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New Zealand has become one of the world’s most exciting fishing destinations for the avid fishing sportsman. That should not be much of surprise to us. New Zealand is totally surrounded by water as it lies in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. So, we can easily imagine great salt water excursions in search of the big catch of a lifetime.
As with most countries, New Zealand gained special rights for its fishing industry with the establishment of the exclusive economic zone in 1977. The zone protects the country from foreign harvesting of its territorial waters. Their zone is the sixth largest such zone in the world. Due to this vast size and the topical variations below the surface, the waters are home to a rich variety of species and migratory populations. Snapper, bass, trout, salmon, blue cod, John Dory and more abound in the waters surrounding the coastline.
There is no shortage of charter operators and fishing guides located on all shores of the North and South islands to ensure an exciting excursion of fantastic fishing grounds sure to challenge the expert and entertain the beginner. The guides will outfit you with all the gear you need, including rods, fishing reels, and lures, to bring in an exciting catch. After a day or two of the open-water charter, you may want to move inland to explore freshwater opportunities.
You will find a wealth of lakes and fresh water streams in New Zealand that offer seasoned and beginner fly fishermen crystal clear adventures in spectacular surroundings. Their streams are known as “gin clear”, making the brown trout seem to pop into view. The water is so clear and pure that it can be deceiving. A stream that seems to be a foot deep can actually be waist-deep.
Luxury fishing lodges offer five-star accommodations, exciting fishing, all the gear you need, and other activities to build a memorable fishing vacation. The Poronui Lodge sits on 16,000 acres and is noted as one of the top ten fishing destinations in the world by Forbes magazine. The Owen River Lodge is another high-end oasis. Qualmark, the New Zealand organization that rates facilities, awarded Owen River Lodge its five-star rating, calling it “Exceptional – among the best in New Zealand.”
The lodges in New Zealand encourage you to bring your favorite gear or borrow from their extensive collection that they are happy to loan. They suggest a five- to seven-weight rod, or both. The five can be rigged as a dry fly and the seven rigged for nymphing. Your reel should provide a good drag and long leaders are essential. A weight forward, floating line is best, with green being the ideal color.
Whether you have dreamed of a deep sea fishing adventure in abundant waters, or a quiet but exciting fishing vacation on inland lakes and pure mountain streams, New Zealand will make that dream come true. Better yet, combine both adventures in one trip. You’ll experience the best of both all in one place – New Zealand!