The fishing season:
October to April
The majority of fishing waters are open and
most trout fishing occurs during the warmer months from October
Winter fishing: May to September
To find winter fishing waters:
Climate and weather
|October 1st is the beginning if the fishing season
when many waters open again for trout and salmon fishing. In October
the weather can still be cool, particularly in the evenings and nights.
Fish are starting to become more active however and are beginning
to feed voraciously as they attempt to put on weight after the winter
months. Rivers may be high at this time and spin fishing is often
the best method. If using flies it is best to try larger sizes at
this time of the year.
|November sees the real beginning of the warm weather
and insect life proliferates with a corresponding increase in feeding
activity by the fish. This month can see some great rises throughout
the day and particularly on warm evenings as trout seem ready to grab
at anything that resembles a food source.
December has the longest
day and long twilight hours. Fish may go deeper during the hot and
brightest times of the day but will emerge when the cooler evenings
come. This is the time for smaller flies and a more stealthy approach
as the water tends to be clearer and with the abundant insect life
around the fish can afford to be choosy.
|January is a hot month and the main holiday time
for New Zealanders. During the hottest parts of the days, fish will
ofeten retreat to deep water or under vegetation such as overhanging
trees. They can be hard to catch during the day but will feed voraciously
as the evening approaches. Small flies and lures are genearlly recommended.
|February is also a warm month and often provides
the time of the most settled weather. As with January, trout tend
to be less active during hot bright days but will make up for this
as the sun starts to decend giving tha angler several hours great
fishing before dark. A great time with the dry fly as trout feed on
the large terrestrial insects that fall on the water.
|March is a great fishing month. The weather is
cooling down and is generally very settled. The trout are starting
to get ready for the leaner winter months and will feed throughout
the day. Another great dry fly month but any method will work well
on the feeding fish.
|April sees the beginning of the cool autumnal
weather though fishing can be great throughout the day. Lake fishing
starts to pick up as fish begin to move in from the deeper water in
preparation for spawning. The weather tends to be settled providing
excellent fishing conditions. April 30th sees the end of the fishing
season for many waters.
|May sees the start of the cold season with many
rivers and lakes closed to anglers. Throughout the country however
there are many places that remain open. Trout in New Zealand spawn
during the winter months and this is the beginning of the large runs
of fish up the rivers to spawn. To many anglers this is the beginning
of the prime fishing time as large fish are targetted as they enter
the rivers from the lakes.
|June can be cold and wet, but after a good fall
of rain trout tend to enter the spawning rivers in large numbers.
On some of the large rivers, anglers line the pools and can catch
good numbers of fish as they race upstream to the spawning beds. Good
fishing can also be had when fishing the lakes as trout tend to rise
closer to the surface in the cooler weather.
|July is one of the coldest months with limited
fishing in the south of the country but excellent fishing in and around
the lakes in the central North Island. As in previous months, fish
move up the rivers to spawn after a good fresh (fall of rain) and
the lakes themselves offer excellent fishing for the shoreline angler
and those in boats.
|August sees the first warming of the weather though
as with previous months, fishing is restricted to a number of rivers
and lakes. The same methods apply.
|September is warmer though still provides challenging
fishing conditions. Usually the large spawning runs are over though
there is still very good boat and shorline fisng on the lakes. As
trout finish spawning and return to the lakes they are often "spent"
and in poor condition. They are also very hungry and easy to catch