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Pre-Christmas Fly Fishing in New Zealand is Some of the Best

owen river lodge women only fishing stays

Find Out More About Early Season Fishing and Specials

Have you thought of fly fishing in New Zealand before Christmas? From opening day on 1 October through to mid-December there is a fabulous window of opportunity for some excellent fly fishing for trout in New Zealand, without the pressure of too many people around.

We find it’s a quiet time in terms of bookings, so it’s easier to get the dates you want, and to be at the lodges you would like to fish at. With the main fly fishing season only opening in October the fish are not so flighty and there are less fishermen out on the rivers.

The lodges are all aware of this time too, and there are some good early season specials available to encourage you to come at that time. Especially as once mid-December arrives many lodges jump to their high season rates. But the consensus is that there is excellent fishing right through October to December, and that it’s an excellent time to come to New Zealand to fish.

So what are the advantages of fishing pre-Christmas?

Felix Borenstein, at Owen River Lodge, says, “This early in the season, the local brown trout seem to love big nymphs — the stonefly is a classic, early season fly. The fishing is still very much casting to sighted fish, and rivers such as the Owen usually have mayfly hatches on a sunny afternoon. Early season will often see you fishing 50% of the time using a dry fly. The weather this time of the year can be changeable, so it’s always an idea to pack your dull-coloured rain coat.”

Fly fishing at Poronui

At Poronui they say, “October 1 heralds the opening of the fishing season. Snow melt is not something we have to contend with, instead fish tend to be hungry, less fussy and presentation is not as critical as during summer – no wonder guides gets so excited as opening morning approaches. Fishing during November and December is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets. Those ‘in-the-know’ choose this time of year to fish. The days are lengthening and while the weather warms up, the water is still cool. There can be good mayfly hatches, encouraging the trout to feed recklessly on the surface during the day. This is the least crowded time to fly fish in New Zealand.”

Down by the lake Tongariro Lodge reports, “The rainbows and browns tend to feed more aggressively and be less spooky early season. It is quite a sight to watch a feeding trout move 10 feet to engulf your fly! By November the days are long and the sun is higher, making spotting and stalking conditions ideal. The waters are less busy. Nymph fishing is often used but there can also be excellent dry fly fishing with good mayfly hatches along with brown and green beetle by mid November.”

Fishing at Stonefly Lodge, motueka River Valley, New Zealand

John from Stonefly Lodge summarises it like this – ‘In October streams with resident browns becoming very active and there’s excellent fly fishing with weighted nymphs in most mountain streams. The trout have had all winter without angling pressure so they are not as spooky to angler casts. November brings the start of summer weather, with very long days and plenty of sunshine. Very good dry fly hatches, particularly in the evening. The trout are generally very aggressive to artificials and many guides believe this is the best fishing month of the year for browns. The water levels are dropping and getting clearer. December is one of the least crowded months to fish New Zealand waters up until Christmas Day. The trout in all streams are active throughout the day and at this time the browns seem least wary. Good clear waters with little angling pressure.’

Overall, the agreed knowledge is that early season fishing (pre-Christmas) in New Zealand is a great idea, in terms of fish action and condition, pricing, lodge and guide availability and numbers of people on the rivers. Now is the time to book to make the most of those great early season specials.

We’ve got all the info for you right here so email us with your query today.