Ian Cole, A Fly Fisher's Guide

Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand

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Fly Fishing equipment for New Zealand conditions:

We can supply all the equipment, but if you want to use your own here’s what you need:

  • Rods: 9 foot # 5 to # 7 are best, the ideal instrument being a fast action # 6. On windless days you can use # 5 rod with pleasure and success, particularly when there is a good hatch. 3-4 piece rods are preferable for heli-fishing trips.
  • Reels: reliable, with a smooth drag and at least 50 yards of backing
  • Lines: Almost exclusively floating lines, general purpose WF (weight forward) and DT (double-tapers) for more delicate presentation. delicate presentation. Many anglers prefer to fish with dull coloured lines but we are of the opinion that the importance of line colour is greatly overstated. Trout are far less tolerant of bad fly casting!!!
  • Leaders: Long tapered leaders are essential: 12-16 feet with a tippet size 4-6lbs

In summer (December-February) it’s generally too hot to wear waders and so we wade wet (there are no snakes or other nasties in New Zealand!). The best attire are merino long johns and shorts – the traditional New Zealand look, maybe supplemented with fast-dry over- trousers. This prevents overheating and allows for greater mobility while stalking trout.

However, on a precautionary note it is advisable to have on hand breathable Gore-Tex type waders. They are light and can be donned if the time arises. During cooler months it is advised to wear thicker fleece bottoms and poly props or even better merino long johns. For mid winter neoprene is advisable.

Well fitting wading shoes with good ankle support are a must. Aqua stealth soles or steel/tungsten studded felts are the best for our terrain. Neoprene socks with in built gravel guards are the optimum.

Wading is really easy on our side of the range so there is little need for a wading stick. However, for some it does help mobility so if you feel more comfortable then you can bring one or we can supply.

We can supply [in limited sizes] breathable waders and wading shoes

Wanaka fly fishing supplies all clients needs. However, if you want to try some of your own favorite patterns and perhaps feel a little “naked” without your own then feel free to bring them.

  • Dry Flies: Royal Wullf, Adams, Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Black Gnat, Loves Lure, Green Beetle plus a selection of emerger patterns all in sizes 10 -16. Cicada patterns like Madam X # 8-10 can work well during summer.
  • Nymphs: # 10-16 Hare & Copper, Hares’ Ears, Pheasant Tail, Green Caddis and Green and Brown Stoneflies. Nymphs have to be heavy to sink quickly. Tungsten beadheads are a favourite.

NB: Please make sure you declare that you have fishing gear with you when entering NZ. They are considered an animal product. We provide all the flies so is probably easier and less hassle to leave your at home

Important Warning
New Zealand has been spared many of the major animal and plant diseases. In order to keep it this way, there are strong restrictions on organic materials (food, wood, feathers and flies etc.) that can be imported. Please make sure your fishing equipment, camping gear and walking boots are clean. Leave any organic materials at home or declare them when passing the border.

Not declaring such materials will result in very hefty fines and worse could result in the destruction of the New Zealand fishery and unique natural environment! It would certainly ruin your fishing trip.

© 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