Golden Bay sits in the curve of the kiwi’s beak at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s a gentle, often quiet spot, with a vibrant arts and alternative community and many gorgeous beaches.
Big ticket items in the area include the Farewell Spit nature reserve, Te Waikoropupu Springs (very clear and sacred), two national parks (Kahurangi and Abel Tasman), the social media icon of Wharariki Beach, and the large estuarine area of Westhaven Inlet. These, and many other natural and cultural attractions, bring large numbers of visitors through the summer months to this small area.
So where is the saltwater fly fishing, you ask? Local guide, Anton Donaldson, takes avid fly fishermen on to the shallow sand flats in a quiet corner of Golden Bay to fly fish for kingfish. He knows the best places, the best times and the best weather conditions to catch these strong, beautiful silver fish. And he is drawing people from around the world to get a bit of the saltwater fly fishing action.
Australian crew, Aussie Fly Fisher, made this video below after visiting and fishing with Anton. They got pretty excited about what they found and, as the fishing is (almost) all catch and release, the fish will be here for a long time to come. Drawn to feed on the flounder stirred up by cruising stingrays, the kingfish can be seen circling in the shallows, so most of the fishing is sighted. Drone footage makes it look all too easy, but at water level it’s a different story.
Add in the fact that you can spend the morning fly fishing for brown trout in nearby rocky rivers and then jump in a helicopter or 4WD and spend the afternoon saltwater fly fishing for kingfish on the coast, and you’ll be close to fishing heaven.
Thanks to Josh Hutchins from Aussie Fly Fisher for the awesome photos and video of NZ Trout Adventures!
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