Trout fishing in NZ

Project Description

New Zealand North Island, platform for the Barick Black Series.

A few months in the planning with the help of my close friend Ian had me travelling to the North Island of New Zealand meeting up with my guide Fints. My touch-down destination was Auckland where I then shuttled down to meet Fints at a busy suburban town called Hamilton.

The New Zealand country side is absolutely stunning and I highly recommend paying a visit to this beautiful location. As for the fishing, if you love your trout then New Zealand is something that should be on your bucket list. New Zealand has developed the reputation for having some of the best sight river trout fishing in the world and I was certainly eager to get a taste as soon as possible. When most of the river systems can produce the average 4-6lb trout, who could blame me.

The following morning I helped pack the kit into Fints’ car as we waited for Steve another friend, joining us on the journey. We stuffed everything we needed into the boot and grabbed a moment to head down to the local Tackle shop to stock up on some Tokoroa Chicken lures. Fints swore by them, but I was a little more than suspicious about their effectiveness.

Less than an hour on the road and we were unloading the boat on the boat ramp of the Waikato River. The Waikato is New Zealand’s largest river and stretches from Lake Taupo all the way to the Tasman. As soon as we arrived the magnificent surrounding took your breath away and really forced any built up stress to fade away. This was exactly what I was waiting for and loved every moment of it.

Even though I was here to catch some trout, I had to remind myself to do a bit of testing as well. I had two rods on the cards for the following days field test, the Barick Black Series freshwater rod and the Barick Special Edition FY0407-SE Fly Rod. The Black Series I chose for this trip is the SP0703-BS, a 7′, 3Kg, Very Fast action rod, equipped with a small 2000 model Diawa Aird spin reel running 10lb braid and a 6lb leader.

After dumping our kit at our base-camp it was time to flick those lures that Fints was so adamant about. He is a great guy and within moments of setting out on the boat, Steve and I were on a fish one after the other. Fints new exactly where they were and my first catch was a lovely 5lb Brown.

The fight was absolutely brilliant and the Black Series really knew how to handle it. For a light weight freshwater rod it has plenty of power down low to handle the heavier species. Flicking lures all day was a breeze, especially when you consider that the rod is built on an advanced carbon blank weighing a total of 34 grams. The accuracy and distance for lure casting was excellent. I was able to hit my target almost every time except for when Fints gets in the way. Sorry Mate. At the end of the day, Steve and I had racked up a total of eight fish taking home a 6 lb Rainbow which Fints loaded up in the smoker. The taste of that fish was fantastic. I had to concede even after all my banter that those Tokoroa Chicken lures where deadly and had Fints gloating from ear to ear.

The following day saw us chasing more of the same but in different locations around the Waikato. We headed for an offshoot stream which was completely enveloped by breathtaking overgrown New Zealand forest, where the water was crystal clear and the Trout were very visible. This gave me the opportunity to give the FY0407-SE a little run and I have to say that it is one of the best fly rods I’ve ever used. This particular model is a 10′ 6 weight fly rod and due to its length wasn’t easy to use on a boat meandering through a stream under this type of growth however, once out in the open the beast was unleashed. The FY0407-SE has a lot of power and will have you hitting the 20 metre mark within two hauls with ease. Loaded with a Streamer pattern on the end of a 40 Plus sinking tip fly line before long I had another 6 lb Brown fighting for its life, but the FY0407 was too strong for it. This rod has unbelievable bottom end power along with fantastic mid section strength which makes it easy to cast fast and long. Short distance casting was a little tricky and required more finesse due to the enormous amount of power in reserve but overall, the FY0407-SE is a great rod for long distance casting from 15 metres and over especially here in NZ where the fish are big.

We ended the day with another haul of five Trout and retuned to our camp-site to celebrate with more than a few beers and meals meeting up with another friend of Fints. John used to be a professional fisherman and still loves getting out on the waters with every opportunity. These guys are some of the best blokes that anyone could meet up with and I loved to say that I can’t wait till we do it again.