If you are coming from far shores to fly fish in New Zealand for that first trip that you have been thinking about making for years a bit of advance preparation can make a big difference to your fly fishing vacation.
There are many things to think about when planning your trip and the obvious starting point is figuring out your budget and length of time you can be here to fly fish. One of the important factors in this is understanding that New Zealand is made up of 2 different islands that both offer very good fly fishing yet are extremely different in nature.
In general terms the North Island is primarily a rainbow trout fishery and has by far the best saltwater fly fishing where the South Island is primarily a brown trout fishery with options to chase Chinnook salmon although both islands do have both species of trout. Again staying quite general the North Island has higher fish numbers than the South Island but it also has a higher human population. Approximately 3/4 of the population of New Zealand live in the North Island. New Zealand is quite a small country about the same size of California with about 4 million people in it.
If you have ample time (lets say 2 to 4 weeks) you may be able to split the time half and half fishing both islands but if your time is more limited (10 days or less) you will be better suited to spending all your time fishing in one island – maybe save the other island for your next trip because once you have been here you will want to come back!
Each fishing region (state) of New Zealand offers quite different experiences and each has many different sorts of water ways ranging from the true back country experience to fishing estuary’s for sea runners with everything in between.
New Zealand is not a expensive country to fly fish in but nor is it cheap. Travel to New Zealand is the first thing you want to look at and a good site to check out is One Travel where you can check out your different options on how to get here.
A NZ season fishing license is around NZD 105.00 and allows you to fish everywhere with the exception of the Taupo fishery where a specific additional license is required.
Once here you will require a vehicle to get around in the fishing areas in. Renting a vehicle is probably the best way forward and a great starting place to look at especially if you are fishing in the South Island is Overland 4WD Rentals. Not all rentals are equal with many rental companies not allowing you to take their vehicles over certain roads in NZ – you will lose your insurance cover if you do! Overland have a great variety of fishing vehicles that do not have rules of where you can and can not go (within reason of course) and can also supply camping equipment. Our roads are in good nick but it usually takes longer to get somewhere than you may think – bear this in mind with your time constraints.
New Zealand has many accommodation options to take care of all fishing budgets. Using backpacking type hostels and also our many designated camping areas around New Zealand can keep the price down considerably. Of course there is everything else from farm stays, bed and breakfasts, self contained units motels, hotels and of course the luxury lodges.
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If you want help with organizing the New Zealand Fly fishing trip of a lifetime please get in touch with me.