: New Zealand Fishing Information?
Well, my trip to New Zealand has been bumped up by about 9 months so I need to seriously start planning some fishing adventures there. We're flying down next spring (fall there) April 25th or so and staying for 3 weeks. We plan on touring most of the two islands and I'm looking at what any of you would plan for fishing there. I am a saltwater fly fisher tried and true, but I wonder if NZ is better suited fishing the Brown Trout in the mountains? Has anyone ever been there? Is the SW fishing worth it, or should I focus on growing my FW skillz?
Thanks in advance for any help, I can't wait to check this place out!!!!
11-03-2004, 12:43 PM
NZ Trout Bum
11-05-2004, 12:51 PM
New Zealand is a wonderful palce to fish with lots of friendly Kiwi's. You are going in the fall as you said but it is late fall, comparable to the end of October in the northern hemisphere. You will find good to great rainbow fishing in the Taupo tribs and in the Rotorura area as well. The south island will be getting pretty cold in the higher elevations. I don't do much salt water fishing there but not too much written in the local rags about flies in the salt so I don't think it is too popular.
I try and go down twice a year in Nov/Dec and Mar/Apr for about 3 to 4 weeks per trip. Those are more dependable time periods. Having said all that, I am a lake junkie so that is my focus.
Good luck, Let me know if you have more questions. W
12-02-2004, 03:42 AM
as others have said at the time that you will be joining us itwillbe getting a little chilly,so pack your thermals.
Most of the rivers in the South Island will be closed for winter when you arrive, so you are best advised to concentrate your efforts in the North. You will find SWFF in the Bay of Islands and Northland. Im not sure how many of the charter vessles will be operating at the time of year you intend to visit though.
The Lake Taupo region offers a fantasic opertunity to catch large Rainbows at that time of year as they run from the lake to the spawning grounds upstream. There are plenty of fish in the 4-5lbs range to keep you entertained. If the right tactics are employed then several fish may be caught. Fishing upstream with a heavily weighted nymph fished back with a dead drift is the key to success. It may be highly beneficial to make use of the services of a local guide to perfect the technique before you go it alone.
please get in touch if you are unsure about what tackle to bring or for a reccomendation for a guide.
Thanks for the info! Sounds like FWFF is where its going to have to be for me. Don't mind learning some new tricks and would definitely like any guide reccomendations you have. As far as gear, I'm planning on buying a new pack rod as the lightest I have now is an 8 wt. What weight gear is best for fishing the lakes and rivers?
12-03-2004, 06:30 PM
Most guides in NZ will tell you to bring a 6 weight as an all around all purpose rod. BUT for the salt water fishign you will want more like an 8 wt or more.
BTW, check your e-mail!
12-04-2004, 11:56 AM
The best saltwater fishing is done out of the North Island in either the Bay of Islands or Bay of Plenty (Russell or Whakatane). The end of April isn't going to be the best time for that. The weather will be getting chilly then and Fall is in the air. You should still have some indian summer days and can get into some dry fly fishing on the North Island in the eastern Bay of Plenty (open until June) area but the general fishing season for game fish and sport fish is Dec. through April. Also the trout season in general runs Oct. 1st through the last day in April. All North Island headwaters fisheries are open til the end of April with some going to the end of June. This season is primarily for the brown trout fisheries. The South Island for the most part will be closed from May 1st on until Oct. 1st and it will be colder the farther south you go.
The tributaries everyone is talking about are focused around the Lake Taupo region. These fish are of steelhead rainbow stock introduced to NZ in the late 1800's and come from the Russian River/ Sonoma Creek area of northern California. Although these fish are anadromous, they have no way to get to the ocean, therefore they are like the Great Lakes steelhead and land locked. They go in and out of Lake Taupo which is a huge, deep lake, over 500 feet deep. When the fish come out of the lake to head back to the rivers to spawn, they are chrome bright like steelhead. This migration really gets going, like any steelhead fishing, once the fall rains get going. In this case, that's usually May/June with the winter fishing being the best. This fishery is open year round. Other great smaller streams in the area that are beautiful and small and a bit of a hike to get in to are the Waitahanui and Hinemaiaia. These rivers are fished more like nymphing with a weighted fly and big puffy indicator. (not my favorite way to fish but quite effective) Also, given the size of these streams and the large size of the fish, you have to stalk these fish. They can see you and hear you coming so you have to make sure you are hidden from their site or you won't see them again the rest of that day!
As with any new place it is highly recommended to hire a guide to take you to the known spots that hold fish. It is so easy to get yourself lost as well as a waste of time to flounder around not knowing what you're doing or where you're going. Also, NZ doesn't fish like any river you've ever fished in the good old U S of A. Don't waste your time thinking you can do it on your own. Get a guide and if you are a fast learner then perhaps go on your own the next time.
The best known tributary to Lake Taupo is the Tongariro. This river had massive floods last summer which changed the layout of the river entirely. Another well known river in the area is the Tauranga-Taupo. These rivers are great for steelhead and can be fished much like those fished in WA and CA etc. I fish them using shooting heads and common steelhead patterns.
As for the lakes, there are huge and I do mean huge trout in the lakes in NZ. On the North Island, lake "O" as in Otamangakau is probably the best known for it's giant trout. Some NI lakes are open year round but you will need access to a boat.
So, I hope this helps. If you need any specific info, e-mail me directly and I'd be happy to help.
12-06-2004, 06:23 PM
I'll be heading to the South Island in January for four weeks. I've done hundreds of hours of research and I'm looking forward to exploring such a beautiful country. The more I research, the more amazed I am--not just with the fishing, but also with mountains, culture and people. I'm especially impressed with NZ's fishing regulations and fisheries management.
However, in the course of my research, I keep coming across lines like the one just posted:
"As with any new place it is highly recommended to hire a guide to take you to the known spots that hold fish. It is so easy to get yourself lost as well as a waste of time to flounder around not knowing what you're doing or where you're going."
It's the same old, "you have to hire a guide sales pitch." It's as if there is a conspiracy among the NZ fishing guide industry to emphasize this in their promotional material, as if every non-Kiwi that steps off the plane is a bumbling retard, or that there is some kind of magical trick to catching NZ trout that only the locals are savvy to. Every body of water is unique and needs to be fished as such.
I'd like to hire a guide if I could, but unfortunately its out of my budget.
I suppose I will have a learning curve for the NZ fishing scene and techniques, however I'm not intending to waste time floundering around and getting lost. After seven years of living in and fishing and exploring countries where English is not spoken as the main language, NZ should be no problem if you have half a brain.
"Also, NZ doesn't fish like any river you've ever fished in the good old U S of A."
Blar, blar, blar. Same old line. Currently, I'm not living in the good old US of A and my local trout stream is extremely clear, in fact it is more gin clear than the famous gin clear trout streams of NZ that make constant banal references to how gin clear the gin clear water is.
"Don't waste your time thinking you can do it on your own. Get a guide and if you are a fast learner then perhaps go on your own the next time."
I wish I could hire a guide. I've always thought of a skilled fishing guide as more of a teacher-mentor, than a hired hand that points out fish for you. Still, I'm looking forward to fishing NZ solo and doing my own problem solving--I think that's a wonderful part of the experience--the map reading and scouting and exploring.
That was a refreshing response! 600 bucks is a lot and would definitely put a strain on my budget! I would be eating cheese and crackers for a week while I'm there. I look forward to hearing of your travels there, please come back and share. Take care and have a blast!
12-07-2004, 06:39 PM
OK...I can see my post was so greatly appreciated, I'll keep my info to myself next time and let you all make fun of yourselves!
"I'm looking forward to fishing NZ solo and doing my own problem solving--I think that's a wonderful part of the experience--the map reading and scouting and exploring" .............. yes, sure it is, but most people don't have 4 weeks to spend figuring it out on their own.
I wasn't trying to be insulting, but having been to NZ at least 15 times and being an accomplished angler, I was speaking from experience, not blowing smoke.
Is this a male only site or something???? You all a bunch of snobs????
Personally, I appreciate both sides of the equation. I think that getting all sides of the story can help greatly in the decision making process.
Ladyflyfish and Lenok, I thank you for both opinions and help in this matter. And as for this being a male only site, it is most certainly not.
12-16-2004, 08:02 AM
Your info is always appreciated--the more input, the better. As for being a male only site, I think gender doesn't have much to do with casting flies into water. As for being snobs, I prefer the word "cynic."
""I'm looking forward to fishing NZ solo and doing my own problem solving--I think that's a wonderful part of the experience--the map reading and scouting and exploring" .............. yes, sure it is, but most people don't have 4 weeks to spend figuring it out on their own."
Right. And some people can't toss a few hundred dollars for a day of casting to 'here-they-are' trout. Some folks have time, other have money. It's an old equation.
"I wasn't trying to be insulting, but having been to NZ at least 15 times and being an accomplished angler, I was speaking from experience, not blowing smoke."
Fifteen times? Holy sh!t. (I'm not be facetious, more like envious). But I'm sure you could provide better information on this board about angling in NZ other than the same old line of "you have to hire a guide." C'mon share your wealth of knowledge. Fifteen trips to New Zealand is a lot of angling experience.
I've finally got what I think is a plan of attack and now it seems the next topic would be GEAR!
With some finagling and convincing, my fiance and I are going to get a guide around Lake Tuapo for two days in the middle of the trip. Gear wise, this is probably the easisest as I don't really need to worry about it then. But...
We are also planning a 3 day hike along the Abel Talsman walk and its all along coastal NZ beachfront. Being a die hard SW FFerman...i'm not sure i could walk past this without casting. Also, we'll be around water and streams for most ot the trip, so stopping and fishing them is not totally out of the question. One last thing is that space for gear is pretty limited so keep that in mind.
1. What weight rod should I bring if I only bring one? I'm planning on getting a 7 pc from somewhere and I'd rather not have to buy two. Will one rod be able to make me at all happy in both the stream/ lake regions as well as the coastal FF areas?
2. Is it even reasonable to try and SWFF? or will i just be catching seaweed?
3. Line choice is the next reasonable thing? More than one or would a floater be enough?
Ideally i'd love to pack one rod, one reel, maybe an extra spool, some flies for SW and FW and some leader material. Stop. Nothing more. I don't expect it to be perfect for all situations, just acceptable for most.
Am I dreaming?
Thanks for any input! Nick