New Zealand''s trout are totally wild. Casting and presentation of the fly are therefore of extreme importance. So too are perseverance, patience and the ability to observe and analyse. In some rivers there is a trout every 10 or 20 metres, in others you may have to walk a kilometre or more. It''s always worth consulting the locals to find the best spots along rivers. The trout season normally runs from early October through to the end of April, although regulations can differ from region to region. Depending on conditions, some rivers and lakes are open to anglers all year, but local guides will be aware of the fishing regulations for their region.
October 1 to May 31, Best months are October to March.
Seasonal Trout Fishing Highlights
January-February: Excellent fishing through the South Island, and the best time for dry fishing. Spinning and fly-fishing is good all over the country. Rotorua and Taupo lakes fish very well to streamer flies, particularly near stream mouths.
March-April: The weather is usually still settled. Lake trolling is good throughout the country. South and North Island streams fish well to dry fly, nymph and spinning. Smelting finishes on lakes, but good stream mouth fishing on all lakes.
May-June: Some good fly-fishing at stream mouths, particularly on Lakes Tarawera and Rotoiti for trophy trout. Excellent fly-fishing in the Tongariro and other Lake Taupo tributaries. Good trolling on many southern lakes with some good fly-fishing using a sinking line on those high country lakes open.
July-September: Fishing is restricted to the lower reaches of Taupo tributaries, which are at their best with trout running upstream from the lake. Shoreline fly-fishing is possible on a number of lakes; spinning is allowable anywhere except within 200 metres of river mouths on some lakes. In the South Island, a number of Canterbury high country lakes are open during these months except within 200 metres of in-flowing streams. So, too, are numerous Otago lakes. Nymph or streamer fishing can be excellent.
October-December: One of the best times to fish in New Zealand. By the end of this period, all waters are open for fishing. Prolific smelting in Lake Taupo and Rotorua''s lakes, with excellent harling and fly-fishing, particularly in the western bays of Lake Taupo and the Tongariro River Mouth. Rivers and streams in both North and South Islands are fishing consistently well. Some South Island rivers of mountain origin may have opaque snow-fed waters for October, gradually clearing into November.