New Zealand Trout Fishing Season Calendar

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NZ Trout Fishing Monthly Calendar

September: First signs of spring with New Zealand at its greenest. Weather still cold in inland areas, particularly in the mountains. Lakes Rotorua and Taupo open for fishing as are their major tributaries. Often good streamer and nymph fishing for late spawning rainbows. Opening of fishing season in South Westland and Fiordland for sea-run trout.

October: Spring weather throughout New Zealand, but still cool. Opening of fishing season for streams and rivers in most districts. The last runs of spawning rainbows in tributaries. Streams with resident browns becoming very active. Excellent fly fishing with weighted nymphs in most mountain streams. When choosing flies look to large patterns. The fish will be hungry from the winter and as the waters warm they will become more active.

November: The start of summer weather, with very long days but often a little windy. Very good dry fly hatches, particularly in the evening on both the North and South islands. The trout are generally very aggressive to artificials and many guides believe this is the best fishing month of the year for browns. Pressure on the river will still be relatively light and mayflies are hatching.

December One of the least crowded months to fish New Zealand waters up until Christmas Day. Great weather and excellent fishing in all lakes, streams and river with streamers, nymphs and dries. The trout in all streams are active throughout the day and at this time the browns seem least wary.

January The main New Zealand summer holidays and so the country is relatively crowded and fishing will become a bit trickier. This is a good month for a float trip before rivers reach their lowest levels and a time to try and fish more remote waters - best month for helicopter fly-outs using big dries for both browns and rainbows. Backcountry streams at this time of year become more accommodating and a good guide is extremely valuable at this time of year. Start of the blue water game fishing season for marlin.

February The most popular month for North American fly fishermen to visit New Zealand. Generally the weather is hot and settled. Streams are at their lowest, wading is easy and the trout most visible. However these conditions demand careful stalking and a delicate presentation with small nymphs and dries. Fish are becoming selective. A good month for camping out or an overnight helicopter trip to access gentle gradient streams in farmlands. Good evening hatch. Start of the salmon runs in the south island.

March Weather still warm and settled in the north island but becoming cooler in the south. Mountain streams still fishing well for browns with dries. Trout are in peak condition and so a good month for trophies. Best month for salmon fishing.

April The start of Autumn and the last month of fishing in most districts. Some frosts. Usually the driest month of the year and so river levels very low. Excellent dry fly fishing for browns on many streams with big attractor patterns during the middle of the day.

May This is the time for catching a trophy rainbow either in the Rotorua Lakes or the tributary streams of Lake Taupo. The last month to catch a marlin. The opening of the Game Bird season and best month for duck hunting.

June The real start of winter with snow in all inland areas. Some lakes and their tributaries remain open in both the north and south island. Fishing is with very heavy nymph rigs or sinking lines with egg and streamer patterns.

July All the ski fields are open. For the hardy angler the Tongariro River offers some of the best fly fishing of the year for spawning rainbows.

August Mid-winter with most days cold but clear. The quietest time of the year for fishing although the Tongariro is generally producing results. The start of some good light tackle salt water fishing. A good time to be planning your New Zealand fly fishing trip of a lifetime!

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