Fly Fishing in New Zealand
New Zealand has long had a reputations as an international fly fishing destination and each year many make the pilgrimage, enticed by stories of large trout, beautiful scenery and friendly locals.
What to expect;
Like fishing anywhere there are always many factors that can influence your success on any given day. Being and island nation New Zealand's weather can and does change quickly disrupting the best laid plans. But when all comes together the fishing is nothing sort of magic....
There are so many rivers the choice becomes almost overwhelming. 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 be prepared to be flexible to achieve the best results. But despite what the weather throws up your guides will have options for the different weather patterns, so will almost always find somewhere that's fishable; it's not often when we can't actually fish!
The nature of our fisheries is such that there are generally fewer but larger fish than in other parts of the world. The water can be crystal clear, so therefore the best method of fly fishing is to carefully stalk up the river and spot your fish first before tempting it with a dry fly or nymph. This is both an exciting and rewarding fishing style and is what New Zealand fly fishing is all about. In fact in many streams if you 'fish the water' you'll spend a lot of time fishing barren water.
This style of fly fishing means that the more river that is covered the more fish that will be found. So be prepared to walk. Often it's quite a surprise at the end of the day to realize just how much ground has been covered. Obliviously fitness becomes a factor. For those that are less mobile you can still be successful, it's just a matter of tailoring the fishing to your needs.
And the fishing itself;
When everything falls into place it can seem almost easy as large fish rise to suck in 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.
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!
And when all goes to plan, a good day may see up to10 or more fish landed. Most fish will be in the 3-6 lb range with some up to 8lbs or larger, which are carefully photographed and released.