It’s that time year again, when social media hums with the promise of exciting spring fishing, warm muffins from the lodge kitchen and hazy golden sunrises over silent rivers. Yes, the New Zealand fly fishing season opens this Sunday, October 1.
So what will this season bring? Last year brought record numbers of people from around the world to spend their hard-won holiday and vacation times casting rods on glittering river banks, polaroid-covered eyes watching for that tell-tale glint of movement in the water. Most of the trout fishing in New Zealand is sighted fishing, so it’s best that you sight the fish before he sights you! The glass-clear water of many rivers makes this rather easy – for both you and the fish.
What is becoming apparent is that this year will be just as busy, so give some thought to your plans and book early. We have people enquiring every day now and have a good overview of what’s booked and what’s not. Some of the smaller lodges are filling already through the busy times, and others still have spaces through much of the season. The only thing that is certain is that this will change.
So what’s happening on the New Zealand lodge scene this season?
- very little has changed with the freshwater fishing lodges – old favourites like Tongariro Lodge, Poronui and Fiordland Lodge are still satisfying fishing folk throughout the season
- relative newcomer, Owen River Lodge, is a hot favourite and offers fishing guests a supreme experience, although with just 6 rooms it fills quickly
- if heli-fishing is your thing then two lodges, Minaret Station and Cedar Lodge, can give you a different remote river to fish every day – the sky is your oyster. Minaret Station is deliciously remote, with fly-in access only and a wilderness location to beat most
- and if you like a little luxury with your fishing then Huka Lodge, Treetops Lodge and Blanket Bay will provide all the feather pillows, discrete turn-downs and vintage wines you could ask for while still providing excellent fishing
There are a couple of exciting new fishing options that have appeared recently
- the first is the chance to fish for trout in the mornings and (saltwater) kingfish in the afternoons from a quiet corner in Golden Bay. See our previous blog post to learn more about this
- the hydro canals of Canterbury have become very popular places to fish for (mainly) salmon. Although not open water or wilderness fishing, this appeals to many people and may be something to investigate
With just two more sleeps to go the excitement is rising as lodge pantries are restocked, gardens are tidied and the final paint jobs are finished. We’re looking forward to a long hot summer here in New Zealand, and it’s only just beginning.
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