New Zealand: Right Place, Wrong Time

This has been the story of our trip to NZ so far, from and outdoors and fishing perspective. We have come over to visit Olli’s NZ grandparents for a few weeks. It’s been a great family visit but being the rabidly keen fisherman I am, it has been a little frustrating at times. I have tried to find the right places to fish when I have had the opportunity but other than a morning session on the Tutaekuri where I got lucky, it has been a blank trip. We have been to some spectacular places and I have driven across numerous rivers that are closed to fishing or have been a raging torrent due to the recent rains. It’s obviously a little on the cold side for my liking but we have tried to get out as much as possible. We have a 10 month old baby to contend with which can put a spanner a spanner in the works at times. According to Jenny, this is where I just don’t understand. I think I do, but I just don’t think she understands how special NZ is from a trout fishing point of veiw. It’s a very “bucketlisty” sort of fishing destination that you want to make the most of while you are here. 

Fortunately with Jennys’ father now living across here there will no doubt be many more opportunities at sampling more of what New Zealand has to offer from a fishing perspective. For this trip it’s been a family affair and it’s been a special time seeing Olli spending time with his “new” grandparents. 

Here are a few photos of the gorgeous places we have been and some of the fishing I have done: It’s often more special being somewhere beautiful and seeing a place than actually catching fish. What makes trout fishing so special in my view is that it takes you to nature’s most beautiful and pristine places. Here some pictures of our trip so far to trout heaven:

A few cruising Rainbow trout that rejected my offerings. I had to swim across this icy river and lost my fly box in the process, so I had one fly only and the fish didn’t like what I was offering them. I spent a few hours chasing numerous fish in this river mouth on Lake Waikeramoana. The fish were definitely in spawning mode so they wouldn’t have been easy at the best of times.
Walking along the track that circles Lake Waikeramoana. It was freezing cold and not ideal conditions for a baby.
A beautiful beach where we had a picnic lunch. It looks warm but I promise you it wasn’t.
Perfect conditions for sight fishing on Lake Waikeramoana.
The Aniwaniwa stream
Lake Waikeramoana is a remote lake in the Te Uruwera National Park
Olli suitably wrapped up for a chilly walk up to Lake Waikareiti
Lake Waikareiti is a high altitude lake surrounded by pristine forest. It needs to be fished when it’s a bit lower, or by boat. I tried finding a place to fish but I didn’t find anywhere suitable to throw a line.
Tropical  Ice
The walk to Lake Waikareiti is a beautiful walk through pristine natural forest
This is how I always imagine a New Zealand forest. Tree ferns and big trees.
Too strong and fast to fish. The Lake Waikareiti outlet stream.
This is a seriously interesting stream which I hear is great in the autumn as the fish run up the Horpuruahine stream to spawn. There are a few large resident browns too. I sadly didn’t get a chance to fish this section. 
The Tutaekuri River was the only one close to home (Havelock North) that was open and clean enough to to fish. Brian and I hired a guide for the day and it paid off. Tony Hildersheim knows the area so well and knows his stuff. If you are ever in the Hawkes Bay area then I can highly recommend using him, if only for a day to get you started. I thoroughly enjoyed out few hours out on the stream. 
Success at last. 5 fish came to hand on a nymph and strike indicator setup. These fish of 3 to 4 lbs were phenomenal fighters! Some were sight fished and others were blind fished. The river was a bit high to see them easily but what I can say is that It’s a he’ll of a lot easier to see a 4 pounder than a 1 pounder like back home. This was fabulous fishing, but I still dream of catching a big brown trout in a stream surrounded by forest. My bucketlist picture is me holding a brown trout under a tree fern. That’s NZ for me, but that’s going to have to wait until next year.

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