Where to Fly Fish in New Zealand?

Back Country Fly Fishing from lake Taupo Lodge, New Zealand

It’s summer in New Zealand and all the fly fishing rivers are now open. Exciting stuff.

So, no matter where in the country you are heading, there will be excellent opportunities to fish for brown and/or rainbow trout, and for salmon in the south. Favoured areas are the Rotorua and Taupo regions in the central North Island, Nelson, Canterbury and Buller in the upper South Island, and Otago, Fiordland and Southland in the deep south. The best areas for salmon fishing are throughout Canterbury.

But anywhere known to be a great place to fish for trout will also be very popular, and will book heavily in the busiest times. Check out the lodges in all these regions. Guides are generally available when you book, but let us know if you need some help. If you’re planning to travel mid-December to March be sure to book ahead (accommodation and guides) so you can be assured of having a good local guide. Without these guys you’re on your own; their local knowledge is impressive and well worth the investment. But it can be a scramble to find a guide as the lodges fill through the season.

Fishing from Lake Taupo Lodge, New Zealand


Parts of the country, especially in the North Island, have open fishing areas all year round in many lower river reaches and lakes. And in some parts of the country winter is held to be the best time to fish through the year. Further south there are still winter options in most regions, although they are often confined to the lower river stretches and the lakes. The colder climate means these waters, especially the lakes, can be very cold and the fish are not that active. A number of smaller lodges close for the winter, reducing the accommodation options in some places.

Although trout are not native to New Zealand, having been introduced as a sport species in the late 1800s, there are now wild trout, either brown or rainbow, throughout the country’s waterways. Well managed fishing of these species means that the native fish life and river ecosystems are not too heavily modified by such a widespread exotic species. Having said that, though, most guided trout fishing in New Zealand is catch and release and fishermen are encouraged to only take enough to eat on the day or take home for the family.

So, our advice? You’ll be able to find really good fly fishing at any time of the year in New Zealand. Email us to find out the best options for your preferred time.


New Zealand Fishing Lodges represents 20 of New Zealand’s best fishing lodges. We also draw on a great selection of local guides in most areas.