Fly Fishing Under the Southern Cross - New Zealand

New Zealand, best place in the world for fly fishing. Remote lodges, fantastic scenery,
wonderful hiking, golf, food and wine.

I grew up in a family of keen fishermen and it was fun not only fishing in Scotland, and Ireland, but we got taken all over the world in search of a big one.

We didn’t have a choice, you fished, or kept quiet and read a book.

This article is on my favorite country, New Zealand, and its fishing is out of this world. Even if your partner or spouse is not an angler, some of these small luxury lodges are so wonderful that he or she will enjoy themselves.

Other opportunities include horseback riding, golf, shopping in the nearest town, visiting a winery, take a cooking class or just relaxing. There are some spectacular gardens at these properties, as well as gourmet cooking. There are also some great hikes to take, and although both islands are wonderful locations, I like the South Island the best because of the scenery and its sparsely populated.

Many fisherman put off visiting New Zealand because of confusion about the many options. We can help you compare and contrast the different alternatives. The Fishing Calendar is fun to study, people go during various months. I love looking at the fourteen items on the "New Zealand Guide’s Favorite Flies" list, since some of the names like “Scotch Poacher” or “Manuka Beetle” tickle my fancy.

If you are a saltwater, light tackle fisherman, then I would send you to the Bay of Islands for classic game fish, such as travelly and kingfish in the 10-50 pound range as well as striped marlin.

We can do an itinerary with a mixture of farm stays, lodges, with the main goal,  get you to where the fish are. You can also go on a fishing tour, where you even spend a night or two in shepherd’s wilderness huts – fun and economical.

Whether you are an expert angler, or a beginner, the guides in each location will make you look like a champion. Some of my favorites are Tongariro, Moose, Huka, Poronui Ranch, Wharekauhau County Estate, on the North Island, and Lake Rotoroa, Riverview Lodge, Lake Brunner, Cedar, Motueka, Riverview Farm,  River Run lodge on the South Island, we have over thirty different properties we can recommend, depending on the budget.

There are a lot of wonderful properties in great locations to visit, and a big choice of lakes and rivers. Most of these lodges are small, so if you go with a group of friends or family, you are usually the only ones there so you have it to yourselves.

Did you know that you cannot buy trout in a supermarket in New Zealand? You must catch one to eat it. One of my clients got 23 whopping  fish in four hours. Trout at 5 pounds is usual, although I have seen photos of 10-pound trout.

Talking to my fishing colleagues in New Zealand, this has been the best summer fly fishing for the last thirty years. The summer months of October – April represent a special time for fisherman from all over the world to give them their trout fishing experience of a lifetime. There are excellent angling opportunities every month of the year but regulars who fish for the steelhead rainbows that run during the winter months can enjoy spectacular sport.  However, it is often the summer wilderness fishing that is the main drawing card for anglers.

The guides at these lodges, are world renowned anglers. They have over twenty years of guiding experience in these waters. One lodge I like uses the Tongariro River and Lake Taupo Tributaries, in the North Island and Riverview Lodge in the Hanmer Springs area of the South Island is my favorite because of the gorgeous scenery. There are over 40 rivers and three lakes accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles, helicopters, rafts and boats. I love going by helicopter to a remote area as I know the trout are just waiting for me. Sight cast to giant lake run browns and rainbows with a cicada dry fly. You can stalk rainbows and browns in beautiful secret wilderness streams with private access gained by your experienced guide.  The rivers run a gorgeous clear turquoise silver color from the alps which run down the length of the island.

Helicopter access fishing chasing trophy browns and rainbows in gin clear water is awesome. You have access to over 14 rivers, and 60 miles of the best wilderness heli access waters in the world. You wear a battered hat, drab colors, and waders.  I don’t even wear my wedding ring. I don’t want to take a chance on the trout seeing it sparkle in the sunshine.  

Go fish in the air that angels breathe.

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