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Best places to fish


With its abundance of trout fishing and salmon fishing waters, New Zealand is a fishing paradise. From small crystal-clear spring-fed creeks holding wily fish to large wilderness waters where fishing is only part of the adventure, the variety of fishing in New Zealand is huge.

But with the huge diversity of waters available that number in the thousands, finding the right river or lake can be a daunting task. A river may look a good prospect on a map but turn out to be a poor fishery in reality. Yet this same river may have fantastic tributaries and have great fishing in the middle or upper reaches. And a river that may fish well during the early season may not be a good fishery during the summer.

We recommend that you obtain a (free) copy of our eBook "Planning your New Zealand Fishing Trip" and check out the range of nzfishing.com eBooks that describe in detail the best fishing travel itineraries.

The Central North Island


The Central North Island which takes in much of the Auckland/Waikato and Taupo/Turangi regions, is primarily a rainbow fishery and dominated by New Zealand's largest lake, Lake Taupo. This lake and its large tributaries are rightly famous as one of the world's premier fisheries attracting thousands of visitors who target the huge numbers of large fish. Yet there are also a number of other wonderful fisheries in the area, many of them that seldom see an angler.

These include crystal clear spring creeks where up to 900 fish per kilometre have been counted; large rocky rivers where fish regularly reach 10lbs or more and a huge number of smaller rain-fed rivers and streams which hold impressive numbers of feisty rainbow trout. Five rivers and lakes in this region were chosen as the venue for the three day 2008 World fly fishing championship (and over 3240 fish were landed).

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Fishing the Central North provides anglers with the information they need to find the best fishing waters in this area including all the waters chosen for the 2008 World Fly Fishing Competition.

The Eastern North Island

This huge fishing region has an abundance of waters to fish. From the many and diverse lakes of the Rotorua district through to the fabulous rivers and lakes of the remote and mysterious Te Urewera National Park, to the man made hydro lakes along the upper Waikato River, this is an anglers dream. Having a mixture of brown and rainbow trout, many rivers and lakes can be regarded as trophy waters producing fish over the magic 10lb (4.5kg) mark. In a lake near Waikaremoana
fish regularly exceed 10lbs and one was caught a few years ago that topped the scales at an amazing 28lbs. And there are several rivers
where the fish average around 3kgs yet will still readily rise to a dry fly.

A number of rivers reach very large sizes by New Zealand standards and it is their tributaries and headwaters that offer the best fishing.

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Fishing the North East provides anglers with the information as to where to find the very best fishing in this part of the country.

The Lower North Island

The Lower North, covering the Wellington and Hawke's Bay regions as well as bounding the Taupo/Turangi district, has many large rivers and tributaries offering many hundreds of kilometres of top quality fishing waters. Rivers are mostly rain fed and rise in the hill country and often flow for over 100 kms before entering the sea. Most provide their best fishing in the middle and upper reaches and in their many tributaries.

Despite the many hundreds of kilometres of fishable water, this region is generally considered to be under-fished. Throughout the region there are great waters that range from remote small mountain wilderness streams to others like the Hutt River which flows through Wellington through to large powerful rivers with a great population of trout.

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Fishing the Lower North takes anglers to the best rivers and streams in this wonderful fishery.

The Top of the South

With its rivers of crystal clear water with large brown trout populations, the top of the South Island has become recognised as the prime brown trout fishery in the country (some say the world). This, the Nelson Marlborough region has three large national parks where due to their natural beauty, no development is allowed. Consequently they have become great fisheries where large trout can be stalked in the clear mountain streams. These fish are wary and so not easy to catch but there is nothing like coming across a couple of huge trout gently feeding in a clear bubbling stream to test the skills of the best of anglers.

From extremely remote streams where rivers flows down through thickly forested mountain valleys to large rivers with huge fish populations this is a great area to explore with a rod.

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Fishing the Top of the South describes the best fishing to be found in this area.

Coast to Coast

From the famous braided salmon fishing in North Canterbury across the high Southern Alps to the short swift flowing rivers of the West Coast, this is a remarkable and diverse fishing region.

With very different rivers  found on each of the coasts and through two beautiful mountain passes, this region has some of the most under fished waters for large brown trout in New Zealand. For those who know how and where to access it, the fishing is fantastic. Many of the headwaters of major rivers and streams originate in the central section of this region and so have the clearest water and often the biggest fish making it a great destination for those who like target large fish in the
solitude of remote mountain valleys.

From magnificent and mysterious forest fringed lakes and tarns to pristine mountain streams, there is truly memorable fishing is to be had in this rugged and wildly beautiful landscape where trout are many but anglers few.

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Fishing Coast to Coast describes the best fishing to be found in this area

The Central South Island

Covering waters on both sides of the high and impressive Southern Alps, the Central South Island is both an anglers and photographers dream. The eastern side of the alps has a number of lakes plus large braided rivers which hold good populations of trout and salmon. The western side has a much higher rainfall and rivers tend to be much shorter and swifter.

Whatever your fishing preference this region has a myriad of choices. There are beautiful spring creeks flowing alongside glacial fed rivers, Large lakes where landlocked salmon make up the biggest catch and beautiful wilderness rivers that rise in the mountains and flow swiftly to the sea offering superb fishing in each new section.

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Fishing the Central South describes the very best fishing and where to find it.

The Bottom of the South

The bottom of South Island famous waters include the Oreti and  Mataura which provides over 100 kms of top quality dry fly water. It also has a number of small streams that flow into the many lakes around the remote Fiordland and long meandering waters that flow over the central Southland plains. Arguably this is the most diverse fishery with small tannin stained streams flowing through native forest close to large clear rivers with freely rising fish to deep and forbidding glacial formed lakes. Some of the rivers are so powerful that they can only be fished during the driest times of the year when others have been reduced to a trickling flow.

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Fishing the Bottom of the South describes the best of the diverse fisheries in the region and ensures you get the type of fishing you are after.


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