Have you thought of coming to New Zealand to fish in the shoulder season of May, June and July? There is always a rush of people in to the country to fish through the summer. So the lodges are often full, guides are in high demand and high season pricing applies.
But once the main season ends on 30 April the whole scene quietens down. This is an excellent time to come and fish in the central North Island. The lakes and lower tributaries of the big fishing rivers stay open throughout this time. You’re far more likely to get the dates that really suit, the guides are easier to book, and shoulder season rates apply in many of the accommodations.
Realistically you could leave Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane on a Friday morning. Arrive in to Auckland and catch the early or late afternoon flight from Auckland down to Taupo to be at your chosen lodge for dinner. Be ready next morning for two or three days of full-on fly fishing for trout, then fly out again Monday or Tuesday.
Through May and June the best fly fishing is using nymphs on the lower reaches of the backcountry rivers. The main spawning runs on the Lake Taupo rivers run during these months, and right through to November. Rainbow trout can be caught right through these winter months, with brown trout in May as well. Raft fishing is also a good option in the earlier part of this time and fly fishing on the lakes remains open all year. The only real difference between fishing in the shoulder season (early winter) and through the main season is that the higher tributaries of the rivers are closed, so heli-fishing isn’t really an option.
There is an excellent range of accommodation available throughout this area, from small family-run B&Bs through to some of the best lodges in the country. We bring many people to Poronui, Tongariro Lodge, Wildwood Lodge and River Birches for a quality stay, while family-run Tui Lodge offers an inexpensive B&B stay. Other higher end options include Treetops Lodge and Huka Lodge. We’ll find the best fishing stay for your group – whether it is just yourself or a gathering of 12.
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