Frequently Asked Questions
What to bring;
The time that suits is the time to come! I don't think there is a best time any more, the fishing is good all the time. Each part of the season has there pluses and minuses.
February has always been popular but now it's so busy that many choose to come at other times
The main trout fly fishing season opens on the 1st October and runs through until the end of April. The are some exceptions to these dates so check on the Guide pages for any local differences.
There is some good winter fishing available, particularly in the Central North Island in the Taupo area.
Generally the fishing is good throughout the season,
with seasonal variations;
High country lakes open on the first weekend of November while the 1st December see all remaining waters opening up.The Xmas break see many locals out on the rivers with the Kiwi Holidays season. Most people are back to work early in the New Year.
February is the busiest month for visiting overseas anglers. January - March is the main terrestrial dry fly time with the Cicada's and Blowflies buzzing about.
February/March is usually the most settled time weather wise. By March the fish have seen many fishermen and are pretty wary, but it's still a productive time to fish. Terrestrial insect will stay active until the first frosts arrive and then it tapers off.
April is the last month of the regular season and a month overlooked by many. With fewer angler about often you can have even a popular river almost to yourself. The fish are fat after a summer of feeding and are in their best condition as they ready themselves for spawning. The sun is now lower in the sky making spotting fish more difficult and the first dusting of winter snow touch the mountain tops.
What ever time you decide to come the fishing will be good, with the weather invariably being a factor.
All clothing should be dull coloured to blend into the surroundings. The clear water means the fish are easily spooked by bright colures.
Bring clothing for both warm and cool conditions and don't forget your rain coat.
During the cooler months of spring a pair of light weight breathable waders with comfortable felt soled wading boot are best. As it warms up in summer it's good to wet wade in a pair of light (quick drying) cotton trousers and wading boots. A lot of locals fish in shorts with long polypropylene underwear to protect the legs.
A wide brim hat aids spotting fish and protects from the hot sun. Note that the air is very clear in NZ and with lower ozone levels at times it's very easy to get sun burnt so please be aware of this and use sun cream on all exposed skin.
Polaroid sunglasses are a must for spotting fish. And don't forget the sunscreen and insect repellant.
Bring a water bottle, it can be hot and it's easy to get dehydrated. We have Giardia is some waterway so it's unwise to drink from streams directly.
The best general set up for our conditions is a fast action 6 weight rod with a matching dull coloured (Gray, Olive Green or Brown - no bright coloures please) weight forward floating line.
This is because it can be windy and lighter rods can struggle in those conditions. But of course there are many days when the wind doesn't blow or is from behind when a lighter out-fit would be fine so bring them with you if you want to.
Leaders; Long tapered leaders are best, 9 - 15 feet or more with a tippet added to that.
Your guide will have equipment available for your use as needed.
There are many factors on a given day that will effect the days success, the first is the weather on the day and in New Zealand, because it's a long and narrow Island nation it can be very changeable. I have different options for the different weather patterns so we can almost always find somewhere that's relatively sheltered and fishable. The different rivers and streams offer different challenges. Fish size and numbers vary from stream to stream and from month to month and year to year. Fishing is not an exact science, things don't always go to plan so we need to remain flexible to be successful.
The nature of the fishing in New Zealand is such that there are generally fewer but larger fish than in other parts of the world. This means that the more river we cover the more fish we will find. So be prepared to walk. Often it's quite a surprise at the end of the day to realize just how much ground we've covered. Obliviously fitness becomes a factor. For those that are less mobile you can still be successful as I can tailor the fishing to your needs.
And the fishing it's self. When everything falls into place it can seem almost easy as large fish rise to suck in those bouncing dry flies. The average fish in NZ is a wary beast. They wont give you too many chances so success comes from understanding how to deceive them and in being able to get the fly in the right place to do that.
So when all goes to plan a good day may see up to10 fish landed. Most fish will be in the 4-6 lb range with some up to 8lbs or larger, which are carefully photographed and released.
On an average day you can expect to have the opportunity to catch a reasonable number of reasonable sized fish, how many are landed depends on the skill of you the fisherman!
Check the individual guides page for their current guide fees. Guides generally require deposits to secure a booking and are usually 30% of guide fees. Please check with your guides when you book as to what they require
It's very difficult to fill days at short notice. Our guides need to cover themselves for lost days, there are only so many days in a season for them to make their livings, hence I'm asking for this commitment from clients when booking;
To confirm a booking, please forward a 30% non refundable deposit.
Cancellations within two weeks of fishing dates;
A cancellation fee of 50% applies for all fishing days booked.
Cancellations within one week of fishing dates;
A cancellation fee of 100% applies for all fishing days booked.
both Visa and Master Card. To book your guide please pay a deposit via
the link from that guides listing
Booking well in advance of your travel ensures a well-planned and successful trip.
We advise all international clients to have travel insurance.
All Guide Fees listed include the NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST) of 12.5%
So the fee is the total you will pay per day for the guide service