Book your trip to New Zealand this year for the fly fishing trip of a lifetime! First, here are a few things you need to know before you go.
The Basics of Fly Fishing in New Zealand
When it comes to clothing, earthy-colored attire is a good way to start so you blend into the natural surroundings. For footwear, felt-soled wading boots are now banned from entering New Zealand as to help prevent the transport of unwanted animals and plants. This is something many have to plan around, due to the popularity of these boots. For rods, 4, 5, and 6 weights will cover your needs on rivers and streams, and lines that are olive colored will fare better than obnoxious hues. As for flies, the most consistent summer hatches are mayflies and caddis sizes 10 to 16. There are some seasonal exceptions, such as large cicadas, green beetles and willow grubs, however.
Fishing Hot Spots in New Zealand
The perfect region to begin your trip with would be the South Island in the city of Nelson. This area has three large national parks and no development, leaving you to take in the gorgeous wilderness of New Zealand. The Motueka River has reliable hatches and 2 to 5 lb. brown trout and very easy wading and walking. Another easy to start the trip within Nelson is Rai River. It has a good population of both brown and rainbow trout, and is also a fly fishing only river that is very easily accessible.
The Mataura River is one of the most popular rivers in the Southland Region of South Island. It has great hatches, good fish density, and is the most Montana-like river in New Zealand. While in Southland, the Oreti River is a must once you have sharpened your skills. This small river is home to some extremely large fish with ocean feeding in their background, attracting the most cognoscente of anglers.
Another great place is the Eglinton River in Fiordland. This river has both brown and rainbow trout to fish and takes a few days to fish the stretch. The river is located in Fiordland National Park, and nearby Lake Te Anau is a great place to stage yourself because of access to all of the good rivers.
On the North Island of New Zealand there are plenty of great fishing spots as well. Try the Central North Island, which is perfect territory to catch some amazing rainbow trout. Lake Taupo is New Zealand’s largest lake, and it’s 237 square miles of water attracts thousands of anglers each year targeting large fish in huge quantities. In the Eastern North Island, the Ngongotaha River offers a year-round population of brown and rainbow trout and is at it’s prime in April and May.
Though New Zealand is across the world, you’re in for a world of fantastic fishing and jaw dropping views all over the country. If you decide to stick around the states, call Fly Fishing Colorado for a guided tour on the Upper Colorado River this year!
*Feature image courtesy of Fish & Game New Zealand.