Fishing tips for New Zealand's Stunning South Island


Pro Tips

- Use a motor home to see NZ – it’s such a beautiful place. When you see a likely-looking river or lake, simply pull over.
- Immerse yourself in the local culture. Speak to locals about your plan of attack and get their advice. Most people really want to help!
- A good pair of polarised sunglasses is a necessity in NZ – they’ll allow you to eliminate glare, see through the water and spot trout.
- Take spin gear and hard-bodied lures in addition to your fly gear. NZ can get windy – and wind is the fly angler’s worst nightmare!
- Be sure to tire your fish before netting – we lost quite a few energetic specimens at our feet!
- Sand fly bites are a pain in the arse. Apply repellent and cover up.
- Keep the odd trout for the table but release most to keep NZ’s fishery in top condition.
- ATMs are difficult to find in rural NZ – withdraw cash any place you can!
- Don’t forget to purchase a fishing licence (mandatory), and check for seasonal closures/openings.

Gear Box

We completed several months’ research into the gear we required for our trip. The Modern Fishing team took:
- Snowbee Prestige waders: Lightweight, comfortable and durable. You don’t want cold NZ water down your pants!
- Innovator Velocity fly rods: We chose 6-weight rods, with four-piece construction and a fast action.
- Perfect for when we were casting well - and not so well!
- Waterworks/Lamson Litespeed fly reels: We used both the LS2 and the K2 models and both performed faultlessly. They were fitted with Sharkskin line (WF6F).
- Simms fly vest: We chose Simms’ Freestone model. Lots of pockets made it the logical choice.
- Mako sunglasses: A neccessity when attempting to spot trout against similar-coloured rocks. We used Mako’s latest ET Signature Series glasses. (See p96 for more.)
- Lures: When spinning we used Rapala Countdowns and Maria hard-bodies and vibes.

Maui Camper's Factbox

We drove through NZ’s South Island in a six-berth Maui Spirit motor home - it really was the perfect way for us to travel. It’s a home on wheels, with the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen, shower and bathroom and the comfort of three double beds, a flat screen TV and a DVD player. And rather than flying from place to place, driving in a campervan means you don’t need to cart all your luggage and fishing gear around. Simply stash your rods, reels, waders and boots and pull them out only when you need them.

We reckon NZ is the best-looking place on earth so why not drive? It’s one of those places where it’s difficult to take a bad photo. We had snow-scattered mountains surrounding us for the entire trip. It’s pretty amazing to be wading in thigh-deep water to look up and see snow!

For specific travel-related information on NZ we recommend you visit

These tips are from Nick Janzen

This article is courtesy of Modern Fishing, Australia’s favourite fishing magazine. Get all the latest tips, tricks, gear and destination ideas every month by subscribing at

For the full story of Nick Janzen's adventure click HERE

Want more? We thought you might like this video.

Like this artice? Subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered striaght to your inbox.

By registering you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Privacy Notice


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.