Angling Opportunities with Bryan
Trout fishing on the West Coast can be a daunting prospect for newcomers to the region. The rugged environment requires significant local knowledge of locations, safe travel in the dense native forest and safe river-crossing techniques. Bryan Wilson is the consummate bushman and his background and experience of this natural wonderland is your guarantee of the best chance of success. To help you in your search for the best trout fishing the West Coast has to offer, Bryan provides a range of angling opportunities to cater to all levels of fitness and sense of adventure. Talk to him about the best options for you … email Bryan at email@example.com or phone him on +64 272458163
The open season for all rivers in the West Coast Fish & Game District is from October 1st – April 30th. Prime dry fly fishing usually occurs from mid-November to mid-March, although opportunities for dry fly fishing exist all season. The best catch rates are generally achieved early season, prior to Christmas.
Every person who wants to go freshwater sport fishing in New Zealand must first purchase a trout fishing licence. Since October 2014, visitors to New Zealand must purchase a Non-Resident Fishing Licence. For other details on Licence Categories or to purchase a Fishing Licence Online, Fish and Game New Zealand.
Fishing Techniques and Equipment
- Most fishing is with nymphs and dry flies. Small dries and tiny nymphs are used on the smaller creeks while larger dries and weighted nymphs are successful on the larger rivers.
- Anglers should bring rod/line combinations in the #5 – #7 range, in lengths 8’6″ – 9’6″.
- Floating lines in weight forward or double tapers are used for almost all of the fishing.
- Line colour is very important. For daytime fishing, green, olive, earth-tone or grey coloured lines are recommended.
- Leaders fished are generally 12′ – 15′. Bring leaders that are at least 9′ tapering to a minimum of 3X. Tippet sizes range from 3X – 5X depending upon river flow and water clarity.
- Fishing clothes and hats should also be in subdued colours.
- Good quality breathable waders and rubber-soled wading shoes are recommended in the cooler waters of our rocky streams. Through the height of summer (Jan – mid-March) you may choose to wet wade. NB Felt soled wading boots are prohibited in New Zealand for trout fishing.
- Polarised fishing glasses are essential.
- A wide-brimmed hat is useful for protection against our sun and as an aid in reducing glare to assist in spotting trout.
- Sunblock is important in New Zealand.
- Ensure too, that you have a top-quality, waterproof, windproof rain jacket.
Recommended Trout Flies
You may find the following flies useful in your quest.
Bring a reasonable supply of dry flies with good quality hackle, in sizes 10 – 18. Good general purpose patterns are: Royal Wulff, all sizes … Adams and Parachute Adams sizes 12 – 18 … Humpy sizes 10 – 16 in body colours yellow, red, green, black … Elk Hair Caddis sizes 12 – 16 … Hoppers (Dec – Feb), sizes 6 – 10.
Patterns that work well here include: Pheasant Tail … sizes 10 – 18. Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear … sizes 10 – 16. Zug Bug … sizes 10 – 14. Hare & Copper … sizes 10 -14. Prince Nymph … sizes 10 – 14. Bead Head nymphs also work well. Beads in Gold, Copper and Black in either brass or tungsten are very effective. Caddis patterns in tan, green, brown and yellow, sizes 10 – 16 are very useful, as are Stonefly patterns in green, brown and black sizes 8 – 12. NB. All nymph patterns should be weighted with lead wire or beads during construction to assist with sinking in our faster waters.
Over very short periods of time, NZ weather may range from very warm to quite cold or from dry to very wet and sometimes windy. Come equipped and prepared for change. Click here for a West Coast Weather update. We will be fishing as much as we can … we don’t give up in the rain!
Dear Bryan, As you know I have fished quite a few places throughout the world so I do have a bit of knowledge of what is truly world-class fishing. The week spent with you was surely that, WORLD CLASS! Your sighting skills are second to none and general fishing knowledge is great. I would recommend you to anyone looking for a lifetime experience. The rivers we fished will never be forgotten … be it the ones accessible by road or the river we helicoptered into, they were all beautiful. Your respect for the environment as well as the fish is quite admirable and should be an example for any new young guide starting out. Once again thanks for a most memorable week of fishing!!! – Cheers, Brad Jackson. Lake Tahoe (USA).