The first thing to know about fly fishing in New Zealand is that the experience you have there will be unlike any other. The proximity to two bodies of water, the sheer amount of marine life and the abundance of tour guides and fly fishing expeditions make this country a fly fisherman’s paradise.
New Zealand is an island and as islands are surrounded by water they often make the best places for any kind of fishing in general. You are never more than an hour and fifteen minutes away from the coast from any point on the island so you can visit several different spots a day and experience all the different types of streams, springs, creeks, rivers, lakes with huge populations of fish.
New Zealand is unique, however, in that it is sandwiched between two different bodies of water. The Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea host different types of marine life including hundreds of different fish that cannot be found in any other parts of the world. Some of the best brown and rainbow trout can be found here and average 3-5 pounds each. Spawning occurs between May and September. It is also common for trophy fish larger than ten pounds to be found here as well. It
While you’re fishing you will also get to see beautiful mammals and birds that are unique to New Zealand like the Hectors Dolphin which is the world’s smallest marine dolphin, the New Zealand fur seal, the yellow-eyed penguin, the Paua shellfish and Hooker’s sea lions.
Guided Fly Fishing and Tours are incredibly common in New Zealand so it’s your job to shop around and find the best deals. Tours range from one day to a week and have different built in features like accommodations, meals, sightseeing and leisure activities, transportation, fishing gear, photography and even alcohol. The winter season is usually $500- $1,000 cheaper than the summer season but both will provide you with the opportunities to experience the beauty and bounty of New Zealand’s waters.
As with all types of fly fishing you should make sure that you dress for the proper conditions. Like most other coastal areas you should expect moderate amounts of wind as well as possible sudden temperature drops because of the proximity to water. Be prepared by bringing a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a zip up sweatshirt and a thicker jacket if you plan on beginning early in the morning when the temperatures are lower. The best materials to pick are those that are moisture wicking as they will dry the fastest and keep you warm and comfortable.
In addition make sure to have waders if you plan on getting in the water, if you are getting into a stream look for a pair of waders with felt soles as they will give you the most traction and stability.
Most areas in New Zealand require fisherman to have a fishing license. These are incredibly easy to acquire and can be obtained from fishing guides, lodges, visitor centers and charter boat operators.