New Zealand’s Early Season Trout Fishing Can Be Awesome!
February has historically been the most popular month to visit New Zealand, but if you are planning a trip to New Zealand primarily for trout fishing, it may be better to try and go earlier as opposed to later. Why, you ask? Well, that’s simple; the spring fishing in New Zealand is excellent. The fish have had the winter to rest up and forget about all the people who tried to catch them five or six months ago. They are hungry and ready for the taking. They may not be at their plumpest in early season, but they are not as spooky and are in feeding mode to bulk up now that the weather is warming up.
The trout season over most of the country opens on October 1st and runs through the end of April. October may still have somewhat unsettled weather as spring is often a bit rainy in most places, but, November is a terrific time to visit New Zealand. The wildflowers are blooming everywhere, gardens are in full bloom and the streams are at good levels. The hillsides are emerald green and everything is so alive with colors bursting all over. The mountain peaks still have plenty of snow and you’d be hard pressed to take a bad photograph!
Early season gives the angler many advantages. First of all, the fish have had no pressure over them and are hungry. This may not be the all around best time for dry fly fishing, but nymphing will be very productive and is still done by sight fishing. The crowds will not have shown up yet so you won’t have much competition for the hot spots where you want to fish. The weather can go any which way this time of year, but I can say when I was in New Zealand this past November, I had the most gorgeous weather of anytime I think I’ve ever had in the last 13 or so years of visits. The days were long, sunny and warm which led to some great dry fly as well as nymph fishing for very big trout. The rivers were in great condition early on, although some areas of the country were experiencing some drought conditions later in the summer months. (another good reason to go early)
Some lodges and accommodations still offer lower rates in early season and you just won’t have the usual crowds when you visit in November. It’s my favorite time to be in New Zealand and you should make it yours. Come see New Zealand in all it’s glory when the hills are electric, emerald green, the trout are hungry and willing and the country is bursting at the seams with beautiful wild flowers.
There is no time like the present to take that trip of a lifetime and head for New Zealand.
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