Winter in The Other New Zealand Fly Fishing Destination

by Tony Bishop on June 9, 2006

If you were to read the magazines, watch videos, and view reports on the net, you could get the impression that New Zealand fly fishing was confined to the South Island – or the ‘Mainland’ as South Islanders call it – and confined to Summer. Not so!

The South Island Fishery has a great deal going for it; big fish in clear water, demanding fishing even for good and better fly fishers. Most South Island waters are open during Summer, but closed during Winter. But the North Island too, has superb fishing, in clear streams and rivers as well, especially throughout the central North Island, and especially for anglers prepared to venture off the beaten tracks. But many of these streams and rivers are closed over Winter as well. So what do do over Winter, apart from tie flies, tell lies, and wait?

The good news is that much of the Lake Taupo area, on the Central North Island Plateau is open over Winter (May through August), and it is the time Rainbow and brown trout head up the rivers and streams (all 47 of them that flow into Lake Taupo) to spawn. (Most of the rivers, have closures on the upper reaches to facilitate undisturbed spawning from the end of June, and many smaller streams are closed over Winter.)

So what is the attraction of this fishery; remembering it is often colder than a mother-in-law’s stare? Well trout that average 2.2kg (4.5lb) is for starters, for more go here.

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