The fishing in New Zealand is predominantly about quality not quantity. As a general rule, the bigger the fish, the fewer there are and vise versa. The fish populations in some rivers are not as numerous as in other parts of the world, but the average fish size is something else! Some anglers who have not been to New Zealand have unrealistic expectations. No matter what you have read and watched on videos about New Zealand fishing, the trout over here seldom hook themselves. Due to the extreme clarity of the water some of the fishing can be technically difficult. The fact is that fishing in a new area, using a new method targeting very wily wild fish can be a very challenging experience. This is one of the reasons why professional fishing guides are wide spread in New Zealand. They know their area extensively and have all the skills needed to convince most elusive trout.
Brown Trout are regularly caught weighing between 4 and 8 lb. and Rainbow Trout average 2 to 5 lb. These weights are typical ranges, but larger fish are encountered if you know where to go. If you’ve seen our sight fishing page, you’ve seen why people are excited to fly fish New Zealand. If it’s so easy to see the trout, why hire a guide? It isn’t always that easy or obvious, however. Cloudy days and riffled water conceal trout well, the glare on the water and broken sight lines hiding them well. A good guide will take you to waters that have features that make sight fishing easier in many conditions.
New Zealand trout adjust to the seasonal water flows, which can be quite various due to rainfall or mid summer low flows. A trout that was resident in one reach may be many miles downstream or upstream a week later. A perfectly good reach of water may hold very few fish in different water conditions. A good guide will know which waters to spend your time on.
Of course, a good guide will also know the flies that work, assist you on timing of your presentation as well as helping assess the different approaches and nature of fishing to these trout. We’ll also make sure you are fishing deep enough when sight nymphing, our water is deceptively clear and sometimes a 3 foot dropper is that much more effective than a 20″ one. These aspects are all very important aspects of fishing to trophy brown trout anywhere in the world.
As your guide we will also be able to assist in pointing out other waters for the remainder of your trip. We can give pointers as to what to look out for, where to ask for permission to cross farm fields, or where hidden tracks are to find back country waters. Add in suggestions of accommodations, other attractions, and interesting places to stop along your travels, and a guide is an invaluable asset to your New Zealand fly fishing vacation!
• If you decide to discover New Zealand’s fishing on your own, make your stay as long as you can afford. We constantly meet people who wished they had put more time aside to discover the secrets of our fisheries.
• Another similarity of new people we guide each year is that they wished they had hired a fishing guide on the first instead of the last day of their precious holiday! It is certainly the best way to get an introduction to New Zealand fishing and ensure a successful fishing holiday without wasting days or more often weeks figuring things out.
• The more fish in a system, the smaller they are and vise versa. We do not like to make predictions for future results, but to give you an indication we have averaged past performances in our Brown Trout locations. On an average day we generally come across, but not necessarily catch 25+ fish for the very high fish number locations and 15+ fish for the high number locations.
If you are going to use guides, always make sure they are members of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guide Association (NZPFGA)! This is the best way of getting value for money and service of a truly professional standard. The NZPFGA is an association of registered guides who commit themselves to a high level of service and standards. Each member guide is vetted for experience and competence before being accepted and is subject to rigorous complaints and disputes procedures. The constitution of the NZPFGA contains a very stringent code of ethics, taking in sound fishing practice and the laws of New Zealand. Please note: I am a member of the New Zealand Professional Fishing Guide Association – the only one within 100 km of Westport. If you wish to fish a different area we can put you in touch with a professional fishing guide in that region.
What are the other benefits to you in using a NZPFGA guide?
• Commercial insurances including Public Liability.
• All members of the NZPFGA hold a current first aid certificate.
• The NZPFGA holds Department of Conservation permits on behalf of members for access to state-owned lands and other special land areas.
• NZPFGA guides are dedicated to protecting and conserving our fishery and know how to treat fish, promoting Catch and Release.
• NZPFGA guides have expert local knowledge, to ensure you gain the maximum from your fishing excursion.
• More fishing success equals more fun and that is what it is all about!
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Enquiries to: Tele +64 21 211 3462
Hanmer Springs, North Canterbury, New Zealand