Understandably, fly fishing tourists tend come to Zealand in the Summer months. The season is open allowing more options; the weather is better and the dry fly fishing can be spectacular.
However, the winter season (May to September) can offer great results and is a very popular time to go fishing for locals. It is the recommended time of year to fish the Tongariro river and all other surrounding rivers that feed Lake Taupo. It is also provides a great time of year to target trophy trout found in the man-made canals in the Mackenzie Country. Great winter fishing can be found in many other regions as well especially in coastal areas. This is because it is generally the lower reaches that remain open all year round and fish generally are in better conditiom.
Rainbow trout run up the rivers in large numbers from May to September in Taupo and Rotorua. At this time they are in excellent condition and make for great fighting fish. The typical New Zealand technique of nymphing is still prevalent at this time, but with the use of heavy ‘bomb-like’ flies to get deep where the Trout are. Lots of anglers will also congregate around river mouths casting out far into the rip to in order to try and catch Trout that are about to run up the river to spawn.
Fishing the canals in the Mackenzie Country, Canterbury is also popular over with fish sizes in these canals ranging well over 20lbs. Fish get up to these sizes due to spills of salmon feed from salmon farms in these canals.
New Zealand also enjoys great ski-fields found in Taupo, Otago and Canterbury which provide a great way to break up your adventure by taking a day or two to go skiing. Another great benefit over the winter time is less foot traffic as the majority of tourists come in the Summer. As a result, lower rates can be enjoyed from accommodation providers.
See our destinations below where you will find great fishing in the winter in New Zealand.