Flies for New Zealand and Fiji

Tmik

Active Member
WFF Supporter
So a rather amazing turn of events took place, and my wife earned an invitation for two to a work celebration in Fiji this March. We are jumping at the chance to be opportunistic and are extending the trip by hopping to New Zealand first.

Our plan is to backpack New Zealand for a week, then head to Fiji to hang on the beaches. Fishing will be involved throughout.

I am looking for advice on flies to tie. And any other advice for fishing in those countries would be welcome.

We haven't decided all the details yet, but we plan to rent a car on the South island of NZ, choose a home base town, then head in to the mountains where there are blue lines. From what I have researched, big dry flies, black tungsten nymphs, and variety in dries is important. Oh and maybe a mouse fly for the evenings.

Anyone have tips on specific flies that would be good to have in the arsenal?

For Fiji, our focus will be less on fishing, but will still want the option. I was just planning on bringing some clousers, deceivers, some big white things to throw from the beaches early mornings.

Any thoughts on decent flies for Fiji beach fishing?

Lastly, rod sizes.

I am thinking I will bring a six weight rod for NZ. For Fiji, would an 8 weight do it?

Thanks,
Tristan
 

JayB

Active Member
Not sure about the timing of the cicada hatch on the South Island, but if it looks like your stay will overlap with the hatch, I'd bring along at least a few cicada patterns. I ran into the hatch on the North Island, and the fishing was otherworldly.

Watching 3-5lb trout make a leisurely rise to the surface from their holding positions 5-10 deep in gin clear pools to snarf cockroach sized dries is an experience that I won't soon forget. Often the fishing was so good that I wouldn't bother with a dropper, but that seemed to seal the deal with fish that refused the dry.

I also caught my biggest trout of my entire stay (rainbow pictured to the left) on a mouse fly, in the middle of the afternoon, after tossing everything in the box at a conga line of big fish I could see rolling over and over again. They were feeding on a steady stream of size ~20 lacewings being funneled along a seam just under some overhanging willows. I wouldn't have even thought of it, but my wife was fishing nearby and said "You should try the mouse fly - you spent all that time tying it up." I normally would have scoffed at such a suggestion, but at that point all I could think was "What the hell - nothing else has worked and we're running out of time."

About half a second after the fly plopped down and began to swing under the willows I could see a wake homing in on it, and then my wife, who was about 100 feet downstream at the time heard me shouting "It took the mouse! Holy-(*&(^. IT. TOOK. THE MOUSE!!!" Great memory.

If I ever make it down there again and run into another situation where they refuse everything else, I'll see if I can make lightning strike twice with a mouse pattern.

 

gt

Active Member
a friend has fished the south island multiple times. that said, access to productive private waters is quite a challenge without hiring a very expensive guide. all the best poking around.
 

Chucker

Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
Small heavy nymphs for NZ. Some heavily weighted but without beads. I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it, but there are places where the fish spook at the sight of a bead head fly, but eat an non bead one. Big dries are mostly as indicators.
 
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Mems

Active Member
Aloha Tristan, good luck in New Zealand. I would contact Louie the fish who now lives down there and fish with him a couple of days. He lets fishermen stay at his house for $100 per day. He fishes lake Taupo.
Fiji, I am headed there in March with my wife. You can't fish inshore with out permission from the local chief. They have small trevally inshore and other reef fish, but think catch and release is weird. Offshore is a different matter with a variety of fish, pelagics, and Big GT's and Dog tooth tuna. They don't do much flyfishing for them, and use lures, bait and like vertical jigging. I plan on taking along an 8wt and a 12wt for offshore. We sill be staying in the yasawa Island group and are there mainly for vacation but will spend some time offshore.
For big GTs and big Doggies you should fish Kadavu Island and the Astrolabe reef. Good luck and have fun, Mems.
If you need Louie's contact info let me know.
 

Bowbonehead

Active Member
as mentioned above nymphs are the main food just make sure they are are dark beaded tungsten ie black and dull pheasant tails and hares ears worked well for me 6 wt is fine for NZ but the 8wt might be a little light for the Trevally make sure you take some SW Poppers. You are going to be in NZ at an ideal time for Kingfish on the North end of the South Island around Collingwood and the 8wt will work fine for them on the flats as they follow the rays around........
 
I have an American friend who has lived on the South Island for the past 25 years and retired recently to a small town in the middle of primo fly fishing. When I visited 10 years ago he said the prevailing view of the locals is that trout in NZ will take anything as long as it is brown, size 16, and heavily weighted.
 

Tmik

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Not sure about the timing of the cicada hatch on the South Island, but if it looks like your stay will overlap with the hatch, I'd bring along at least a few cicada patterns. I ran into the hatch on the North Island, and the fishing was otherworldly.

Watching 3-5lb trout make a leisurely rise to the surface from their holding positions 5-10 deep in gin clear pools to snarf cockroach sized dries is an experience that I won't soon forget. Often the fishing was so good that I wouldn't bother with a dropper, but that seemed to seal the deal with fish that refused the dry.

I also caught my biggest trout of my entire stay (rainbow pictured to the left) on a mouse fly, in the middle of the afternoon, after tossing everything in the box at a conga line of big fish I could see rolling over and over again. They were feeding on a steady stream of size ~20 lacewings being funneled along a seam just under some overhanging willows. I wouldn't have even thought of it, but my wife was fishing nearby and said "You should try the mouse fly - you spent all that time tying it up." I normally would have scoffed at such a suggestion, but at that point all I could think was "What the hell - nothing else has worked and we're running out of time."

About half a second after the fly plopped down and began to swing under the willows I could see a wake homing in on it, and then my wife, who was about 100 feet downstream at the time heard me shouting "It took the mouse! Holy-(*&(^. IT. TOOK. THE MOUSE!!!" Great memory.

If I ever make it down there again and run into another situation where they refuse everything else, I'll see if I can make lightning strike twice with a mouse pattern.

Love it! Convinced me to tie up at least one mouse fly for the trip.
 

Tmik

Active Member
WFF Supporter
a friend has fished the south island multiple times. that said, access to productive private waters is quite a challenge without hiring a very expensive guide. all the best poking around.
While I have seen lots of mentions of private guided waters, this is the first I have heard that it may be hard to find other water. Our aim right now is really to fish while backpacking, so our hope is to find some trails that we can go for multiple days in to the backcountry and fish along the way. Hoping that around 5-10 miles in we can get beyond any private waters. Pulling out the maps this weekend to try to align those two endeavors.
 

Tmik

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Aloha Tristan, good luck in New Zealand. I would contact Louie the fish who now lives down there and fish with him a couple of days. He lets fishermen stay at his house for $100 per day. He fishes lake Taupo.
Fiji, I am headed there in March with my wife. You can't fish inshore with out permission from the local chief. They have small trevally inshore and other reef fish, but think catch and release is weird. Offshore is a different matter with a variety of fish, pelagics, and Big GT's and Dog tooth tuna. They don't do much flyfishing for them, and use lures, bait and like vertical jigging. I plan on taking along an 8wt and a 12wt for offshore. We sill be staying in the yasawa Island group and are there mainly for vacation but will spend some time offshore.
For big GTs and big Doggies you should fish Kadavu Island and the Astrolabe reef. Good luck and have fun, Mems.
If you need Louie's contact info let me know.
Thanks Mems! I'll see how the NZ planning shakes out and may still reach out for Louies info.

Really good info on Fiji. How does one go about requesting permission from a local chief :)?
 

FinLuver

Active Member
Contact Chris at The Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene, OR
He owns the shop and spends part of every year there guiding.
 

Steve Saville

Active Member
WFF Supporter
I was there many years ago and unless things changed, you can fish just about anywhere. They have (had) The Queen's Highway rule which allows access as long as you walk the streams and make sure you close all gates so the livestock doesn't get out. I always asked permission and found the folks to be very friendly and allowing. The disclaimer is it's been many years ago so things might have changed. I stayed in Invercargil on the south island and there was a nice little fly shop in the city center.
 

C&CRods

not your average member
Ive been to Fiji the past two years and enjoyed beach fishing both trips. You are on the right track with clousers and decievers, bring poppers also. An 8 wt will be fine, dont forget some good sized poppers. Walking the beach at first light and watching for trevally and barracuda close in chasin bait fish was a great way to get a fish to start the day. Not sure what part of Fiji you will be in, if on a large public beach, no need to ask permissions. If land owned by a resort, just go in and ask. If you find something with a village on it, you should take KAVA root from the market as a gift to the chief and ask permission. If no official village, yet you can see a home nearby, Kava for the homeowner. One thing i found in Fiji(away from the main tourist drags, where everyone wants as many if your dollars as they can get), is that everyone you meet wants you to have a good time. Everytime i asked i was waved in as though they had been waiting for me. A place filled with love. As mentioned they dont really understand catch and release so if you notice someone watching and you catch something, you will earn big points by giving your catch away to feed a family. You will likely have to explain fly fishing, how to tie flies, and many other things in the following conversation, have fun!
 

Adam Saarinen

Active Member
From another forum, i asked few years ago for Aussie info for a trip there. The president of the North Queensland fly fishing club gave me 3 contacts in the Sydney fly fishing club. I reached out to all 3 asking for info on the N.S.W south coast. 1 guy replied, a retired police prosecuter! He has a holiday house in the area my parent's live & we hit it off straight away, my Mum said you too are like lovers! Mad on fly fishing & drinking beer! Anyway, we have stayed in touch & i like it. He goes to New Zealand south Island every summer, some Sydney club trip as you would expect being so close! He told me fishing dry flies is insanely difficult. Big flies, insanely long leaders & the best presetation ever = not always possible! He said big trout can be caught sight fishing with nymphs! He is there at this moment & said he will make time to have a fish with me next month when i'm in Australia! I hope this info helps you! Forums are good & i've made some good friends around the world! Enjoy your time in New Zealand! Regards Adam Saarinen
 

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