Pete Fordham Fly Fishing Guide

The ultimate fly fishing experience

fishing the backcountry streams

New Zealand's superb fly fishing is one of the fishing world's worst kept secrets! In the 100 years since their release, rainbow and brown trout have thrived in the unpolluted rivers and streams of the New Zealand back country. Food is abundant most of the year and there are no natural predators. It is said that this environment has allowed the fish to achieve their amazing size, creating a fly fishing experience of large wild fish in superb, pristine waters. This is connossieur upstream sight fishing.

The practice of catch and release on back country streams is the best protection we can give these fragile fisheries. Tagging programs are providing information now that indicate that some of the large old breeding fish are 12 or more years old. For most visiting anglers the moment of release can be a finale or quiet reflection on a successful battle.

In the Lake Taupo district, fly fishing is possible all year round.

Summer Fishing December, January, February, March, April
The warmest months tend to be January through March. However, November, December and April can also be very warm - and the fishing, red hot! Dry fly fishing reaches its prime as the temperatures rise. Expect temperatures of 18 - 31 C (65 - 90 F)

* Multi day trips with overnight camping and helicopter access.
* Road trips covering a variety of streams, staying in farm stays or local motels.
* Travelling by air-conditioned landcruiser, fish a different river each day.

Winter Fishing - May, June, August, September
Winter day temperatures are around 3 - 15 C (38 - 60 F), and winter equipment is usually heavier than for summer. Spawning runs of browns and rainbows from Lake Taupo start around Easter and go right through until December. Well known rivers such as the Tongariro, Tauranga-Taupo, Waitahanui, and a number of smaller rivers all provide excellent up and downstream fly fishing.

Spring Fishing - October, November
On the 1st of October, when the back country opens, the fish have not seen a fly for 6 months. Many trophy fish are taken at this time. Dry fly begins in November. Exciting smelt fishing to sighted fish on Lake Taupo's shoreline makes a pleasant alternative to back country river fishing. Expect smelt fishing to carry on through December and January.