Ian Cole, A Fly Fisher's Guide

Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

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The Fishing regulations are extensive and varied throughout New Zealand. As general guide the following applies.
Lowland waters – 1st Oct – 30th April
High country – 1st Nov [ or 1st w/e in Nov] to either end of April or end of May

There are always river options available throughout the year in Wanaka

Here’s a quick run of our fly fishing year:

  • October: Exceptional early-season nymph fishing, fish are hungry and feed eagerly.
  • November: Days are warmer and longer. Good nymphing, mayfly hatches, the first terrestrials like Manuka beetles begin to appear.
  • December: excellent month: nymphing, dry fly, big terrestrials. Christmas sees a mass exodus of New Zealanders for their annual summer holidays.
  • January-February: fish seem a bit shell-shocked from the holiday period but great fishing is to be had if you know where to go. Cicadas are out, and the action can be explosive.
  • March-April: weather cooling off, fish are in superb conditions, good opportunities for dry fly and nymph fishing
  • May: in the Lake District the rivers flowing INTO lakes are open until end of May. Brown trout are beginning to spawn and are less receptive to flies but the rainbows feed voraciously. The weather is cool, days shorter, but the fishing can be superb.
  • June: cold and dark, time to tie flies, reflect on the season past and look forward to the next
  • July-August-September: good river-mouth Tongariro-style fishing in the Lake District for superbly-conditioned rainbows.
  • September-October: whitebaiting season on the West Coast. Good opportunities for trophy sea-run browns in lower parts of rivers and estuaries.
  • October: Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It’s off to nymph we go (again)
© 2001 - 2009 A Fly Fisher's Guide, PO BOX 409 Wanaka 9343, New Zealand

Contact: Ian Cole, t:+64 (0)3 443 7870 c:+64 (0)27 208 0188 e: iancole@xtra.co.nz