New Zealand is one of the most incredible trout fishing destinations in the world. It consistently provides giant brown trout along with rainbows that are more akin to steelhead on the West Coast of North America. The crystal clear waters and spectacular dry fly opportunities make the long journey to the other side of the world more than worthwhile. The stunning landscape and plethora of non-fishing activities that can be done in New Zealand make it the ideal for family holidays or travelling with non-fishing partners.
The fishing is not limited to any particular region of New Zealand. The North Island provides rivers that contain both brown and rainbow trout usually averaging 3 – 5 lbs, it is best fished during the Cicada season December – February where big fish can be tempted up to take large dry flies. There is also a winter prime time, June – July, when the trout are running from the lakes into the rivers to spawn. This is much like salmon fishing and big streamer patterns are favoured. The south Island can be split into two distinct fishing areas, on one side there is the west coast rivers which only contain brown trout but these fish grow big. These rivers flow in the shadows of the Southern Alps and regularly see fish upwards of 10 lbs caught when sight fishing with dry flies. In some years these fish can be caught on big mouse patterns fished in the dying light of evening, it is an experience that will get the adrenalin rushing. The east coast, like the north Island, offers rivers filled with rainbow and brown trout but they are wise and require stealth and delicacy. These rivers flow off the Southern Alps and out across the lowland plains of the east once home to good runs of quinnat salmon (king salmon) but in recent years numbers have declined. The South Island fishing is in its prime during the summer months, December – February, when the fish can be sighted and fished to with large dry flies.
There are many ways to visit and fish in New Zealand and we have broken it down into three options;
The quick view: a short trip where you cram in as many locations as possible – this is not the best way to experience the country but great for those trying to work within tight time constraints.
The overview: a longer trip combining multiple lodges over 2 or 3 weeks on both the North and South Island – a great way to see both islands and experience some of the great rivers on offer.
The trout bum: if time is not so much of an issue this is a great way to explore New Zealand and we can arrange independent guides to offer help at intervals as well as planning out a route.
For more information or to plan a New Zealand itinerary please do not hesitate to contact Alex Jardine or call our office on +44(0)1980 847389.