South Island of New Zealand Fishing Trip Wrap Up

West Coast River Valley

We arrived in Haast, Gateway to New Zealand’s West Coast, late in the afternoon hoping to check out a new beat (new for us) on one of the numerous streams nearby. The weather was beautiful and had been for a couple of days. I was confident the quick to clear West Coast Rivers would be in shape, but hadn’t fished the particular section I had in mind. We drove to the end of the road and asked the farmer for permission. He granted, and gave instructions to the river. We made a beeline, and had a short walk upstream. As we approached I saw another angler on his way back to his truck but on the other side of the river. Not a great sign, and there would be no communication in terms of how far up he’d fished. Oh well, were here. In the short stretch we walked that evening a two fish were sighted. They had the “I’ve been fished over” demeanor though and simply moved away after the fly drifted near their deep stations. The troops were a bit restless and we needed to get them some dinner, back to the car, room and pub for dinner. Before we head back I thank the farmer, and ask if we can come back tomorrow. “No Worries” see you tomorrow!

charlie at Hasst McGuire lodge

Morning came and the West Coast was back to it’s typical self. New Zealand’s West Coast is fantastically beautiful when the sun is out but the fact is it rains a ton. Not that the rain forest isn’t beautiful, it is and if the Sand flies weren’t absolutely miserable many more folks would reside nearby. The good news for anglers is the rivers on the coast are used to “yo-yoing” up and down and they can take huge amounts of water and be clear very quickly. They have large estuaries that are largely in tact thus fish move in and out with water conditions, water levels and bait fish.

West coast south island walk

February is “Cicada Time” for anglers in New Zealand. Wherever we have been the last three weeks the forest has been buzzing. Most of the fish we have taken this trip have been on a size 6 and 8 foam Cicada patterns. One of the reasons we booked our trip in February was to experience some of the Cicada fishing. Despite the awful wet weather we’ve had for most of the trip, Cicadas have been present. Our West Coast beat was no different. Spotting was tough although we did find a few willing customers. The best fishing was simply finding the likely run and casting blind. The fish came to the fly strong and they were hot fish, jumping and running better than Browns usually do. The day was awesome and will keep us dreaming of our next South Island Fly Fishing Trip.–CD

west coast new zealand fly fishing

West Coast brown Trout

West Coast brown Trout

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5 Responses to South Island of New Zealand Fishing Trip Wrap Up

  1. Steve says:

    Looked like a great trip Chris… You’re a lucky man to have great kids like those..

  2. Jeff says:

    Thanks for your posting Chris. What a joy to be with family and fishing for your birthday.

  3. Nick says:

    I hope you have/had a safe and easy trip back. My thoughts are with the good folks on the South Island after the earthquake yesterday.


  4. Bill Harsey says:

    Hoping you and family are well and possibly made it out before the big quake.
    I have friends from there, hoping the best for all in NZ.
    be safe,

  5. mia sheppard says:

    Fantastic trip, wonderful to share experience such as this with kids. Cheers, Mia

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