February 04, 2010

New Zealand's Trout Capital (photo via flickr -- credit: daveandlolo)

Maybe it’s the time of year and I’m just tired of being cooped up indoors, but the recent article in the NYT about fly-fishing in New Zealand really hit home. It profiles a 22-hour trek to the Mataura river, which passes through the town of Gore, on New Zealand’s south coast. I know very little about the fishing in that part of the world apart from what I’ve read and heard from others, but Gore definitely sounds like a thoroughgoing trout-town, sort of a Kiwi version of Bozeman. And the fishing? Well, it sounds pretty much like what you would expect of New Zealand fly-fishing. The money quotes:

The Mataura, when we got to it, was worth the trouble — a wide river of beautiful glides and runs that allow long, drag-free drifts of dry flies, the kind that float on the surface. The numbers of anglers casting on the New Zealand streams we fished were far fewer than we had experienced on comparable streams in Montana or Idaho.

And:

Most tourists fishing these waters will catch at least one three-pound trout a day, according to Mr. McLoughlin, and fishermen will frequently catch 17- to 19-inch fish. Some streams contain trout that average five to seven pounds, said Ron Granneman, a retired guide from the Bighorn River in Montana, who fishes New Zealand in the summer.

Sign me up. I’m ready for winter to be over.


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