Posted on 23 June 2014.
New Zealand is a wonderful country. Fantastic scenery, beautiful rivers, wonderful countryside and mountains to die for. There’s all sorts of fantastic outdoor sports available like kayaking, hunting, fishing and walking. The camping is absolutely fantastic.
However my particular love is fishing. I’m a fly fishermen and have spent quite some time on the South Island of New Zealand fishing for trout. The fishing is superb. And of course eating trout is just as good, and healthy too because fish oil is good for you.
There are very few people living in New Zealand, in total there are only 3 million people living in the entire country, and in the South Island the population density is extremely low. As well as that, if you take a look at a map of the South Island you will find that the island has dozens if not hundreds of wonderful rivers.
The rivers in New Zealand are extraordinary. The water is crystal clear, fast flowing, cold and full of aquatic life, all of which mean that trout are very happy living there. There are some extraordinary trout to be caught in New Zealand, and they are very big.
I spent much of my time down in the South of New Zealand around Invercargill. That’s called “Southland” and some of the rivers there are just beyond description for fly fishermen. One of the most famous of those is the Mataura River, which is world renowned for its fishing.
The Mataura is a very long river which gets quite large in places. If you’re a fly fishermen you’ll need some reasonably heavy gear to fish the river. You’ll need at least a 7 weight rod. You’ll be casting quite some distance.
However if you prefer fishing close there is also some fantastic backwaters next to the Mataura. These are sometimes called “Oxbow’s”, in other words parts of the river which have been cut off as the river meanders, and which for much of the year are completely separate from the rest of the river.
But from time to time, when in floods, fish find their way into the backwaters, and then as the river recedes they get stranded there. You can see 4lb and 5lb fish just cruising around in these very small backwaters. It’s perfectly possible to fish for them, up close, although the water is crystal clear and you have to be extremely careful not to be seen. It’s very tricky fishing.
New Zealand is world renowned for its fantastic fishing, not just trout fishing but fishing in general. There is some wonderful sea fishing there as well and if you’re into saltwater fishing then you can’t do better than going to New Zealand.
But for me it’s flyfishing. I’ve been flyfishing in a number of different places across the globe and I can’t think of many that can compare with the trout fishing in the South Island of New Zealand.
If you’re a fly fishermen then you’ve got to get there sometime in your life. The fishing is just superb.