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New Zealand on the fly

During the North American winter I headed off for a little Southern Hemisphere sunshine. And shine it did! New Zealand experienced a record summer, and although the rivers were a little dry, there was still fly fishing to be had.

Fly fishing Taranaki, New Zealand

I was based out of New Plymouth, Taranaki, a West coast province of the North Island of New Zealand. This is the hometown of my new fiancee Jen - with surf, snow and rivers right on her doorstep. The Oākura River (pictured below) is a local river where I came across a few trout. In order to explore the river you walked through Māori land, Te Koru Pā. The river mouth which flows out next to Oākura Marae is where we will be married next year.

Off shore at Raglan and Coromandel, New Zealand

One of my first chances to fish was out at sea hooking snapper rather than on the fly rod. A friend of Jen's took me out on his boat off the coast of Raglan, a coastal town known for its epic waves. We caught our limit and had it served up a multitude of different ways - from whole fish Thai style through to raw fish ceviche. Delicious!

The beaches of NZ are beautiful, a feel of their own. Over summer we explored the Coromandel Peninsula - van touring, tenting and baching with Jen's friends and family. It's a small country in comparison to Alaska, but the winding roads make for some unexpectedly long journeys.

Fly fishing Waikato River, New Zealand

Bruce (my soon to be father-in-law) has a friend John Chateris who is an expert in mullet and their migration. Bruce, John and I headed to the wide and murky Waikato River - a little doubtful of whether there was anything in there other than mullet. But, second cast on the spinner and a brown trout was hooked.

Fly fishing Karangahake Gorge

Classic canyon river with house-size boulders laden amongst pools, ripples and pockets produced feisty rainbows and weary browns. There was even an eel that came out of the water for 2 feet - nearly pooped my pants. It was a very wet day but plenty of fun!

Distracted by the surf I only got a taste of fly fishing in Aotearoa but there'll be plenty more opportunity so watch this space!

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Unknown member
May 27, 2018

Nice writing baby! Ha ha.

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