Photo: David Anderson 

Local Information

New Zealand needs no introduction as a fly-fishing destination. It has a well-deserved reputation as one of the World’s best wild trout fisheries.

The South Island combines stunning scenic grandeur with crystal clear streams and presents unsurpassed sight-fishing for large brown trout in particular. Lakes throughout the South Island rate very highly with visitors from stillwater backgrounds.

The North Island’s reputation has been built around the rainbow fisheries of Taupo and Rotorua, particularly the winter spawning runs. But this is just part of the story, with summertime stream fishing and wilderness waters to rival the best in the South Island. Year round the options are endless.

Recommended Reading

There is a wealth of good fly-fishing literature from New Zealand with North Island writers including Douglas Stewart, John Parsons, Bryn Hammond and Keith Draper. The South Island’s literature includes books by Tony Orman, Graeme Marshall, Les Hill, Mike Weddell and Robert Bragg.

As a starting point the best books to consult include Norman Marsh’s Trout Stream Insects of New Zealand (1983); the anthologies by Parsons and Hammond – New Zealand’s Treasury of Trout and Salmon (1989), and One Hundred Years of Trout Fishing in New Zealand (1999) – and Hammond’s book The New Zealand Encyclopaedia of Fly Fishing (1988).

The Artful Science of Trout Fishing (2005), by John Hayes and Les Hill makes compulsory NZ reading. Likewise New Zealand’s Best Trout Flies (2006), and John Kent’s South Island Trout Fishing Guide and North Island Trout Fishing Guide. Rob Sloane’s book Fifty Places To Fish Before You Die (2006), includes more than 20 prime New Zealand fly-fishing destinations.

Dave Witherow’s book Open Season gives some insightful thoughts on New Zealand angling, and the DVDs Stealth With a Fly and The Source—New Zealand will give plenty of inspiration. All available from the FlyLife website shop.




Take precautions to prevent the spread of Dydimo, regardless of perceived risk.
No waterway can be guaranteed as Didymo-free.

Didymosphenia geminata is an unwanted organism under the New Zealand Biosecurity Act 1993.  It is an offence to knowingly spread an unwanted organism with penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $100,000. Please visit New Zealand Biosecurity for fact sheets and up-to-date information.