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New Zealand Fly Fishing Seasons

With the best fishing and summer months being limited, lodges book out quickly. If you are wanting to go and explore New Zealand and what it has to offer, we strongly suggest that you book one year in advance if you plan on fishing one destination or multiple. This gives anglers prime dates and lodging opportunities.

When To Go Fly Fishing in New Zealand

The best time of year depends on what fishing you like to do. October and November are the best months to visit New Zealand if you enjoy active dry fly and nymph fishing. These two months can generally produce higher numbers of fish because the trout are hungry and have not been fished to for 5 months.

The crowds do not start showing up on the waters in New Zealand until later in the season, so booking for October and November is a great option for less pressured water.

If you are an angler that enjoys consistent dry fly action, then January and February are the prime months for that. Historically, these two months produce the warmest and most stable weather, allowing for dry fly fishing to be at its peak. You can expect to wade fish every day, searching for trout holding in the river. This targeted approach and the typically lower numbers of fish per kilometer mean that you are typically going to get fewer fish each day. However, they are going to be much larger fish on average than a trout you might be used to catching back in the US.
-With warm weather and great fishing inevitably brings crowds. Guides are typically good about communicating the water that they have fished and plan on fishing, but that is not always the case. During these months it is not uncommon to find other anglers fishing the sections of water you plan to fish.

This time of year the crowds start to disappear and the fishing stays fairly consistent. With water levels and temperatures stabilizing, the fish will be more willing to eat a dry. However, many of these fish have received a good education over the course of the season and can be a bit more challenging to feed. The month leading up to the end of the season can be great for fishing using dry flies and nymphs. These months are definitely a quality over quantity time period for catching fish. Drag-free drifts with long leaders and tippets are essential to catching fish this time of year. Practice is important for any skill level of angler, and the guides are very patient and experienced.

Lots of anglers go on trips expecting high numbers of fish during their stay. While this very well could happen, New Zealand is one of the most unforgiving trout fisheries on Earth. You can expect to wade fish every day, searching for trout holding in the river.

New Zealand is a beautiful place to fish and is truly quality over quantity fishery. If you have this mindset when booking and traveling to New Zealand, you will have an unforgettable adventure. It is best to give Yellow Dog a call so that we can discuss your goals and best identify the time of year that will meet your needs and work best for you.

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The 2022 Yellow Dog Flyfishing Travel Guide

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