the rivers is February and March when the cicadas are on the water. Fish big terrestrial patterns and get ready to see some huge shapes materialise from the depths.
6. Stillwater Fly Fishing
As well as riversm New Zealand has an endless supply of stillwaters containing trout. many of these waters require boat access for best success, however, by engaging the help of a guide, you will quickly get you onto the right spots. Bring a 10' #6 rod and a selection of sinking lines.