WHAT TO BRING
All anglers are responsible for purchasing their own licenses.
Licenses can be purchased online. For non residents the price is $34 per day, or $169 for the season. Fishing some backcountry rivers also requires a separate backcountry license. This requires a non resident purchase a full season license.
Make sure that you check out the fishing regulations for where you plan to fish before anything else.
I can offer clients the use of a selection of fine rods and reels. One of my current favorites is Thomas and Thomas' NS 5. I also provide custom flies, leaders and tippet; fresh gourmet lunches; and a safe, clean four-wheel-drive vehicle. You should bring everything else you want or need.
New Zealand is a long, narrow country with mountains close to the sea. Because wind is often an issue, and the trout are large, most anglers prefer medium- or fast-action, nine-foot, #5 and #6-weight rods for trout fishing. Seven weights can come in handy for throwing streamers.
Waders can be purchased here, but it’s less expensive to bring them. In a pinch I can provide a limited selection of common sizes, but as with your favorite clothing, you’ll be most comfortable with your own.
If you want to bring a fly-tying kit to NZ, all natural ingredients, i.e., feathers or furs, require a license to import. You can apply for this a month before your trip. For a nominal fee, the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries can fumigate your fly tying materials, but this often takes them a week or more to process. And it requires a forwarding address. If you, like me, want a fly tying kit to decompress after international travel, you have a couple of options. You can stick to synthetics or bring a few items of commercial products with receipt in unopened packages and the customs folks are sometimes quite reasonable, particularly if the items are dyed. Always declare these items if you attempt to bring them in.
- New Zealand fly fishing is active. Felt wading boots are banned in New Zealand to prevent the spread of microorganisms. So bring boots with studded sticky rubber soles like those made with Aqua Stealth.
- In midsummer conditions, locals often wade wet in boots and shorts, or synthetic trousers or long-john bottoms in sandfly country. This is fine, and I often do this myself on warm days, but not more than one day in a row. If you try this I highly recommend a personal lubricant to prevent chafing.
- Gore-Tex or other breathable rainwear.
- Polar fleece with wind block.
- Synthetic wicking under-wader wear. Cotton is worthless in the outdoors here.
- Wool or synthetic gloves.
- Sun protection. This includes sun block and a synthetic long-sleeved shirt with a collar high enough to protect your neck.
- Insect repellent. Always have more than you think you need.
- Your favorite polarized fishing glasses. This is one of the single most important items. I recommend rose, copper, yellow and amber lenses, in that order. Gray is a last resort that works only on the brightest days.
- A wide-brimmed hat is essential. You may want to bring two: a wool one for cold, wet conditions and a straw or waxed cotton, canvas or synthetic one for hot, sunny days. The New Zealand company Drizabone makes a nice oilskin hat you may want to purchase here.
- Camera and waterproof bag
- Fly lines in dull tones, ie, olive, camel or gray. Leave neon-bright lines at home.
- Dull colored clothing, ie, olive green, brown or tussock colors. White, blue, red or yellow won’t help your chance of stalking cagey wild trout.