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Firstly an overview of New Zealand ! New Zealand is a very small country, packed with ever changing geography, friendly people and some of the clearest rivers & largest trout you will ever encounter. There are 2 main islands that make up New Zealand. They are the North Island (where most of the population lives) and the South Island, which has the two largest national parks in New Zealand and a population of less than 1,000,000 people.
There are 6 main fishing regions on the South Island; they are Nelson/Marlborough, West coast, Christchurch / North Canterbury, Central South Island, Queenstown/Central Otago and Fiordland/Southland. They offer dramatically different geographic scenery and slightly different fisheries that provide a different fishing experience.
What is the fishing season?
The fishing season in Nelson/Marlborough & West coast opens on 1st October and closes on the 30th April. So the rivers open in Spring and close in late Autumn / Fall.
When is the best time to fish New Zealand ?
The most popular time to fly fish New Zealand is January & February, and if you love casting big terrestrial dry fly’s then that’s the time to be here. However, being totally pragmatic any time from October through to April will see you experience some of the world’s best sighted fishing to large wild brown trout.
When do your rivers clear due to snow melt/run off?
The thing is, in our region (top of the South island) most of our rivers are not badly effected by snow melt or run off. We don’t get the huge snow pack that places like Montana get, thus the vast majority of snow that can affect rivers has already melted prior to the fishing season starting.
I heard in New Zealand that you guys use really long leaders, is this true ?
Absolutely, due the clarity of our rivers, especially on the South Island, we absolutely need to use longer leaders than most travelling anglers are used to. Typically we fish with a 12 > 15 ft leader plus a few feet of tippet. The secret to your success is practice casting with a longer leader a month or so prior to your big trip to NZ. I recommend you get yourself down to the park and practice casting and laying out that longer leader.
Do I need to use a fishing guide?
In a word – yes. Think aboutit, you’ve invested a great deal of time and money coming to New Zealand, why not maximise your investment and enjoy the fishing being guided by a professional fishing guide. And don’t forget, time is the one thing money can’t buy.
What weight rods should I bring?
If you decide to bring your own gear, bring a 5 or 6 weight rod. Typically, we fish with a 6 weight almost exclusively.
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