Top Fly Fishing Areas
in New Zealand

The angling method of using a lightweight lure known as the artificial fly to hook fishes is known as fly fishing. The flies may be in the form of a baitfish, food organisms or natural invertebrates. Some special casting techniques are needed in the process of fly fishing; these techniques are entirely different from the usual casting method. Before casting, the fly is attached using a reel, a unique weighted line or a fly rod.

Fly fishing activities are often carried out in fresh or salt water and fish species like Salmon, Grayling and Trout are often targeted. Other species include Carp, Panfish, Snook, Redfish, Bass, Stripped Bass, Pike, Tarpon and Bonefish. The earliest form of fly fishing can be dated back to the 15th century were 14 feet long rods with twisted lines were used in Old England to fish. Fly fishing is now practiced in several parts of North America, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Below is a list of top fly fishing spots in New Zealand

About Fly Fishing

Top Fly Fishing Areas in New Zealand

North Island Wilderness Rivers (Central NI)

A beautiful area endowed with enchanting streams, glacier-stained mountains and large lake, the North Island is unarguably a perfect spot for any fly fisherman. The fly fishing areas covered under North Island include Rangitikei, Ngaruroro and Mohaka Rivers and their tributaries. The giant Rainbow Trout grow here all year with few Brown Trout making a small number of the species found in the North Island. The best time fly fishermen throng here is between mid - January to March. From Wellington to the Island is approximately 380km drive and about 280km if you are heading from Auckland.

McKenzie Country
(North Otago)

Also known as the McKenzie Basin, the McKenzie is an oblong intermontane basin. It was named after a Scottish Sheep thief called James McKenzie in 1850. Located in Waitaki and McKenzie districts of the South Island, the McKenzie Country is the largest basin in New Zealand. For fly fishing addicts and adventurous tourists, the best period to visit here for fishing is between Novembers to April (For inexperienced casters, late summers and early autumn is recommended). From Omarama to the basin is about 315km and from Christchurch, its roughly 225km.

Cape Brett
(Bay of Islands)

A breathtaking scenic Peninsula located on the northern North Island; this is a treasured spot for fly fishermen. Some of its surrounding areas include Bird Rock & the Sisters (The Twins), Piercy Island, Waiwiri Rock and Maomao Reef. Best fishing periods run from November through to June. Accessing Cape Brett from Auckland is close to 240km, roughly an hour drive from Kerikeri and accessible by ferry from the Paihia wharf to Russell Township.

Ashburton Lakes

The Ashburton Lakes is a massive collection of high country lakes perfect for anglers who love adventurous fishing activities. The lake consists of several other smaller water bodies which include Lake Emma, Lake Camp, Lake Emily, Lake Heron, Maori Lakes and Lake Denny. November to March is recommended for best fishing experiences because within the year can be aggressively snow ridden. Some fish species found in the Ashburton Lake includes the Rainbow Trout, Salmon, American Brook Trout and Brown Trout.

"Fly fishing may be considered the most beautiful of all rural sports." - Frank Forester


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